|Number of teams||14|
|Level on pyramid||1|
|Relegation to||Danish 1st Division|
|Domestic cup(s)||Danish Cup|
|International cup(s)||UEFA Champions League,
UEFA Europa League
|Current champions||Copenhagen (11 titles)
|Most championships||Copenhagen (11 titles)|
|TV partners||Viasat (TV3+, TV3 Sport 1, TV3 Sport 2)
C-More (Canal 9, Eurosport 2)
Others (see section)
|2016–17 Danish Superliga|
The Danish Superliga (Danish: Superligaen, pronounced [ˈsuːˀb̥ɐliːɡ̊æːˀn̩] ( listen)) is the current Danish football championship tournament, and administered by the Danish Football Association. It is the highest association football league in Denmark and is currently contested by 14 teams each year, with 2 teams to be relegated.
Founded in 1991, the Danish Superliga replaced the Danish 1st Division as the highest league of football in Denmark. From the start in 1991, 10 teams were participating. The opening Superliga season was played during the spring of 1991, with the ten teams playing each other twice for the championship title. From the summer of 1991, the tournament structure would stretch over two years. The 10 teams would play each other twice in the first half of the tournament. In the following spring, the bottom two teams would be cut off, the points of the teams would be cut in half, and the remaining eight teams would once more play each other twice, for a total of 32 games in a season.
This practice was abandoned before the 1995–96 season, when the number of teams competing were increased to 12, playing each other thrice for 33 games per Superliga season. For the first season of this new structure, Coca-Cola became the name sponsor of the league, which was then named Coca-Cola Ligaen. After a single season under that name, Faxe Brewery became sponsors and the league changed its name to Faxe Kondi Ligaen. Before the 2001–02 season, Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) became the head sponsor, and the name of the tournament changed to SAS Ligaen. From January 2015 the Danish Superliga is known as Alka Superliga, as the Danish insurance company Alka became name sponsor.
From 1996 through 2016, the league included 12 clubs which played each other three times. The two teams with the fewest points at the end of the season were relegated to the Danish 1st Division and replaced by the top two teams of that division. During this era, each team played every other team at least once at home and once away plus once more either at home or away. The top six teams of the previous season played 17 matches at home and 16 away while the teams in 7th to 10th place plus the two newly promoted teams played 16 matches at home and 17 away.
Following the 2015–16 season, the league was expanded to 14 teams, accomplished by relegating only the last-place finisher in that season and promoting the top three teams from the 1st division. The 2016–17 season is the first for a new league structure. It begins with the teams playing a full home-and-away schedule, resulting in 26 matches for each team. At that time, the league splits into a six-team championship playoff and an eight-team qualifying playoff. All teams' table points and goals carry over fully into the playoffs.
In the championship playoff, each team plays the others home and away again. The top team at the end of the playoff is Superliga champion and enters the UEFA Champions League in the second qualifying round. The second-place team enters the UEFA Europa League in the first qualifying round. The third-place team advances to a one-off playoff match for another Europa League place (if the winner of the Danish Cup finishes in the top three, the match will instead involve the fourth-place team).
The qualifying playoff is split into two groups, with the teams that finished the regular season in 7th, 10th, 11th, and 14th in one group and those finishing 8th, 9th, 12th, and 13th in the other. Each group plays home-and-away within its group.
The top two teams from each group then enter a knockout tournament, with each match over two legs. If the Danish Cup winner is among the top two finishers in either playoff group, it is withdrawn from the knockout playoff and its opponent automatically advances to the tournament final. The winner of that tournament faces the third-place (or fourth-place) team from the championship playoff in a one-off match, with the winner entering the Europa League in the first qualifying round.
The bottom two teams from each group then contest a relegation playoff with several steps, centered on a separate four-team knockout playoff, also consisting totally of two-legged matches:
- The winners of the semifinals advance to the final.
- The losers of the semifinals then play over two legs, with the winner remaining in the Superliga and the loser dropping to the 1st Division.
- The winner of the final plays the 1st Division runner-up, and the loser of the final plays the third-place team from the 1st Division, also over two legs. In each case, the winner plays in the next season's Superliga.
Current teams (2016–17)
|First season in
|First season of
current spell in
|AC Horsens||3rd in 1st Division||2005–06||2016–17|
|Lyngby BK||1st in 1st Division||1980||2016–17|
|Silkeborg IF||2nd in 1st Division||1987||2016–17|
Most capped players
|1||Rasmus Würtz||397||AaB, FC København, Vejle BK|
|2||Hans Henrik Andreasen||397||OB, Esbjerg fB|
|3||Per Nielsen||394||Brøndby IF|
|4||Jimmy Nielsen||375||AaB, Vejle BK|
|5||Michael Hansen||371||Silkeborg IF, OB, Esbjerg fB, FC Midtjylland|
|Mogens Krogh||371||Ikast FS, Brøndby IF|
|7||Nicolai Stokholm||370||AB, OB, FC Nordsjælland|
|8||Arek Onyszko||362||Viborg FF, OB, FC Midtjylland|
|9||Michael Nonbo||355||Næstved IF, AGF, Viborg FF, SønderjyskE|
|10||Anders Møller Christensen||3351||OB, Esbjerg fB|
|12||Jens Jessen||341||AaB, FC Midtjylland|
|Jakob Glerup||341||Viborg FF|
|14||Steffen Højer||339||Viborg FF, AaB, OB|
|15||Jan Kristiansen||338||Esbjerg fB, Brøndby IF, FC Vestsjælland|
|16||Kim Daugaard||336||Brøndby IF|
|17||Søren Frederiksen||335||Viborg FF, Silkeborg IF, AaB|
|18||Jerry Lucena||334||Esbjerg fB, AGF|
|19||Søren Berg||332||OB, Randers FC, AGF, FC Vestsjælland|
|20||Heine Fernandez||326||Silkeborg IF, Viborg FF, FCK, AB|
|As of 20/10/2016|
Most capped foreign players
|1||Arek Onyszko||Poland||362||Viborg FF, OB, FC Midtjylland|
|2||Jerry Lucena||Philippines||354||Esbjerg fB, AGF Aarhus|
|3||Karim Zaza||Morocco||322||FC København, OB, Brøndby IF, AaB|
|4||Todi Jónsson||Faroe Islands||243||Lyngby BK, FC København|
|5||Andrew Tembo||Zambia||218||Odense BK|
|6||Kolja Afriyie||Germany||203||Esbjerg fB, FC Midtjylland|
|8||Rawez Lawan||Sweden||168||AC Horsens, FC Nordsjælland|
|9||Dan Eggen||Norway||167||BK Frem, Brøndby IF|
|10||Andreas Johansson||Sweden||162||AaB Aalborg, OB Odense|
|11||Abdul Sule||Nigeria||160||AB, AC Horsens|
|12||Espen Ruud||Norway||158||Odense BK|
|Sibusiso Zuma||South Africa||158||FC København, FC Nordsjælland|
|14||Fernando Derveld||Netherlands||156||Odense BK, Esbjerg fB|
|15||Aurelijus Skarbalius||Lithuania||150||Brøndby IF, Herfølge BK|
|16||César Santin||Brazil||149||FC København|
|17||Christian Holst||Faroe Islands||147||Silkeborg IF, Lyngby BK|
|18||Martin Ericsson||Sweden||146||AaB, Brøndby IF|
|19||Razak Pimpong||Ghana||145||FC Midtjylland, FC København|
|20||Gilberto Macena||Brazil||141||AC Horsens|
|21||Atiba Hutchinson||Canada||139||FC København|
|22||Oscar Wendt||Sweden||138||FC København|
|23||Jakup Mikkelsen||Faroe Islands||136||Herfølge BK|
|24||Mattias Jonson||Sweden||131||Brøndby IF|
|25||Rúrik Gíslason||Iceland||127||Viborg FF, Odense BK, FC København|
|Andreas Klarström||Sweden||127||Esbjerg fB|
|27||Njogu Demba-Nyrén||Gambia||126||Esbjerg fB, OB Odense|
|28||Atle Roar Håland||Norway||124||OB Odense, AGF Aarhus|
|29||Tidiane Sane||Senegal||121||Randers FC|
|30||Tobias Grahn||Sweden||117||Lyngby BK, AGF, OB, Randers FC|
|Andres Oper||Estonia||117||AaB Aalborg|
|31||Johan Wiland||Sweden||111||FC København|
|As at the end of season 2014–15|
According to soccerlens.com the Danish Superliga was number 11 in Europe in 2009, ahead of strong leagues such as Greece, Austria and Ukraine: http://soccerlens.com/the-top-15-leagues-in-europe/39185/
|This section's factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information. (September 2015)|
As of 2008[update], Modern Times Group owns the rights to broadcast all of the matches from the league, and uses them to broadcast matches on channels TV3+ and TV 2 Sport (through sub licensing). However, the current deal was found by the Danish Competition Authority (Konkurrencestyrelsen) not to comply with the Danish competition legislation. Therefore, a new deal was made on 21 December 2008, dividing the Superliga TV-rights between three parties. The deal amounted to DKK 1,062,300,000 (USD 210 million, EUR 140 million), effective from the 2009–10 season.
|TV, I||Modern Times Group||TV3+, TV3+ HD||Grants exclusive rights to broadcast the game played Sunday 18.00 (1st choice)|
|TV, II||Bonnier Group2||Canal 9, Canal 8 Sport||Grants exclusive rights to broadcast the games played Sunday 14.00 and 16.00 on live television (2nd and 5th choice)|
|TV, III||Modern Times Group||TV3 Sport 1, TV3 Sport 2||Grants exclusive rights to broadcast the games played Saturday 17.00, Sunday 16.00 and Monday 19.00 on live television (3rd, 4th3 and 6th choice)|
|TV, Cup||SBS Broadcasting Group||Kanal 5, Kanal 5 HD, 6'eren||Grants exclusive rights to broadcast the games in the Danish Cup on live television|
|TV, 1st Division||TV 2 Sport||TV 2 Sport, TV 2 Sport HD||Grants exclusive rights to broadcast the games in the Danish 1st Division on live television|
|Radio||DR||DR P3||Grants exclusive rights to broadcast all the games on live radio|
|Highlights||DR, TV 2||DR1, TV 2||Grants rights to show highlights in sports news broadcasts|
Outside of Scandinavia, IMG holds the rights to the Superliga until the 2011–2012 season, and they have reportedly sold the rights to networks in Greece, Cyprus and the United Arab Emirates, as well as several betting sites. It airs on Terra TV in Brazil.
- Tally includes points carried over from the first half of the season.
- "FLEST KAMPE, ALLTIME". superstats.dk. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
- "UDLÆNDINGE MED FLEST SPILLEDE KAMPE, ALL TIME". superstats.dk. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
- "DIF slår fast: Brøndby uden tilskuere i to kampe". Tipsbladet. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
- Ritzau (21 December 2007). "Fakta om fodboldaftalen (lit. Facts about the football agreement)". TV 2 Sporten. Retrieved 2 January 2008.
- Ritzau (21 December 2007). "Dansk fodbold solgt for 1 mia. (lit. Danish football sold for 1 billion)". TV 2 Denmark. Retrieved 2 January 2008.
- Calculated using Google Calculator's currency converting feature  
- "IMG to represent Danish Superliga for three seasons" (Press release). IMG. 17 June 2009. Retrieved 20 February 2010.
- Olsen, Theis L. (19 February 2010). "Superliga-bold på skærmen i Dubai og Grækenland". business.dk. Berlingske Tidende. Retrieved 20 February 2010.
- Official website (Danish)