OFC Spartak Pleven
OFC Spartak (Bulgarian: ОФК Спартак) is a Bulgarian municipal association football club from the city of Pleven founded on 10 September 1919. It currently competes in the Second League. The team's greatest achievements are the Bulgarian Cup final in 1957 and the third place in the Bulgarian Championship during the following season.
|Full name||Municipal Football Club Spartak 1919 Pleven|
|Founded||10 September 1919|
|Ground||Stadion Pleven, Pleven|
|League||North-West Third League|
|2019–20||Second League, 16th (relegated)|
Spartak Pleven was created in 1919, by a student from Pleven, Dragomir Nestorov. He along with a couple of friends founded the club under the name "Skobelov".
The year 1931 remains important for the club's history. This is because then the club changed its name to "Belite Orli". In 1941, the club was given their first ground by the Pleven municipality.
Things began to change in 1944, when the new government in Bulgaria began to interfere in sports as well. In 1946, it was decided that Belite Orli should be renamed to "Republikanec". However, the fans of the club were against the new name and in a meeting, it was decided to change the team's name to "Spartak Pleven", which it still carries today. In 1949, other football teams began to appear in the city, such as "Lokomotiv" and "General Vinarov". However, it was decided that all the teams should be united into one, strong team, so the name "Septemvri" was given to the new team. The team even managed to promote to the elite the same year. However, less than a year later, it was decided that Spartak Pleven would separate and act as a club on its own.
It was decided that there would be a qualifying tournament for the club's in Pleven to decide which team would participate on a professional level. Torpedo Pleven won that tournament and went to A PFG, while Spartak would start from the regional groups. However, the team quickly managed to promote back to professional football, gaining a place in the Bulgarian elite by 1951. In 1958, Spartak achieved its greatest success, finishing third.
Until the end of the 1980s, Spartak was a very important member of the Bulgarian elite, with only a couple of relegations to the second tier. The city of Pleven formed as one of the most important football centers in the country, with Spartak Pleven's youth academy becoming one of the strongest academies in Bulgaria, producing numerous players for the elite teams.
With the arrival of changes in the political and economic system in Bulgaria in the late 80s, Spartak Pleven experienced serious financial problems. However, until 2001, the team still managed to compete in the highest league three times. By 2001, Spartak had managed to compete 35 seasons in the top level, which grants the team tenth place in the all time rankings in Bulgaria. Since then, Spartak Pleven has been bouncing between the second and third tiers.
Their record low came in 2010, when the club declared bankruptcy. This led to the club being reformed and started playing from the amateur leagues.
At the end of the 2018-19 season, Spartak finished first in the North-West third league and managed to gain promotion to the second tier for the 2019-20 season. The team, however, experienced difficulties in the second tier, both financially and performance wise. Spartak largely remained in the relegation zone, struggling to survive. They were even deducted three points for not showing on a game. In May 2020, the Bulgarian Football Union decided to cancel the remainder of the season due to the coronavirus epidemic outbreak in Bulgaria. At the time, Spartak was in 16th place (second to last), which meant relegation to the third tier, after just one year in the second league.
- First League:
- Third place: 1958
- Second League:
- Third League:
- Bulgarian Cup:
- Runners-up: 1957
- Cup of the Soviet Army
As of 1 February 2020[update]
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
|8||MF||BUL||Ivaylo Radentsov (captain)|
|2009–10||IV||A Regional Group||2||18||5||3||75||26||59||not qualified|
|2010–11||III||V Group||5||15||6||9||49||27||51||not qualified|
|2011–12||III||V Group||1||27||2||1||111||10||83||Third Round|
|2012–13||II||B Group||6*||11||9||6||33||25||42||Second Round|
|2013–14||III||V Group||4||20||5||5||66||27||65||not qualified|
|2014–15||III||V Group||1||23||2||1||92||8||71||not qualified|
|2015–16||II||B Group||13||9||9||12||35||42||36||Second Round|
|2016–17||II||Second League||14||9||6||15||44||52||33||First Round|
|2017–18||III||Third League||8||10||9||11||39||46||39||not qualified|
|2018–19||III||Third League||1||26||1||3||75||11||79||not qualified|
|Green marks a season followed by promotion, red a season followed by relegation.|
|Group Stage||Werder Bremen||2–3||0–1||3rd|
Most First League apps:
Most First League goals:
- "Спартак (Плевен) има нов треньорски екип" (in Bulgarian). sportal.bg. 6 July 2018.
- Обретенов, Светослав (1989). Северняшки танц с футболна топка (in Bulgarian). Пловдив: Издателство "Христо Г. Данов".
- Симеонов, Климент (1984). Футболът в България (in Bulgarian). София: Държавно издателство "Медицина и физкултура".