Veikkausliiga (Swedish: Tipsligan) is the premier division of Finnish football, comprising the top 12 clubs of the country. As of 2013[update], Veikkausliiga is ranked as the 33rd best league in Europe. Its main sponsor is the Finnish national betting agency Veikkaus, hence the league's name. Veikkausliiga was founded in 1990; before that the top division was called Mestaruussarja (championship series) since 1930 which was an amateur or semi-professional league. Between 1908 and 1930 the championship was decided in a cup competition.
Ykkönen (division one) has been the second highest level of Finnish football since 1973.
As with certain other cold-climate European countries (including Norway and Sweden), league matches in Finland are played in summer, with a schedule usually from April to October. The format and number of teams has changed frequently, and in the season 2013 there will be 12 teams and each team playing all other teams three times, altogether thus 33 rounds during the season. Uneven number of matches means that the best six teams from 2012 season will have 17 home matches and the other six teams will have 16 home matches. At the end of the season, the lowest-placed team is relegated to Ykkönen, whose winner will be promoted to Veikkausliiga.
Notes: 1 Kuusysi and Lahden Reipas merged their professional teams in 1997 to form FC Lahti. Both teams, however, continue in junior football. 2Ilves-Kissat Tampere merged with TaPa Tampere in 1975 to form Ilves Tampere, who took Ilves-Kissat's place in the league. Ilves Tampere were renamed Tampere United before the 1999 season as a result of a failed merger. Although Ilves also continues as its own club, all predecessors' titles are included here in the figure for Tampere United. 3 FC KooTeePee was established to continue top-level football in Kotka when the former Kotka team known as KTP went bankrupt. However as KTP also continues to play in lower divisions its titles are not usually considered to be inherited by FC KooTeePee. 4FC Jazz was formerly known as PPT (Porin Pallotoverit)