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|Full name||Azerbaijan Tractor Sports Club|
|Nickname(s)||The Red Wolves|
|Owner||Mohammad Reza Zonuzi|
|Head Coach||Rasoul Khatibi|
|League||Persian Gulf Pro League|
|2019–20||Persian Gulf Pro League, 4th|
|Tractor's active sections|
Azerbaijan Tractor Cultural Sports Economic Club (Persian: باشگاه فرهنگی ورزشی اقتصادی تراکتور آذربایجان, Bāshgāh-e Farhangi-ye Varzeshi-ye Eqtesādi-ye Terāktur Azerbijan), commonly known as Tractor, formerly Tractor Sazi, is an Iranian football club based in Tabriz, East Azerbaijan, that competes in the Persian Gulf Pro League. The club was founded in 1970 by the Iran Tractor Manufacturing Company.
Since the beginning of the 1996–97 season, Tractor has played its home games at the Sahand which has a seating capacity of 66,833, though it is able to hold more people during important matches. Tractor holds the attendance record for a promoted team in Iranian football when they had an estimated average attendance about 57,000 during the 2009–10 season. The club is owned and supported by the businessman Mohammad Reza Zonuzi since 2018.
Tractor was formed in 1969 in support of the Tractor Manufacturing Company in Tabriz. They played in the Pasargad League for five years until 1975. They finished 1974–75 as the winner of the Pasargard League and were promoted to the Takht Jamshid Cup (now the Iran Pro League). In their first season in the Takht Jamshid Cup, they were in poor form, and as a result they were relegated to the Pasargard League after just one year in the first division. They also lost the Hazfi Cup final to Malavan in the cup's inaugural edition. After their relegation, Hossein Fekri remained as the club's manager and led them to a return to the first division for the 1977–78 season, which they finished in 5th place. In the 1978–79 season, which never finished due to the Iranian Revolution, they were in 8th place with twelve matches played. Their rival at the time was Machine Sazi, who are also based in Tabriz.
In the 1980s the national league was suspended due to the Iran–Iraq War, therefore Tractor were forced to compete in the Tabriz Local Leagues for many years. In the 1986–87 Qods League the East Azerbaijan Provincial team, with a mix of players from Tractor and rivals Machine Sazi, made it to the final, but were defeated in the final by the Isfahan Provincial team.
Romanian coach Vasile Godja was in charge of Tractor's youth teams from 1986. He was also a worker at the Tractor Company and discovered various talents as the B team's coach. He also discovered and trained various talented players like Karim Bargheri, Sirous Dinmohammadi, Alireza Nikmer and Hossein Khatibi which, in time, played for Iran's national team. In 1990, he was promoted to first team coach and led the club in the 1992–93 season, finishing third place in the national competition. Esmail Halali was their star in this period. Under his leadership in 1994, Tractor made the finals of the Hazfi Cup again, this time losing to Bahman in the final, and won the MILLS International cup in India in 1995.
Godja left the team in 1997 after eight years in charge of the club. Mohammad Hossein Ziaei then became the player-coach of Tractor. At this time, notable players of the team started their migration to the other clubs. 1998 to 2001 they finished the league in mid-table.
Iran Pro League
In 2001, IRIFF formed the Iran Pro League as the professional league. The inaugural 2001–02 season under Reza Vatankhah and Mahmoud Yavari's management, saw Tractor relegated to the Azadegan League after the club finished bottom of the league.
Relegation to Azadegan League
Tractor spent seven seasons in the Azadegan League (Iran's second division) and were unable to climb to the Iran Pro League. Tractor qualified for the promotion play-off in the 2006–07 season but lost to Shirin Faraz 4–2. After the appointment of Faraz Kamalvand as the manager before the 2008–09 season, Tractor were promoted to the Iran Pro League for the first time in 8 years.
Return to Pro League
In the 2011–12 season and under Amir Ghalenoei's management, Tractor finished as runners-up, securing a spot for the 2013 AFC Champions League. This was the first time Tractor had qualified for the competition, subsequently qualifying for the 2014 and 2015 editions as well. In July 2012, former S.L. Benfica and Sevilla FC coach, Toni was named as the club's manager. He led the club to a runners up finish in the Iran Pro League.
After a fall out between Oliveira and the club chairman, Oliveira was sacked and Majid Jalali was brought in for the 2013–14 season. After a poor run of results Jalali was fired and Toni returned, almost immediately leading Tractor to a Hazfi Cup Championship, and a place in the 2015 AFC Champions League. They also finished the season in the 6th place, after they defeated Esteghlal 3–1 in the last match at Azadi Stadium. Tractor were also unable to qualify for the knock-out stage of the AFC Champions League for the second consecutive year, after they finished 4th in their group in both the 2013 and 2014 editions. In 2015, Tractor again were eliminated in the group stage of the AFC Champions League for the third straight time.
On 15 May 2015, the final match of the season was played between Tractor and Naft Tehran. The match took place at Sahand Stadium in Tabriz. After communication issues at the stadium, Tractor staff mistakenly thought that Sepahan was losing to Saipa, which would mean Tractor would win the league with a draw. Tractor tied the game, believing that a 3–3 draw with Naft had won them the title. While they were celebrating with their fans on the field, they found out that the actual result of the parallel game was 2–0 for Sepahan and that Sepahan were league champions. Tractor finished as runners-up for the third time, with Amir Ghalenoi in 2012–13 and Toni in 2012–13 and 2014–15.
Midway through the 2015–16 season Tractor head coach Toni was once again sacked and replaced by Amir Ghalenoi. On 24 February 2016 Tractor won their first match of the 2016 AFC Champions League in a 4–0 win against Emirati club Al Jazira. Tractor won the return leg 1–0 on 2 March 2016 in Abu Dhabi as well. After the first two games, Tractor surpassed the most points they ever gained in the AFC Champions League group stage. Tractor qualified for the knock-out stages of the Champions League for the first time in their history on 19 April 2016 after defeating Saudi club Al-Hilal 2–0. Tractor eventually lost in the Round of 16 to Emirati club Al Nasr.
In the 2016–17 season, Tractor defeated Zob Ahan in the semi final of the Hazfi Cup to reach the final against Naft Tehran. In January 2017 it was revealed that Tractor had been suspended from two transfer windows by FIFA due to outstanding debts to former players. This led to the club terminating the contract of Sajjad Shahbazzadeh whom they had signed days earlier.
There are a lot of popular marches for Tractor S.C. but 'Tiraxtur iftixarımız' ('Tractor is our pride'), created and implemented in 2012, was chosen as the official anthem. The table below shows the lyrics of the Tractor fans anthem:.
- Songwriter: Ayyub Shahbazi
- Composer: Gholam Reza Mirzazadeh
- Arrangement: Mohammad Hossein Drablou
- Singer: Esfandiar Garabaghi
ظفر مارشین چالان بیزیک
We are those who plays the victory march,
Violence and racist slogans
In home games, Tractor fans often shout racial insults and calls to violence against the other ethnic groups in Iran, in particular Persians and Kurds. Some supporters also carry the flag of the Republic of Azerbaijan inside the stadium. In a match on November 1, 2019, in response to Turkey's recent military operation against the Syrian Kurds, the ethnic Azerbaijani Tractor fans chanted "Death to Kurds!" throughout the match and carried banners stating "Either Czechoslovakia or Yugoslavia!", in reference to the Yugoslav Wars.
Damage to opponent's stadiums
In some away games, Tractor fans burned the stadium seats and damaged the walls of the stadium. In 2018, they inflicted heavy damage on the Azadi stadium. In 2017, They did damage to Yadegar-e Emam Stadium of Qom.
From its foundation, the team used a red crest. On the exterior circle, the name of the club and the date of its foundation were written. The second crest was white until 2013, when the club changed the colour of the crest to black.
The official matches of the club in Iran Pro League, Hazfi Cup and AFC Champions League are broadcast from Sahand TV (The club's city owned TV station), Varzesh and Shoma channels. Online viewing is also available on the official site of the club and three above TV channels sites. Important matches are also broadcast from IRIB TV3, Jame Jam and SAHAR TV.
The club is owned by the Tractor Manufacturing Company since its establishment in 1970. Since 2011, it has been owned by Kowsar Foundation (51%), with 30% of the club belonging to the East-Azerbaijan Province. In addition, the Iranian Mehr Institute is an affiliate of Kowsar Foundation and other stakeholders and custodians of the club. Kowsar Foundation is part of Sepah Pasdaran – with the club enabling its players to complete their military service. Since 2018, the club has been owned by Mohammad Reza Zonuzi, an Iranian businessman and shareholder.
Persepolis–Tractor rivalry started in 2009 when Tractor returned to first tier of Iranian football league after 8 years and their fans had passion about this event. Mustafa Denizli is one of the club's most popular coaches in this rivalry. In 2019, Tractor defeated Persepolis after more than five years when Denizli was the head coach.
This rivalry started in 2009 and in the past years this rivalry was a bit overwhelmed by violence from both fans. On 10 May 2015, Tractor defeated Esteghlal with 4 goals. On 1 November 2019, they were beaten 4–2 by Esteghlal in Yadegar-e Emam Stadium.
Machine Sazi–Tractor rivalry
Tractor has brotherly relationship with Machine Sazi (another football club from Tabriz). During the 1970s both Tractor and Machine Sazi met regularly in the Takht Jamshid Cup and both teams had some memorable successes in the fixture. Following the creation of the Azadegan League, Machine Sazi and Tractor met twice in the 1996–97 Azadegan League.
Machine Sazi's promotion to the Iran Pro League in 2016 saw fans eagerly anticipating the first league derbies in 7 years.
- As of 1 April 2021
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
- U19 = Under 19 Player
- U21 = Under 21 Player
- U22 = Under 22 Player
- U23 = Under 23 Player
For recent transfers, see List of Iranian football transfers summer 2020.
Tractor played their home matches from 1979 until 1996 in the 20,000 capacity Bagh Shomal Stadium (Takhti Stadium), 1976 AFC Asian Cup stadium. Sahand Stadium (Yadegar-e Emam Stadium) was replaced with Bagh-e Shomal Stadium after it was completed in January 1996. The stadium is the second biggest stadium in Iran with 66,833 seats. The stadium is also part of Tabriz Olympic Complex.
During Sahand Stadium's renovation in 2005 until 2006 years, Bakeri Stadium was the club's home ground in the Azadegan League matches. The stadium has 10,000 capacity.
The results of the club in last 10 years.
The table below chronicles the achievements of Tractor in various competitions.
|1971–72||Local League||4th||Region C|
|1972–73||2nd Division||4th||Group B|
|1975–76||Takht Jamshid Cup||16th||Final||Relegated|
|1976–77||2nd Division||2nd||1/8 Final||Promoted|
|1977–78||Takht Jamshid Cup||5th|
|1978–79||Takht Jamshid Cup||Did not finish|
|1980–81||Tabriz Football League||10th||Relegated|
|1981–82||Tabriz Football League's 2nd Div.||1st||Promoted|
|1982–83||Tabriz Football League||6th|
|1989–90||Qods League||4th||Quarter Finals|
|1990–91||2nd Division||3rd||1/8 Final||Promoted|
|1991–92||Azadegan League||10th||Not held|
|1995–96||2nd Division||2nd||Second Round||Promoted|
|1996–97||Azadegan League||11th||Second Round|
|2001–02||Iran Pro League||14th||Third Round||Relegated|
|2002–03||Azadegan League||3rd||Second Round|
|2006–07||1st||Second Round||Promoted to Play Off|
|2009–10||Persian Gulf Cup||7th||Second Round|
|2012–13||2nd||1/8 Final||Group Stage|
|2014–15||2nd||1/16 Final||Group Stage|
|2015–16||4th||Semi Final||1/8 Final|
|2017–18||10th||Quarter Finals||Group Stage|
|2018–19||5th||Round of 32||Did not qualify|
- Winner (1): 2008–09
- Winner (1): 1992
- Winner (1): 1984–85
- Winner (1): 1981–82
- Winner (1): 1995
- Winner (1): 1995-96
- Winner (2): 1995, 1996
- Winner (2): 2014, 2017
Current coaching staff
|Head coach||Rasoul Khatibi|
|Assistant coaches|| Ali Nikbakht|
|Fitness coach||Hashem Khodadadi|
|Goalkeeper coach||Alin Dincă|
|Analyst|| Ali Mohajer|
Mohammad Reza Tavakoli
|Technical manager||Abbas Chamanyan|
|Team manager||Hassan Azarnia|
|Owner||Mohammad Reza Zonouzi|
|Vice President||Kazem Shahriyari|
|Board chairman||Abbas Elyasi|
|Fans club president||Esmaeil Ghilichkhani|
|Academy manager||Sadegh Pourhossein|
- Updated to May 2017.
|Seasons in Iran 1st Tier League||23|
|Seasons in Iran 2nd Tier League||12|
|Promotions to Iran 1st Tier League||4|
|Participations in the Hazfi Cup||27|
|Participations in Asian competitions||5|
|All-time best position in Iran Pro League||2nd|
Asian Club Championship / AFC Champions League
- Accurate as of 21 January 2019
|AFC Champions League||36||9||9||18||39||52||−13||25.00|
Legend: GF = Goals For. GA = Goals Against. GD = Goal Difference.
|Asian Club Championship / AFC Champions League|
|Round of 16||Al-Nasr||3–1||1–4||4–5|
Top goalscores in ACL
Lists of the players with the most caps and top goalscorers for the club, as of 3 June 2019.Mohammad Ebrahimi is the club's all-time most capped player and top scorer with 31 goals in 180 games. This list includes goals from all competitive matches.
|1||Mohammad Ebrahimi||2009–15, 2016–18||180||31|
|3||Farzad Hatami||2011–12, 2016–2018||83||23|
|10||Karrar Jassim||2009–11, 2016–17||70||13|
|11||Mohammad Nosrati||2009–10, 2010–11, 2012–14||123||12|
|12||Saman Nariman Jahan||2014–2015||43||11|
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- List of winners and runners-ups of the DCM Trophy RSSSF.com. Retrieved 20 April 2021
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