Full Name: Persepolis Tehran FC
Nickname: The Reds
Founded: December 1963
Home Ground: Azadi Stadium
Manager: Hamid Estili
League Winners: 1971-72, 1973-74, 1975-76, 1995-96, 1996-97, 1998-99, 1999-2000, 2001-02, 2007-08
League Runner-Up: 1974-75, 1976-77, 1977-78, 1989-90, 1992-93, 1993-94, 2000-01
Hazfi Cup Winners: 1987-88, 1990-91, 1998-99, 2009-10, 2010-11
Hazfi Cup Runner-Up: 2005-06
Persepolis FC , according to the AFC, is one of the most popular football teams in Asia. The team was founded by Ali Abdo, a profesional boxer, in 1963. Abdo was looking to make an investment and create a multi-cultural sports team (basketball, football, volleyball, and bowling).
In the late 60′s the team started to gain a lot of popularity amongst Iranian football fans and became one of the most popular teams in the nation. This popularity created a major rivalry with the other Tehran based team with a very large fan base, Taj (now known as Esteghlal).
Big name players such as Hossein Kalani, Homayoun Behzadi, Safar Iranpak, and Ali Parvin were few amongst many players who played a key role in the team sustaining itself as a top team in Iran. To go along with these big name players, Persepolis officials brought in Alan Rogers who help guide the team to their first few league titles. Rogers resigned in 1974, and Persepolis officials were after a world class manager, which they did a fine job of doing. Persepolis decided to bring in former Manchester United, Cardiff City, and Leicester City manager Frank O’Farrell. Under O’Farrell, Persepolis won another league title in 1975-76.
During the Iranian revolution and throughout the 1980′s, Persepolis struggled to survive under rough conditions. The premier league fell and club teams competed in local leagues. Owner Ali Abdou returned to the United States and the club was taken over by the Physical Education Department. In 1981, the department tried to change the name but the clubs fans, players, and officials resisted, amd therfore the name remained as Persepolis.
In 1987, again, the Physicaly Education Department tried to change the name, and this time was successful (changed the name to piroozi). However, the club is still known as Persepolis amongst fans and officials. In the 80′s the team played in what was known as the Tehran league. Persepolis dominated the league, and retained its appreciation amongst its fans as they did not fail to disappoint.
The 1990′s saw Persepolis have what is disputeably their best decade in histroy. They won 4 league championships and 2 hazfi cups. Again, history repeated itself when Persepolis provided the national team with key players such as Ahmadreza Abedzadeh, Khodadad Azizi, Mehdi Mahdavikia, Ali Daie, Mehrdad Minavand, Karim Bagheri, and Ali Karimi.
In 2001, the Premier League was back and Persepolis was looking to make a statement and prove that they were still the team to beat in Iran. They won the title that season, however, only managed to win one more title(2007-08) to date.