The Superleague Greece (Greek: Ελληνική Σούπερ Λιγκ) is the highest professional football league in Greece. It was formed on 16 July 2006 and replaced Alpha Ethniki at the top of the Greek football league system. The league consists of 16 teams and runs from August to May, with teams playing 30 games each. As of May 2013, Superleague Greece is ranked 12th in the UEFA ranking of leagues, based on performances in European competitions over the last five years.
Since the foundation of the first official Panhellenic Championship in season 1927–28, only six clubs have won the title, with the "big three" of Greater Athens (Olympiacos, Panathinaikos and AEK Athens) dominating and only PAOK, Aris and Larissa managing to break their dominance on a few occasions. The current champions are Olympiacos, who have won a total of 42 titles.
In 1927, a national championship was organised in the form of a round-robin tournament between the champions of the three governing bodies. This time, Aris Thessaloniki won, finishing ahead of Ethnikos Piraeus and Atromitos. This national championship was set up again in 1929, and over the next years evolved into a tournament in which multiple teams took part. Still, these teams had to qualify for the national championship through their local football competitions.
In 1959 the Alpha Ethniki - the precursor of the current Superleague - was set up as a national round-robin tournament.
At present, 16 clubs compete in the Superleague, playing each other in a home and away series. At the end of the season, the bottom three clubs are relegated to Football League. In their place, the top three teams from Football League are promoted. The number of teams to be relegated may change, depending on a licensing procedure that takes place at the end of the regular season. The league was reduced from 18 teams to 16 following the 2014–15 season; this was accomplished by relegating four teams and promoting only two.
The Superleague is currently entitled to two entrants into the UEFA Champions League. The Superleague champion directly enters the group stage of the UEFA Champions League. The second through fifth place teams in the Superleague enter a play-off for the second Greek entry. The play-off winner enters the UEFA Champions League's third qualifying round, a two-legged tie from which the winner advances to the play offs of the UEFA Champions League. The winner of the Greek Cup automatically qualifies for the UEFA Europa League, as well as the runners-up of the Superleague play-off.
In the play-off for the UEFA Champions League, the teams play each other in a home and away round robin. However, they do not all start with 0 points. Instead, a weighting system applies to the teams' standing at the start of the play-off mini-league. The team finishing fifth in the Superleague will start the play off with 0 points. The fifth place team’s end of season tally of points is used to calculate the sum of the points that other teams will have. The point difference of each of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th team from the fifth place team is then divided by five (if the result is a decimal number it is then rounded to a full number, with .5 or more being rounded up) and the resulting number respectively for each team is the number of points with which they will start the mini-league.
Seasons in Alpha Ethniki and Superleague Greece
The number of seasons that each team (in alphabetical order) has played in the top division from 1959–60 until 2014–15. A total of 65 teams had competed in at least one season at the top division. Olympiacos, Panathinaikos and PAOK are the only teams to have played in the top division in every season since the league's inception in its modern form. The teams in bold participate in Superleague for the 2015–16 season.
APOEL avoided relegation in the 1973–1974 season, but were forced to play in the Cypriot A Division the following season due to the Turkish Invasion of Cyprus. Hence they are the only team to have played a single season in the Greek league and not been relegated.
This index is an overall record of all match results, points, and goals of every team that has played in Alpha Ethniki and Superleague championships since 1959. The table is accurate as of the end of the 2013–14 season (Top 30 as of the end of 2013–14). Points are based on 3–1–0 and no deductions are counted. Displayed teams with at least 15 appearances. More will be included.
All the geographic regions of Greece have been represented by at least one club in the first national division. Attica has had the strongest presence with 22 clubs overall, followed by Macedonia and the Peloponnese. The regions of Epirus and the Ionian islands have been represented by only one club each. A total of 66 clubs have participated at the first tier so far.