Malavan Bandar Anzali Football Club (Persian: باشگاه فوتبال ملوان بندر انزلى) is an Iranian football club based in Bandar-e Anzali, Iran. It currently plays in Iran's second football league, the Azadegan League after they were relegated in 2015–16 season. The team is known to have some of the most passionate fans in Iranian football, and is one of the successful teams that is not based in Tehran. This team is one of the most proud Iranian teams in the Hazfi Cup . The Malavan has entered the 7th Hazfi Cup finals and has 3 Hazfi Cup wins. Fans also believe that the Hazfi Cup in 2011 was taken out of the Malavan nest to Persepolis FC.
|Full name||Malavan Bandar Anzali Football Club|
|Nickname(s)||Ghou-ye Sepid (White Swan قوي سپيد)|
|Founded||1969; 50 years ago|
|Owner||Maziar Zare & Pejman Nouri|
|2018–19||Azadegan League, 11th|
The club never really had great success in the league but they were able to become the best non-Tehran based club and finishing third in the 1977 and 1989. Malavan has won the Hazfi Cup on 3 occasions. In 1988 Malavan participated in Asian Club Championship but after beating Saunders SC in first round they withdrew from tournament due to the Iran–Iraq War.
Iran Pro League
In 2003 Malavan was relegated to the Azadegan League, they only stayed one year in the lower league as they were immediately promoted back to the Iran Pro League. Since then, they have been one of the most stable teams of the league in recent years where they only had few coaches during their history and always finished in mid table and challenge the big teams. They finished 12th in the 2008–09 and 2009–10 season. In 2010–11 season they finished 8th and reached the final of Hazfi Cup but lost to Persepolis. In the 2013–14 Iran Pro League season Malavan achieved a surprising 7th-place finish in the league, their highest ever.
In July 2015 Malavan hired famous Iranian coach Amir Ghalenoi who had won several league titles with Esteghlal and Sepahan. Player such as Arash Afshin, Hossein Mahini and Shahab Karami joined the squad to serve their conscription period. In Ghalenoi's first game in charge, Malavan defeated the Hazfi Cup holders, Zob Ahan 1–0. After only three games Ghalenoi left the club and was replaced by former Persepolis manager Hamid Estili.
Before the start of the 2016–17 season it was announced that controversial manager Mohammad Mayeli Kohan had been named Malavan's manager. Despite achieving good results and being in or near a promotion spot the entire season, Mayeli Kohan was involved in several confrontations with the supporters, which led to many supporters boycotting the team's games.
The match between Malavan and Damash or Sepidrood is known as the Gilan Derby or El Gilano. This match is one of Iran's most important and heated derby's. Malavan hold the record for most wins in the derby with four since the start of the Iran Pro League in 2001. Malavan also holds the largest margin of victor when they defeated Damash 3–0 in 2005 and again in 2013. The derby is also known for its fan violence.
Malavan fans are among Iran's most passionate and loyal fans. People's daily life is tied with Malavan matches . Most businesses are closed during Malavan games.
The table below chronicles the achievements of Malavan in various competitions since the beginning of Iranian Pro league in 2001.
|2001–02||Pro League||12th||1/8 Final|
|2004–05||Pro League||7th||1/8 Final|
|2005–06||Pro League||11th||Quarter final|
|2006–07||Pro League||14th||1/8 Final|
|2007–08||Pro League||16th||1/16 Final|
|2008–09||Pro League||12th||1/8 Final|
|2009–10||Pro League||12th||1/8 Final|
|2011–12||Pro League||15th||Fourth Round|
|2012–13||Pro League||13th||1/16 Final|
|2013–14||Pro League||7th||1/8 Final|
|2014–15||Pro League||13th||1/16 Final|
|2016–17||Azadegan League||4th||1/8 Final|
|2017–18||Azadegan League||6th||1/8 Final|
For details on seasons, see List of Malavan F.C. seasons
Top scorers of the club in the Iran Pro League era, bold indicates present player.
Current coaching staff
Below is a list of Malavan coaches from 1968 until the present day. Firouz Karimi carries the honor of being the first Iranian head coach to assume the title without rising from the Malavan football school.