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FK Liepājas Metalurgs (Latvian: Futbola klubs "Liepājas metalurgs") was a Latvian football club in the city of Liepāja and playing in the Virslīga. They played at the Daugava Stadium (capacity 5,083). In 2005 Liepājas Metalurgs became the first team other than Skonto Riga to win the Virslīga since the league restarted in 1991. After the 2013 league season the club was dissolved due to the bankruptcy of its sole sponsor metallurgical plant Liepājas Metalurgs. The club was replaced by FK Liepāja, founded in 2014.

FK Liepājas Metalurgs
SK Liepajas Metalurgs logo.png
Full nameFutbola Klubs Liepājas Metalurgs
Founded1997
Dissolved2013
GroundDaugava Stadium
Liepāja, Latvia
Capacity5,083
LeagueVirslīga (1997–2013)
20135th

HistoryEdit

Based in Liepāja, FK Liepājas Metalurgs, got their name from the city's metallurgical factory, founded in 1882, the only one of its kind in the Baltic States.

The history of the club can be traced back to 1945 when two football clubs were founded in Liepāja – Daugava Liepāja and Dinamo Liepāja.

Daugava Liepāja and Dinamo Liepāja: 1945–1947Edit

In its debut season Daugava Liepāja were runners-up in the Latvian league behind the champions FK Dinamo Rīga. In 1946 Daugava were coached by former Olimpija Liepāja defender Kārlis Tīls and with one of the best former Olimpija players Ernests Ziņģis in attack the team won its first Latvian title. Both Valdis Pultraks and Voldemārs Sudmalis were in the squad. Daugava again won the title again in 1947 and the squad included Miervaldis Drāznieks who went on to score 160 goals in the Latvian league. Daugava Liepāja also won the Latvian Cup in 1946 and 1947.

Dinamo Liepāja did not play in the Latvian top league. However in 1948 Dinamo won the Latvian Cup with future Liepāja player Žanis Zviedris in the team.

Sarkanais Metalurgs: 1949–1961Edit

In 1949 Daugava Liepāja and Dinamo Liepāja merged to form Sarkanais Metalurgs which, for the next decade, was the strongest club in the Latvian league. In 1949, Sarkanais Metalurgs won both the league and the Latvian Cup. More titles followed in 1951, 1953, 1954, and from 1956–1958. They also won the Latvian Cup three times in a row from 1953 to 1955. In 1954 after beating Daugava Rīga in a match for the chance to play in the Soviet League a united Daugava-Metalurgs club was formed which included six Metalurgs players. In 1954, they competed in the "USSR Class B 1954, 2nd zone" of the Soviet First League the second tier in Soviet football.[1] In the Latvian league the Metalurgs team was made up of mostly the reserve squad. In 1956 Daugava did not include the Metalurgs name in the Soviet League. In 1960 Sarkanais Metalurgs were given a place in the Soviet league and continued playing in the league under various names until 1990.[2] In 1961, the club played as LMR Liepāja.

Zvejnieks Liepāja: 1962–1989Edit

In 1962, the club changed owners and was renamed Zvejnieks Liepāja. It was considered to be the second team for Daugava Rīga and the club's best players usually had to leave for Daugava. Also if Daugava players needed to have match practice they were sent to Liepāja. In the Soviet league Zvejnieks were usually a mid-table club. With the club playing in the Soviet and not the local league, players from other Republics of the Soviet Union came to play for Zvejnieks. In the 1960s, defender Mārtiņš Lube was the club's captain. Jurijs Romaņenkovs who went on to become the club's coach in 1989–90 played for Zvejnieks in the 1970s.

In the 1980s Vladimirs Žuks coached Zvejnieks and several bright players emerged with the club including Jānis Intenbergs, Ilmārs Verpakovskis, Alekseja Šarando, Vladimirs Babičevs and Ainārs Linards. A number of Daugava Rīga players also played for Zvejnieks including Raimonds Laizāns and Dainis Deglis.

Olimpija Liepāja: 1990–1993Edit

In 1990, the club was renamed and given the name of a former Latvian club that played in the 1920s–1930s – Olimpija Liepāja. As Olimpija the club played in the Soviet league in 1990, but in 1991, after Latvia regaining its independence, they played only in the Latvian league and finished in the third place. The Olimpija period saw the emergence of Viktors Dobrecovs at the club. After the breakup of the Soviet Union the first seasons in the newly independent Latvia were difficult for Olimpija as they got financially weaker from year to year.

FK Liepāja: 1994Edit

In 1994, the club was renamed FK Liepāja but played only one season with that name.

DAG Liepāja: 1995–1996Edit

In 1995 FK Liepāja was merged with FC Dag Rīga to form DAG Liepāja. The club reached the 1995 Latvian Cup final where they lost 3–0 to Skonto FC. Ainārs Linards returned to the club in 1995. In the Latvian league the club finished 8th out of ten clubs in 1996.

Baltika Liepāja: 1996–1997Edit

In 1996, the club changed owners again and became Baltika Liepāja. In 1996 Māris Verpakovskis, the son of Ilmārs Verpakovskis and future Latvia national football team international made his debut for the club. For some time the club was on the brink of bankruptcy and struggled to stop the best players from leaving the club. However, the club got new funding from the local Metallurgy factory and for the 1997 season at last had a stable budget and ambitious plans again.

FK Liepājas Metalurgs: 1997–2013Edit

In 1998 Metalurgs with Jurijs Popkovs as their head coach finished second behind Skonto in the Latvian Virslīga and each season up to 2004 Metalurgs finished second in the championship. In the Latvian Cup they also lost three cup finals. In 2005 Metalurgs finally became Virslīga champions and won the first title for Liepāja in an independent Latvia since the 1930s. In 2006 Metalurgs also finally won the Latvian Cup. The next league title came in 2009.

2013Edit

After the 2013 league season the club was dissolved due to the bankruptcy of its sole sponsor metallurgical plant Liepājas Metalurgs. There were talks held with potential investors about salvation of the club, but due to lack of suitable options a decision was made to end its existence. The club was replaced by FK Liepāja, founded in 2014.

HonoursEdit

  • Virslīga winners
    • 2005, 2009
  • Virslīga runners-up
    • 1998, 1999, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2011
  • Latvian Cup winners
    • 1946, 1947, 1948, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1963, 1964, 2006
  • Baltic League winners
  • Latvian Soviet league winners
    • 1946, 1947, 1949, 1951, 1953, 1954, 1956, 1957, 1958

League and Cup historyEdit

Soviet UnionEdit

Olimpija Liepāja
Season Division (Name) Pos./Teams Pl. W D L GS GA P Soviet Cup
1990 4th (Soviet Second League B) 7/(17) 32 14 9 9 36 37 37 Did not participate

Latvian SSREdit

Olimpija Liepāja
Season Division (Name) Pos./Teams Pl. W D L GS GA P Latvian Football Cup
1991 1st (Virslīga) 3/(20) 36 25 8 3 95 34 58

LatviaEdit

Olimpija Liepāja
Season Division (Name) Pos./Teams Pl. W D L GS GA P Latvian Football Cup
1992 1st (Virslīga) 6/(12) 22 10 5 7 33 25 25
1993 1st (Virslīga) 7/(12) 18 3 6 9 24 46 12
FK Liepāja
Season Division (Name) Pos./Teams Pl. W D L GS GA P Latvian Football Cup
1994 1st (Virslīga) 11/(12) 22 2 5 15 16 46 9 Runner-up
DAG Liepāja
Season Division (Name) Pos./Teams Pl. W D L GS GA P Latvian Football Cup
1995 1st (Virslīga) 8/(10) 24 5 5 10 29 57 28 Runner-up
FK Liepāja / FK Baltika
Season Division (Name) Pos./Teams Pl. W D L GS GA P Latvian Football Cup
1996 1st (Virslīga) 5/(10) 28 11 5 12 32 44 38 1/4 finals
FK Liepājas Metalurgs
Season Division (Name) Pos./Teams Pl. W D L GS GA P Latvian Football Cup
1997 1st (Virslīga) 5/(9) 24 9 4 11 27 32 31 Did not participate
1998 1st (Virslīga) 2/(8) 28 17 6 5 62 25 57 Runner-up
1999 1st (Virslīga) 2/(8) 28 19 3 6 75 25 60 semi-finals
2000 1st (Virslīga) 3/(8) 28 16 7 5 51 25 55 Runner-up
2001 1st (Virslīga) 3/(8) 28 20 4 4 60 24 64 semi-finals
2002 1st (Virslīga) 3/(8) 28 15 6 7 56 31 51 Runner-up
2003 1st (Virslīga) 2/(8) 28 22 2 4 100 29 68 1/4 finals
2004 1st (Virslīga) 2/(8) 28 21 3 4 85 27 66 semi-finals
2005 1st (Virslīga) 1/(8) 28 22 5 1 85 19 71 Runner-up
2006 1st (Virslīga) 2/(8) 28 18 6 4 66 20 62 Winner
2007 1st (Virslīga) 2/(8) 28 18 4 6 42 21 58 1/4 finals
2008 1st (Virslīga) 2/(10) 28 14 11 3 48 25 53 1/4 finals
2009 1st (Virslīga) 1/(9) 32 25 4 3 96 23 79 1/4 finals
2010 1st (Virslīga) 3/(10) 27 19 4 4 70 20 61 1/4 finals
2011 1st (Virslīga) 2/(9) 32 22 4 6 74 26 70 Runner-up
2012 1st (Virslīga) 4/(10) 36 21 7 8 60 33 70 Runner-up
2013 1st (Virslīga) 5/(10) 27 11 7 9 54 35 40 semi-finals

Participation in the Baltic LeagueEdit

Year Position
2007/08 Winner
2008/09 Quarter-finals
2009/10 Semi-finals
2010/11 Semi-finals

Europe recordEdit

 
2011–12 UEFA Europa League qualifying round game in Salzburg against FC Salzburg
Season Competition Round Country Club Home Away Aggregate
1998/99 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1R   Keflavík 4–2 0–1 4–3
2R   Braga 0–0 0–4 0–4
1999/00 UEFA Cup QR   Lech Poznań 3–2 1–3 4–5
2000/01 UEFA Cup QR   Brann 1–1 0–1 1–2
2001 UEFA Intertoto Cup 1   Cork City 1–0 2–1 3–1
2   Heerenveen 3–2 1–6 4–8
2002/03 UEFA Cup QR   Kärnten 0–2 2–4 2–6
2003/04 UEFA Cup QR   Dinamo Bucureşti 1–1 2–5 3–6
2004/05 UEFA Cup 1QR   Tórshavn 8–1 3–1 11–2
2Q   Östers 1–1 2–2 3–3 (a)
1   Schalke 04 0–4 1–5 1–9
2005/06 UEFA Cup 1QR   Runavík 3–0 3–0 6–0
2QR   Genk 2–3 0–3 2–6
2006/07 UEFA Champions League 1QR   Aktobe 1–0 1–1 2–1
2QR   Dynamo Kyiv 1–4 0–4 1–8
2007/08 UEFA Cup 1QR   Dinamo Brest 1–1 2–1 3–2
2QR   AIK 3–2 0–2 3–4
2008/09 UEFA Cup 1QR   Glentoran 2–0 1–1 3–1
2QR   Vaslui 0–2 1–3 1–5
2009/10 UEFA Europa League 2QR   Dinamo Tbilisi 2–1 1–3 3–4
2010/11 UEFA Champions League 2QR   Sparta Prague 0–3 0–2 0–5
2011/12 UEFA Europa League 2QR   Red Bull Salzburg 1–4 0–0 1–4
2012/13 UEFA Europa League 1QR   La Fiorita 4–0 2–0 6–0
2QR   Legia Warsaw 2–2 1–5 3–7
2013/14 UEFA Europa League 1QR   Prestatyn Town FC 1–2 2–1 3–3 (3–4 p)

UEFA Team Ranking 2012/13Edit

Rank Country Team Points
282   FC Honka Espoo 3.701
283   NK Olimpija Ljubljana 3.691
284   FC Differdange 03 3.675
285   Liepājas Metalurgs 3.658
286   Örebro SK 3.625

SponsorsEdit

Role Sponsors
General sponsors   Liepājas Metalurgs (bankruptcy in 2013)
Kit manufacturer   Adidas

Notable former playersEdit

ManagersEdit

  •   Kārlis Tīls (1945–48), (Daugava Liepāja coach)
  •   Arturs Bušs (1949–51)
  •   Ernests Ziņģis(1953–54)
  •   Afanasijs Ptičkins (1954–60)
  •   Hārdijs Blūms (1961)
  •   Lev Korchebokov (1962–63)
  •   Afanasijs Ptičkins (1964–65)
  •   Lev Korchebokov (1966–67)
  •   Boriss Graps (1967–68)
  •   Raimonds Dambis (1969–70)
  •   Zigfrīds Driķis (1971)
  •   Afanasijs Ptičkins (1971–75)
  •   Vladimirs Davidovs (1976–78)
  •   Valentīns Obrivins (1976–78)
  •   Boris Reinhold (1978–80)
  •   Valentīns Obrivins (1981–82)
  •   Eduards Vlasovs (1983–84)
  •   Vladimirs Žuks (1985–88)
  •   Jānis Mežeckis (1989–90)
  •   Aivars Sveilis (1991)
  •   Jānis Zuntners (1991)
  •   Aleksandrs Jurenko (1992)
  •   Jānis Zuntners (1993–94)
  •   Eduards Safjanovs (1994)
  •   Ilmārs Verpakovskis (1994)
  •   Viktors Ņesterenko (1995)
  •   Vladimirs Žuks (1996)
  •   Šendelas Geršovičius (1996)

Women's teamEdit

The women's team played in the Latvian highest league and won the championship in 2010 and 2012. It represented Latvia at the 2011–12 UEFA Women's Champions League.[3] It was the first time a team from Latvia had entered the competition since its creation in 2001–02.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "USSR Class B 1954, 2nd zone". KLISF. Retrieved 3 February 2008.
  2. ^ "USSR Class B 1960, Republics, 2nd zone". KLISF. Retrieved 3 February 2008.
  3. ^ stabak.no. "Stabæk Fotball > Women's Champions League" (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 13 June 2011.

External linksEdit