The State of Azerbaijani Club Football

May 27, 2019

Written by:

Topaz Premyer Liqası

Founded: 1992

Most Championships: Neftci, 8

Last 5 Winners: Qarabag (18/19, 17/18, 16/17, 15/16, 14/15)

UEFA Ranking: 26th

Highest Ranked Club: Qarabag, 70th

Interview with ex-USSR head Football Manager researcher Marcin Fastyn

Azerbaijani clubs have had some encouraging results in European competitions recently with Neftci making a Europa League group stage once and Qarabag making the EL group stage a number of times and the Champions League group stage once. What is the current state of Azeri football, at the moment?

Well, Azerbaijani football is clearly developing, and teams are achieving better and better results. I believe it’s caused by the country’s development and its wealth rise, so also the local clubs get better invested.

However, these results are more the result of better foreign players being attracted to play there, not the improvement of the local ones, and this probably will not change soon.

What do Azerbaijani fans and teams expect from their European campaigns and what would qualify as a success?

In the European cups, the fans for sure would like the teams to reach the group stage, at least in the Europa League, but the Champions League much more so – everything here depends on the draw, though, of course.

How do you think Europa League 2 will affect the Azerbaijani sides going forward?

The Europa League 2 is very hard to predict right now, how this tournament will look like in reality, and how the teams, fans and sponsors will treat it.

It looks like the best Azeri teams would be able to go really far in this tournament, maybe even fight for the final victory.

Do you think UEFA are doing enough to help the minnows of European football and what can they do to further help them?

As for the UEFA help for the minnows, that’s a very hard and complicated question.

Personally, instead of Europa League 2, I would like to see again an old format of the European Cup, with only the champions being allowed to play, and without the group stage.

Of course, I am absolutely aware, how impossible is it, for many reasons. And in the current circumstances, the minnows are not able to fight with the top due to financial discrepancies which are growing year by year. So giving the minnows a chance to play in EL2 and winning it in the perspective of many years might help to reduce them at least a little.

Interview with ex-USSR head Football Manager researcher Marcin Fastyn

Find all your Champions League betting odds here

A Europa League infographic

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 and over the last few years he's written on a freelance basis for ESPN, WorldSoccer,, among many others.

Twitter @TMortimerFtbl

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