FC Dunav Ruse
|Full name||Football Club Dunav Ruse|
|Nickname(s)||Драконите (The Dragons)|
|Founded||16 February 1949|
|Owner||Fans Association / Academy Managers|
|Head coach||Ilian Pamukov|
|2019–20||First League, 12th (relegated)|
Part of a larger sports branch, Dunav were established on February 16, 1949 as a merger of two local football clubs in the city, Dinamo and Rusenets. Nicknamed The Dragons (Bulgarian: Драконите), Dunav's home colours are sky blue and white. Named after the Danube River, on the banks of which the city of Ruse is situated, the club plays its home matches at the local Gradski stadion, which has a seating capacity of 13,000 spectators.
Among the club's most notable achievements are a final in the Bulgarian championship in 1937, a First League fourth place in 1975, 1989 and 2017, and four domestic cup finals in 1938, 1939, 1941 and 1962 respectively.
However Dunav's financial situation and poor ownership led to the club being taken over by fans association and academy coaches, announcing on 4'th of August 2020, that Dunav will compete in the 2020–21 Third Amateur Football League (Bulgaria) after four years among the best Bulgarian teams.
Over the course of its history, the club carried a variety of different names such as Sava, Napredak, Levski, Varush, Angel Kanchev, Rakovski, Rusenets, Dinamo, Spartak, DNA, Torpedo and Partizanin. Dunav played in the A Group over a number of seasons between 1937–1940, 1951, 1956, 1958–67, 1968–73, 1974–77, 1984–86, 1988–91 and 1996–98, before being relegated again.
Following years of several movements between lower divisions, a decent squad, established by playing manager Engibar Engibarov at the time, eventually won the Cup of Bulgarian Amateur Football League in 2003–04 and for the next season they finally gained promotion to the B PFG after a long-term absence in the amateur divisions. It was to be their first appearance in professional football since the club was relegated from the A Group in 1991.
From January 5, 2006 until October 2 of the same year, Dunav were managed by Ferario Spasov. He acquired some well-known footballers and loaned talented players from Litex Lovech in an unsuccessful attempt to reach the first division again.
The 2009–10 season in the B Group was very narrow for the club as the dream of reaching the A Group almost became a reality. Dunav finished the first half of the season in first place, leaving behind the teams of Kaliakra Kavarna and Nesebar. The second half of the season started very well and the team was in a row with a couple of very significant wins, but they won only one game in their last 7 matches and eventually failed to gain promotion to the top flight.
In the following years, Dunav again failed to impress and was mostly seen as a middle table club in the final ranking of the B Group. In 2010–11, the club was left by some of its good players, as a result of ongoing financial difficulties in the team. Dunav subsequently withdrew from the B Group in February 2011, after being unable to reduce its financial debts to the municipality and a majority of its squad players. A few days later, the club announced bankruptcy and was dissolved.
In 2011, Dr. Simeon Simeonov established a new entity under the name Dunav 2010, which was approved by the BFU to start from the lowest levels of Bulgarian football. The team obtained license and after several court decisions in the following months, it regained the traditions and history of its predecessor. In 2015, the club won the Bulgarian Amateur Cup and was promoted to the second division.
In 2016, Dunav 2010 became champions of the 2015-16 B Group and were promoted to the top flight for the first time since 1991, 25 years after their last participation. They completed in the debut season of the newly renamed Bulgarian First League. Their first year in the BFL was an instant success, as they finished fourth and qualified for Europa League.
Ever since, Dunav’s financial situation has been very unstable, despite the club playing in the top tier.
During the winter break of the 2019-20 season, Dunav owners stated that the team might face administrative relegation if a new income source is not provided on time. However, the club continued to participate in the top tier until the very end of the 2019–20 First Professional Football League (Bulgaria) season, finishing 13'th in the league, proceeding to 2019-20 First Professional Football League (Bulgaria)#Relegation round Group B in the company of fellow top tier Botev Plovdiv ( losing 3-1 at Plovdiv), FC Arda ( winning 2-0 at Kardjali) and Botev Vratsa ( losing 3-1 at Ruse, Bulgaria). As a result finishing 4'th in the group ( last place), qualifying for the 2019–20 First Professional Football League (Bulgaria)#Relegation play-offs. In a group, competing against Botev Vratsa ( drawing 0-0 at Vratsa) and Tsarsko Selo ( winning 1-0 at Rousse), finishing second in the group. Second place meaning a Relegation play-off final against the third from the Second Professional Football League (Bulgaria), where Dunav lost 4-1 to FC Montana, thus being relegated. However, Dunav's financial situation and poor ownership led to the club being taken over by the fans' association and academy coaches, announcing on 4th of August 2020 that Dunav will compete in the 2020–21 Third Amateur Football League (Bulgaria)
On an international basis, Dunav's debut entry in the European club competitions dates back to the 1975-76 UEFA Cup, where they were drawn against Roma of the Italian Serie A. Dunav were subsequently eliminated after a 2–0 defeat in Rome and a notable 1–0 win over the Italian team in Ruse. In 2017, they managed to secure a spot in the first qualifying round of the Europa League after a prolonged period of European absence, but were eliminated by Irtysh Pavlodar after an overall 0–3 loss in both legs.
- Winners (6): 1950, 1954, 1957, 1968, 1974, 2015–16
- Winners (1): 2014-15
- Winners (1): 2010-11
- Runners-up: 1961–62
|2017–18||UEFA Europa League||1Q||Irtysh Pavlodar||0–2||0–1||0–3|
As of 16 August 2020[update]
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
|2010–11||IV||A RFG||1||9||0||2||20||8||27||First round|
|2011–12||III||V Group||6||12||10||6||48||19||46||not qualified|
|2012–13||III||V Group||2||24||2||2||86||15||74||not qualified|
|2013–14||II||B Group||13||6||9||11||24||32||27||First round|
|2014–15||III||V Group||1||28||1||1||121||11||85||Second round|
|2015–16||II||B Group||1||18||10||2||53||19||64||Second round|
|2018–19||I||First League||11||9||9||19||40||59||36||Second round|
|2019–20||I||First League||13||6||8||17||26||55||26||First round|
|2020–21||III||Third League||12||1||1||1||5||3||4||2020–21 Bulgarian Cup|
|Green marks a season followed by promotion, red a season followed by relegation.|
- "Дунав показа как се прави! Вече над 4000 фенове си купиха билети за мача с Локо". (in Bulgarian) Plovdiv24.bg. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
- UEFA Europa League 1975/76 History - Dunav UEFA.com Retrieved 28 Mar 2016.