PFC Litex Lovech

Last updated

Litex
Litex Lovech.svg
Full nameProfessional Football Club Litex Lovech
Nickname(s)Оранжевите (The Oranges)
Short nameLitex
Founded1921;100 years ago (1921)
as Hisarya Sports Club
Ground Gradski Stadion, Lovech, Bulgaria
Capacity8,100
OwnerLitex Commerce JSC
ChairmanDanail Ganchev
Manager Zhivko Zhelev
League Second League
2020–21 Second League, 7th
Website Club website

Litex (Bulgarian : Литекс) is a Bulgarian professional association football club based in Lovech, which currently competes in the Second League. The club was founded in 1921 as Hisarya Sports Club.

Contents

The club's home ground is the Lovech Stadium, which has a capacity of 8,100 seats, electric floodlights and permission to stage European matches. As one of the successful Bulgarian clubs outside the capital Sofia, Litex have won the domestic championship four times and the Bulgarian Cup on four occasions. Together with CSKA Sofia and Levski Sofia, Litex was also the third football club to represent the country regularly in the European Club Association.

However, the club was expelled during the 2015-16 season for administrative reasons to become CSKA Sofia which sparked controversy, being relegated to the Third League. The club has lost its status as a top club in Bulgaria since then, and has largely been a mediocre side in the second tier in the following years.

History

1921–1996

The club was founded in 1921 as Hisarya and began playing league football two years later, in 1923. Over the years, the club has changed its name several times. From 1957 it was named Karpachev, before becoming Osam in 1979. Under that name the club played constantly in the B Group, the second division of Bulgarian football and was near to promotion several times. A notable player during this period was Plamen Linkov, who broke the club's appearance record, playing 575 matches and scoring 167 goals respectively.

In 1990, after Bulgaria's transition to market economy, privately owned company LEX became the main sponsor of the club. During the same year, the new owners changed the name of the football club to LEX. The 1993–94 B Group proved to be impressive for the club, as the team finished first in the second division and qualified for the A Group, a notable milestone never done before in the club's history. LEX's debut season in the A Group was also noteworthy, as the team ranked 11th at the end of the season. The next season however proved to be unsuccessful and the club, renamed Lovech, was relegated to the B Group.

Litex's former top goalscorer Dimcho Belyakov. Dimtcho Beliakov.JPG
Litex's former top goalscorer Dimcho Belyakov.

Grisha Ganchev ownership (1996–2016)

In June 1996, the club was purchased by Grisha Ganchev, petrol businessman and a citizen of Lovech, and it was renamed to Litex. The takeover was immediately followed by a flurry of bids for high-profile players. Ferario Spasov was named as the new Litex coach. He led the club back to the A Group at their first attempt. During the 1996–97 season Litex also reached the quarter-finals of the Bulgarian Cup and the final of the Bulgarian League Cup, which was lost after a penalty shoot-out.

Litex players with the Bulgarian Cup in 2009. Litex Lovech - Bulgarian Cup Winner 2009.JPG
Litex players with the Bulgarian Cup in 2009.

In 1997, Litex was promoted for the second time to the top division and immediately became Bulgarian champions, finishing the season 5 points ahead of the second-placed Levski Sofia, unprecedented before in the Bulgarian football history. The striker of the team Dimcho Belyakov also became top goalscorer with his 21 goals contributed during the season. In addition, midfielder Stoycho Stoilov received the Best Player of the League award. The club's first participation in the European club tournaments was also promising, with Litex eliminating Swedish club Halmstads BK after 4–3 on both ties and reaching the second qualifying round, where it was knocked out by the Russian powerhouse Spartak Moscow.

A year later Litex successfully defended their league title, losing only two league games during the course of the season. They became the first provincial club to win back-to-back league titles since the 1920s. During their campaign, Litex also inflicted the biggest defeat in CSKA Sofia's history, an 8-0 thrashing at the Lovech Stadium.

During the first decade of the 21st century, Litex won the Bulgarian Cup four times—in 2001 after defeating Velbazhd Kyustendil 1–0 in extra time, in 2004 against CSKA after a penalty shoot-out, in 2008 after a 1–0 win over Cherno More Varna, [1] and in 2009, after a 3–0 thrashing over Pirin Blagoevgrad. [2] In early August 2007, Litex signed a three-year sponsorship and advertising contract with Bulgarian mobile operator GLOBUL and started the 2007–08 season with the logo of the mobile service i-mode on the team's kits. In December 2007, Litex became the first Bulgarian club to have a branded mobile phone game, Litex Football. Before the start of the 2008–09 season, Litex lost the Bulgarian Supercup final with 0-1 from CSKA Sofia after a goal from Kiril Kotev in the 65th minute. A season later, Litex again failed to win the Bulgarian Supercup final, this time against domestic title holders Levski Sofia.

Litex with the A PFG title in 2010 Litex Lovech-Bulgarian A PFG-Champions 2009-10.JPG
Litex with the A PFG title in 2010

In 2009–10, Litex became champions of Bulgaria for the third time in their history, finishing the season with 12 points advantage than the runners-up CSKA Sofia. [3] On 12 August 2010, Litex defeated Beroe 2–1 to finally secure the Bulgarian Supercup, the last possible remaining domestic trophy never won before by the club. In 2010–11 Litex retained their fourth league title, securing the championship after a 3–1 away win against Lokomotiv Sofia on 21 May 2011. [4]

Expulsion and new beginning (2015–present)

In the summer of 2015, Grisha Ganchev stepped down from his position as an owner, only to reallocate his main investments to Bulgarian football club CSKA Sofia, which was struggling financially with unpaid debts during the time. As a result, his son Danail took over at Litex, with previous shareholder Bulgarian joint stock company Sport 96 remaining in the club as a subsidiary of Litex Commerce JSC.

On 16 December 2015, the Bulgarian Football Union expelled Litex Lovech from the A Group. [5] The decision was taken in response to an incident that occurred during Litex Lovech's 12 December tie with Levski Sofia, when chairman Stoycho Stoilov controversially pulled the squad off the field in protest of 2 players being sent off at a score of 1–0 for the Lovech club. [6] On 20 January 2016 the team was administratively relegated to the B Group for the upcoming 2016–17 season. Litex's players however were allowed to complete their participation in the Bulgarian Cup and could finish the 2015–16 season with the club's reserve squad, Litex Lovech II, playing in the B Group.

On 27 May 2016, the legal firm that represented PFC Chavdar Etropole - "PFC Chavdar EAD" was renamed to "PFC CSKA-1948 AD". [7] On 6 June 2016 the legal firm that represented PFC Litex Lovech—"PFC Litex-Lovech AD"—was renamed to "PFC CSKA-Sofia EAD", [8] with "PFC CSKA-1948 AD" being written in as its owner. That legal firm later applied to take part and was accepted into the reformed First League, [9] as PFC CSKA Sofia. The shift was made because the old legal firm that represented PFC CSKA Sofia - "PFC CSKA AD" did not gain a professional license, and later went bankrupted and ceased operations as of 9 September 2016. PFC Litex Lovech later started playing in the Third League, taking the place of FC Botev Lukovit. [10]

On 4 July 2016, former Litex player Zhivko Zhelev was appointed as a manager of a team, consisting mainly of academy players. [11] The renewed Litex team started the new season and managed to win its first official match. The squad also played in the 2016–17 Bulgarian Cup, eliminating First League outfits of Slavia Sofia and Cherno More on their way to the semifinals, [12] where Litex lost to reigning 5-time champions Ludogorets Razgrad on an aggregate score of 0–11. Litex also was promoted to the Second League, after winning the North-West Group of the Third League.

League positions

Second Professional Football League (Bulgaria)Third Amateur Football League (Bulgaria)Bulgarian A Football GroupBulgarian B Football GroupBulgarian A Football GroupBulgarian B Football GroupBulgarian V AFGBulgarian B Football GroupPFC Litex Lovech

Recent league statistics

SeasonLeaguePlaceWDLGFGAPts Bulgarian Cup
2007–08 A Group 41695512656 Winner
2008–09 A Group 41776532658 Winner
2009–10 A Group 12244591770 Third round
2010–11 A Group 12361561375 Semifinals
2011–12 A Group 51785572859 Semifinals
2012–13 A Group 515510562450 Quarterfinals
2013–14 A Group 32198743772 Quarterfinals
2014–15 A Group 416610493654 Quarterfinals
2015–16 A Group 100 (8)0 (9)0 (3)0 (29)0 (19)0 (33) Semifinals
2016–17 Third League (III)12521114977 Semifinals
2017–18 Second League (II)1010911262639 Quarterfinals
2018–19 Second League (II)51299432645 Round of 32
Green marks a season followed by promotion, red a season followed by relegation.

Stadium

Lovech Stadium Lovech Stadium 1.JPG
Lovech Stadium

Litex Lovech's home ground is the Lovech Stadium, a football stadium in Lovech. Built in 1962, the ground underwent a total reconstruction in 1999 and was brought to a suitable standard to host international matches later that year. The stadium has a capacity of 8,000 seating places with pitch dimensions of 105 to 68 meters. The venue's record attendance of 12,500 was achieved during a domestic league match against Levski Sofia on 19 April 1998. The record attendance in the European club competitions was achieved against English club Aston Villa on 18 September 2008, when around 8,000 spectators supported the team.

In the summer of 2010, a massive reconstruction of the venue started. New side stands with roof covers were built and the media sectors were expanded in order to meet the UEFA guidelines for Champions League matches. On 12 July 2010, the stadium was awarded with a Category 3 ranking by UEFA. The reconstructions continued in the summer of 2011, when the main stand of the stadium was completed.

Honours

Domestic

First League:

Second League:

Third League:

Bulgarian Cup:

Bulgarian Supercup:

Cup of Bulgarian Amateur Football League:

Bulgarian League Cup:

European

UEFA Cup / UEFA Europa League:

European record

Competition S P W D L GF GA GD
UEFA Champions League 4168172928+ 1
UEFA Europa League 13562312217660+ 16
Total177231132810588+ 17

Players

Current squad

As of 1 August 2020

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

No.Pos.NationPlayer
1 GK Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Stanislav Nistorov
4 MF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Adrian Girginov
5 MF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Yoan Baurenski(on loan from CSKA Sofia )
7 FW Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Radoslav Zhivkov
8 FW Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Petar Hristov (on loan from Arda )
9 FW Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Boris Tyutyukov
10 MF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Hristo Radkov(on loan from CSKA Sofia )
11 DF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Galin Minkov
12 MF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Dobromir Bonev
14 MF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Stefan Nedelchev
15 DF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Hristiyan Petrov(on loan from CSKA Sofia )
No.Pos.NationPlayer
16 DF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Ivan Ivanov
17 MF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Petar Petrov
19 MF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Andrey Yordanov(on loan from CSKA Sofia )
21 MF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Ognyan Nikolov(on loan from CSKA Sofia )
22 DF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Plamen Nikolov (captain)
23 MF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Ivan Mitrev (on loan from CSKA Sofia )
24 GK Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Iliya Shalamanov(on loan from CSKA Sofia )
34 MF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Oleg Dimitrov
77 DF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Martin Sandov
MF Flag of Bulgaria.svg  BUL Nikolay Yankov

For recent transfers, see Transfers winter 2020–21 and Transfers summer 2021.

Notable players

Had international caps for their respective countries, or held any club record. Players whose name is listed in bold represented their countries.

Note: For a complete list of Litex Lovech players, see Category:PFC Litex Lovech players.

Managerial history

This is a list of the recent Litex Lovech managers:

NameFromToHonours
Flag of Bulgaria.svg Stoycho Mladenov June 2004Nov 2004
Flag of Israel.svg Itzhak Shum 15 November 2004May 2005
Flag of Serbia.svg Ljupko Petrović 1 July 200512 June 20071 Bulgarian Cup
Flag of Bulgaria.svg Ferario Spasov June 2007Nov 2007
Flag of Serbia.svg Miodrag Ješić Nov 2007May 20081 Bulgarian Cup
Flag of Bulgaria.svg Stanimir Stoilov 1 June 200828 August 20091 Bulgarian Cup
Flag of Bulgaria.svg Angel Chervenkov 1 September 20095 August 20101 Bulgarian A PFG
Flag of Bulgaria.svg Petko Petkov (interim)5 August 20101 September 20101 Bulgarian Supercup
Flag of Bulgaria.svg Lyuboslav Penev 2 September 201024 October 20111 Bulgarian A PFG
Flag of Bulgaria.svg Atanas Dzhambazki 24 October 201131 December 2011
Flag of Bulgaria.svg Hristo Stoichkov 5 January 20125 June 2013
Flag of Bulgaria.svg Flag of Serbia.svg Zlatomir Zagorčić 1 July 201331 March 2014
Flag of Serbia.svg Miodrag Ješić 31 March 201425 May 2014
Flag of Bulgaria.svg Krasimir Balakov 26 May 201410 July 2015
Flag of Serbia.svg Ljupko Petrović (interim)10 July 20155 August 2015
Flag of Romania.svg Laurențiu Reghecampf 6 August 2015 [13] 3 December 2015
Flag of Serbia.svg Ljupko Petrović 3 December 20153 January 2016
Flag of Bulgaria.svg Lyuboslav Penev 22 January 20162 June 2016
Flag of Bulgaria.svg Zhivko Zhelev 4 July 2016Present

Notable stats

Plamen Linkov, the club's top scorer Plamen Linkov.JPG
Plamen Linkov, the club's top scorer

Most appearances for the club

RankNameApps
1 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Plamen Linkov575
2 Flag of Serbia.svg Nebojša Jelenković 307
3 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Vitomir Vutov 245
4 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Zhivko Zhelev 225
5 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Nikolay Dimitrov210

Most goals for the club

RankNameGoals
1 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Plamen Linkov167
2 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Stefan Yurukov 84
3 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Svetoslav Todorov 70
4 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Hristo Yovov 54
5 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Dimcho Belyakov 48

First professional league top scorer with the club

YearNameGoals
1999 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Dimcho Belyakov 21
2000 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Svetoslav Todorov 19
2006 Flag of Slovenia.svg Milivoje Novakovič 16
2010 Flag of France.svg Wilfried Niflore 19
2014 Flag of Colombia.svg Wilmar Jordán 20

Notes: Last update 16 May 2010

All-time top scorers in A PFG

RankNameGoals scoresGames playedAssistsGoals per gameYears played
1 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Svetoslav Todorov 56127220.441997–01, 2009–12
2 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Stefan Yurukov 55113110.491996–97, 1998–02, 2003–04
3 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Hristo Yovov 4597200.462000–04
4 Flag of France.svg Wilfried Niflore 3972110.542008–11
5 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Dimcho Beliakov 3567110.521994–97, 1998–99, 2004
6 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Zhivko Zhelev 3119670.161996–07
7 Flag of Colombia.svg Wilmar Jordán 295470.542013–15
8 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Zoran Janković 2964170.452000–02, 2004, 2007–08
9 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Georgi Milanov 28106200.262009–13
10 Flag of Bulgaria.svg Krum Bibishkov 276060.452007–09

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References

  1. "Litex claim third Bulgarian Cup". UEFA.com. Retrieved 14 May 2008.
  2. "Stoilov guides Litex to cup glory". UEFA.com. Retrieved 26 May 2009.
  3. "Litex can party like it is 1999". UEFA.com. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
  4. "Litex retain Bulgarian crown". UEFA.com. Retrieved 21 May 2011.
  5. "Litex thrown out of Bulgarian league". BBC. Retrieved 16 December 2015.
  6. "Bulgarian champions may quit league". BBC. Retrieved 16 December 2015.
  7. Бизнесмен от Смолян е с 38 100 акции в новия ЦСКА
  8. http://www.novsport.com/news1967141_1003.html
  9. "First Division Clubs in Europe" (PDF). uefa.com. UEFA. p. 21. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  10. http://www.gol.bg/litex/2016-07-06/vartelezhka-liteks-shte-rita-vav-v-grupa-s-litsenza-na-botev-lukovit
  11. Литекс сформира нов отбор, назначи треньор
  12. ""Литекс" отстрани "Славия" и стигна 1/8-финалите за Купата на България" (in Bulgarian). dnevnik. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  13. "Soccer-New Litex coach Reghecampf eyes domestic double". Reuters . Retrieved 7 August 2015.
  14. Ваюши и Десподов от Литекс влязоха в историята Football24.bg, 13 August 2013
Official websites
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Information and statistics