PFC Levski Sofia
Levski Sofia is a professional association football club based in Sofia, Bulgaria. The team competes in the top division of the Bulgarian football league system; the club was founded on May 24, 1914, as a football department of Sport Club Levski by a group of students and is named after Vasil Levski, a Bulgarian revolutionary renowned as the national hero of the country. Levski have participated in more seasons of the Bulgarian football championship than any other team and are the only Bulgarian team to have never been relegated, they have won 26 A Group titles, 25 Bulgarian Cups and 3 Super Cups, which include a record 13 Doubles and 2 Trebles. On an international basis, Levski have reached three European Cup Winners' Cup quarterfinals and two UEFA Cup quarterfinals. In 2006, they became the first Bulgarian club to reach the group stages of the UEFA Champions League; the team's regular kit colour is all-blue. Levski's home ground is the Vivacom Arena - Georgi Asparuhov Stadium in Sofia, which has a capacity of 25,000 spectators.
The club's biggest rivals are CSKA Sofia, matches between the two capital sides are referred to as The Eternal Derby of Bulgaria. Levski is a regular member of the European Club Association and the European Multisport Club Association. Sport Club Levski was founded in 1911 by a group of students at the Second Male High School in Sofia, with football as the major sport practiced; the club's name was chosen in honour of the Bulgarian revolutionary Vasil Levski, the club was registered on May 24, 1914. In 1914 Levski lost its first official match against FC 13 Sofia 0–2. Between 1914–20, football wasn't a popular sport in Bulgaria, no additional information about the club exists. In the summer of 1921, the Sofia Sports League was established, which united 10 clubs from Sofia and marked the beginning of organized football competitions in the city; the Blues won the first match in the championship for the season 1921–22, held on September 18, 1921, against Athletic Sofia with the score of 3–1. Levski captured first place in the league in 1923 after a dramatic 3–2 win over bitter rival Slavia Sofia and defended the title the following season.
The first National Championship was held in 1924 with Levski representing Sofia. The team went on to win the title in 1933, 1937 and 1942, established itself as the most popular football club in Bulgaria. Levski became the holder for all times of the Ulpia Serdica Cup by virtue of winning it for the third time in a row in 1933. In 1929 Levski became the first semi-professional football club in Bulgaria, after 12 players staged a boycott of the team in demand of financial remuneration and insurance benefits; the same year Levski met its first international opponents, losing to Gallipoli Istanbul 0–1 and winning against Kuban Istanbul 6–0. After World War II, Levski became one of the two top clubs in Bulgaria. After winning the championship in 1946, 1947, 1949, 1950 and 1953 Levski would not capture the domestic title again until the mid-1960s. In 1949, the authorities changed the club's name to Dinamo following the Soviet traditions, but after the destalinization of Bulgaria, it was reverted in 1957.
The 1960s were marked with return to success both on the international stage. Levski's academy would become the most successful in national youth competitions for the years to come, the results were first seen in the likes of Georgi Asparuhov, Georgi Sokolov, Biser Mihailov, Kiril Ivkov, Ivan Vutsov, Stefan Aladzhov and Aleksandar Kostov, assisted by experienced veterans like Stefan Abadzhiev, Dimo Pechenikov and Hristo Iliev, who celebrated winning the championship in 1965, 1968 and 1970, the 7–2 triumph over new bitter rival CSKA in 1968; the tie against Benfica in the European Cup in 1965 remained memorable for the Eusébio versus Georgi Asparuhov clash, the recognition that the Portuguese great gave to his Bulgarian counterpart. In January 1969 Levski was merged with Spartak Sofia by BCP, put under the auspice of the Bulgarian Interior Ministry; the name of the club was once again changed, this time to Levski-Spartak. A new crop of youngsters in the likes of Kiril Milanov, Dobromir Zhechev, Pavel Panov, Todor Barzov, Voyn Voynov, Ivan Tishanski, Georgi Tsvetkov, Plamen Nikolov, Rusi Gochev not only found their place in the first team, but brought new titles in 1974, 1977 and 1979.
On the international stage the quarter-final appearances in the Cup Winners Cup in 1970 and 1977, in the UEFA Cup in 1976. Levski is up to this date the only European club to have scored five goals in a single game against Barcelona in a UEFA-sponsored international competition; the name of the team was changed to Vitosha by the authorities following the disruptions during and after the Bulgarian Cup final in 1985. The game ran on high emotions fueled by the streak of consecutive victories of Levski over CSKA in the 2 years prior to the game; the controversial decisions of the referee led to confrontations both on the field and on the stands. By decree of the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party some of the leading players both of the Blues and the Reds were suspended from the sport for life; the championship title of the club for 1985 was suspended. However, the suspensions were lifted shortly after. After the 1989–90 season, the club regained its original name; the team composed of the newcomers Plamen Nikolov, Petar Hubchev, Tsanko Tsvetanov, Emil Kremenliev, Zlatko Yankov, Georgi Slavchev, Ilian Iliev, Daniel Borimirov, Stanimir Stoilov and Velko Yotov and the return of the veterans Plamen Getov, Nikolay Todorov and Nasko Sirakov, dictated the game in the domestic championship by winning the tit
Nikola Asenov Spasov is a Bulgarian retired footballer who played as a striker and the current manager of Bulgarian Second League club Tsarsko Selo. Born in Sofia, Spasov played for PFC Lokomotiv Sofia, FC Dunav Ruse, PFC Cherno More Varna and PFC Spartak Varna in his country. With the first club, he won the Bulgarian League in his first professional season. Spasov moved to Portugal in December 1986, remained in the nation for the following seven years, representing five teams. In the 1989–90 campaign he scored a career-best 34 goals for F. C. Paços de Ferreira, which however failed to promote them from the second division. C. Farense, S. C. Beira-Mar and Paços. In June 1994, after one season in his homeland with former team Cherno More, Spasov retired from football at nearly 36 years of age. Spasov started managing in both countries at amateur level. In 2003, he was appointed at PFC Marek Dupnitsa in his country, switching to the Republic of Macedonia and FK Bregalnica Štip the following season. From 2006 and during four years, Spasov worked with former club Cherno More, as assistant, head coach and scout.
In 2011, he returned to Bregalnica. On 3 January 2018 he was announced as the new manager of the Kazakhstan Premier League team Kyzylzhar. Lokomotiv SofiaBulgarian League: 1977–78 Cherno MoreBulgarian Cup: 2014–15 Bulgarian Supercup: 2015 Spasov's younger brother, was a footballer. A midfielder, he too represented Spartak and Cherno More Varna, spent several years as a professional in Portugal. Nikola Spasov at ForaDeJogo
PFC CSKA Sofia
CSKA is a Bulgarian professional association football club based in Sofia and competing in the country's premier football competition, the First League. CSKA is an abbreviation for Central Sports Club of the Army. Established on 5 May 1948, CSKA's roots date back to an army officers' club founded in 1923; the club has won a record 20 Bulgarian Cups. Internationally, CSKA are the only Bulgarian club to have reached the semi-finals of the European Cup, which they have done twice, they have reached the semi-final of the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup once. CSKA's home colors are red and white and its home ground is the Bulgarian Army Stadium; the club's biggest rivals are Levski Sofia and matches between the two sides are known as "The Eternal Derby of Bulgaria". In October 1923, football clubs Athletic Sofia and Slava Sofia merged to form AS-23, short for Officer's Sports Club Athletic Slava 1923, under the patronage of the Ministry of War, which provided the equipment. In 1931, AS-23 won their first Bulgarian championship and The Tsar's Cup, followed by another Tsar's Cup in 1941.
The club's stadium was named Athletic Park and was situated where the Bulgarian Army Stadium now resides. On 9 November 1944, with the support of Mihail Mihaylov, an accountant at the Ministry of War and a patron of Shipka Sofia, a unifying agreement was signed, merging AS-23, Spartak to form Chavdar Sofia. Gen. Vladimir Stoychev from AS-23, who at the time was fighting on the front in World War II, was appointed as the new club's chairman. Lawyer Ivan Bashev, a future Bulgarian foreign minister, was appointed club secretary and the person in charge of football. With the help of Mihail Mihaylov again, in February 1948, Chavdar became the departmental club of the Central House of the Troops and took on the name of CDV. Looking for ways to stop the club's decline, CDV's administrators sought to merge it with another club. In May 1948, an agreement was reached between CDV and Septemvri Sofia for uniting the clubs under the name "Septemvri pri CDV"; the contract was signed on 5 May 1948, considered the club's date of foundation.
The club's played its first official match on 19 May 1948 against Slavia Sofia at Yunak Stadium, a 1–1 draw. Septemvri pri CDV eliminated Aprilov and Spartak Varna en route to the final, where it faced Levski Sofia, losing 1–2 in the first leg; the decisive second match occurred on 9 September 1948. Septemvri pri CDV's lineup consisted of: Stefan Gerenski, Borislav Futekov, Manol Manolov, Dimitar Cvetkov, Nikola Aleksiev, Nako Chakmakov, Dimitar Milanov, Stoyne Minev, Stefan Bozhkov, Nikola Bozhilov and Kiril Bogdanov; the score was 3–3 on aggregate, as Septemvri pri CDV led 2–1 near the end of regulation time, when a last-minute goal by Nako Chakmakov gave the club its first title. In 1950, the word "Narodna" was added to the name of the Central House of the Troops, changing it to Central House of the People's Troops, or C. D. N. V. for short effectively changing the club's name. The following two years, C. D. N. V. won two consecutive titles. In 1951, the Army club clinched their first double. In 1953, the club was again renamed by the authorities, this time to Otbor na Sofiyskiya Garnizon, most of the key players were illegally transferred out.
The title was lost undeservedly. The following year, the club was renamed to CDNA, the years between 1954 and 1962 marked one of the most successful periods for the Reds, who won nine consecutive titles and, in 1956, took part in the second installment of the newly created European Cup competition. In 1962, CDNA was united with DSO Cherveno Zname to form CSKA Cherveno Zname; the Central House of the People's Troops ceased its affiliation with the club, taken over by the Ministry of People's Defense. CSKA finished third after Botev Plovdiv in the 1962 -- 63 season; the following season, CSKA had its worst performance in the Bulgarian championship to date, finishing 11th in the final table, only three points from relegation. This led to the sacking of legendary coach Krum Milev after 16 years. CSKA did not recapture the title until 1966. However, during the 1966–67 season, CSKA recorded its first major international achievement after reaching the semi-finals of the European Cup for the first time, where they faced Italian giants Internazionale.
After two hard-fought 1–1 draws, a third decisive match was played, which CSKA lost 0–1. The next two seasons were unmemorable for the Army Men, as they finished in fifth and second place respectively. In 1968, CSKA underwent another merger, joining with Septemvri Sofia and taking the name CSKA Septemvriysko Zname; the club clinched the title in 1969 with the help of the recent acquisition of Petar Zhekov, who would go on to become the top Bulgarian goalscorer of all time – a record he still holds today. The 1970s are considered the period when CSKA made its name on the European stage; the club began the decade modestly, claiming second place domestically and reaching the round of 16 in 1970–71 European Cup Winners' Cup, where they fell to English side Chelsea 0–2 on aggregate. However, from 1971 to 1973, CSKA won three consecutive titles and delivered one of the biggest surprises in European football when it eliminated reigning three-time European champion Ajax – considered the finest team of all-time – 2–1 on aggregate
Bulgaria the Republic of Bulgaria, is a country in Southeast Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north and North Macedonia to the west and Turkey to the south, the Black Sea to the east; the capital and largest city is Sofia. With a territory of 110,994 square kilometres, Bulgaria is Europe's 16th-largest country. One of the earliest societies in the lands of modern-day Bulgaria was the Neolithic Karanovo culture, which dates back to 6,500 BC. In the 6th to 3rd century BC the region was a battleground for Thracians, Persians and ancient Macedonians; the Eastern Roman, or Byzantine, Empire lost some of these territories to an invading Bulgar horde in the late 7th century. The Bulgars founded the First Bulgarian Empire in AD 681, which dominated most of the Balkans and influenced Slavic cultures by developing the Cyrillic script; this state lasted until the early 11th century, when Byzantine emperor Basil II conquered and dismantled it. A successful Bulgarian revolt in 1185 established a Second Bulgarian Empire, which reached its apex under Ivan Asen II.
After numerous exhausting wars and feudal strife, the Second Bulgarian Empire disintegrated in 1396 and its territories fell under Ottoman rule for nearly five centuries. The Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78 resulted in the formation of the current Third Bulgarian State. Many ethnic Bulgarian populations were left outside its borders, which led to several conflicts with its neighbours and an alliance with Germany in both world wars. In 1946 Bulgaria became part of the Soviet-led Eastern Bloc; the ruling Communist Party gave up its monopoly on power after the revolutions of 1989 and allowed multi-party elections. Bulgaria transitioned into a democracy and a market-based economy. Since adopting a democratic constitution in 1991, the sovereign state has been a unitary parliamentary republic with a high degree of political and economic centralisation; the population of seven million lives in Sofia and the capital cities of the 27 provinces, the country has suffered significant demographic decline since the late 1980s.
Bulgaria is a member of the European Union, NATO, the Council of Europe. Its market economy is part of the European Single Market and relies on services, followed by industry—especially machine building and mining—and agriculture. Widespread corruption is a major socioeconomic issue; the name Bulgaria is derived from a tribe of Turkic origin that founded the country. Their name is not understood and difficult to trace back earlier than the 4th century AD, but it is derived from the Proto-Turkic word bulģha and its derivative bulgak; the meaning may be further extended to "rebel", "incite" or "produce a state of disorder", i.e. the "disturbers". Ethnic groups in Inner Asia with phonologically similar names were described in similar terms: during the 4th century, the Buluoji, a component of the "Five Barbarian" groups in Ancient China, were portrayed as both a "mixed race" and "troublemakers". Neanderthal remains dating to around 150,000 years ago, or the Middle Paleolithic, are some of the earliest traces of human activity in the lands of modern Bulgaria.
The Karanovo culture arose circa 6,500 BC and was one of several Neolithic societies in the region that thrived on agriculture. The Copper Age Varna culture is credited with inventing gold metallurgy; the associated Varna Necropolis treasure contains the oldest golden jewellery in the world with an approximate age of over 6,000 years. The treasure has been valuable for understanding social hierarchy and stratification in the earliest European societies; the Thracians, one of the three primary ancestral groups of modern Bulgarians, appeared on the Balkan Peninsula some time before the 12th century BC. The Thracians excelled in metallurgy and gave the Greeks the Orphean and Dionysian cults, but remained tribal and stateless; the Persian Achaemenid Empire conquered most of present-day Bulgaria in the 6th century BC and retained control over the region until 479 BC. The invasion became a catalyst for Thracian unity, the bulk of their tribes united under king Teres to form the Odrysian kingdom in the 470s BC.
It was weakened and vassalized by Philip II of Macedon in 341 BC, attacked by Celts in the 3rd century, became a province of the Roman Empire in AD 45. By the end of the 1st century AD, Roman governance was established over the entire Balkan Peninsula and Christianity began spreading in the region around the 4th century; the Gothic Bible—the first Germanic language book—was created by Gothic bishop Ulfilas in what is today northern Bulgaria around 381. The region came under Byzantine control after the fall of Rome in 476; the Byzantines were engaged in prolonged warfare against Persia and could not defend their Balkan territories from barbarian incursions. This enabled the Slavs to enter the Balkan Peninsula as marauders through an area between the Danube River and the Balkan Mountains known as Moesia; the interior of the peninsula became a country of the South Slavs, who lived under a democracy. The Slavs assimilated the Hellenized and Gothicized Thracians in the rural areas. Not l
First Professional Football League (Bulgaria)
The First Professional Football League is a Bulgarian professional league for men's association football clubs. Standing at the top of the Bulgarian football league system, it serves as the country's primary football competition; the league is contested by fourteen teams. It operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the second tier of the Bulgarian football league pyramid, the Second League. Known by its previous name A Group, the Bulgarian top-tier was restructured during the summer of 2016, when new licensing criteria were introduced; the Bulgarian football championship was inaugurated in 1924 as the Bulgarian State Football Championship and has been played in a league format since 1948, when the A Group was established. The champions of the First League have the right to participate in the qualifying rounds of the UEFA Champions League based on the league's European coefficient. Additionally, two UEFA Europa League spots are allocated to the second team in the final standings and the winner of the European playoffs.
A further fourth spot may be granted to the fourth placed team in the final league ranking, given that the Bulgarian Cup holder has finished among the top three teams at the end of the season. A total of 67 clubs have competed in the Bulgarian top-tier since its establishment. In the last decade, many teams such as the current champions Ludogorets were introduced for the first time in the league. In 2016–17, Vereya Stara Zagora became the 67th club to participate in the competition. Since 1948, eleven different teams have been crowned champions of Bulgaria; the three most successful clubs are CSKA Sofia with 31 titles, Levski Sofia with 26 titles and Slavia Sofia with 7 titles respectively. The current champions Ludogorets Razgrad won their seventh consecutive title in their seventh First League season in 2017–18; the first football championship of Bulgaria started in 1924 in a knockout format. An attempt to form a league as the top division of the Bulgarian football league system was made in 1937–1940, when the National Football Division was created.
There were 10 teams, once away. The team that finished first in the table became champions; the first season of the A Republican Football Group started in the autumn of 1948. In that season, ten teams participated in the league: Levski, Lokomotiv and Spartak from the capital city Sofia, Botev, Marek and Luybislav; the first football champion of the A Republican Football Group was Levski in 1948–49. The 1949/50 season in the A Group was not completed; the league was stopped after the first fixture. It was decided that the championship of Bulgaria would be played in a spring-autumn cycle as in the Soviet Union. In the autumn of 1949, qualification tournaments were played to determine the teams that would play in the next 1950 season. In the next two seasons the number of teams in the league was increased to 12, for the 1953 season there were 15 teams. In seasons 1954 and 1955 there were 14 teams in the league, in seasons 1956 and 1957 there were 10. In 1958, the championship was again stopped after the spring half-season, as had happened in 1948.
New re-organizations were accepted and the league was again going to be played in the autumn-spring format. Despite the fact that the teams had played just 1 match, CDNA was crowned as the champion of Bulgaria; the frequent changes in the number of teams in A Group continued in the 1960s. In the first two seasons after the reforms in 1958, the number of teams in the league was 12, in the period 1960–1962 – 14, until season 1967/68, when the teams were 16. There were new reforms at the end of the 1960s. There were many mergers between Bulgarian clubs; the most-famous are between CSKA Red Flag and Septemvri Sofia in CSKA September Flag, the capital teams Levski and Spartak in Levski-Spartak and Slavia in Slavia, the Plovdiv teams Botev and Academic in Trakiya. Mergers happened between other Bulgarian clubs too; these mergers between clubs and reforms in A Group where made at the winter break of the 1968/69 season. After the winter reforms in 1968 until 2000, A Group remained with 16 teams, except in seasons 1971/72 and 1972/73, when 18 teams competed in the league.
The Bulgarian Football Union decided to make reforms. The Premier Professional Football League, created in the autumn of 2000, had 14 teams participating in it. At the end of the 2000/01 season, the last two teams were directly relegated to the lower division and the team that finished 12th had the chance to compete in the promotion/relegation play-off for the remaining place in the league. Levski Sofia became champions in the first season of the Premier League. In the 2001/02 season there was experimentation with the regulations; the championship was divided into two phases. In the first phase the teams played a regular season, each team playing twice against all the others, once home and once away; the second phase was a play-off phase. In the following season, 2002/03, the championship returned to the regulations of 2000/01 – 14 teams playing in a home and away format. For the first time in 6 years, CSKA Sofia became champions; the Bulgarian A Professional Football Group was created in 2003. The group was formed by 16 teams, each playing twice against all the others, once home and once away.
In the first season of the newly created A Group, the 2003/04 season, for the first time in history, Lokomotiv Plovdiv became champions, finishing with 75 points. In 2004/05, CSKA Sofia won A Group for the 30th time. For the next two seasons, Levski Sofia were champions
Emil Simeonov Velev is a former Bulgarian footballer and manager. Velev started his career in Levski Sofia. Kokala James, as the fans called him, played for Levski's first team from 1981 until 1989, he became Champion of Bulgaria in 1984, 1985 and 1988. Velev won the Cup of Bulgaria in 1982 and 1984, he registered 176 matches and 22 scores for Levski in the championship, 34 matches and 8 goals for the Cup of Bulgaria. Velev had played for many years with Maccabi Ironi Ashdod F. C. in Israel. In 2002 Velev became an assistant coach of PFC Levski Sofia. Six years Emil became head coach of Levski, after Velislav Vutsov's sacking. Under his guidance, Levski secured a 1–1 away draw against Belarusian FC BATE Borisov in the third qualifying phase of the UEFA Champions League, but this result was insufficient for Levski to progress after the 0–1 home loss in the first game. Velev made an awesome debut in coaching Levski, he debuted as a coach on 17 August 2008 in a game against Botev Plovdiv. Levski won the match 6–0.
However, Velev drew the ire of Levski supporters on a number of occasions in subsequent matches due to what were perceived to be poor tactics and inconsistent player selections. After Levski were eliminated by Slovakian MŠK Žilina, Velev criticized some of the Levski ultras, hinting at their latent alcoholism and drug abuse, condemned what he regarded as their insufficient support during matches. Velev stated that some of his comments had been misconstrued by the media and attempted to mend fences with the Levski supporters, praising them for their passion for the team on a number of occasions, he led the blues to become the Champion of Bulgaria on 31 May 2009 following a 1–1 home draw against Minyor Pernik. All in all, this was attained after a great season under his coaching. Despite the bad results during the autumn part of the season, after great matches in the spring, Levski Sofia fulfilled the initial plan and became a champion for the 26th time, with the last round still to be played.
On 23 July 2009, Velev announced that he had been fired from Levski Sofia, despite the fact that Levski won 9–0 on aggregate against Andorran side UE Sant Julià in the second qualifying round of the 2009–10 UEFA Champions League. In May 2010 it was announced. With Slavia he managed to lead the team to the Final of the Cup. Slavia lost it against CSKA with 1–0; this was the first time since 15 years. The last time when Slavia achieved, in 1996. However, despite the good run in the Bulgarian Cup Slavia recorded a poor performances in the championship. In 11th spot with 15 lost games Velev was relieved of his duties. On 8 November 2011, Velev was announced as the new head coach of Lokomotiv Plovdiv replacing Dragan Kanatlarovski after series of bad results. Velev's contract will be until the end of the season. Velev managed to lead the team to a positive series of results, he started with a few wins and led the team to the Final of the Cup eliminating Levski Sofia at Lauta and Litex Lovech in Lovech in the semifinals making it to the final against Ludogorets.
However Lokomotiv lost the final against Ludogorets but made it to Europa League for the first time since 2005. The Plovdiv side played against Vitesse in the Secound Round of the tournament and were eliminated after a 4-4 draw followed by a 1-3 loss in the Netherlands. In October 2012 Velev was sacked by the new Loko Plovdiv Board. In the late 2012 Velev was appointed as new coach of Lokomotiv Sofia, he managed to avoid relegation and led the team to the semi-finals of the Bulgarian Cup after eliminating CSKA Sofia 1–0 on aggregate. On 5 August 2013, Velev was replaced by Stefan Genov at Lokomotiv Sofia. In June 2014, Velev returned as manager of Lokomotiv Plovdiv, but parted ways with the team in early July 2014. Velev was in charge of Haskovo between October 2014 and March 2015, but resigned after he was unable to pull the team out of the relegation zone. Velev took over as manager of Montana on a contract until the end of the season, he left by mutual consent in May 2016. Velev was appointed as manager of Oborishte Panagyurishte on 17 October 2016 with the sole purpose to avoid relegation to Third League.
He stepped down on 1 June 2017, when his contract expired. As of 21 July 2009, includes all official matches - Bulgarian League, Bulgarian Cup and international tournament games. Champion of Bulgaria 1984, 1985, 1988 Bulgarian Cup 1982, 1984 Champion of Bulgaria 2009 Profile at LevskiSofia.info
Director of football
A director of football is a senior management figure at an association football team most in Europe. The exact nature of the role is unclear and causes much debate in the sports media; the presence of a director of football acts as an intermediary between the manager and the board and may relieve pressure on a manager by handling aspects away from day-to-day coaching, allowing a manager to focus on on-pitch performance. The director may help to stabilise the club – many examples exist of director stepping in as a caretaker manager on the departure of the manager; the director – an experienced football figure – may positively advise a less experienced manager or the board of a less well developed club. In contrast, there are many examples of tensions arising between director and manager due to questions over the remit and powers of the two positions; this had led to many well publicised and highly damaging disputes within clubs. In general, directors of football hold a nominal stake; this is opposed to other members of the board with.
While most common in association football, professional gridiron football teams have a similar director of football operations or vice president of football operations position, who serves as the second in command to the general manager or team president. The level of power and influence in the day-to-day and transfer operations of the club held by a director of football may vary considerably. In some cases, the position may be as a figurehead or as a club ambassador, with transfer dealings, team affairs, squad selection and day-to-day operations handled by the manager and his staff; the position in this case is filled by a former famous player. Bobby Charlton at Manchester United is such an example. In such a case, the role of the director of football is more one of club promotion and marketing than that of actual control over footballing operations. Employing a well-known football personality in such a position may be used to enhance the perceived prestige of the club, improving the club's position in the transfer market.
Tension may arise in this role between manager and director if the director is a figurehead – should the role be filled by a former manager, the presence of that individual within the club may act to undermine the authority of the present manager and act to add pressure during periods of poor performance. The presence of Sir Matt Busby at Manchester United as general manager after retirement is considered to have undermined his immediate successors in the 1970s, despite his retirement from day-to-day club affairs (although he did return to the manager's seat on an interim basis 18 months after his original "retirement". Other well known managers have been promoted to director of football or similar roles, including Ron Greenwood at West Ham United in 1974, when first team duties were handed over to coach John Lyall. However, Greenwood returned to frontline management three years with the England national football team. In January 1994, Lawrie McMenemy returned to Southampton nearly a decade after resigning as manager to become the club's first director of football, a role which he held for more than three years, although the actual management of the team was left to Alan Ball, Dave Merrington and Graeme Souness.
In March 2002, Harry Redknapp stepped down as director of football at Portsmouth after a year in the role to succeed Graham Rix as manager. Appointments in this case are long-term due to the negative reaction of fans to the removal of a former club legend. On occasion, the role has been filled until the death of the director – such as the aforementioned Busby, who remained as a director of Manchester United until his death in January 1994 at the age of 84. Others remain in the role. A notable case is Bob Paisley at Liverpool, who after his retirement as manager in 1983 he was given a seat on the board of directors and held this role until 1992, when at the age of 73 he resigned from the club due to the onset of Alzheimer's disease, four years before his death. In this case, the director of football may be sought by a board – or manager – in order to provide advice or technical assistance on footballing or other aspects that are perceived as lacking or desired by the club; this may be the case where the manager is inexperienced or perceived as naive in a particular aspect, allowing the director to advise against costly errors.
This may be the case where a club in a lesser league or lower division with ambitions to develop further and improve their league position seeks an experienced former manager or director from a more prominent league or club in order to use their experience to further the club. Such an example is that of Giovanni Trapattoni at Red Bull Salzburg or Sven-Göran Eriksson at Notts County. In this case, the tag "director of football" may be dropped in order to prevent the "director" from undermining the present manager by his presence at the club with the person taking up a position such as with the youth academy perceived as subordinate to the manager. Appointments in this case are short term – for between 1/2 seasons – with the director imparting their advice and departing to another club. In other cases, the role of the director of football may include control over transfer dealings and targets and aspects outside coaching and squad selection, which are handled by the manager; the director may oversee all levels of the club – youth to first team – with the manager dedica