Skonto FC

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Skonto FC
Skonto-FC logo.png
Full nameSkonto Football Club
Founded15 December 1991; 23 years ago (1991-12-15)
as Forums-Skonto
GroundSkonto Stadium, Riga
Ground Capacity10,000
ManagerTamaz Pertia
WebsiteClub home page
Current season
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Skonto FC
Skonto-FC logo.png
Full nameSkonto Football Club
Founded15 December 1991; 23 years ago (1991-12-15)
as Forums-Skonto
GroundSkonto Stadium, Riga
Ground Capacity10,000
ManagerTamaz Pertia
WebsiteClub home page
Current season

Skonto FC is a Latvian football club, founded in 1991. The club plays at the Skonto Stadium in Riga. Skonto won the Virsliga in the first 14 seasons of the league's existence (15 in total), and often provides the core of the Latvia national football team. With those 14 national championships in a row, they set a European record, men and women's football combined,[1] until the women of KÍ Klaksvík won their 14th championship in row in 2013.[2] Despite the financial struggle during the last few years, Skonto is still regarded as the flagship of Latvian and also Baltic football.


Fourteen titles in a row (1991-2004)[edit]

Skonto FC was founded in 1991. Starting from its very beginnings the club won the Latvian championship 14 seasons in a row, and only in 2005 finished second after FK Liepājas Metalurgs. In 2006, Skonto finished third in a close contest with FK Liepājas Metalurgs and FK Ventspils. Skonto FC have won the Latvian Cup on eight occasions, acquiring the Cup most recently in 2012.

Skonto FC was by no means among the favorites in the first years after its establishment, and the champion’s title had to be won in a fierce competition both with FK Olimpija from Liepāja and RAF Jelgava – even then an additional game was required since the regular championship in 1992 was insufficient to determine the winner of the season. In the same 1992 season, Skonto FC made its debut in the Champion’s League by beating the Faroe Islands champions Klaksvíkar Ítróttarfelag. After the season, a coach replacement was made and Aleksandrs Starkovs took over from Marks Zahodins.

For the next 10 years in the domestic league none of their rivals were able to offer significant opposition to Skonto. For two seasons running the team did not lose a single match, surpassing their closest rivals by more than 20 points in the final standings, ensuring the regular title was awarded long before the end of the season.

During the 1998 season, Skonto FC thrashed FK Valmiera 15–2. This saw the highest number of goals scored in a single game in the club's history. During these years Skonto FC players were the source of the Latvian national teamMāris Verpakovskis, Marians Pahars, Aleksandrs Koļinko, Vitālijs Astafjevs, Igors Stepanovs, Imants Bleidelis, Juris Laizāns, Mihails Zemļinskis, Valentīns Lobaņovs, Andrejs Rubins and others played for Skonto, also playing major roles in the national national team, which miraculously managed to qualify for the UEFA Euro 2004 championship in Portugal.

Defender Mihails Zemļinskis has made 252 appearances, the largest number of matches played in the ranks of Skonto FC during the Latvian championships. His 52 games played in the European cups are also the highest number within the team. Mihails Miholaps is the all time top scorer of Skonto FC. He has scored 155 goals in 216 Latvian championship games, and 18 goals in 38 European cup matches. In July 2000 Skonto defender Igors Stepanovs was sold to the English Premier League club Arsenal for a fee around 1 million £. In January 2001 midfielder Juris Laizāns joined the Russian Premier League side CSKA Moscow for £1,57 million, which is up to date the highest ever transfer fee received by a Latvian club.

The first major victory for Skonto FC players in the European cups was gained in 1994, when they defeated the Scottish club Aberdeen, the former European Super Cup winners. Also, in 1999 they managed a 0–0 draw at home with Chelsea in a UEFA Champions League qualifier (but lost the tie 3–0 on aggregate). Skonto FC also played against Spanish Barcelona and Italian Internazionale.

An exciting battle for the Latvian championship title was seen again in the 2001 season when Skonto FC had a two-point deficit before the final round to the leading team FK Ventspils, and they had to face a tough game in Liepāja against FK Liepājas Metalurgs – a team which also had hopes of becoming champions. FK Ventspils players couldn't withstand the strain, whereas Skonto FC showed the spirit of champions and won again.

End of the winners' era (2005-2009)[edit]

Starting from 2005 Liepājas Metalurgs and FK Ventspils were in a close pursuit of Skonto, with their attempts proving to be successful. It has to be noted that in 2004, the head coach Aleksandrs Starkovs – one of the essential pillars of the club – left Skonto FC by accepting a proposal to work at Spartak Moskva, that time champions of Russia.[3] The leadership of the team was entrusted to Jurijs Andrejevs, his long-term assistant, but after the loss against FK Rabotnički, of the Republic of Macedonia, Skopje in the UEFA Champions League qualification tournament, he resigned from the post. Jurijs Andrejevs was replaced by Paul Ashworth, who had previously worked with FK Ventspils and FK Rīga in the Latvian Higher League and FC Rostov in the Russian Premier League.[4]

Champions again (2010)[edit]

On 8 July 2010, Skonto lost in the Europa League first qualifying round to the Northern Irish club Portadown. In the first leg Skonto drew 1–1 away from home after an equaliser in injury time. They lost 1–0 at home and went out to a team who hadn't won a European tie in 36 years.[5] Consolation came later in the season, when Skonto drew 2–2 at home to win the Latvian Higher League title for the first time since 2004. It was yet again done under the management of Aleksandrs Starkovs.[6]

Recent years and financial crisis (2011-)[edit]

In 2012 founder of the club and long-term president Guntis Indriksons left the post, as it was incompatible with the president's post of the Latvian Football Federation according to the newly established rules.[7] Former player Vladimirs Koļesņičenko took over and, furthermore, the club's manager Marians Pahars accepted an offer to become the head coach of Latvia national U-21 football team.[8] In 2012 Skonto won the Latvian Cup for the first time since 2002 and guaranteed themselves a spot in the first qualifying round of 2013–14 UEFA Europa League, even though this was later succeeded once again following the league achievements in 2012.[9]

In 2013 Georgian manager Tamaz Pertia took over and under his management Skonto went on playing without a single loss for 26 matches out of the league's 27 regular games.[10] Run down by injuries with a short amount of reserves, they were defeated by FK Jelgava in the last round of the tournament losing the title to FK Ventspils.[11] Skonto participated considerably well in the 2013-14 UEFA Europa League matches, beating Moldovan FC Tiraspol on aggregate in the first round and being close to knock out the Czech club Slovan Liberec, which later went on to reach Round of 32 of the tournament.[12] In-mid summer Skonto were struck by severe financial problems as their sponsors ended the sponsorship program due to their own financial difficulties. This lead to a major loss of income and long-term delays of salaries and other payments.

Before the start of the 2014 season Skonto, initially, were refused the A License necessary to play in the Latvian Higher League due to their long-term debts. However, the license was later obtained after a successful process of appellation.[13] Sanctions followed from the UEFA, with Skonto being disqualified from the 2014-15 UEFA Europa League, a place in which the club had previously secured due to success in the previous year's championship.[14] On 30 May 2014 Latvian Football Federation issued a ban for Skonto to register new players during the summer transfer window until all the debts would have been cleared.[15] On 6 July due to a long-term non-payment of salaries Skonto players refused to play the away match against FK Liepāja and the club suffered a 3–0 technical loss.[16] On 14 July club's president Vladimirs Koļesņičenko announced his resignation and the club was taken over by Igors Zaicevs.[17] On 2 September due to non-fulfillment of liabilities in the prescribed terms, LFF took away three points in the championship table, but on 17 September this penalty was reduced to just one point.[18] On 14 October it was announced that Latvia's State Revenue Service had suspended the club's economic activity, with a possibility for an appellation to be submitted within a period of one month.[19] A day later additional four points were taken away in the tournament table, with Skonto losing even a theoretical chance to win the 2014 championship.[20] The same day Skonto announced the resignation of its president Igors Zaicevs, but the club was still considering the option to submit an appellation to the State Revenue Service.[21] In November 2014 it was announced that Skonto had finally cleared its debts with that time and previous players, still being indebted to the State Revenue Service.[22]


Skonto play their home matches at the Skonto Stadium, which is also the home ground for Latvia national football team. The stadium was opened in 2000 and has a capacity of 10,000 people. Besides regular football matches this stadium has also hosted concerts of worldwide superstars like Depeche Mode, Massive Attack, Aerosmith and Metallica. The attendance of the last two was 32,000 and 33,000 people respectively. Skonto stadium is also the venue of Latvian Song and Dance Festival that takes place every five years. The record attendance in regards to a football match was reached on 15 November 2003, when Latvia beat Turkey 1–0 in the UEFA Euro 2004 qualification play-offs match and the game was attended by 9,500 spectators.[23]




General sponsors


Kit manufacturer

Germany Jako

Other sponsors

Latvia City Real Estate
Latvia Sportland
Latvia Sigmen
Latvia Alfastar
Latvia Bonmark Tipogrāfija
Latvia Ķeizarmežs
Latvia Bērnu Futbola Attīstības centrs
Latvia Canon serviss
Latvia Skonto Metāls
Latvia Venden
Latvia BETA Tirdniecības Grupa
Latvia H-side Skonto fanu klubs
Russia SA Football agency

Players and staff[edit]

First team squad[edit]

Entry for the 2014 Latvian Higher League season, according to[24]

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

1LatviaGKDmitrijs Grigorjevs
2LatviaDFVladislavs Gabovs (Captain)
4LatviaDFVladislavs Kuzmins
5LatviaDFŅikita Bērenfelds
7LatviaDFArtjoms Osipovs
8LatviaMFRitvars Rugins
9LatviaFWŅikita Ivanovs
10LatviaMFNorberts Sovers
11LatviaDFEdgars Jermolajevs
12LatviaFWVladislavs Gutkovskis
13Georgia (country)MFIrakli Klimiashvili
14LatviaMFJānis Grīnbergs
15GhanaDFOfosu Appiah
16LatviaMFArtūrs Strazdiņš
17LatviaFWĒriks Šilings
18LatviaDFDāvis Sandis Strods
19LatviaDFVjačeslavs Isajevs
22LatviaFWJegors Morozs
23LatviaMFViktors Morozs
27Georgia (country)DFLasha Dvali
32LatviaGKAndrejs Pavlovs

For recent squad changes see: List of Latvian football transfers winter 2013-14 and List of Latvian football transfers summer 2014

Reserves squad[edit]

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

LatviaGKArtūrs Rudzītis
LatviaGKRomāns Pevcovs
LatviaDFVladislavs Sorokins
LatviaDFRendijs Šibass
LatviaDFDaniels Balodis
LatviaDFMaksims Volkoveckis
RussiaDFVadim Borovikov
LatviaDFAleksandrs Smirnovs
LatviaMFMareks Labanovskis
LatviaMFArturs Mihaļevičs
LatviaMFRoberts Uldriķis
LatviaMFArtūrs Biders
LatviaMFMaksims Petuhovs
LithuaniaMFArtiom Goncarenko
LatviaMFŅikita Jankovskis
LatviaMFVladislavs Pliska
LatviaMFSergejs Usovs
LatviaMFAleksejs Saveļjevs
LatviaFWVladislavs Davidenkovs
LatviaFWIgors Kovaļkovs

International players[edit]

  • Latvia Ņikita Bērenfelds (U-21)
  • Latvia Vladislavs Gutkovskis (U-21)
  • Latvia Vjačeslavs Isajevs (U-21)
  • Latvia Edgars Jermolajevs (U-21)
  • Latvia Vladislavs Sorokins (U-19)
  • Latvia Dāvis Sandis Strods (U-19)
  • Lithuania Artiom Goncarenko (U-17)

Foreign players[edit]

Non-EU Nationals

  • Ghana Ofosu Appiah
  • Russia Vadim Borovikov

EU Nationals


ChairmanLatvia Vacant
DirectorLatvia Askolds Uldriķis
Technical directorLatvia Genādijs Karavajevs
ManagerGeorgia (country) Tamaz Pertia
Assistant managerLatvia Mihails Miholaps
Assistant managerLatvia Andrejs Kiriļins
Reserves managerLatvia Aleksejs Šarando
PhysiotherapistLatvia Deniss Bočkovs
Press secretaryLatvia Uldis Strautmanis

Notable former players[edit]

Player of the season (since 2010)[edit]

2010Latvia Kaspars Dubra
2011Latvia Igors Tarasovs
2012Not specified
2013Lithuania Paulius Grybauskas
2014Latvia Vladislavs Gutkovskis


Latvia Marks Zahodins1991–922 league titles, 1 Latvian Football Cup
Latvia Aleksandrs StarkovsJuly 1, 1993–04, Jan 1, 2010–Dec 31, 201012 league titles, 6 Latvian Football Cups
Latvia Jurijs Andrejevs2004–051 league title
England Paul Ashworth2005–Dec 31, 2009
Latvia Marians PaharsJan 1, 2011–Dec 31, 20121 Baltic League title, 1 Latvian Football Cup
Georgia (country) Tamaz PertiaJan 1, 2013–

League and Cup history[edit]

Latvian SSR[edit]

SeasonDivision (Name)Pos./TeamsPl.WDLGSGAPLatvian Football CupTop Scorer (League)Head Coach
19911st (Latvian SSR Higher League)1/(20)362952831563Runner-upLatvia Marks Zahodins


SeasonDivision (Name)Pos./TeamsPl.WDLGSGAPLatvian Football CupTop Scorer (League)Head Coach
19921st (Virsliga)1/(12)241822511038WinnerLatvia Aleksejs Semjonovs – 12Latvia Marks Zahodins
19931st (Virsliga)1/(10)181701637341/2 finalsLatvia Aleksandrs Jeļisejevs – 19Latvia Aleksandrs Starkovs
19941st (Virsliga)1/(12)222020769421/4 finalsLatvia Vladimirs Babičevs – 14Latvia Aleksandrs Starkovs
19951st (Virsliga)1/(10)282530991578WinnerLatvia Vitālijs Astafjevs – 15Latvia Aleksandrs Starkovs
19961st (Virsliga)1/(10)282341981273Runner-upUkraine Aleksandr Pindeyev – 17Latvia Aleksandrs Starkovs
19971st (Virsliga)1/(9)24204089864WinnerGeorgia (country) David Chaladze – 25Latvia Aleksandrs Starkovs
19981st (Virsliga)1/(8)282143982767WinnerLatvia Mihails Miholaps – 20Latvia Aleksandrs Starkovs
19991st (Virsliga)1/(8)282305881569Runner-upGeorgia (country) David Chaladze – 16Latvia Aleksandrs Starkovs
20001st (Virsliga)1/(8)282431861075WinnerLatvia Vladimirs Koļesņičenko – 17Latvia Aleksandrs Starkovs
20011st (Virsliga)1/(8)282224942668WinnerLatvia Mihails Miholaps – 24Latvia Aleksandrs Starkovs
20021st (Virsliga)1/(8)282341951973WinnerLatvia Mihails Miholaps – 23Latvia Aleksandrs Starkovs
20031st (Virsliga)1/(8)28234191973Runner-upLatvia Māris Verpakovskis – 22Latvia Aleksandrs Starkovs
20041st (Virsliga)1/(8)2822336518691/2 finalsLatvia Mihails Miholaps – 16Latvia Aleksandrs Starkovs / Latvia Jurijs Andrejevs
20051st (Virsliga)2/(8)2822518519711/2 finalsLatvia Gatis Kalniņš – 15Latvia Jurijs Andrejevs / England Paul Ashworth
20061st (Virsliga)3/(8)281666552154Runner-upLatvia Mihails Miholaps – 15England Paul Ashworth
20071st (Virsliga)4/(8)2816755427551/2 finalsLatvia Astafjevs / Latvia Blanks / Latvia Višņakovs – 7England Paul Ashworth
20081st (Virsliga)3/(10)2815754331711/2 finalsGeorgia (country) Vladimir Dvalishvili – 9England Paul Ashworth
20091st (Virsliga)3/(9)322345983073Not HeldLatvia Ivans Lukjanovs – 14England Paul Ashworth / Latvia Aleksandrs Starkovs
20101st (Virsliga)1/(10)2722328616691/2 finalsBrazil Nathan Júnior – 18Latvia Aleksandrs Starkovs
20111st (Virsliga)4/(9)3217966221601/4 finalsBrazil Nathan Júnior – 22Latvia Marian Pahars
20121st (Virsliga)2/(10)3621114582274WinnerLatvia Šabala / Lithuania Labukas – 11Latvia Marian Pahars
20131st (Virsliga)2/(10)2718816811621/4 finalsLatvia Artūrs Karašausks – 16Georgia (country) Tamaz Pertia
20141st (Virsliga)2/(10)3625110773471Runner-upLatvia Vladislavs Gutkovskis – 28Georgia (country) Tamaz Pertia

Europe record[edit]

1992–93UEFA Champions LeaguePRFaroe IslandsKÍ Klaksvík3–03–16–1Symbol keep vote.svg
1PolandLech Poznań0–00–20–2Symbol delete vote.svg
1993–94UEFA Champions LeaguePRSloveniaOlimpija Ljubljana0–11–01–1 (11–10 p)Symbol keep vote.svg
1RussiaSpartak Moskva0–50–40–9Symbol delete vote.svg
1994–95UEFA CupPrRScotlandAberdeen0–01–11–1 (a)Symbol keep vote.svg
1ItalyNapoli0–10–20–3Symbol delete vote.svg
1995–96UEFA CupPrRSloveniaMaribor0–21–01–2Symbol delete vote.svg
1996–97UEFA CupPrRWalesNewtown3–04–17–1Symbol keep vote.svg
QRSwedenMalmö FF1–10–31–4Symbol delete vote.svg
1997–98UEFA Champions League1QRMaltaValletta2–00–12–1Symbol keep vote.svg
2QRSpainBarcelona0–12–32–4Symbol delete vote.svg
1997–98UEFA Cup1SpainReal Valladolid1–00–21–2Symbol delete vote.svg
1998–99UEFA Champions League1QRBelarusDinamo Minsk0–02–12–1Symbol keep vote.svg
2QRItalyInternazionale1–30–41–7Symbol delete vote.svg
1998–99UEFA Cup1RussiaDynamo Moscow2–32–24–5Symbol delete vote.svg
1999–00UEFA Champions League1QRLuxembourgJeunesse Esch8–02–010–0Symbol keep vote.svg
2QRRomaniaRapid București2–13–35–4Symbol keep vote.svg
3QREnglandChelsea0–00–30–3Symbol delete vote.svg
1999–00UEFA Cup1PolandWidzew Łódź1–00–21–2Symbol delete vote.svg
2000–01UEFA Champions League1QRAzerbaijanShamkir FK2–11–43–5Symbol delete vote.svg
2001–02UEFA Champions League1QRLuxembourgF91 Dudelange0–16–16–2Symbol keep vote.svg
2QRPolandWisła Kraków0–11–21–3Symbol delete vote.svg
2002–03UEFA Champions League1QRWalesBarry Town1–05–06–0Symbol keep vote.svg
2QRBulgariaLevski Sofia0–20–00–2Symbol delete vote.svg
2003–04UEFA Champions League1QRMaltaSliema Wanderers3–10–23–3 (a)Symbol delete vote.svg
2004–05UEFA Champions League1QRWalesRhyl4–03–17–1Symbol keep vote.svg
2QRTurkeyTrabzonspor0–31–11–4Symbol delete vote.svg
2005–06UEFA Champions League1QRRepublic of MacedoniaFK Rabotnički1–00–61–6Symbol delete vote.svg
2006–07UEFA Cup1QRLuxembourgJeunesse Esch3–02–05–0Symbol keep vote.svg
2QRNorwayMolde1–20–01–2Symbol delete vote.svg
2007–08UEFA Cup1QRBelarusDinamo Minsk0–21–11–3Symbol delete vote.svg
2009–10UEFA Europa League2QRRepublic of IrelandDerry City1–10–11–2Symbol delete vote.svg
2010–11UEFA Europa League1QRNorthern IrelandPortadown0–11–11–2Symbol delete vote.svg
2011–12UEFA Champions League2QRPolandWisła Kraków0–10–20–3Symbol delete vote.svg
2012–13UEFA Europa League2QRCroatiaHajduk Split1–00–21–2Symbol delete vote.svg
2013–14UEFA Europa League1QRMoldovaTiraspol0–11–01–1 (4–2 p.)Symbol keep vote.svg
2QRCzech RepublicSlovan Liberec2–10–12–2 (a)Symbol delete vote.svg
2014–15UEFA Europa League1QRDSQDSQDSQDSQDSQ*Symbol delete vote.svg

*Skonto FC were disqualified by UEFA due to long-term debts, not cleared in the restricted term

UEFA Team ranking 2014/15[edit]

341MontenegroFK Zeta3.125
343LatviaSkonto FC3.100
344LatviaFK Liepājas Metalurgs3.100
345WalesBangor City3.075


  1. ^ "KÍ maintain Faroe Islands monopoly". UEFA. 14 October 2011. Retrieved 14 October 2011. European record, set by Latvia's Skonto FC between 1991 and 2004 
  2. ^ "KÍ er føroyameistari" (in Faroese). 12 October 2013. Retrieved 14 October 2013. KÍ-kvinnurnar settu eina tjúkka striku undir sítt 14. føroyameistaraheiti á rað, tá tær í dag vunnu 9-0 á ÍF í Fuglafirði. 
  3. ^ "Starkovs trenēs Maskavas Spartak". 2004-08-31. Retrieved 2014-10-08. 
  4. ^ ""Skonto" trenēs Ešvorts". 2005-07-16. Retrieved 2014-10-08. 
  5. ^ "Skonto zaudē Portadown un izstājas no UEFA Eiropas līgas turnīra". 2010-07-08. Retrieved 2014-10-08. 
  6. ^ "Skonto - 2010. gada LMT Virslīgas čempions futbolā". 2010-10-31. Retrieved 2014-10-08. 
  7. ^ "Indriksons pamet "Skonto" kluba prezidenta amatu". 2012-02-26. Retrieved 2014-10-08. 
  8. ^ "Pahars kļūst par U-21 izlases galveno treneri". 2012-12-21. Retrieved 2014-10-08. 
  9. ^ "Latvijas kausu iegūst ,,Skonto FC". 2012-05-12. Retrieved 2014-10-08. 
  10. ^ "Iepriekš uz mūžu diskvalificētais Pertija kļuvis par Skonto galveno treneri". 2012-12-22. Retrieved 2014-10-08. 
  11. ^ ""Ventspils" uzvar Rīgā un kļūst par Latvijas čempioni". 2013-11-09. Retrieved 2014-10-08. 
  12. ^ "Skonto spēlē teicami, gūst skaistus vārtus un pieveic Slovan". 2013-07-18. Retrieved 2014-10-08. 
  13. ^ "«Skonto» un Daugavpils «Daugava» saņem licences startam virslīgā". 2014-03-21. Retrieved 2014-10-08. 
  14. ^ "UEFA diskvalificē «Skonto» no Eiropas līgas turnīra". 2014-04-05. Retrieved 2014-10-08. 
  15. ^ "«Skonto» tiks piemērots aizliegums reģistrēt jaunus futbolistus". 2014-05-30. Retrieved 2014-10-08. 
  16. ^ "«Skonto» tiek ieskaitīts tehniskais zaudējums un piemērota soda nauda". 2014-07-09. Retrieved 2014-10-08. 
  17. ^ "Koļesņičenko pametis «Skonto» prezidenta amatu". 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2014-10-08. 
  18. ^ "LFF Apelāciju komisija 'Skonto' un 'Jūrmalas' sodu samazina līdz vienam punktam". 2014-09-17. Retrieved 2014-10-08. 
  19. ^ "Apturēta "Skonto" saimnieciskā darbība". 2014-10-14. Retrieved 2014-10-18. 
  20. ^ ""Skonto" un "Jūrmalai" atņemti vēl četri punkti, intriga Virslīgā izplēn". 2014-10-15. Retrieved 2014-10-18. 
  21. ^ ""Skonto" apsver apelācijas iesniegšanu, Zaicevs vakar atkāpies no amata". 2014-10-15. Retrieved 2014-10-18. 
  22. ^ "Uldriķis: "Spēlētāju uzticība tika atalgota ar divu gadu parādu atdošanu"". 2014-11-26. Retrieved 2014-11-27. 
  23. ^ "Skonto stadions". Retrieved 2014-10-08. 
  24. ^ "Skonto FC - Latvijas futbola federācija". Retrieved 2014-10-08. 

External links[edit]