Ukrainian Second League
|Founded||1992 (as Transitional League)|
|Number of teams||23|
|Level on pyramid||3|
|Promotion to||Ukrainian First League|
|Relegation to||Ukrainian Amateur Football Championship (since 2016)
Ukrainian Third League (1992–1994)
|Domestic cup(s)||Ukrainian Cup
League Cup (defunct)
|Current champions||FC Zhemchuzhyna Odesa
|Most championships||3 – Desna and Cherkaskyi Dnipro|
|2017–18 Ukrainian Second League|
The Ukrainian Second League (Ukrainian: Друга ліга, Druha Liha) is a professional football league in Ukraine which is part of the Professional Football League of Ukraine. Football Federation of Ukraine, however, has an exclusive right on general administration and control over the organizing and conducting competitions in the league. In 1992 the league was also known as the Transitional League.
The league is lower than the Ukrainian First League (Persha Liha) and the lowest level of professional football competitions in the country. The Ukrainian Second League is the third level of professional football in Ukraine. The league's relegated teams lose their professional status and return to their regional associations.
- 1 Quick overview
- 2 Organization
- 3 Statistics
- 4 External links
- 5 References
The third division of the Ukrainian championship originally was organized as the Transitional League due to numerous amateur clubs competing in it 15 out of 18. Out of the 1992 Transitional League the top clubs qualified for the 1992-93 Second League, while the bottom - the 1992-93 Transitional League, thus, creating an extra tier. Basically in the first seasons there was no promotion.
For the second season (1992-93) the league was officially organized as the Second League, while the name of transitional league was passed to the newly formed fourth division. Between seasons 1993 and 1995, there existed an auxiliary level (the Third League in 1994-95) of the football championship in Ukraine, lower than the Second League. From 1993 season to 1995 the Second League had a single group competition of over 20 clubs. During the 1996 reorganization, the auxiliary league was merged back to the Second League.
Creation of PFL
In 1996 Ukrainian football witnessed major changes in its organization as the Professional Football League of Ukraine was established. The new organization took control of the competition of former non-amateur clubs that were given attestation of professional clubs and included all the leagues of the Ukrainian championship. Concurrently with this the Third League was disbanded and all clubs that were not in the "relegation zone" were invited to join the Second League. The Second League in its turn was split into two groups. Only in the very first season the teams in this league were divided somewhat randomly, while later becoming more of regional sub-leagues. From 1997 the league was divided into three groups (Druha Liha A (west), B (south), and C (east)).
In 1998 unlike other seasons the winners of the groups were not promoted automatically; instead a promotion-relegation tournament was organized involving four teams, three group winners and one of the weaker clubs of the First League. In 2006, the Ukrainian Professional Football League consolidated the Druha Liha due to a shortage of teams, and now the third level of professional football is divided into two groups once again (A - West and B - East).
Throughout its history the Second League has had some supplementary tournaments which include the Second League Cup as well as the Ukrainian Cup qualification tournament called the 2009–10 Ukrainian League Cup.
Team withdrawals / critical situation
The league has suffered from chronic club withdrawals since its reorganization when the Ukrainian Third League was liquidated in 1995. The first club that withdrew in the middle of a season from Ukrainian championship was FC Elektron Romny which on 5 May 1994 withdrew from the Transitional League (Third League).
The reorganization of the competition in 1995 (merging Third and Second leagues) saw a number of clubs that discontinued their participation. At the start of season withdrew Temp Shepetivka which prior to that merged with Advis as well as Kosmos Pavlohrad, and five more clubs withdrew at winter break. Withdrawal of Temp led to a major disruption in competitions when Football Federation of Ukraine allowed to enter a quickly assembled team of amateur players for the First League to replace withdrawn Shepetivka club.
For a couple of years after that, there was relative stabilization, but not perfect with at least one club being withdrawn in a middle of ongoing season. In the 1998-99 season 10 teams quit the league before the season started. During the 2002-03 season Ukrainian football saw the withdrawal of a Top League club for the first time (Polihraftekhnika Oleksandriya). Due to those withdrawals the Second League suspended relegation of clubs since 2006-07, while there were some talks for the league to be discontinued. An idea surfaced during the 2009-10 season to merge the league with the First League breaking the last into several groups, but it was abandoned. During the same season a new tournament was organized to add some games to the calendar of the Second League clubs which had thinned away substantially, this was called the 2009–10 Ukrainian League Cup.
The calendar of competitions is adopted by the Central Council of PFL and the Executive Committee of FFU. The Bureau (Administration) of PFL regulates the league's operations and forms the Second League. All clubs of the PFL are obligated to own or sponsor a Children-Youth Sports School. All clubs of PFL are obligated to participate in the National Cup competition. A club of the Second League is also obligated to finance at least two junior teams from under the age of 10 to under the age of 19. The junior teams must participate either in regional competitions of the Children-Youth Football League of Ukraine.
All stadiums must have a certificate of the State Commission in control of sports structures conditions. A club cannot play matches at its training sites nor stadiums not registered with PFL. Promotions of tobacco products at stadiums are prohibited. All stadiums must fly the flags of Ukraine, FFU, and PFL. Only accredited photo-correspondents and junior footballers who collect balls are allowed behind goalposts.
The games are allowed to start not earlier than 12:00 and not later than 20:30. There must be at least a 48-hour break between two official games. Games can only be rescheduled if the following three criteria exist: a) unforeseen circumstances occur, b) delegation of four or more footballers to any national teams, or c) organization of direct tele-broadcasting.
Winners by year
Post-season play-offs are not common feature of the Second League competition. Over the years there were several instances when clubs contested promotion or relegation berths. The first post-season feature consisted of a promotion mini tournament that took place in July 1998 in Kiev and Boryspil. It involved three group winners of the Second League and Bukovyna that placed 18th place in the First League. The tournament identified clubs which would qualify for the 1998–99 Ukrainian First League.
- 1997–98: mini-tournament
Groups' second teams playoffs
- 1995–96 Metalurh – Krystal (promotion qualification among second teams)
- 2008–09 Arsenal – Poltava (promotion qualification among second teams)
- 2009–10 Nyva – Kremin (promotion qualification among second teams)
- 2010–11 Poltava – Sumy (promotion playoff qualification among second teams)
Playoffs against First League teams
- 2010–11: Enerhetyk – Sumy (promotion)
- 2011–12: Mykolaiv – Avanhard (promotion)
- 2012–13: Odessa – Nyva T, Dynamo-2 – Shakhtar (two promotion series)
- 2014–15: Mykolaiv – Kremin (promotion series)
- 2015–16: Ternopil – Bukovyna (promotion series; cancelled)
- 2016–17: Sumy – Balkany (promotion series)
- 2011–12 Poltava – Sumy
- 2012–13 Desna – UkrAhroKom (series)
The table includes the league's winners that also placed at least one 2nd and one 3rd places as well as the league's winners that were runners-up at least twice.
|Club||Winner||Runners-Up||3rd Position||Seasons Won||Notes|
|Desna Chernihiv||3||4||1||1996–97, 2005–06, 2012–13|
|Cherkaskyi Dnipro||3||0||2||1992–93, 2005–06, 2014–15||Dnipro Cherkasy, Slavutych Cherkasy|
|Obolon-Brovar Kyiv||2||2||0||1998–99, 2000–01||Obolon Kyiv, Obolon-PPO Kyiv|
|Sumy (1982—2006)||2||0||2||1994–95, 2001–02||Yavir Krasnopillia|
|Bukovyna Chernivtsi||2||0||0||1999–00, 2009–10|
|Ihroservice Simferopol||1||1||1||2003–04||Dynamo-Ihroservice Simferopol|
All league winners by regions
- (in Ukrainian) Druha Liha at Official Site of the Professional Football league of Ukraine
- (in Ukrainian) Interaction site for Druha liha
- (in Russian) Variety of championships
- Currently the Professional Football League of Ukraine does not relegate teams, as a lot of them withdraw from the league on their own due to financial difficulties. Normally the clubs placing last are subject to loss of professional status and relegation to their regional competitions.
- Valerko, A. Velvet revolution. How, why and wherefore FFU reloads the Ukrainian championship (Оксамитова революція. Як, чому і навіщо ФФУ перезавантажує чемпіонат України). Sport Arena. 22 June 2017.
- Valerko, A. C:\format or C:\reload. By whom, how and why is being formatted the Ukrainian championship (C:\format или C:\reload. Кем, как и почему реформируется чемпионат Украины). Sport Arena. 22 August 2017
- Фек: Підтримую Данілова і Бальчоса - хай це саме зробить Суркіс
- In 1993–94 four teams were promoted to the Ukrainian First League. The fourth place team in the competition was Naftokhimik Kremenchuk.
- Krystal Kherson failed to win the playoffs for promotion to the Ukrainian First League
- After reviewing Rava Ruska's solvency and facilities the PFL decided not to promote them. 2nd placed Enerhetyk Burshtyn were promoted instead.
- PFC Oleksandria were promoted to the Ukrainian First League since they were best 2nd placed team in all Druha Liha competitions
- FC Arsenal Bila Tserkva were promoted to the Ukrainian First League since FC Ihroservice Simferopol as the member of the First League withdrew from competitions. Arsenal and Poltava were allowed to compete for the extra promotion due to that in the play-off game in Cherkasy. Arsenal won the game 1–0, gaining promotion.
- In 2013–14 four teams were promoted to the Ukrainian First League. The fourth place team in the competition was Hirnyk Kryvyi Rih.
- In 2015–16 a record of six(!) teams were promoted to the Ukrainian First League Bukovyna Chernivtsi, Skala Stryi, and Arsenal-Kyiv.
- In 2015–16 four teams were promoted to the Ukrainian First League, the fourth team being Balkany Zorya.