Turkey I Division

First Division. 18 teams in it and still the classic point-system was in use: 2 points for a win, 1 for a tie. One outsider this year, fairly equal bulk, and 5 teams stronger than the rest. Perhaps the most important outcome of this season was negative: the decline of Izmir reached its bottom. Goztepe was already in Second Division and not coming back. Now their city rivals followed them.

Altay (Izmir) was the outsider of championship, finishing last with 21 points. Thus, Izmir was completely out of First Division for the next year.

The other three relegated teams were more or less unlucky – a point or two would have placed them outside relegation zone. Gaziantepspor was 17th with 27 points.

Samsunspor – 16th with 28 points. Standing from left: Naim Anuştekin, Kenan Topçu, Eyüp Gümüş, Adnan Öztekin, Önder Mustafaoğlu, Murat Şimşek.

First row: Tanju Çolak, Emin Kar, Metin Karabulut, Hasan Şengün, Ahmet Usta.

Mersin Idmanyurdu SK was 15th with 29 points – taking this place and relegated only because of worse goal-difference. Mersin, however, distinguished itself this year in few aspects: first, freshly promoted teams were still prime candidates for immediate relegation – 2 of the 4 newcomers went down right away: Samsunspor and Mersin. Second, Mersin scored the least goals in the championship – only 19 in 34 games. The only club scoring less than 20 goals. Third, Mersin was relegated, but also was going to play in the European tournaments. The good, the bad, lucky, unlucky – all in one bag.

Antalyaspor survived, thanks to better goal-difference – lucky 14th. How close were the teams of the bulk of the league? Seven points was the difference between the 6th and the 17th in the final table.

Adanaspor – 10th with 32 points.

Kocaelispor (Izmit) – 9th with 33 points.

Bursaspor – 8th with 33 points.

Ankaragücü SK was at the top of bulk of equal teams: 6th with 34 points. Most of their points came from ties – a league record 18 ties! As a whole, it was almost perfect 50% performace: 8 wins, 8 losses, 38 goals scored, 37 received. Nothing special, playing safe – and high in the final table at the end. It was performances like that triggering the point change around Europe from 2 points for a win to 3 – teams like Ankaragücü already the old system meaningless – why risking, if you could get a point in most matches. Two ties were safer bet than one win. But ties do not make champions and Ankaragücü was 5 points behind the 5th placed.

Besiktas was 5th with 39 points. Lean and disappointing period for one of the big three of Turkish football – once again, not in the race for the title.

Boluspor took the 4th place – a great season for them, even surprising one.

Galatasaray finished with 44 points. Close to the top, but only that. Good only for bronze medals, which for Galatasaray counts only as a disaster.

The title was contested between Trabzonspor and Fenerbahce and was decided by tiny difference – 2 points. Fenerbahce won one game more than their rivals and that was that.

There was no question by now – Trabzonspor was firmly established as the 4th strongest Turkish club, consistently running for the title. They lost it this year, but there was nothing to be ashamed of – the team fought to the end. Standing from left: Güngör, Tuncay, Levent, Lemi, Şenol, Necati

First row:İskender, Dobi Hasan, Osman, Kemal, Turgay .

Fenerbahce prevailed minimally, so it was even sweeter victory. Standing from left: Güngör Tekin, Yaşar Duran, Selçuk Yula, Ibrahim Begovic, Zafer Dinçer, Arif Kocabıyık, Sertaç Olcayto, Sedat Karaoğul, Hasan Özdemir, K.Hasan, Alparslan Eratlı

Crouching: Özcan Kızıltan, Alper, Önder Çakar, Erdoğan Arıca, Müjdat Yetkiner, Can, Suat, Osman Denizci, İsmail, Metin.

18 wins, 13 ties, only 3 lost games. 43 goals scored, 20 received. 49 points. Second-best defensive record – Trabzonspor received fewer goals, 19, and third in scoring – Galatasaray (50) and Besiktas (49) outscored the champions. But where were the top scorers and where was Fenerbahce at the end?

Adding one more trophy to their illustrious collection. Turkish football was getting stronger, yet, foreign players were few – Fenrebahce had one this season, the Yugoslav Ibrahim Begovic – not a famous player. But useful enough in this wonderful season, for Fenerbahce took it all.

Turkey II Division

Turkey, II Division. Four teams were promoted at the end of the season and gradually the lower level of Turkish football was becoming more fierce and competitive – of course, most clubs playing there were practically unknown outside the country, but there were quite a few well known names.

Balikesirspor – a typical lower level Turkish club. Most of Second Division was clubs like that. But there were others too:

Rizespor had some First Division experience. Standing from left: Hasan Fehmi, Bahadır, Mehmet, Refah, Neşat, Hüsnü.

First row: Hüseyin, Muhammet, Erol, Ergün

Eskisehirspor was quit successful only a few years ago.

Goztepe (Izmir) was still one of the most familiar to Europeans Turkish club – it was even surprising to find it in the Second Division. And one expected Goztepe along with Eskisehirspor to be promoted. But they were not. Instead, the winners were a mix bag:

Orduspor, with very little top level experience.

Karagümrük SK (Istanbul), which hardly ever played top level football and, if anything, a glimpse of the depth of Istanbul football – there was much more than Galatasaray, Fenerbahce, and Besiktas.

Gençlerbirligi SK (Ankara), returning to top flight after short exile. The club was never strong, but still was forceful part of Ankara’s attempt to rival Istanbul.

Denizlispor – hardly well known, but with a club with long First Division history.

Good luck to the promoted in the next season, although at least two of them were expected only to try to stay in the league.


Denmark. On the surface – rather routine and thus unremarkable championship. Fairly equal, except for one outsider. But the 1980s already changed the familiar status quo – the newly forged physical and covering the whole field kind of football changed the picture: teams, not known for winning previously, popped up everywhere in Europe, having successful just because all teams became quite the same and there were not particularly outstanding stars making the difference. The collective approach was the great equalizer. One result was the new pointing system, becoming universal in 1982-83 – 3 points for a win and 1 for a tie became the norm. It came as a response to bland and scoreless football – it was also artificial invigoration of the game. But there was no tactical revolution and the spur changed little: a solid collective was capable to neutralize artistic, but less disciplined team – and win at the end. Denmark is hardly the best example, yet, the new reality was present there too. If one looks closely, of course.

KB, B 1909, and Herfølge BK were promoted from Second Division and nothing strange about it – in a country without dominant clubs, ups and downs were normal.

Kolding IF was hopelessly last in the 1st Division with 16 points. B 93 and B 1903 were the other relegated, but they were not exactly outsiders – they just lost a fairly equal race. Yet, this relegation suggested a change – old, traditional clubs, used largely to amateur approach were in decline. Most often financially. Yet, the changes were not overwhelming – Danish clubs were not great and their fate changed from season to season, keeping rather equal championship as a result.

Thus, Køge Boldklub was 10th this year.Top row, from left: Per Møller, læge Søren Thyssen, Arne Rastad, Leif Staun, Torben Bastholm, Lars Olsen, coach Jan Poulsen, Jørgen Sparre.

Middle row: Morten Petersen, Søren Petersen, Per Thomsen, Peter Knudsen, Frank Johansen, Tim Jensen, Erik Rasmussen.

Crouching: Michael Haagensen, Lars Frisch, Jan Olesen, Tommy Sejersen, Søren Grenå Larsen, Claus Bahne Nielsen.

As every other club, Køge had its ups and downs, and no wonder, since there was no Danish club having a cluster of big names and every promising talent moved abroad fast. However, the boys finished with 28 points – 4 points better than the relegated 15th and 8 points worse than the bronze medalists. AGF Aarhus, 3rd this year, lost 10 games – Køge lost 11. In the same time AGF Aarhus had a good chance to win the championship almost to its end – they finished 4 points behind the champions. Consistency decided final positions – and those on top were a mix, illustrating the new football reality: if OB Odense was traditionally stronger club, Lyngby BK was not. But it was Lyngby prevailing at the end.

17 wins, 6 ties, and 7 losses, 63-33 goal-difference and 40 poinst – 2 more than OB Odense. Not a great record, but enough.

Of course, it all depends on one’s standpoint: Lyngby was hardly a great champion and clearly not an emerging powerhouse even domestically. But it was their greatest moment in history – champions for the first time. Instantly the greatest squad, instantly a fantastic achievement. A wonderful victory of the underdog, what could be better even for one, who is not a fan?

The Cup final opposed OB Odense and second division B 1901. Well, in terms of traditional consistency, OB Odense was obviously not giving up. In terms of pure tradition, the old clubs like B 1901 were still resisting the new realities. In terms of new reality, though… one more lower-division club ready to jump on international stage… and deteriorate further the Cup Winners Cup. It was not to be, though: OB Odense easily won the final 3-0.

Happy Cup winners.

A Cup and 2nd place in the championship – the old guard, represented by OB Odense, seemingly was not giving up, making Lyngby’s title incidental. May be ‘the new reality’ was more imagined than real?


Ireland. Changes before the season: Galway Rovers renamed Galway United. Cork United went into bankruptcy and was out. Thurles Town, last in the 1981-82 season, was not re-elected and was out of the league. No new team was elected, so the league was reduced from 16 to 14 teams. There was no Second Division, thus, no direct promotions. The whole Europe was concerned with football becoming too dull and looking for the point instead of the win, so attempts to spur the game into more competitive – and hopefully, more attractive – spirit were starting. Ireland tried a new reward formula the previous year: 4 points for away win, 3 for home win, 2 for away draw, and 1 point for home draw. This was dropped for 1982-83 season and the point system, which eventually became universal, was introduced: 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw. After all that actual football was played. The better known clubs underperformed.

Bohemians finished 4th with 46 points. Shamrock Rovers was further down – 6th with 38 points. Dundalk was 3rd with 48 points. None was a factor this season.

At the bottom, the picture was painfully familiar – Thurles Town was far too weak in generally weak league the previous year. Now it was Home Farm – they finished last with 9 points. University College (Dublin) was hardly much better, but still got 16 points – 5 less than Sligo Rovers, which was also 5 points behind Galway United, which, in its turn, was 6 points behind Waterford. Apart from a race for the 2nd place, won by Drogheda United with 48 points, there was nothing competitive, regardless of the new point system. One team vastly dominated the championship, finishing with 65 points from 20 wins, 5 ties, and a single loss.

Athlone Town was enjoying its strongest period ever and won its 2nd title, after getting its 1st in 1980-81. And the championship was their sole success – the boys also won the League Cup for the second time, beating Dundalk 2-1 at the final. Splendid season.

The Cup Final opposed Bohemians to Sligo Rovers. Bohemians was the obvious winner: they did not have a strong year, but were among the top teams. On the other hand, Sligo Rovers was miserable with only 2 teams weaker than them in the championship. But a Cup final… that is different. Sligo Rovers fought bravely and clinched a 2-1 victory.

In a way, Sligo Rovers had even better reason to celebrate than Athlone Town – they won the Irish Cup for the 1st time. Wonderful success of the underdog.


Cyprus. Same as ever, in a way. Second Division was more interesting:

Ermis (Aradippou) and

Ethnikos (Achna) topped the league and were promoted – both teams never played First Division before, thus, the 1982-83 was the best season in the histories of the winners. They were going to replace APOP (Paphos) – 14th in 1st Division and Olympiakos (Nicosia), 13th. Olympiakos lost the battle for survival on worse goal-difference – Nea Salamina (Famagusta) survived.

A weak season for Apollon (Limassol) – they finished 11th.

A weak season for APOEL too – they were 3rd and did not get even a UEFA Cup spot – it went to Anorthosis (Famagusta), 2nd in the final table. But that was just about all Anorthosis was capable of – with 25 points, they were hardly a title contender, finishing 3 points behind the champions.

As for the champions, there is hardly a need even to mention them. They also reached the Cup final and although Enosi Neon (Paralimni) fought bravely the champions prevailed 2-1.

One more title, one more Cup, one more double… Omonia (Nicosia) dominated Cypriot football since the beginning of 1970s and there was no end to their success. No point even to count their trophies.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland. The only real news was after the end of the season – Newry Town and Carrick Rangers were elected to join the professional league in the next season, increasing it from 12 to 14 teams. The wisdom of that was dubious – FC Bangor was last with 5 points! Yet, without relegation it did not matter at all how weak a team could be. As for how strong… there was no race for the title. Linfield had no rival.

Their 35th title after 15 wins, 5 ties and only 2 matches lost. 43-13 was their scoring record – very impressive defensively. The nearest opponent was 5 points behind.

Which was another club from Belfast – Glentoran. Not much of a rivalry in the championship, but the neighbours also met in the Cup final. The match ended 1-1 and a replay was scheduled. In it Glentoran prevailed 2-1.

The season ended very well for Glentoran – they were no match to Linfield in the long run, but managed to clinch the Cup, which was more than fine: it was their 10th and the first since 1972-73.



Norway. Two directly relegated and one going to promotion-relegation play-off at the bottom of First Division. Correspondingly, the top two of the Second Division moved directly up and the next two went to the promotion-relegation play-off. Molde and Fredrikstad were directly promoted. Stringheim and Pors – the the play-off.

Hamarkameratene was the outsider in the First Division – 12th with 10 points. Mjøndalen – 11th with 17 points. They went directly down. Goal-difference decided 9th and 10th places: Kongsvinger survived, Brann finished 10th and moved to the play-off.

The round-robin promotion-relegation play-off was a bit of a surprise: Pors clearly was not up to the task, but Brann was expected to win. Well, they finished 2nd – Strindheim prevailed thanks to away victory over Pors, which managed to tie the last game, visiting Brann.

Rather unexpected – Brann relegated to the 2nd Division. Third row: Finn Krogh, Bjørn Erik Brandt, Bjørn Dahl, Ingvar Dalhaug, Tore Strand, Kjell Rune Pedersen, Leif Jordal, Trygve Andersen (assistant coach)

Middle row: Rune Enehaug (physio), Anders Giske, Asgeir Kleppa, Geir Andre Johannessen, Arve Mokkelbost (coach), Stein Norstad, Trond Johansen, Jan Kåre Åsebø (team chief)

Front row:Sjur Krogstie, Øyvind Pettersen, Terje Risa, Geir Austvik, Johnny Rolfsvåg, Lars Hjorth, Trond Nordeide, Neil MacLeod.

Amasing achievement of Strindheim – in two years they climbed from 3rd Division to the 1st! Well deserved too.

Up the table, Viking was apparently in decline – they finished 6th. Good season for the little known Eik – 5th. Start finished with bronze medals and 27 points, but they scored the most goals this year – 47. Lillestrøm was 2nd with 28 points – 3 less than the champions.

Valerengen ended at the top with 31 points from 12 wins and 7 ties. They lost only 3 matches. Their strength was defense – 38-17. Four teams outscored them, including the almost relegated Kongsvinger, but none came even to close to the their defensive record – the 2nd best, Start, allowed 27 goals. Valerengen won its first title in 1981 and now they proved it was not just a chancy victory. They even aimed higher, reaching the Cup final, thus, having wonderful chance for a double.

But it was not to be… their opponent, Moss, outplayed them and won 2-0.

Happy winners receiving the Cup.

It was fantastic moment and no wonder the team celebrated on grand scale -Moss, founded in 1906, never won anything so far. It their first success, their first trophy. Truly historic moment.




Malta. The 1982-83 season was remarkable at least for one club. Down the line, it was business as usual – St. Patrick and Birkirkara finished at the top of Second Division and got promotes.

Rather predictably, Zebbug Rangers was the hopeless last in First Division – they got only 2 points from 2 ties, losing all other games; scored pitiful 5 goals, allowing 33 in their own net – to show the inadequacy of their performance, the second worst defensive record, belonging to Rabat Ajax, was 19 goals – but they also the 2nd highest scoring record (20 goals) and finished 3rd. True, the league was tiny – only 8 teams – but still there was a very lowly outsider.

The second relegated team was quite of a surprise: Sliema Wanderers traditionally is one of the most successful Maltese clubs. Relegation is hardly associated with them, but… they finished 7th with 12 points and down they went. Curiously, they finished with positive goal-difference – 14-11 and +3 was actually the second best achievement this season.

Valletta edged Rabat Ajax on better goal-difference (+2 vs +1) and finished with silver, but the truth was the season was dominated by one team and nobody came even close to challenging the leaders.

And what a season they had! 10 wins, 4 ties, and not even a match lost. 24-4 goal-difference. The next team in the final table was 8 points behind.

Hamrun Spartans won their 4th title in grand style. But it was not all – they also reached the Cup final and left no chance to Valletta, beating them 2-0.

This was the 1st Cup Hamrun Spartans won, so it was fantastic season – obviously soaring above the rest, they won their first double, leaving no doubt about their supremacy. And what timing – this was the 75th anniversary of the club. They really marked the occasion with the best season in the club’s history.



Iceland. Fram Reykjavík and KA Akureyri won promotion from Second Division. In the top level there was one amusing thing – ÍB Vestmannæyjar used illegible player in the match with UB Kopavogur, which ended 2-2. The points were awarded to UB Kopavogur with deadly consequences for IBV: the lost point placed them second to last at the end. With it, they would have been safe, but now they were relegated along with ÍB Isafjördur, the last in the table. At the top there was lone favourite – Akranes. The only team to win 2-digit number of games – 10. By a sharp contrast, second-placed KR Reykjavík won only 5 matches, but tied 10 – more than 50% of the total games! So, confident champions.

Akranes also reached the Cup final, where they met ill-fated ÍB Vestmannæyjar and also prevailed – 2-1.

Winning was quite routine for IA Akranes by now – it was their 11th title and 5th Cup, yet this season was special: it was the first double won. Something to remember. Outstanding year.


Albania. Dramatic Cup final between 17 Nentori (Tirana) and Dinamo (Tirana). Both teams won one leg 2-1 and penalty shoot-out decided the winner. It went for a long time, before Dinamo missed a penalty and lost 7-8.

17 Nentori (Tirana) won their 5th Cup.

Meantime Vllaznia (Shkoder) won the championship for 6th time.