Swiss Super League
CSSL 2021.png
Founded1898; 124 years ago (1898)
as Swiss Serie A[1]
1933; 89 years ago (1933)
as Nationalliga A[2]
Country  Switzerland
ConfederationUEFA
Number of teams10 (12 in 2023–24)
Level on pyramid1
Relegation toChallenge League
Domestic cup(s)Swiss Cup
International cup(s)UEFA Champions League
UEFA Europa Conference League
Current championsZürich (13th title)
(2021–22)
Most championshipsGrasshopper (27 titles)[1]
TV partners
WebsiteSFL.ch
Current: 2022–23 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.[3][4] As of January 2022, the Swiss Super League is ranked 14th in Europe according to UEFA's ranking of league coefficients, which is based upon Swiss team performances in European competitions.[5] The 2022–23 season will be the 126th season of the Swiss top-flight, making it the longest continuously running top-flight national league.

Overview

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.[6] 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.[7]

Matches in the Super League employ the use of a video assistant referee.[8]

History

Previous names
Years German French Italian
1897 Coupe Ruinart (unofficial)
1898–1929 Serie A
1930–31 1. Liga 1e Ligue Prima Lega
1931–1933 Nationalliga Ligue Nationale Lega Nazionale
1933-34 Challenge National
1934–1944 Nationalliga Ligue Nationale Lega Nazionale
1944–2003 Nationalliga A Ligue Nationale A Lega Nazionale A
2003–Present Super League
axpo Super League (2003-2012)
Raiffeisen Super League (2012-2021)
Credit Suisse Super League (2021-present)

Serie A era

Anglo-American Club, winners of the first championship organized by the Swiss Football Association.
Anglo-American Club, winners of the first championship organized by the Swiss Football Association.

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.[9] 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.[10][11]

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 one 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.[12][13]

Nationalliga era

The league was reformed into the Nationalliga in 1931 and initially changed from three regional groups to two groups with 9 teams each.[14][15] 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,[16] 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.[17][18] 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.[19][20] For the 1956–57 season, jersey numbers were declared mandatory,[21] with Young Boys initiating an unprecedented streak of four titles the same season.[12]

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.[22][23] 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.[12] In 1985, the number of foreigners on a team was increased from one to two,[24] promptly leading to a new transfer record of 1.3 million francs with Servette acquiring Mats Magnusson.[25] 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.[12]

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.[26][27]

This new era initially proved to be one of domination for Basel, as 11 of the first 14 seasons were won by them, including a record-breaking streak of 8 championships between 2009 and 2017. After a change in leadership in 2017,[28] however, they were dethroned by Young Boys, who won the next four straight championships.[12]

Format Change

In April 2022, another proposal by the SFL committee to increase the league size to 12 was announced.[29] The proposal includes three stages: an initial round-robin qualifying stage with all 12 teams (22 rounds); an intermediary stage, with two groups (1st-6th placed in the Championship and 7-12th placed in the Qualification Group) of six teams each (10 rounds); the format of the third and final playoff phase is still to be determined. Despite pushback from fans and a general negative response from club officials,[30] the proposal to increase the league size as well as the proposed format change were approved by the general assembly of the Swiss Football League on 20 May 2022.[31]

The details of the final playoff stage was also finalized:

The new format will be implemented for the 2023-24 season, while the transitional 2022-23 season season will have only the last placed team playing a relegation playoff against the 3rd place of the Challenge League. A change of format for the Swiss Challenge League is not yet clear.

Current season

Main article: 2022–23 Swiss Super League

Club Location Stadium Capacity Ref
Basel Basel St. Jakob-Park 37,994 [32]
Grasshopper Club Zürich Letzigrund 26,104 [33]
Lugano Lugano Stadio Cornaredo 6,390 [34]
Luzern Lucerne Swissporarena 16,490 [35]
Servette Geneva Stade de Genève 28,833 [36]
Sion Sion Stade Tourbillon 14,283 [37]
St. Gallen St. Gallen Kybunpark 19,456 [38]
Winterthur Winterthur Stadion Schützenwiese 9,450
Young Boys Bern Stadion Wankdorf 31,789 [39]
Zürich Zürich Letzigrund 26,104 [40]


Promotion/Relegation from 2021–22 season

Team records

See also: List of Swiss football champions

Season Recent champions
(Super League only)
Runners-up Third place Top scorer(s)
Player (Club) Nat. Goals
2003–04 Basel Young Boys Servette Stéphane Chapuisat (Young Boys)   SUI 23
2004–05 Basel (2) Thun Grasshopper Christian Giménez (Basel)  ARG 27
2005–06 Zürich Basel Young Boys Alhassane Keita (Zürich)  GUI 20
2006–07 Zürich (2) Basel Sion Mladen Petrić (Basel)  CRO 19
2007–08 Basel (3) Young Boys Zürich Hakan Yakin (Young Boys)   SUI 24
2008–09 Zürich (3) Young Boys Basel Seydou Doumbia (Young Boys)  CIV 20
2009–10 Basel (4) Young Boys Grasshopper Seydou Doumbia (Young Boys)  CIV 30
2010–11 Basel (5) Zürich Young Boys Alexander Frei (Basel)   SUI 27
2011–12 Basel (6) Luzern Young Boys Alexander Frei (Basel)   SUI 23
2012–13 Basel (7) Grasshopper St. Gallen Ezequiel Scarione (St. Gallen)  ARG 21
2013–14 Basel (8) Grasshopper Young Boys Shkëlzen Gashi (Grasshopper)  ALB 19
2014–15 Basel (9) Young Boys Zürich Shkëlzen Gashi (Basel)  ALB 22
2015–16 Basel (10) Young Boys Luzern Moanes Dabbur (Grasshopper)  ISR 19
2016–17 Basel (11) Young Boys Lugano Seydou Doumbia (Basel)  CIV 20
2017–18 Young Boys Basel Luzern Albian Ajeti (Basel, St. Gallen)   SUI 17
2018–19 Young Boys (2) Basel Lugano Guillaume Hoarau (Young Boys)  FRA 24
2019–20 Young Boys (3) St. Gallen Basel Jean-Pierre Nsame (Young Boys)  CMR 32
2020–21 Young Boys (4) Basel Servette Jean-Pierre Nsame (Young Boys)
Arthur Cabral (Basel)
 CMR
 BRA
18
2021–22 Zürich (4) Basel Young Boys Jordan Pefok (Young Boys)  USA 20
2022–23

Performance by club

Titles Club Last Championship won
27
Competitiester.svg
Competitiester.svg
2003
20
Competitiester.svg
Competitiester.svg
2017
17
Competitiester.svg
1999
15
Competitiester.svg
2021
13
Competitiester.svg
2022
7
1965
3
1964
3
1949
3
1917
3
1993
2
1988
2
2000
2
1997
1
1899
1
1947
1
1989
1
1915
1
1919
1
1948

Last updated: 22 May 2022
Source: RSSSF[1]

Performance by club (professional era only)

Titles Club
19
18
10
10
7
5
3
3
2
2
1
1
1
1
1

Player records

All records are since the introduction of the Super League in 2003.[41]

Players in italics are still active. As of 15 December 2020.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Switzerland - List of Champions RSSSF
  2. ^ Swiss Football League - Nationalliga A RSSSF
  3. ^ WSC 257 Jul 08. "When Saturday Comes – Border crossing". Wsc.co.uk. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
  4. ^ Heinrich Schifferle. "Swiss Football League". European Professional Football Leagues. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  5. ^ UEFA.com. "Member associations - UEFA Coefficients - Country coefficients". UEFA.com. Retrieved 20 January 2022.
  6. ^ Bürge, Christian (17 April 2005). "Bestnoten statt Luftschlösser". Neue Zürcher Zeitung (in German). Archived from the original on 5 July 2018.
  7. ^ "Thun und Vaduz in der Barrage - Neue Spielregeln". SwissFootballLeague (in German). Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  8. ^ "Video Assistant Referee (VAR)". Swiss Football League - SFL. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  9. ^ Pfister, Benedikt (16 December 2017). "Der obskure erste Meistertitel der Grasshoppers". TagesWoche (in German). Archived from the original on 22 September 2020.
  10. ^ Schaub, Daniel (18 August 2018). "Wie die Old Boys zu den ersten Forfait-Siegern der Schweizer Fussballgeschichte wurden". TagesWoche (in German). Archived from the original on 23 November 2018.
  11. ^ "Schweizerischer Fussballverband - 1895-1904". org.football.ch. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  12. ^ a b c d e "Meistertafel seit 1897". Swiss Football League - SFL. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  13. ^ "Geschichte". FC Bern. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  14. ^ "Schweizerischer Fussballverband - 1925-1934". football.ch (in German). Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  15. ^ "Switzerland 1931/32". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  16. ^ "Club history: 1933/34 until 1942/43". FC Basel. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 27 March 2009.
  17. ^ "Switzerland 1944/45". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  18. ^ "Schweizerischer Fussballverband - 1935-1944". football.ch (in German). Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  19. ^ "Die Nationalliga und das Fernsehen". Oberländer Tagblatt (in German). 2 December 1959.
  20. ^ "Keine Fussballreportagen im Fernsehen". Neue Zürcher Zeitung (in German). 27 April 1959.
  21. ^ "Eine wichtige Neuerung". Der Bund (in German). 24 August 1956.
  22. ^ "Einigung SRG - Nationalliga in Sachen Leibchen". Walliser Bote (in German). 10 November 1976.
  23. ^ "Vorläufiger Kompromiss zwischen SRG und Nationalliga". Thuner Tagblatt (in German). 8 March 1977.
  24. ^ "Zweiter Ausländer erlaubt". Freiburger Nachrichten (in German). 22 April 1985.
  25. ^ "Fussball". Neue Zürcher Zeitung (in German). 12 August 1987.
  26. ^ "Zurück zum Strich mit 12 Teams". Bluewin (in German). 22 April 2008. Archived from the original on 7 February 2010.
  27. ^ Dubach, Matthias (31 October 2017). "Swiss Football League: Super League bleibt 10er-Liga". Blick (in German). Archived from the original on 15 November 2017. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  28. ^ "Neuer Präsident beim FC Basel - Burgener – der unbekannte Bescheidene". Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen (SRF) (in German). 20 February 2017. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  29. ^ "SFL-Komitee schlägt Erhöhung der CSSL auf 12 Klubs vor". SFL (in German). 5 April 2022. Retrieved 5 April 2022.
  30. ^ "Am Freitag entscheidet sich die Zukunft der Super League". SFL (in German). 19 May 2022. Retrieved 20 May 2022.
  31. ^ "12 Klubs und neuer Modus in der Super League". SFL (in German). 20 May 2022. Retrieved 20 May 2022.
  32. ^ Swiss Football League. "FC Basel 1893 - Swiss Football League". www.sfl.ch.
  33. ^ Swiss Football League. "Grasshopper Club Zürich - Swiss Football League". www.sfl.ch.
  34. ^ Swiss Football League. "FC Lugano - Swiss Football League". www.sfl.ch.
  35. ^ Swiss Football League. "FC Luzern - Swiss Football League". www.sfl.ch.
  36. ^ Swiss Football League. "Servette FC - Swiss Football League". www.sfl.ch.
  37. ^ Swiss Football League. "FC Sion - Swiss Football League". www.sfl.ch.
  38. ^ Swiss Football League. "FC St.Gallen 1879 - Swiss Football League". www.sfl.ch.
  39. ^ Swiss Football League. "BSC Young Boys - Swiss Football League". www.sfl.ch.
  40. ^ Swiss Football League. "FC Zürich - Swiss Football League". www.sfl.ch.
  41. ^ "Spieler-Bestmarken in der Super League". Swiss Football League - SFL. Retrieved 15 December 2020.