First Professional Football League (Bulgaria)

(Redirected from Bulgarian A Football Group)

The First Professional Football League (Bulgarian: Първа професионална футболна лига, romanizedParva Profesionalna Futbolna Liga), commonly known as Parva Liga or Bulgarian First League (currently known as the efbet League for sponsorship reasons),[1] is a professional association football league, being the top tier of Bulgarian football league system. Contested by 16 teams, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the Second Professional Football League.

First Professional Football League
Organising bodyBulgarian Football Union (BFU)
Founded1924; 100 years ago (1924) (knockout)
1937–1940; 1948 (as round-robin)
Country Bulgaria
ConfederationUEFA
Number of teams16
Level on pyramid1
Relegation toSecond League
Domestic cup(s)Bulgarian Cup
Bulgarian Supercup
International cup(s)UEFA Champions League
UEFA Europa League
UEFA Europa Conference League
Current championsLudogorets Razgrad (12th title)
(2022–23)
Most championshipsCSKA Sofia (31 titles)
Most appearancesGeorgi Iliev (461)
Top goalscorerMartin Kamburov (256 goals)
TV partnersNova Broadcasting Group
Websitefpleague.bg
Current: 2023–24 season

The Bulgarian football championship was inaugurated in 1924 as the Bulgarian State Football Championship and has been played in a league format since 1948, when the A Group was established. The champions of the First League have the right to participate in the qualifying rounds of the UEFA Champions League based on the league's European coefficient. Additionally, two UEFA Europa Conference League spots are allocated to the second team in the final standings and the winner of the European playoffs. A further fourth spot may also be granted to the fourth placed team in the final league ranking, given that the Bulgarian Cup holder has finished among the top three teams at the end of the season.

A total of 75 clubs have competed in the Bulgarian top-tier since its establishment, with FC Krumovgrad being the newest member of the top tier, after promotion in 2023. Since 1948, eleven different teams have been crowned champions of Bulgaria. The three most successful clubs are CSKA Sofia with 31 titles, Levski Sofia with 26 titles and Ludogorets Razgrad with 12 titles. The current champions Ludogorets Razgrad won their twelfth consecutive title in their twelfth First League season in 2022–23. Historically, the competition has been dominated by Sofia-based teams. Together they have won a total number of 70 titles.

History edit

Foundation edit

The first football championship in Bulgaria was held in 1924 as a knockout tournament. It was organised by the Bulgarian National Sports Federation (BNSF). The six inaugural teams were Vladislav Varna, Orel Vratsa, Levski Sofia, Krakra Pernik, Pobeda Plovdiv and Chernomorets Burgas, each having won and representing its regional sports federation, called sportna federatsiya. The championship was abandoned, because of a dispute between Vladislav and Levski over the replay of the final game. In the following 1925 season, SK Vladislav became the first champion of Bulgaria. The championship was reorganised for three seasons, from season 1937–38 to 1939–40, ten teams participated in a round-robin tournament, called the National Football Division.[2]

A Republican Football Group edit

The inaugural season of the A Republican Football Group began in the autumn of 1948. The ten teams participating in the league were Levski, Septemvri, Lokomotiv, Slavia and Spartak from the capital city Sofia, and Botev Varna, Botev Burgas, Slavia Plovdiv, Marek Stanke Dimitrov, Benkovski in a spring-autumn cycle like in the Soviet Union. In the autumn of 1949, qualification tournaments were played to determine the teams that would play in the next 1950 season. In the next two seasons the number of teams in the league was increased to 12, and for the 1953 season there were 15 teams (the 16th team was the Bulgaria national team). In seasons 1954 and 1955 there were 14 teams in the league, and in seasons 1956 and 1957 there were 10.[citation needed]

In 1958, the championship was again stopped after the spring half-season, as had happened in 1948. New re-organizations were accepted and the league was again going to be played in the autumn-spring format. Despite the fact that the teams had played just 1 match, CDNA was crowned as the champion of Bulgaria.[citation needed]

The frequent changes in the number of teams in A Group continued in the 1960s. In the first two seasons after the reforms in 1958, the number of teams in the league was 12, in the period 1960–1962 – 14, until season 1967/68, when the teams were 16.

There were new reforms at the end of the 1960s. There were many mergers between Bulgarian clubs. The most-famous are between CSKA Red Flag and Septemvri Sofia in CSKA September Flag, the capital teams Levski and Spartak in Levski-Spartak, Lokomotiv and Slavia in Slavia, the Plovdiv teams Botev, Spartak and Academic in Trakiya. Mergers happened between other Bulgarian clubs too. These mergers between clubs and reforms in A Group were made at the winter break of the 1968/69 season.

After the winter reforms in 1968 until 2000, A Group remained with 16 teams, except in seasons 1971/72 and 1972/73, when 18 teams competed in the league.

Premier Professional Football League edit

The Bulgarian Football Union decided to make reforms. The Premier Professional Football League, created in the autumn of 2000, had 14 teams participating in it. At the end of the 2000/01 season, the last two teams were directly relegated to the lower division and the team that finished 12th had the chance to compete in the promotion/relegation play-off for the remaining place in the league. Levski Sofia became champions in the first season of the Premier League.

In the 2001/02 season there was experimentation with the regulations. The championship was divided into two phases. In the first phase the teams played a regular season, each team playing twice against all the others, once home and once away. The second phase was a play-off phase.

In the following season, 2002/03, the championship returned to the regulations of 2000/01 – 14 teams playing in a home and away format. For the first time in 6 years, CSKA Sofia became champions.

A Group edit

 
The A Group Trophy as of 2005

The Bulgarian A Professional Football Group was created in 2003. The group was formed by 16 teams, each playing twice against all the others, once home and once away. In the first season of the newly created A Group, the 2003–04 season, for the first time in history, Lokomotiv Plovdiv became champions, finishing with 75 points. In 2004–05, CSKA Sofia won A Group for the 30th time. For the next two seasons, Levski Sofia were champions under manager Stanimir Stoilov. From 2005–06 the league's name has been A Football Group. In 2007–08, CSKA became champions of A Group for a record-breaking 31st time without a loss out of 30 matches. But in the summer, UEFA didn't give a licence for the club to play in the UEFA Champions League qualifying rounds and Levski Sofia entered to play in the tournament instead of CSKA. In the following season Levski Sofia won their last A Group title, finishing one point ahead of CSKA. Later on, two years in a row Litex Lovech won another two titles like in 1997–98 and 1998–99. In 2011–12, after winning promotion from B Group, Ludogorets Razgrad became the second team after Litex to win the A Group in their first season.

The Bulgarian Football Union made some changes in the format of A Group prior to season 2013–14 with the reduction of the number of the teams participating in the top league from 16 to 14 and the reintroduction of the two phase league with a regular season and a playoff/play out phase. For the 2014–15 season, the league was once more decreased, this time to 12 teams, keeping the two phase format. This season was memorable since two of the most popular and successful clubs, CSKA Sofia and Lokomotiv Sofia, were both excluded from the league, despite finishing in the top 5 places. Both teams had accumulated debts and did not have the financial resources to pay them, so the BFU decided to take away their professional licenses. This was the first time in the history of the A Group that CSKA was relegated.[citation needed] For the 2015–16 season, the BFU decided to further decrease the number of teams competing, this time to just 10, with a quadruple round robin format introduced, a format used in the Croatian First Football League and Albanian Kategoria Superiore.

First Professional Football League edit

On 7 June 2016 the league's name was changed to First Professional Football League, following approval of new licensing criteria for the clubs.[3] The new league name also came with a new format change, the fourth such in the last four seasons. A total of 14 teams would compete, and the season would consist of two phases, a regular season phase, where each team plays each other team twice, followed by a playoff phase, where the top six teams from the regular season compete for the title as well as European competition spots, while the remaining eight teams would compete for avoiding relegation to the Second League. This format was used from 2016 up until 2021.

In 2021, the BFU decided to once more change the format of the league. This time, the league would still consist of a regular season stage where teams compete against each other twice, but then the league would split into three phases. The top six clubs would again compete for the title and European spots, while teams ranked 7-10 at the end of the regular season would play in the Europa Conference Group, with the 7th placed team competing against the 4th placed team from the Championship group for a UEFA Europa Conference League spot. The bottom four teams would compete to avoid relegation. This format lasted only one season, however, as the league was expanded to 16 teams for the 2022–23 season. The three phases were kept identical though, with the exception being that six teams would compete in the relegation group instead of four.

Competition format edit

Starting from the 2022–23 season, a new league format was approved by the Bulgarian Football Union, in an attempt to improve each participating club's competitiveness, match attendance and performance in the league. It involves 16 teams playing in two phases, a regular season and playoffs. The first phase includes each club competing against every other team twice in a double round-robin system, on a home-away basis at a total of 30 games per team and played in 30 fixtures. Eight matches are played in every fixture at a total of 240 games played during the first phase. In the second phase, the top six teams form a European qualifying table, while between the 7th and 10th places will battle European Conference League play-off and bottom six teams participate in a relegation group. The winner of the top group is declared as Champions of Bulgaria and is awarded with the title.

International qualification edit

The six top teams compete against each other on a home-away basis. Three matches are played in every fixture of the top six, with the results and points after the regular season also included. At the end of the stage, every team will have played a total of 36 games. The winner of the group is declared as Champions of Bulgaria and automatically secures participation in the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round. The team that ranks second is awarded with a place in the UEFA Europa League qualifying rounds. The third team in the final standings would participate in a play-off match against a representative team from the bottom eight. Depending on the winner of the Bulgarian Cup final, a possible fourth team from the first six may compete in a play-off match for an UEFA Europa League spot instead of the third ranked team.

Note: If the Bulgarian Cup winner has secured its qualification for the European tournaments for the next season through results from Parva Liga, then the place in the UEFA Europa League play-off is awarded to the fourth ranked team in the final standings.

Relegation edit

The teams in the bottom eight are split in two sub-groups of four teams, Group A and Group B, depending on their final position after the regular season standings. The teams that enter Group A are the 7th, 10th, 11th and the 14th, and the teams that participate in Group B are the 8th, 9th, 12th and the 13th. Every participant plays twice against the other three teams in their group on a home-away basis. The teams from the bottom eight also compete with the results from the regular season. After the group stages, every team will have played a total number of 32 games. Depending on their final position in Group A and Group B, two sections will be formed, one for a play-off spot in next season's European competitions and one to avoid relegation. The first two teams from each group continue in the semi-finals, and the last two teams of each group continue to the semi-finals for a relegation match. After this phase, one team is directly relegated to the Second League and the remaining two teams will compete in two relegation matches against the second and the third ranked clubs from the Second League.[4]

Tiebreakers edit

In case of a tie on points between two or more clubs, tiebreakers are applied in the following order:[5]

  1. Number of wins;
  2. Goal difference;
  3. Goals for;
  4. Goals against;
  5. Fewest red cards;
  6. Fewest yellow cards;
  7. Draw

Current clubs edit

The following clubs are competing in the First League during the 2023–24 season.

Arda Beroe Botev Plovdiv Botev Vratsa
Arena Arda Beroe Hristo Botev Hristo Botev
Capacity: 11,114 Capacity: 12,128 Capacity: 18,777 Capacity: 25,000
       
Cherno More CSKA 1948 CSKA Sofia Etar
Ticha Bistritsa Balgarska Armia Ivaylo
Capacity: 6,250 Capacity: 2,500 Capacity: 22,995 Capacity: 18,000
       
Hebar Krumovgrad
Georgi Benkovski Krumovgrad
Capacity: 13,128 Capacity: 1,500
   
Levski Sofia Lokomotiv Plovdiv
Vivacom Arena - Georgi Asparuhov Lokomotiv
Capacity: 25,000 Capacity: 8,610
 
Lokomotiv Sofia Ludogorets Pirin Blagoevgrad Slavia Sofia
Lokomotiv Huvepharma Arena Hristo Botev Aleksandar Shalamanov
Capacity: 22,000 Capacity: 10,422 Capacity: 7,500 Capacity: 25,556
       

List of champions edit

Performance by club edit

[6]Bold indicates clubs which play in the 2022–23 First League.

Club Titles Winning seasons
CSKA Sofia

   

31 1948, 1951, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1958–59, 1959–60, 1960–61, 1961–62, 1965–66, 1968–69, 1970–71, 1971–72, 1972–73, 1974–75, 1975–76, 1979–80, 1980–81, 1981–82, 1982–83, 1986–87, 1988–89, 1989–90, 1991–92, 1996–97, 2002–03, 2004–05, 2007–08
Levski Sofia   26 1933, 1937, 1942, 1946, 1947, 1948–49, 1950, 1953, 1964–65, 1967–68, 1969–70, 1973–74, 1976–77, 1978–79, 1983–84, 1984–85, 1987–88, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1994–95, 1999–2000, 2000–01, 2001–02, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2008–09
Ludogorets  12 2011–12, 2012–13, 2013–14, 2014–15, 2015–16, 2016–17, 2017–18, 2018–19, 2019–20, 2020–21, 2021–22, 2022–23
Slavia Sofia 7 1928, 1930, 1936, 1938–39, 1941, 1943, 1995–96
Litex Lovech 4 1997–98, 1998–99, 2009–10, 2010–11
Lokomotiv Sofia 3 1945, 1963–64, 1977–78
Vladislav 3 1925, 1926, 1934
Botev Plovdiv 2 1929, 1966–67
AS-23 1 1931
Beroe 1 1985–86
Etar 1 1990–91
Lokomotiv Plovdiv 1 2003–04
Shipchenski sokol 1 1932
Spartak Plovdiv 1 1962–63
Sportklub Sofia 1 1935
Ticha 1 1937–38
ZhSK Sofia 1 1939–40

Notes:

  • CSKA Sofia titles include those won as Septemvri pri CDNV, CDNA, and CFKA Sredets.
  • Levski Sofia titles include those won as Levski-Spartak and Vitosha, as well as the re-awarded 1984–85 title.
  • Botev Plovdiv total does not include 1984–85 title originally awarded to Trakia.

All-time ranking (since 1948) edit

The all-time Parva Liga table[7] is an overall record of all match results, points and goals for each team that has participated in the league since its inception in 1948. It also shows every team's number of top three finishes,[8] their best classification, debut season and current spell in Parva Liga, or the season they were last part of the championship.[9]

The table is accurate as of the end of the 2022–23 season.

It has to be noted that the table below does not reflect the tables provided by official sources, including the Bulgarian Football Union. In general, the table presented below considers clubs bearing similar names and from the same city to be the same entity, and not separate clubs, whereas the Bulgarian Football Union considers the foundation of a new club to be a separate entity and records are kept separately.

All-time Parva Liga table
# Club S MP W D L GF GA GD Pts 1st 2nd 3rd Debut Since/
Last App
Best Notes
1 CSKA Sofia 74 2148 1307 493 348 4348 1836 +2512 3645 30 28 7 1948–49 2016–17 1
2 Levski Sofia 75 2181 1269 504 408 4144 1940 +2204 3599 21 27 12 1948–49 1948–49 1 [a]
3 Slavia Sofia 74 2158 928 514 716 3169 2524 +645 2752 1 7 11 1948–49 1952 1 [b]
4 Lokomotiv Sofia 66 1903 789 479 635 2708 2310 +398 2355 2 3 10 1948–49 2021–22 1
5 Botev Plovdiv 68 1993 763 465 765 2840 2740 +100 2265 1 2 11 1951 2012–13 1
6 Lokomotiv Plovdiv 62 1861 727 435 699 2511 2507 +4 2225 1 2 4 1949–50 2001–02 1
7 Cherno More 59 1742 625 449 668 2072 2169 -97 1982 2 1948–49 2000–01 3
8 Beroe 56 1688 581 392 715 2049 2397 -348 1797 1 1 2 1954 2009–10 1
9 Litex Lovech 21 608 354 123 131 1113 552 +561 1149 4 1 3 1994–95 2015–16 1
10 Spartak Varna 44 1237 383 280 574 1417 1894 -477 1169 2 1950 2022–23 3
11 Chernomorets Burgas 36 1084 369 241 474 1345 1633 -288 1104 1948–49 2013–14 4 [c]
12 Minyor Pernik 38 1055 330 248 477 1175 1594 -419 1000 1951 2012–13 4
13 Botev Vratsa 33 1012 330 225 457 1223 1525 -302 940 1 1964–65 2018–19 3
14 Ludogorets Razgrad 12 398 262 85 51 826 286 +540 915 12 2011–12 2011–12 1 [d]
15 Etar Veliko Tarnovo 29 890 309 201 380 1112 1306 -194 903 1 2 1969–70 2023–24 1 [e]
16 Spartak Pleven 35 994 314 245 435 1150 1511 -361 886 1 1952 2001–02 3
17 Pirin Blagoevgrad 28 857 262 211 384 912 1168 -256 820 1973–74 2021–22 5
18 Dunav Ruse 29 838 260 206 372 888 1270 -382 763 1951 2019–20 4
19 Marek 1915 29 838 251 177 410 920 1374 -454 737 1 1948–49 2014–15 3
20 Sliven 25 750 246 164 340 906 1109 -203 675 1963–64 2010–11 6
21 Neftochimic Burgas 14 430 171 83 176 600 567 +33 575 1 1994–95 2016–17 2
22 Akademik Sofia 18 505 163 136 206 589 676 -87 467 2 1950 2010–11 3
23 Spartak Plovdiv 17 441 158 121 162 562 581 -19 455 1 1 1953 1995–96 1
24 Dobrudzha 1919 14 414 126 82 206 448 682 -234 411 1962–63 2002–03 7
25 Spartak Sofia 15 377 135 124 118 456 416 +40 394 2 1948–49 1967–68 2 Dissolved in 2007.
26 Belasitsa Petrich 12 368 116 68 184 377 590 -213 360 1980–81 2008–09 6
27 Velbazhd Kyustendil 7 201 98 27 76 299 269 +30 314 3 1954 2000–01 3
28 Lokomotiv GO 10 304 102 59 143 310 462 -152 291 1963–64 2016–17 8
29 Montana 10 310 70 71 169 291 488 -197 281 1994–95 2020–21 9
30 Volov Shumen 7 212 61 38 113 219 368 -149 201 1972–73 1999–00 4 [f]
31 Pirin Bl. Blagoevgrad 6 178 53 41 84 189 254 -65 200 2003–04 2010–11 8 Merged to form Pirin in 2008.
32 Arda 1924 4 129 45 43 41 155 160 -5 178 2019–20 2019–20 4
33 Yantra Gabrovo 7 214 65 50 99 239 332 -93 174 1970–71 1993–94 8
34 Septemvri Sofia 6 183 47 38 98 207 325 -118 167 1959–60 2022–23 5
35 CSKA 1948 3 98 40 32 26 147 107 +40 152 1 2020–21 2020–21 3
36 Haskovo 7 212 52 31 129 210 400 -190 139 1978–79 2014–15 8
37 Vihren Sandanski 4 118 38 14 66 117 173 -56 128 2005–06 2008–09 9
38 Sevlievo 5 150 28 36 86 126 271 -145 120 2003–04 2011–12 12
39 Rodopa Smolyan 4 118 31 17 70 106 194 -88 110 2003–04 2006–07 10 [g]
40 Hebar 4 121 29 26 66 115 200 -85 100 1989–90 2022–23 9
41 Akademik Svishtov 4 120 36 26 58 136 195 -59 97 1976–77 1986–87 11
42 Tsarsko Selo Sofia 3 95 23 25 47 82 127 -45 94 2019–20 2021–22 8 Dissolved in 2022.
43 Vereya 3 106 24 19 63 73 195 -122 91 2016–17 2018–19 6
44 Maritsa 1921 4 120 28 25 67 129 225 -126 89 1967–68 1996–97 14
45 Tundzha 1915 3 97 28 22 47 98 152 -57 78 1970–71 1972–73 13
46 Zavod 12 Sofia 3 74 23 27 24 72 80 -8 73 1954 1956 4 Merged with Slavia in 1957.
47 Metalurg Pernik 2 58 22 6 30 60 77 -17 72 1997–98 1998–99 10
48 Lokomotiv Mezdra 2 60 17 13 30 69 89 -20 64 2008–09 2009–10 8 Dissolved in 2012.[h]
49 Vitosha Bistritsa 3 101 15 18 68 67 173 -106 63 2017–18 2019–20 13 Dissolved in 2020.
50 Pirin Gotse Delchev 2 68 16 8 44 62 148 -86 56 2012–13 2013–14 11
51 VVS Sofia 2 54 13 21 20 60 63 -3 47 1953 1955 8 Merged into CDNA in 1956.
52 DSO Stroitel Sofia 2 50 13 18 19 47 53 -6 44 1950 1953 8 Dissolved in 1954.
53 Kaliakra Kavarna 2 60 10 11 39 45 117 -72 41 2010–11 2011–12 12
54 Cherveno Zname Sofia 2 40 13 13 14 46 50 -4 39 1950 1951 6 Merged with CSKA in 1962.
55 Rilski Sportist 2 56 11 6 39 51 116 -65 39 2002–03 2006–07 14
56 Olimpik Teteven 1 30 11 2 17 26 50 -24 35 1997–98 1997–98 14
57 Rakovski Ruse 2 60 9 6 45 41 151 -110 33 1995–96 1996–97 13
58 Septemvri Pleven 3 66 9 14 43 48 137 -89 32 1950 1954 8 Merged with Spartak in 1957.
59 Akademik Varna 1 28 9 7 12 26 43 -17 25 1953 1953 10 Merged with Cherno More in 1969.
60 Dimitrovgrad 1 30 8 6 16 32 66 -34 21 1986–87 1986–87 16
61 Lyubimets 1 38 6 3 29 35 104 -69 21 2013–14 2013–14 14
62 Himik Dimitrovgrad 1 30 7 6 17 36 60 -24 20 1962–63 1962–63 16 Merged to form Dimitrovgrad in 1967.
63 Nesebar 1 30 5 5 20 26 63 -37 20 2004–05 2004–05 15
64 Rozova Dolina 1 30 7 5 18 30 53 -23 19 1982–83 1982–83 15
65 Sportist Svoge 1 30 5 4 21 23 59 -36 19 2009–10 2009–10 15
66 Slavia Plovdiv 1 18 4 8 6 16 21 -5 16 1948–49 1948–49 7
67 Pavlikeni 1 26 5 4 17 12 45 -33 14 1955 1955 14
68 Bdin 1923 1 18 2 4 12 13 35 -22 8 1948–49 1948–49 9
69 Svetkavitsa 1922 1 30 1 5 24 8 71 -63 8 2011–12 2011–12 16
70 Conegliano German F.C. 1 30 0 1 29 8 131 -123 −2 2006–07 2006–07 16 Dissolved in 2007.
Key
Competing in Parva Liga
Competing in Vtora Liga
Competing in the amateur leagues
Not competing (see notes)
a.^ Never relegated.
b.^ Never relegated, withdrawn with political decision during the 1950 season, due to league reogranisation.[10]
c.^ Club dissolved in 2006, successor clubs PSFC Chernomorets Burgas and FC Chernomorets 1919 Burgas were founded in 2005 and 2015.
d.^ Won the championship each season they've been in Parva Liga.
e.^ Club dissolved in 2003, successor clubs FC Etar 1924 Veliko Tarnovo and later SFC Etar Veliko Tarnovo were founded in 2002 and 2013.
f.^ Club dissolved in 2014 and refounded in 2018. successor club FC Shumen 1929 was founded 2013 and dissolved in 2016.
g.^ Club only supports a youth academy.
h.^ Club dissolved in 2012, successor clubs FC Lokomotiv 1929 Mezdra and OFC Lokomotiv Mezdra were founded in 2011 and 2012.

Bulgarian derbies edit

The Eternal Derby edit

The Eternal Derby of Bulgarian football is contested between the two most successful and most popular football clubs in Bulgaria, CSKA Sofia and Levski Sofia.[citation needed]

Plovdiv derby edit

The Plovdiv derby is contested between Botev and Lokomotiv.[11]

Media coverage edit

For the start of the new 2012–13 season, the football clubs rejected requests from four TV stations due to the low payments being offered – Bulgarian National Television, Nova Television, TV7 and TV+. Finally after the first set of fixtures, the satellite broadcaster Bulsatcom with its channel TV+ bought the rights, along with BNT. Before the start of the spring half-season the rights were bought by TV7 and News7, who had rights for the first, third and fourth pick, and BNT 1 along with the international channel BNT World broadcasting the second pick of a match.[12]

The next seasons will also be broadcast on the Nova Broadcasting Group channels Diema, Diema Sport and Diema Sport 2, part of the Diema Extra paid pack, as their contract with the league was additionally extended.[13]

Sponsorship edit

Until 2011 the official sponsor of the championship was TBI Credit and the league was officially known as TBI A Football Group.[14]

In 2011–12, A Group had a new sponsor, the Victoria FATA Insurance, and therefore the league name in that season was rebranded to Victoria A Football Championship.[15]

In early 2013, for a short period of time the naming rights of A Group were bought from the news television network News7, eventually renaming the competition's name to NEWS7 Football Championship.[16]

On 11 July 2019, the Bulgarian Football Union announced that the football division's name had been changed to efbet League, following a two-year sponsorship deal with a betting company of the same name.[1]

Statistics edit

UEFA coefficients edit

The following data indicates Bulgarian coefficient rankings between European football leagues.[17]

Managers edit

The following is a table of all current Parva Liga head coaches and managers, and the time they've spent working with their respective clubs.

As of 26 February 2024
Current managers
Nat. Manager Club Appointed Time as manager
  Ilian Iliev Cherno More 28 December 2017[20] 6 years, 61 days
  Aleksandar Tomash Lokomotiv Plovdiv 11 April 2022[21] 1 year, 322 days
  Lyuboslav Penev Hebar 21 March 2023[22] 343 days
  Nikolay Kostov Levski Sofia 13 June 2023[23] 259 days
  Nestor El Maestro CSKA Sofia 29 July 2023[24] 213 days
  Nikolay Panayotov CSKA 1948 15 August 2023[25] 196 days
  Dušan Kerkez Botev Plovdiv 4 September 2023[26] 176 days
  Danilo Dončić Lokomotiv Sofia 4 September 2023[27] 176 days
  Hristo Yanev Botev Vratsa 19 September 2023[28] 161 days
  José Acciari Beroe 20 September 2023[29] 160 days
  Svetoslav Petrov Etar 2 October 2023[30] 148 days
  Zlatomir Zagorčić Slavia Sofia 23 October 2023[31] 127 days
  Georgi Dermendzhiev Ludogorets 24 October 2023[32] 126 days
  Stanislav Genchev Krumovgrad 28 October 2023[33] 122 days
  Oleksandr Babych Pirin Blagoevgrad 5 February 2024[34] 22 days
  Nikolay Kirov Arda 26 February 2024[35] 1 day

Records edit

All-time league appearances edit

 
Georgi Iliev holds the records for most appearances in First League
Top 10 appearances in Bulgarian First League
Rank Player Period App.
1   Georgi Iliev 2000–2019 461
2   Martin Kamburov 1998–2021 456
3   Marin Bakalov 1980–1999 454
4   Dinko Dermendzhiev 1959–1978 447
5   Vidin Apostolov 1959–1976 444
6   Todor Marev 1972–1994 422
7   Hristo Bonev 1964–1984 410
8   Zapryan Rakov 1983–1999 403
9   Malin Orachev 1990–2008 398
10   Todor Yanchev 1997–2014 395
Bold displays footballers currently playing in First League
As of 20 February 2022

All-time top scorers edit

 
Martin Kamburov is the all-time top goalscorer in First League with 256 goals
Top 10 goalscorers in Bulgarian First League
Rank Player Period Goals Average
1   Martin Kamburov 1998–2021 256 0.56
2   Petar Zhekov 1962–1975 253 0.76
3   Nasko Sirakov 1980–1998 196 0.59
4   Dinko Dermendzhiev 1959–1978 194 0.43
5   Hristo Bonev 1964–1984 185 0.45
6   Plamen Getov 1977–1998 164 0.57
7   Nikola Kotkov 1956–1971 163 0.51
8   Stefan Bogomilov 1962–1976 162 0.46
9   Petar Mihtarski 1982–2001 158 0.48
10   Petko Petkov 1968–1980 152 0.53
Bold displays footballers currently playing in First League
As of 20 February 2022

Other records edit

As of 6 January 2023

Top scorers by season edit

[48][49]

Bold indicates all-time highest.

Season Player (Club) Nat. Goals
1937–38 Krum Milev (Slavia Sofia)   BUL 12
1938–39 Georgi Pachedzhiev (AS 23 Sofia)   BUL 14
1939–40 Yanko Stoyanov (Levski Sofia)
Dimitar Nikolaev (FC 13 Sofia)
  BUL
  BUL
14
1948–49 Dimitar Milanov (CSKA Sofia)
Nedko Nedev (Cherno More Varna)
  BUL
  BUL
11
1950 Lyubomir Hranov (Levski Sofia)   BUL 13
1951 Dimitar Milanov (2) (CSKA Sofia)   BUL 14
1952 Dimitar Isakov (Slavia Sofia)
Dobromir Tashkov (Spartak Sofia)
  BUL
  BUL
10
1953 Dimitar Minchev (Spartak Pleven and VVS Sofia)   BUL 15
1954 Dobromir Tashkov (2) (Slavia Sofia)   BUL 25
1955 Todor Diev (Spartak Plovdiv)   BUL 13
1956 Pavel Vladimirov (Minyor Pernik)   BUL 16
1957 Hristo Iliev (Levski Sofia)
Dimitar Milanov (3) (CSKA Sofia)
  BUL
  BUL
14
1958 Dobromir Tashkov (3) (Slavia Sofia)
Georgi Arnaudov (Spartak Varna)
  BUL
  BUL
9
1958–59 Aleksandar Vasilev (Slavia Sofia)   BUL 13
1959–60 Dimitar Yordanov (Levski Sofia)
Lyuben Kostov (Spartak Varna)
  BUL
  BUL
12
1960–61 Ivan Sotirov (Botev Plovdiv)   BUL 20
1961–62 Nikola Yordanov (Dunav Ruse)   BUL 23
1962–63 Todor Diev (2) (Spartak Plovdiv)   BUL 26
1963–64 Nikola Tsanev (CSKA Sofia)   BUL 26
1964–65 Georgi Asparuhov (Levski Sofia)   BUL 27
1965–66 Traycho Spasov (Marek Dupnitsa)   BUL 21
1966–67 Petar Zhekov (Beroe Stara Zagora)   BUL 21
1967–68 Petar Zhekov (2) (Beroe Stara Zagora)   BUL 31
1968–69 Petar Zhekov (3) (CSKA Sofia)   BUL 36
1969–70 Petar Zhekov (4) (CSKA Sofia)   BUL 31
1970–71 Dimitar Yakimov (CSKA Sofia)   BUL 26
1971–72 Petar Zhekov (5) (CSKA Sofia)   BUL 27
1972–73 Petar Zhekov (6) (CSKA Sofia)   BUL 29
1973–74 Petko Petkov (Beroe Stara Zagora)   BUL 20
1974–75 Ivan Pritargov (Botev Plovdiv)   BUL 20
1975–76 Petko Petkov (2) (Beroe Stara Zagora)   BUL 19
1976–77 Pavel Panov (Levski Sofia)   BUL 20
1977–78 Stoycho Mladenov (Beroe Stara Zagora)   BUL 21
1978–79 Rusi Gochev (Chernomorets Burgas and Levski Sofia)   BUL 19
1979–80 Spas Dzhevizov (CSKA Sofia)   BUL 23
1980–81 Georgi Slavkov (Botev Plovdiv)   BUL 31
1981–82 Mihail Valchev (Levski Sofia)   BUL 24
1982–83 Antim Pehlivanov (Botev Plovdiv)   BUL 20
1983–84 Eduard Eranosyan (Lokomotiv Plovdiv)   BUL 19
1984–85 Plamen Getov (Spartak Pleven)   BUL 26
1985–86 Atanas Pashev (Botev Plovdiv)   BUL 30
1986–87 Nasko Sirakov (Levski Sofia)   BUL 36
1987–88 Nasko Sirakov (2) (Levski Sofia)   BUL 28
1988–89 Hristo Stoichkov (CSKA Sofia)   BUL 23
1989–90 Hristo Stoichkov (2) (CSKA Sofia)   BUL 38
1990–91 Ivaylo Yordanov (Lokomotiv Gorna Oryahovitsa)   BUL 21
1991–92 Nasko Sirakov (3) (Levski Sofia)   BUL 26
1992–93 Plamen Getov (2) (Levski Sofia)   BUL 26
1993–94 Nasko Sirakov (4) (Levski Sofia)   BUL 30
1994–95 Petar Mihtarski (CSKA Sofia)   BUL 24
1995–96 Ivo Georgiev (Spartak Varna)   BUL 21
1996–97 Todor Pramatarov (Slavia Sofia)   BUL 26
1997–98 Anton Spasov (Naftex Burgas)
Boncho Genchev (CSKA Sofia)
  BUL
  BUL
17
1998–99 Dimcho Belyakov (Litex Lovech)   BUL 21
1999–00 Mihail Mihaylov (Velbazhd Kyustendil)   BUL 20
2000–01 Georgi Ivanov (Levski Sofia)   BUL 22
2001–02 Vladimir Manchev (CSKA Sofia)   BUL 21
2002–03 Georgi Chilikov (Levski Sofia)   BUL 23
2003–04 Martin Kamburov (Lokomotiv Plovdiv)   BUL 25
2004–05 Martin Kamburov (2) (Lokomotiv Plovdiv)   BUL 27
2005–06 Milivoje Novaković (Litex Lovech)
José Emílio Furtado (Vihren and CSKA Sofia)
  SVN
  CPV
16
2006–07 Tsvetan Genkov (Lokomotiv Sofia)   BUL 27
2007–08 Georgi Hristov (Botev Plovdiv)   BUL 19
2008–09 Martin Kamburov (3) (Lokomotiv Sofia)   BUL 17
2009–10 Wilfried Niflore (Litex Lovech)   FRA 19
2010–11 Garra Dembélé (Levski Sofia)   MLI 26
2011–12 Ivan Stoyanov (Ludogorets Razgrad)
Júnior Moraes (CSKA Sofia)
  BUL
  BRA
16
2012–13 Basile de Carvalho (Levski Sofia)   GNB 19
2013–14 Wilmar Jordán (Litex Lovech)
Martin Kamburov (4) (Lokomotiv Plovdiv)
  COL
  BUL
20
2014–15 Añete (Levski Sofia)   ESP 14
2015–16 Martin Kamburov (5) (Lokomotiv Plovdiv)   BUL 18
2016–17 Claudiu Keșerü (Ludogorets Razgrad)   ROM 22
2017–18 Claudiu Keșerü (2) (Ludogorets Razgrad)   ROM 26
2018–19 Stanislav Kostov (Levski Sofia)   BUL 23
2019–20 Martin Kamburov (6) (Beroe)   BUL 18
2020–21 Claudiu Keșerü (3) (Ludogorets Razgrad)   ROM 18
2021–22 Pieros Sotiriou (Ludogorets Razgrad)   CYP 17
2022–23 Ivaylo Chochev (CSKA 1948 Sofia)   BUL 21

See also edit

References edit

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External links edit