Kardemir Karabükspor

Kardemir Demir Çelik Karabükspor or simply known as Kardemir Karabükspor or Karabükspor is a Turkish sports club based in Karabük. The team was founded in 1969 after a merger between "Karabük Gençlikspor" and "Demir Çelik Spor". The club has in branches in football, wheelchair basketball and volleyball. The nickname of the club is Mavi Ateş; Blue Flame. The nickname comes from unfading blue flame coming out of one of the chimneys of Kardemir iron-steel works which is located in the entrance of the city. As the factory gives its name to the club, the team is cited as a worker's team.[2] The clubs finances collapsed during the 2017–18 Süper Lig season, leaving the club in a precarious position that involved multiple successive relegations, losing almost every game they have played since, as their finances force them into using a team composed of amateur youth players.

Kardemir Karabükspor
Full nameKardemir Demir Çelik Karabükspor
Nickname(s)Mavi Ateş (Blue Flame)
GroundDr. Necmettin Şeyhoğlu Stadium, Karabük
ChairmanZiya Ünsal[1]
ManagerAli Kemal Yılmaz
LeagueTFF Second League
2019–20TFF Second League/Red, 18th
WebsiteClub website


Foundation and early historyEdit

In the year 1938, Azmi Tılabar, the head manager of the Turkish iron-steel industry, founded DÇ Gençlik Kulübü; DÇ Youth Club with grey-blue colours. In these times, the trainer of the football team was an English engineer Mr. Lain. The trainer of athletism was Turkish athlete Faik Önen. Moreover, Mersinli Ahmet and Yaşar Doğu were trainers of wrestling. During the 1940s, Karabükspor became a symbol in cycling, tennis, and wrestling around Turkey. Starting in the 1950s, the "Karabük Gençlikspor" joined "DÇ Gençlik Kulübü" and finally, the club got its colours as red-blue.

The 1990sEdit

In the last game of the 1993–94 season against Zeytinburnuspor, Karabükspor relegated from the Süper Lig. Karabükspor promoted to the top tier after winning the promotion play-off in the 1996–97 season. Karabükspor finished 8th in 1997–98. The next season, however, was disastrous for them as they again relegated to the second level. Karabükspor relocated to the Second League B Category in the 2001–02 season.

The 2000sEdit

The team was promoted to the TFF First League in the 2007–08 season after a 7–0 win against Erzurumspor in the promotion group. On their 30th game of the 2009–10 season, they won 3–0 against Çaykur Rizespor which meant they were promoted to the Süper Lig after 11 years.

2017-18 RelegationEdit

The 2017–18 Süper Lig season was a disaster for the club and resulted in their relegation. Erkan Sözeri resigned following poor early performances. On 1 October 2017 the club appointed Australian coach Tony Popovic to run the side. His stint in charge lasted 2 months, during which time the entire board quit the club. Popovic was replaced by Levent Açıkgöz, who was himself sacked on 21 March 2018 and replaced by Ünal Karaman. The coaching changes, financial ruin and poor performances all contributed to the club finishing in last place with only three wins and three draws for the entire season.

Relegation FreefallEdit

With no money and little in the way of talent to sell, the clubs precarious financial position required them to use low paid youth players and this saw Karabükspor suffer back to back relegations. They finished last in the 2018/19 TFF First League, winning no games, drawing only three and suffering a negative 102 goal difference. They finished the season with zero points after a 3 point administrative penalty was assessed on the club.

The 2019/20 season, where the club competed in the 3rd tier TFF Second League saw a brief respite from relegation as the Turkish government suspended all the leagues due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Turkey, with relegations cancelled for the season.

They continued their plunge down the pyramid with another last place finish, in the 2020/21 season. They scored just one win and three draws, while another 3 point administrative penalty had them end the season on only 3 points. They were relegated into the fourth tier TFF Third League system.

Their season in the 4th tier did not see any improvement, and the side were relegated once again, this time into the 5th tier amateur league system.

Past seasonsEdit

Domestic resultsEdit

Season Place League
1969–70 9 TFF Second League
1970–71 4 TFF Second League
1971–72 1 TFF Second League
1972–73 15 TFF First League
1973–74 2 TFF Second League
1974–75 5 TFF First League
1975–76 6 TFF First League
1976–77 6 TFF First League
1977–78 7 TFF First League
1978–79 12 TFF First League
1979–80 5 TFF First League
1980–81 10 TFF First League
1981–82 6 TFF First League
1982–83 12 TFF First League
1983–84 1 Amateur Level
1984–85 10 TFF First League
1985–86 13 TFF First League
1986–87 10 TFF First League
1987–88 4 TFF First League
1988–89 7 TFF First League
1989–90 7 TFF First League
1990–91 14 TFF First League
1991–92 5 TFF First League
1992–93 3 TFF First League
1993–94 14 Süper Lig
1994–95 5 TFF First League
1995–96 2 TFF First League
1996–97 1 TFF First League
1997–98 9 Süper Lig
1998–99 18 Süper Lig
1999–00 1 TFF First League
2000–01 5 TFF First League
2001–02 1 TFF Second League
2002–03 11 TFF Second League
2003–04 2 TFF Second League
2004–05 7 TFF Second League
2005–06 3 TFF Second League
2006–07 3 TFF Second League
2007–08 2 TFF Second League
2008–09 7 TFF First League
2009–10 1 TFF First League
2010–11 9 Süper Lig
2011–12 12 Süper Lig
2012–13 15 Süper Lig
2013–14 7 Süper Lig
2014–15 16 Süper Lig
2015–16 2 TFF First League
2016–17 12 Süper Lig
2017–18 18 Süper Lig
2018–19 18 TFF First League
2019–20 18 TFF Second League
2020–21 20 TFF Second League
2021–22 17 TFF Third League

Note: In the 2019/20 season all relegations were postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic causing the cancellation of the season, while promotions continued as normal. Additional relegation slots were added to the 2020-21 season to rebalance the size of the leagues for the 2021/22 season.

League participationsEdit

European recordEdit

Season Competition Round Club Home Away Aggregate
2014–15 UEFA Europa League 3Q   Rosenborg 0–0 1–1 1–1 (a)
PO   Saint-Étienne 1–0 0–1 1–1, 3–4 (pen.)
  • 3Q: Third qualifying round
  • PO: Play-off round


The club are sponsored by the Kardemir company and the Iron workers unions from whom they draw a lot of their support, making it a club with true working class identity.[3] Their ultra group is called Mavi Ateş (Blue Flame) and their motto is, Dumanlı kentin puslu çocukları (Sons of the smoky city).[4]

Current sponsorsEdit


Current squadEdit

As of 16 August 2018[5]

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
3 MF   TUR Tuna Yalçın
13 DF   TUR Fatih Tultak
20 DF   TUR Berkay Yılmaz
22 GK   TUR Ferhat Yilmaz
23 DF   TUR Abdullah Sezgin
27 MF   AZE Taşkın İlter
34 MF   TUR Emre Eser
55 DF   TUR Sezer Gündüz
No. Pos. Nation Player
70 MF   TUR Toykan Topuz
77 MF   TUR Fatih Kizilay
90 FW   TUR Batuhan Kurt
92 MF   TUR Cihan Aydin
97 FW   TUR Arif Bostancı
98 DF   TUR Berk Kervankiran
99 FW   TUR Melih Berat Arslan
GK   TUR Halit Tokur

Notable playersEdit

Burkina Faso
DR Congo
Bosnia and Herzegovina
South America

Technical staffEdit

Position Name
Manager   Levent Açıkgöz
Assistant Manager   Ilhan Özer
Goalkeeping Coach   Mehmet Varlıer
Fitness Coach   Burak Akalp
Fitness Coach   Yasin Kurt
Match Analyst   Eren Gürsoy
Director of Football


  1. ^ (in Turkish) Club details
  2. ^ "Soccer Vs. the State: Tackling Football and Radical Politics", PM Press, 2011, Gabriel Kuhn, p.172
  3. ^ "Soccer Vs. the State: Tackling Football and Radical Politics", PM Press, 2011, Gabriel Kuhn, p.172
  4. ^ "Karabükspor Profile". turkish-football.com. 2011. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
  5. ^ http://www.kardemirkarabukspor.org.tr/t/a-takim

External linksEdit