FC Rotor Volgograd

SC Rotor Volgograd (Russian: СK Ротор) is a Russian professional football club from the large city of Volgograd, Volgograd Oblast (formerly Stalingrad). The club plays in the Russian Football National League in the 2021–22 season. They are the largest and best supported Volgograd club and for most of their existence have been the city's only representatives in the national league system.

Sports Club Rotor
FC Rotor Volgograd logo.png
Full nameГАУ ВО «Спортивный клуб «Ротор»
Nickname(s)Сине-голубые (Blue-cyan)
GroundVolgograd Arena
ChairmanAndrei Rekechinski
CoachArtyom Kulikov
2020–21Russian Premier League, 15th (relegated)
WebsiteClub website
Current season

They played at the top level of Soviet/Russian football either side of World War II, from 1989 to 1990, and from 1991 to 2004. During the 1990s they were one of the strongest clubs in newly independent Russia and qualified for European competition four times. In recent years financial and ownership difficulties have repeatedly threatened their professional status and they have played mostly in lower regional leagues.

The team currently plays its home games at the Volgograd Arena since 2018.


Both the current team name and the former name "Traktor" are references to the Stalingrad Tractor Factory, once a major producer of tractors, and the scene of heavy fighting during the Battle of Stalingrad during World War II.

Soviet eraEdit

The creation of a Russian national football pyramid immediately prior to World War II propelled Traktor Stalingrad to national prominence. Traktor were champions of the new fourth-level Group G in 1937, and were then promoted straight to the highest-level Group A as it expanded from 9 clubs to 26. They remained at the top level until 1950.

Rotor then spent three decades at the top regional level, although the creation of the Supreme League in 1970 pushed their league from the second level overall down to the third. They gradually improved throughout the 1970s and finally won Zone III of the Soviet Second League (the third tier) in 1980 and 1981, and were successful in the promotion playoffs the second time.

In 1988 Rotor finished second in the Soviet First League, earning promotion to the Soviet Top League. They finished 13th and last in the downsized 1990 competition after the Georgian and Lithuanian teams withdrew, and the decision was made to relegate them. However they bounced straight back as champions of the First League in 1991, thus becoming founder members of the new Russian Top Division after the USSR collapsed.

Top Division/Premier League and EuropeEdit

In the mid-1990s, Rotor was one of the strongest clubs in Russia, rivalling Spartak Moscow for the championship, yet never winning it. Rotor became the league runners-up in 1993 and 1997.

Rotor played five successive seasons in European competition, from 1994–95 to 1998–99. They qualified for the UEFA Cup through their league position every year except 1996–97, when they instead chose to enter the Intertoto Cup. Unfortunately for Rotor, the fall of communism had left all the former Eastern Bloc leagues badly under-resourced compared to their Western counterparts, and indeed Rotor were knocked out by all four of the French and Italian clubs they played. The exception came against England's Manchester United in 1995–96. Having drawn the home leg 0–0, Rotor raced into a 2–0 lead at Old Trafford before United scored their first goal. Rotor were seconds away from being the first European club to win at Old Trafford when United's goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel scored a famous equaliser, but the 2–2 draw meant Rotor progressed by the away goals rule. They went on to be defeated by eventual Runners-up Bordeaux in the second round.

Full European results:

Season Competition Round Club Home Away Aggregate
1994-95 UEFA Cup 1R   Nantes 3–2 0–3 3–5  
1995–96 UEFA Cup 1R   Manchester United 0–0 2–2 (a) 2–2  
2R   Bordeaux 1–2 0–1 1–3  
1996–97 Intertoto Cup Group 7   Ataka-Aura 4-0
  Shakhtar 4–1
  Antalyaspor 1-2
  Basel 3–2  
SF   Linz 5–0 2–2 7–2  
F   Guingamp 2–1 0–1 (a) 2–2  
1997–98 UEFA Cup QR   Odra Wodzislaw 2–0 4–3 6–3  
1R   Örebro 2–0 4–1 6–1  
2R   Lazio 0–0 0–3 0–3  
1998–99 UEFA Cup QR   Red Star Belgrade 1–2 1–2 2–4  
  • QR: Qualifying round

In the 2000s, Rotor's results declined, and in 2004, the team finished last in the Russian Premier League. The club's owner Vladimir Goryunov, a member of the Duma and head of the parliamentary sports committee, explored options to save Rotor from relegation, such as expanding the Premier League to 20 teams. But in January 2005 Rotor were unable to make the required financial guarantees and so lost their professional licence entirely.

2005–2014: Financial troubles and declineEdit

Rotor's reserve side in the Russian Second Division, Rotor-2 Volgograd, became the club's first team and was renamed Rotor in 2006. In 2007 local businessman Oleg Mikheev acquired the club's main asset the Volgograd Central Stadium, and with it effective control over the club, but financial troubles continued and the team's performances in the Second Division declined.

Matters came to a head in 2009. Russia had officially launched its bid for the FIFA World Cup 2018 and Volgograd city was in line for a new stadium - provided they had a professional club to fill it after the tournament. Rotor, facing legal action and a transfer embargo due to their financial status, were not reliable candidates. The government created a new entity, FC Volgograd, intending to assume the Rotor name. In fact, Rotor managed to co-exist with the new FC for the first half of the 2009 season, before Mikheev suspended operations and the government took ownership of the club and stadium from him. The two clubs were merged into one, and the new Rotor Volgograd were promoted to the second-level Russian Football National League thanks to teams above them withdrawing.[1]

The regional Ministry of Sport invested 150 million roubles ($4.9m) in the club's playing budget for the 2010 campaign, but it ended in failure as Rotor were relegated in 17th place. Governor Brovko admitted that the transition to the higher level was made too quickly. Former club player Sergei Nechay took over management and steered the team to promotion as champions of their Second Division zone in 2011–12. This time they were able to consolidate in the National League, finishing 9th and then 14th.

But financial troubles continued. A Ministry of Sport investigation found evidence of financial misconduct by club management along with substantial overspending,[2] and regional Governor Andrey Bocharov announced after the 2013 season that government support for Rotor was being withdrawn. The club dropped back into the Second Division (renamed the Professional Football League) for the first half of the 2014–15 (autumn-spring) season, then withdrew in order to immediately transfer to the 2015 (spring-autumn) Russian Amateur Football League, the fourth level overall.[3][4]

2015–present: RevivalEdit

In the 2015 season Rotor won the Amateur League Chernozemye (South-West Region) division at the first attempt by 11 points, suffering only one defeat in 22 games.[5] The 45,000-seater Pobeda Stadium is under construction on their old Central Stadium site, and it was reported in August 2015 that the first team are still interested in moving into the facility after the 2018 World Cup, which makes attaining a higher league status a priority.[6] They were licensed for third-tier Russian Professional Football League for the 2016–17 season. They won their zone of the PFL in the 2016–17 season and were promoted to the second-level Russian National Football League for 2017–18.[7]

Despite ending the 2017–18 season in the relegation zone, the club stayed in the league for the 2018–19 season as another team that finished above them in the table failed to obtain the league license.[8]

On 15 May 2020, FNL season was abandoned due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Russia. As Rotor was in the 1st position in the standings, they were promoted to the Russian Premier League for the 2020–21 season, returning to the top level after a 16-year break.[9]

In the 2020–21 Russian Premier League season, Rotor only was able to score 15 goals in 30 games, and finished in 15th place, leading to relegation back to FNL after one season in the top tier. They also were awarded two losses due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the squad.




Current squadEdit

As of 19 November 2021, according to the FNL website.

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK   RUS Dmitry Ternovsky
3 DF   RUS Ilya Martynov (on loan from Krasnodar)
4 DF   GEO Ilia Beriashvili
5 DF   RUS Sergei Slepov (on loan from Dynamo Moscow)
7 MF   RUS Nikolai Kipiani
8 MF   RUS Georgi Makhatadze
9 FW   RUS Andrea Chukanov
10 FW   RUS Roman Minayev
11 MF   RUS Sergei Serchenkov
13 DF   RUS Sergei Makarov
14 DF   RUS Fyodor Pervushin
17 FW   GEO Beka Kavtaradze
18 FW   RUS Oleg Nikolayev
19 DF   RUS Islamitdin Abdullayev
No. Pos. Nation Player
20 MF   RUS Igor Shkolik (on loan from Dynamo Moscow)
22 DF   RUS Aslan Dudiyev
23 MF   RUS Nikolay Kuznetsov
27 MF   RUS Yuri Bavin (on loan from Ural Yekaterinburg)
28 DF   RUS Azat Bairyyev (Captain)
34 GK   RUS Nikita Repin
61 DF   RUS Ilya Golosov (on loan from Spartak Moscow)
72 FW   RUS Kamil Mullin
77 MF   RUS Aleksandr Tashayev
83 DF   RUS Dmitri Vershkov
85 DF   RUS Turgay Mokhbaliyev
90 MF   RUS Nikita Malyarov
96 GK   RUS Igor Obukhov
99 FW   KAZ Aleksey Shchyotkin

Reserve squadEdit

Historical namesEdit

  • Traktorostroitel Stalingrad (1929~1936)
  • Dzerzhinets-STZ Stalingrad (1936)
  • Traktor Stalingrad (1937~47)
  • Torpedo Stalingrad (1948~57)
  • Traktor Stalingrad (1958~60)
  • Traktor Volgograd (1961~69)
  • Stal Volgograd (1970~1971)
  • Barrikady Volgograd (1972~1974)
  • Rotor Volgograd (1975~2004)
  • Rotor-2 (2005)
  • Rotor (2006~2009,2010~2014)
  • Rotor Volgograd (2015~2018)
  • Rotor (2018~)

Notable playersEdit

Had international caps for their respective countries. Players whose name is listed in bold represented their countries while playing for Rotor.


  1. ^ Sport-Express: Rotor to take vacant place in FNL
  2. ^ Chamber of Control and Accounts of Volgograd region
  3. ^ "RSSSF".
  4. ^ Футбольный клуб «Ротор» снялся с первенства Второго дивизиона (in Russian). FC Rotor Volgograd. 8 April 2015. Archived from the original on 16 April 2015. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  5. ^ "Новости". ffvrn.ru. Archived from the original on 2016-08-27. Retrieved 2015-11-09.
  6. ^ "Rotor-Volgograd Players' First Visit to Arena "Pobeda" Construction Site". www.stroytransgaz.ru. Archived from the original on 2015-11-17. Retrieved 2015-11-11.
  7. ^ «Ротор-Волгоград» вышел в ФНЛ (in Russian). Russian National Football League. 28 May 2017.
  8. ^ Клубы ФНЛ получили лицензии (in Russian). Russian National Football League. 30 May 2018.
  9. ^ "Исполком РФС утвердил итоги Олимп-Первенства ФНЛ-2019/20. «Ротор» и «Химки» выходят в Тинькофф-РПЛ" (in Russian). Russian Football National League. 15 May 2020.

External linksEdit