The State of Armenian Club Football
May 21, 2019
Armenian Premier League
Most Championships: Pyunik, 14
Last 5 Winners: Alashkert (17/18, 16/17, 15/16), Pyunik (14/15), Banants (13/14)
UEFA Ranking: 44th
Highest Ranked Club: Alashkert, 215th
As a minnow of European Football, what do Armenian fans and teams expect from their European campaigns and what would qualify as a success?
Our clubs are not successful in Europe. For us, the best result is the second round of either competition. However last year FC Pyunik proved that there is a chance to qualify for the Europa League group stage! Maybe not this year, but next 2-3 years for sure we will be!
Our fans always try to be optimistic, but you know, every year same scene!
How much do the fans and teams look forward to European competition?
There is not much interest. Local people prefer the national team matches. But last year when Pyunik reached 3rd Round, the home match against Maccabi was attended by a lot of people (the stadium was nearly full).
Champions League and Europa League matches are necessary for our clubs. As you know for every match they got money and if they win they earn a lot. It’s the best way here to keep the clubs going.
Is there any money in Armenian football?
Not really. Only few two or three clubs have money (as their owners are millionaires, businessmen).
Do most of the country get behind the Armenian sides playing in Europe or is there a lot of tribalism still apparent?
No there is no rivalry between team fans. They always support all clubs together! This season only two clubs have opened their official fan clubs!
How is the EL viewed in general by Armenian football fans?
Of course for our fans and for all of us is very important. As you know we never qualified for the group stage. So every year we are looking forward to more European matches!
How do you think the Europa League 2 will affect Armenian EL performances and what has been the reaction to the formation of the competition in Armenia?
I think EL 2 would be great competition for small countries like ours! I see a lot of positive things:
- Our local players will have a chance to play in Europe. Agents and scouts can notice them
- Clubs, who don’t have enough financial opportunities, will get a chance to earn money
- Another chance to get to a European group stage
What would you like to see UEFA do to level the playing field more for small European sides?
UEFA is doing well. Europe League 2 will be great competition for small countries like Armenia. You know here in Armenia we don’t have enough specialists (sports managers, football specialists and other workers too).
It would be nice if UEFA could arrange seminars, meetings or send his specialists to small countries. I think if we need to develop our football, we need high quality and smart workers.
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Author: Tom Mortimer
Tom is the editor at Betting Circle and has been creating online content for over 10 years. Tom mainly writes about sport and gambling, but every now and then also delves into fleshier subjects like politics and psychology. When he was 18 he created HungarianFootball.com and over the last few years he's written on a freelance basis for ESPN, WorldSoccer, Goal.com, among many others.