Swiss Super League
The Swiss Super League (known as the Credit Suisse Super League for sponsorship reasons) is a Swiss professional league in the top tier of the Swiss football league system and has been played in its current format since the 2003–04 season. As of October 2019 the Swiss Super League is ranked 20th in Europe according to UEFA's ranking of league coefficients, which is based upon Swiss team performances in European competitions.
|Founded||1898 as Swiss Serie A|
1933 as Nationalliga A
|Number of teams||10|
|Level on pyramid||1|
|Relegation to||Challenge League|
|Domestic cup(s)||Swiss Cup|
|International cup(s)||UEFA Champions League|
UEFA Europa Conference League
|Current champions||Young Boys (15th title) |
|Most championships||Grasshopper (27 titles)|
|TV partners||Teleclub Sport|
|Current: 2021–22 Swiss Super League|
The Super League is played over 36 rounds from the end of July to May, with a winter break from mid-December to the first week of February. Each team plays each other four times, twice at home and twice away, in a round-robin.
As teams from both Switzerland and Liechtenstein participate in the Swiss football leagues, only a Swiss club finishing in first place will be crowned champion—should a team from Liechtenstein win, this honor will go to the highest-placed Swiss team. Relative to their league coefficient ranking the highest-placed teams will compete in UEFA competitions—again with exception of teams from Liechtenstein, who qualify through the Liechtenstein Cup. The bottom team will be relegated to the Challenge League and replaced by the respective champion for the next season. The club finishing in 9th place will compete against the second-placed team of the Challenge League in a relegation play-off over two games, home and away, for a spot in the succeeding tournament.
Matches in the Super League employ the use of a video assistant referee.
|1930–31||1. Liga||1e Ligue||Prima Lega|
|1931–44||Nationalliga||Ligue Nationale||Lega Nazionale|
|1933||Challenge National||Challenge National|
|1944–2003||Nationalliga A||Ligue Nationale A||Lega Nazionale A|
Serie A era
The Swiss Football Association was founded in 1895, but were initially unable to organize an annual competition, citing the teams' travel costs. The first inofficial championship, competed for the Ruinart Cup, was organized by Genevan newspaper La Suisse sportive as a response in 1897. It was mainly contested by teams from the French-speaking area, with the exception of FC Zürich and Grasshopper Club Zürich, the latter of which eventually won the tournament. The inaugural official championship was therefore organized for the following season, in 1898–99, and won by Anglo-American Club against Old Boys Basel. It was, however, only competed by Swiss-German teams (with the exception of a team from Neuchâtel) until 1900, due to a dispute about playing on Sundays.
Teams from the canton of Zürich continued to dominate the league until 1907–08, with Grasshoppers winning a further three, FC Winterthur winning two, and FC Zürich winning a single title. Other champions from that time included Servette, St. Gallen, and Young Boys, who subsequently also won three in a row from 1908–1911. Over the next decade, FC Aarau, Montriond LS (now Lausanne-Sport), SC Brühl, and Cantonal Neuchâtel FC each won their first title as nobody managed to monopolize the league. During the 1920s and 1930s, championships were achieved almost exclusively by modern Super League regulars, namely Grasshoppers, Servette, Zürich, Young Boys, Lausanne-Sport, and FC Lugano. FC Bern was the exception in 1923; however, their championship was denied after the use of an unauthorized player.
The league was reformed into the Nationalliga in 1931 and initially changed from three regional groups to two groups with 9 teams each. The league composition thereafter varied on several occasions, ranging from 12 to 16 teams competing in a single group. Contrary to its neighboring countries, national football was not suspended during World War II due to Switzerland's neutrality, but the post-war years nevertheless brought change. The 1944–45 season saw the separation of the league into the Nationalliga A and B, with the winner of the former declared Swiss champion. The 1946–47, 1947–48, 1952–53, and 1953–54 seasons saw further maiden victories achieved by FC Biel-Bienne, AC Bellinzona, FC Basel, and FC La-Chaux-de-Fonds, respectively. In 1954, broadcasting rights were sold to SRG SSR for the first time, with the company initially being restricted in showing games on TV. For the 1956–57 season, jersey numbers were declared mandatory, with Young Boys initiating an unprecedented streak of four titles the same season.
The 1966–67 season first saw the emergence of Basel as a dominant team, as they won 7 of the following 14 seasons. As shirt sponsors first appeared by 1976, the SRG SSR refused to broadcast teams that wore advertisements on their kits. As a result, the broadcaster and the league reached a compromise, where the former would only show sponsors in reports lasting a maximum of 6 minutes, and teams would be obligated to wear neutral jerseys for longer appearances. The 1980s and 1990s saw Grasshoppers dominate and Neuchâtel Xamax, FC Luzern, and FC Sion win their first titles in 1986–87, 1988–89, and 1991–92. In 1985, the number of foreigners on a team was increased from one to two, promptly leading to a new transfer record of 1.3 million francs with Servette acquiring Mats Magnusson. In 1992–93 Aarau won the championship the first time in 79 years, while St. Gallen earned their first title in 97 years at the turn of the millennium.
Super League era
The rebranding of the Nationalliga A into the Super League occurred in 2003, when the league was restructured from 12 to 10 teams for the 2003–04 season, simplifying the format by removing the relegation playoff round. A return to 12 teams was discussed on multiple occasions in 2009 and 2018, but ultimately rejected, among others due to reservations about the early relegation battle.
This new era initially proved to be one of domination for Basel, as 11 of the first 14 seasons seasons were won by them, including a record-breaking streak of 8 championships between 2009 and 2017. After a change in leadership in 2017, however, they were dethroned by Young Boys, who have won each of the four championships since then.
The teams competing in the 2020–21 season were:
|Basel||15 November 1893||Basel||St. Jakob-Park||37,994|
|Servette||20 March 1890||Geneva||Stade de Geneve||30,084|
|Lugano||28 July 1908||Lugano||Stadio Cornaredo||6,390|
|Luzern||12 August 1901||Luzern||Swissporarena||16,490|
|Sion||1 July 1909||Sion||Tourbillon||14,283|
|St. Gallen||19 April 1879||St. Gallen||Kybunpark||19,456|
|Vaduz||14 February 1932||Vaduz||Rheinpark Stadion||7,584|
|Lausanne-Sport||1896||Lausanne||Stade de la Tuilière||12,000|
|Young Boys||14 March 1898||Bern||Stade de Suisse||31,789|
|Zürich||28 August 1896||Zürich||Letzigrund||26,104|
Promotion/Relegation from 2019–20 season
- Neuchâtel Xamax FCS (10th) and FC Thun (9th) were relegated from the Swiss Super League.
- FC Lausanne-Sport (1st) and FC Vaduz (2nd) were promoted to the Swiss Super League.
Performance by club
|Titles||Club||Last Championship won|
Performance by club (professional era only)
Players in italics are still active. As of 15 December 2020.
- Most championships: Marco Streller (8 times): 2004, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015; with FC Basel
- Most appearances: Nelson Ferreira (421 appearances); with FC Thun and FC Luzern
- Most goals overall: Marco Streller (111 goals); with FC Basel
- Most times top scorer: Seydou Doumbia (3 times): 2009 (20 goals), 2010 (30); with BSC Young Boys; 2017 (20); with FC Basel
- Most goals in a season: Jean-Pierre Nsame (32 goals): 2020; with BSC Young Boys
- Most minutes without conceding: Roman Bürki (660 minutes): 2012; with Grasshopper Club
- Fastest perfect hattrick: Mohamed Kader (6 minutes): 31 August 2003; with Servette FC against BSC Young Boys (4–1)
- Oldest player: Andris Vaņins (40 years 3 months 4 days): 3 August 2020; with FC Zürich
- Youngest player: Sascha Studer (15 years 6 months 18 days): 1 April 2007; with FC Aarau
- Oldest goalscorer: Walter Samuel (38 years 21 days): 13 April 2016; with FC Basel against FC Lugano (4–1)
- Youngest goalscorer: Endoğan Adili (15 years 9 months 10 days): 13 May 2010; with Grasshopper Club against FC Aarau (4–1)
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