|Number of teams||6|
|Level on pyramid||1|
|Current champions||Thimphu City
|Most championships||Druk Pol FC (8 titles)|
The Thimphu Premier League (Yanmar Thimphu Premier League for sponsorship reasons), previously known as the Bhutan A-Division was until 2012 the top division of football in Bhutan, but has been surpassed by the Bhutan National League. The A-Division continues to exist as essentially a qualifying tournament for the National League, there being no direct promotion and relegation between the two leagues at the end of a given season, although it operates as the top league in a separate three-tier pyramid system for clubs playing in and around Thimphu.
The Thimphu League has taken a number of formats during its history. Initially, the competition was held as a single round-robin group of matches, with all games being held at the national stadium, Changlimithang. In 2001, the format of football played was very similar to the current set up, with a Thimpu league (including a team from Paro) taking part in a qualifying contest to join other teams from different Dzongkhags for a genuine national league. However, the main focus of the league has been on Thimpu-based teams.
By 2005, the league had settled into its current format, namely a home and away set of round robin matches (although with all games played at Changlimithang, the notion of "home" and "away" is moot). Three points are gained for a win and one for a draw with no points for a loss. The team with the highest number of points is declared the champion. If two teams finish on equal points then goal difference is used to determine the winner, with goals scored being the next criterion considered if goal difference cannot separate the teams. The top four teams currently (although it was previously only the top three) qualify for that season's Bhutan National League. There is no promotion or relegation between the Thimphu League and the National League and neither does strong performance in one edition of the National League ensure competition the next season.
The Thimphu League sits at the head of a three tier-pyramid system with nominal promotion and relegation between each division at the end of each season. Whilst there has been promotion and relegation in the past, it is not necessarily guaranteed. Sometimes the following season's competitors are decided by a play off between the top teams in the B-Division and the bottom teams in the A-Division, as in 2013, sometimes the relegation is automatic as in 2012 and sometimes there appears to be none such as in 2010.
Under its previous name, the A-Division was formally named as such in 2001, following five years of competition under a different, unknown name between 1996 and 2000 and what appears to have been a one-off competition in 1986.
The initial A-Division season, as noted above consisted of a Thimphu-based qualifying round, followed by an essentially national competition, albeit hosted in Phuentsholing. Druk Star broke the domination of Druk Pol by winning the A-Division that season. In 2002 the league continued to include teams from outside of Thimphu, but this time, there were no teams from Gomtu or Samtse, only from Phuentsholing and Paro. By 2003, all non-Thimphu teams had dropped out of the league to be replaced by others from the capital city who contested a single round-robin series of matches.
In 2003, a full league pyramid was established in Bhutan, with the A-Division at its head. There were nine A division clubs and nine B division clubs competing in the national league. The Bhutan football federation (BFF) introduced C division clubs, from this year, to participate in the national league. About 12 to 14 C division clubs are thought to have participated. Based on the performance in the national league, the two best teams from C division will from this point be promoted to the B division. Likewise, two B division teams will move up to A division. On the other hand, the weakest team in each division will be demoted to a lower division.
Details are scant for 2004, but it is known that this was the first time that Bhutan submitted an entrant for any AFC tournament, with that season's champion, Transport United being awarded Bhutan's slot in the 2005 AFC President's Cup. This cemented the A-Division's position as the premier football competition in the country and it continued to supply Bhutan's President's cup entrant until the creation of the National League.
The league settled into its Thimpu-focussed home and away set up by 2005 at the latest. This season would see the beginning of the dominance of Transport United, who picked up their second successive title and would go on to win another two to make it four in a row, only bettered by Druk Pol's performance prior to the formalisation of the A-Division. However, following their final title in 2007, they began to slip down the league table, finishing second in 2008 and spending several seasons in mid-table obscurity before finally being relegated to the B-Division in 2012. As Transport United slipped, so Yeedzin were poised to take their place, winning four titles and taking one second place in the next six seasons.
2011 however, was the last edition where the A-Division held the premier spot in Bhutan's football pyramid. In an attempt to spread the popularity of the game around the country, a National League was established. The Division continues in its usual format, but now no longer supplies Bhutan's entrant to the AFC President's Cup. Instead the top teams from the Thimphu League qualify to compete in the National League against several teams from different districts.
In 2015 the A-Division was renamed the Thimphu League (the Yanmar Thimphu League for sponsorship reasons) reflecting the National League's position as the preeminent football competition in the country.
Current clubs (2016 season)
The Thimphu League is a regional competition for teams from Thimphu. the competition consists of seven teams, each plays the others twice – home and away – for a total of 12 games each, over 14 game weeks. 3 points are awarded for a win, 1 point for a draw and 0 points for a loss. the league table is decided firstly on points won, then on goal difference and finally on total goals scored if the previous two are equal. The first three teams automatically qualify for the National league, the bottom two teams compete in relegation playoffs with the top two teams from the B-Division for two places in the next seasons's competition.
A national league has been running since 1986. However, the A-division itself was not formed until 2001. Champions were:
|2016||Thimphu City||Thimphu||Druk United|
|2014||Druk United||Thimphu City||Druk Pol|
|2010||Yeedzin||Druk Pol||Transport United|
|2009||Druk Star||Yeedzin||Druk Pol|
|2008||Yeedzin||Transport United||Royal Bhutan Army|
|2007||Transport United||Druk Pol||Druk Star|
|2006||Transport United||unknown||Royal Bhutan Army|
|2005||Transport United||Druk Pol||Yeedzin|
|2003||Druk Pol||Dzongree||Transport United|
|1986||Royal Bhutan Army||Social Service||Finance|
|Team||Winners||Runners-up||Third place||Years won||Years runner-up||Years third|
|Druk Pol||8||3||3||1996, 1997, 1998,
1999, 2000, 2002,
|2005, 2007, 2010||2009, 2011, 2014|
|Transport United||4||1||2||2004, 2005, 2006,
|Yeedzin||4||1||1||2008, 2010, 2011,
|Thimphu City||1||4||1||2016||2011*, 2012*, 2013,
|Royal Bhutan Army||1||0||2||1986||—||2006, 2008|
*Thimphu City were runners-up in 2011 and 2012 competing as Zimdra.
|2007||Passang Tshering||Transport United||28|
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- League at fifa.com