Malaysia Super League

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Liga Super Malaysia
Malaysia Super League.png
Founded 14 February 2004; 13 years ago (2004-02-14)
Country Malaysia Malaysia
Confederation AFC
Number of teams 12 (from 2013)
Level on pyramid 1
Relegation to Malaysia Premier League
Domestic cup(s) Malaysia FA Cup
Malaysia Cup
Piala Sumbangsih
International cup(s) AFC Champions League
Current champions Johor Darul Ta'zim (4th title)
Most championships Johor Darul Ta'zim (4 titles)
TV partners Media Prima
Website Official Website
2017 Malaysia Super League

The Malaysia Super League (Malay: Liga Super Malaysia) is a top-tier professional association football league in Malaysian football league system.[1] Administrated by Football Malaysia Limited Liability Partnership (FMLLP), Liga Super (LS) is contested by 12 clubs and operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the Liga Premier (LP).

The inaugural season started in 14 February 2004.[2] Seasons run from February to October. Seasons start in early February and last until late October, with a Ramadan break for a month. Teams play 22 matches each (playing each team in the league twice, home and away), totalling 132 matches in the season.[3] Most games are played on Saturdays, with a few games played during weekdays.

The competition was formed in 2004 following the decision by the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) to privatise the league. As a result, Malaysia Super League Sendirian Berhad (or MSL Proprietary Limited) was created to oversee the marketing aspects of the league, but it was not fully privatised until 2015, when FMLLP was created in the course of privatisation of the Malaysian football league system.[4] The partnership saw all 24 teams of Liga Super and Liga Premier including FAM as the Managing Partner and MP & Silva as a special partner (FAM's global media and commercial advisor) to become stakeholders in the company.[5][6] FMLLP owns, operates and runs five entities in Malaysian football under its jurisdiction, which include the Super League, the Premier League, the Malaysia FA Cup, the Malaysia Cup, and the Piala Sumbangsih. It aims to transform and move Malaysian football forward.

The league still retain its name for 2016 season as Liga Super Malaysia without title sponsorship.[7]

While 30 clubs have competed since the inception of the Super League in 2004, only eight have won the title: Johor Darul Ta'zim (4), Kedah, Selangor, Kelantan (2), Pahang, Perlis, Negeri Sembilan, and LionsXII (1). The current champions are Johor Darul Ta'zim, which won the 2017 edition.



Liga Super was formed in 2004 following the decision by the Football Association of Malaysia to privatise the league. As a result, Malaysia Super League Sdn Bhd (or MSL Proprietary Limited) was created to oversee the marketing aspects of the league, but it was not fully privatised.[8][4]

The league has seen numerous changes to its format from eight teams to 14 teams to accommodate changes to the league rules and withdrawal of certain teams from the league in order to create a competitive environment and professional management among the clubs.[9]


The Malaysian league was revamped to be a fully professional league in 2004 which coined the creation of new top-tier division, Liga Super.

Between 2004 to 2006, the professional football league in Malaysia was divided into two levels and two groups:

  • Top tier: Liga Super (8 teams)
  • Second tier: Liga Premier Group A (8 teams)
  • Second tier: Liga Premier Group B (8 teams)
  • Third tier: Liga FAM

The new top-tier league, Liga Super was competed by eight teams while there were 16 teams competing in Liga Premier which was divided into 2 groups. While there were only eight teams in the league prior to the 2006-07 season, position movements were radical. Successive losses would condemn teams to a relegation dogfight. Similarly, successive wins would put a team in contention for the title. The Liga Super has gone through two format changes in its short history spanning three-years. The Football Association of Malaysia decided to expand the Liga Super to accommodate 14 teams instead of eight, which was the number of league teams in the Liga Super's first three seasons. But the plan was held when some of the teams withdrew from the league for financial reason. Only from 2009 season the league would have 14 teams with all teams playing each other only twice (26 matches total).

Below is the league changed for 2007 season, where Liga Premier was combined into one level rather than two groups and in 2008 Liga FAM was revamped to be compete in league format instead of knockout competition:

  • Top tier: Liga Super
  • Second tier: Liga Premier
  • Third tier: Liga FAM

In 2015, Football Malaysia LLP was created in the course of privatisation of the Malaysian football league system. The partnership saw all 24 teams of Liga Super and Liga Premier including FAM as the Managing Partner and MP & Silva as a special partner (FAM's global media and commercial advisor) to become stakeholders in the company.[5][10][11][10] The company owns, operates and runs five entities in Malaysian football under its jurisdiction, which include Liga Super, the Liga Premier, the Piala FA, the Piala Malaysia and the Piala Sumbangsih. It aims to transform and move Malaysian football forward.

A decade after the league inception, a total of eight clubs have been crowned champions of Liga Super where Pahang is the first champion. Kedah, Selangor, and Kelantan has won the league twice each while Pahang, Perlis, Negeri Sembilan and LionsXII has won it once. In 9 September 2016, Johor Darul Ta'zim became the first team to win Liga Super three times in a row.[12]

Club Licensing Regulations[edit]

Every team in the Liga Super must have a licence to play in the league, or else they are relegated. To obtain a licence, teams must be financially healthy and meet certain standards of conduct as organisations. As part of privation effort for the league, all clubs compete in Liga Super and Liga Premier will be required to obtained FAM Club Licensing.[13][14]

As a preliminary preparation towards the total privatisation of the league, FAM Club Licensing is being created with the hope of it being enforced throughout Liga Super fully by the end of 2018 and Liga Premier by end of 2019.[13][14]

As in other national leagues, there are significant benefits to being in the top division:

  • A greater share of television broadcast licence revenues goes to Liga Super sides.
  • Greater exposure through television and higher attendance levels helps Liga Super teams attract the most lucrative sponsorships.
  • Liga Super teams develop substantial financial muscle through the combination of television and gate revenues, sponsorships and marketing of their team brands. This allows them to attract and retain skilled players from domestic and international sources and to construct first-class stadium facilities.

Privatisation of league football clubs[edit]

Pahang Football Association became the first FAM affiliates to separate itself from the management of football team with the formation of Pahang F.C. which now under the management of Pahang FC Sdn Bhd starting from 2016 season.[15][16]

In 10 January 2016, Johor Football Association became the second FAM affiliates to follow suit when it separate itself from management of football team and changing its focus to state football development and state league while the football team became its own entity as Johor Darul Ta'zim F.C..[17]

In November 2016, Melaka United Soccer Association became the third FAM affiliates to follow suit with privatisation of its football team as separate entity called as Melaka United Football Club for 2017 Liga Super season onwards.[18]

In 6 November 2016, FMLLP has released an update regarding the club licensing progress where currently only Johor Darul Ta'zim F.C. has obtained the CLR while others still in progress with 80 percent complete.[19][20] All clubs in Liga Super and Liga Premier will be required to obtained CLR where Liga Super clubs needed to obtained by September 2017 while Liga Premier clubs has an extended date from 2019 to 2020 as some of the clubs has only met 50 percent requirement completion.[19] FMLLP has also suggesting FAM to ensure that clubs in the Liga FAM meet certain guidelines as this will allow them to get their license if promoted to the Liga Premier.[19]

In February 2017, FMLLP has released a statement regarding the official status of Johor Darul Ta'zim and Johor Darul Ta'zim II where Johor Darul Ta'zim II has now become an official feeder club for Johor Darul Ta'zim since the feeder club agreement between both club has been approved in 19 Ogos 2016.[21] Through the agreement, both clubs will be allowed additional four players transfer quota which can be used outside normal transfer windows for player between both clubs. The feeder club will also required to register a minimum of 12 players under the age of 23 for its squad from 2017.[21] A feeder club will be required to be in the league below the main club at all times which mean Johor Darul Ta'zim II will never be allowed to reach promotion even if the club managed to win the Liga Premier. By 2018, the feeder club must field four players under the age of 23 in their first eleven during match day and the feeder club is not allowed to play in other cup competition where the parent club compete such as Piala Malaysia and Piala FA.[21]

Logo evolution[edit]

Since the inception of the league in 2004, numerous logo has been introduced for the league to reflect the sponsorship purpose. In its inaugural season, Dunhill logo was incorporated as title sponsors and it was the only season sponsored by the tobacco company before tobacco advertising was banned in the country.[22]

From 2005 to 2010, the Liga Super incorporated the TM brand as part of its logo as the title sponsor.[23]

After the end of TM sponsorship for seven consecutive years, FAM launched a new logo for the 2011 season where it has been partnering with Astro Media as strategic partner for Liga Super marketing.[24] The Astro brand was only incorporated as part of the Liga Super logo from 2012 season including the wording of Malaysia and the partnership continue until the end of 2014 season.

In 2015 season, no title sponsor was incorporated when the league was sponsored by MP & Silva.[11] For 2016 season a new logo was introduced as part of the takeover of the league by FMLLP.[7]


Season Sponsors League Name
2004 Dunhill[22][8] Dunhill Liga Super
2005–10 TM[8][23][24] TM Liga Super
2011 Liga Super
2012–14 Astro Media[23] Astro Liga Super Malaysia
2015–17 Liga Super Malaysia[7]


The FMLLP will introduce the merit-point system starting in 2016 season. Points will be awarded based on a team’s league position, progress in the Cup competitions (Piala FA and Piala Malaysia) and the number of live matches shown. A point in season’s Malaysian League will be worth RM41,000.[3]

The money will be distribute twice per season. First during early season where the team will received a basic payment out of that particular year league sponsorship and the second payment will be received at the end of the season where all merit-point has been calculated.[25] For 2016 season, the first basic payment will consist of 30 percent cut out of RM 70 Million league sponsorship that equal to RM 21 million which will be distributed among 24 teams of Liga Super and Liga Premier.

Team in Malaysian league has quite often involved in financial problem as their spending is more than their revenue. The Professional Footballers Association of Malaysia (PFAM) is one of the active member in pursuing the issue of unpaid salaries. In January 2016, PFAM president's suggest a couple solutions to promote financial sustainability on the competing team's part where the team's should make long-term investments by operating according to their budgets and requiring teams wage bills to be no bigger than 60 percent of their total spending. Other suggestion including for the salaries to be deducted directly from team grants and winning prizes, for points to be deducted from teams experiencing payment issues, and a ruling that requires teams to settle all their late salary payments before the start of every new season.[26]

In response to this issues, FMLLP decided starting 2016 season, football clubs would be given warnings with the deduction of three league points if they failed to pay player's salary.[27][28] If the problem persists, it will affect the licence of the clubs. When the club licence is withdrawn, the team will not be able to compete next season. If the team don't adopt the right structure, they will be left behind and club licensing will be a problem for them, and the team will drop out from competing in the league.

Other than this, each teams do raise revenue from sponsorship from local, regional and international sponsors for their team.

Media Coverage[edit]

Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM), a free-to-air channel has been broadcasting Malaysian league for a years even before the formation of Liga Super. They continued to broadcast the league most of the times exclusively until end of 2010 where Astro Media was announced as sponsors and to manage the broadcasting right of the league for four years spanning from 2011 until 2014 season.[29] During this time, the league was broadcast on one of the cable channel of Astro Media, which is Astro Arena alongside the RTM for the free-to-air broadcast. In 2015, Astro lost the broadcasting right for the league where the right was given to Media Prima, a parent company of multiple free-to-air channel alongside the broadcast with RTM.[30][31][32] The broadcasting right for 2016 season has been given to Media Prima for 3 years with a maximum of three games in each gameweek will be shown live on television.[33]

Season TV Broadcasters
2004 RTM[8]
2005 RTM, NTV7[8]
2006–10 RTM[8]
2011–14 Astro Arena,[29][30] RTM
2015 Media Prima[30][31] (TV3, NTV7, TV9), RTM[32]
2016–18 Media Prima[33]


Melaka United and PKNS were promoted to 2017 Liga Super after finished as champions and runners-up of 2016 Liga Premier.

Stadiums and locations[edit]

Note: Table lists in alphabetical order.
Team Location Stadium Capacity
Felda United Bandar Pusat Jengka Tun Abdul Razak Stadium 25,000
Johor Darul Ta'zim Johor Bahru Tan Sri Dato Haji Hassan Yunos Stadium 30,000
Kedah Alor Setar Darul Aman Stadium 32,387
Kelantan Kota Bharu Sultan Muhammad IV Stadium 22,000
Melaka United Krubong Hang Jebat Stadium 40,000
Pahang Kuantan Darul Makmur Stadium 40,000
Penang Batu Kawan Penang State Stadium 40,000
Perak Ipoh Perak Stadium 42,500
PKNS Shah Alam Shah Alam Stadium 80,372
Sarawak Kuching Sarawak State Stadium 26,000
Selangor Selayang Selayang Stadium 11,098
T–Team Kuala Terengganu Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Stadium 15,000


Since its inception in 2004, the Liga Super title has seen 8 different teams crowned as champions. Kedah becomes the first club that won the Liga Super title back-to-back, in 2006–07 season and in 2007–08 season. Kelantan also managed to win back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012. In 2015, Johor Darul Ta'zim became the fourth team to win the titles back-to-back where they won the 2014 and 2015.

Year Champion Runners-up Third place
2004 Pahang Public Bank Perlis
2005 Perlis Pahang Perak
2005-06 Negeri Sembilan TM Perak
2006–07 Kedah Perak DPMM
2007–08 Kedah Negeri Sembilan Johor FC
2009 Selangor Perlis Kedah
2010 Selangor Kelantan Terengganu
2011 Kelantan Terengganu Selangor
2012 Kelantan LionsXII Selangor
2013 LionsXII Selangor Johor Darul Ta'zim
2014 Johor Darul Ta'zim Selangor Pahang
2015 Johor Darul Ta'zim Selangor Pahang
2016 Johor Darul Ta'zim Felda United Kedah
2017 Johor Darul Ta'zim


Club Wins Winning years
1 Johor Darul Ta'zim 4 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
2 Kedah 2 2006–07, 2007–08
3 Selangor 2 2009, 2010
4 Kelantan 2 2011, 2012
5 Pahang 1 2004
6 Perlis 1 2005
7 Negeri Sembilan 1 2005–06
8 LionsXII 1 2013

Great honours[edit]

Great honours are titled for the team who won 2 trophies (double) and 3 trophies (treble) in the same season. It covers Liga Super, Piala FA, and Piala Malaysia.


National treble is the achievement given for winning a Malaysia's top tier division which is the Liga Super and its primary cup competition which is the Piala FA and also the Piala Malaysia, the country's one of Asia's oldest footballing tournaments, in the same season.[34]

Team Seasons Winning titles
Kedah 2006–07 Liga Super, Piala FA, Piala Malaysia
Kedah 2007–08 Liga Super, Piala FA, Piala Malaysia
Kelantan 2012 Liga Super, Piala FA, Piala Malaysia


Double is the achievement given for winning Malaysia's top tier division which is the Liga Super and its primary cup competition which is the Piala FA in the same season.

Team Seasons Winning titles
Selangor 2009 Liga Super, Piala FA
Johor Darul Ta'zim 2016 Liga Super, Piala FA

Number of appearances[edit]

Included the current 13th season of Liga Super.

Rank Teams Recent Appearances
1 Perak 2017 14
2 Pahang 2017 13
3 Selangor 2017 12
4 Johor Darul Ta'zim 2017 11
5 Terengganu 2016 10
6 Kelantan 2017 9
6 Kedah 2017 9
6 Penang 2017 9
9 Negeri Sembilan 2013 8
9 Perlis 2011 8
9 Sarawak 2017 8
12 T-Team 2017 7
13 Felda United 2017 6
14 PKNS 2017 4
14 PDRM 2016 4
14 LionsXII 2015 4
14 Sabah 2012 4
18 ATM 2015 3
18 Kuala Lumpur 2012 3
18 TM 2006–07 3
21 Melaka United 2017 2
21 Sime Darby 2015 2
21 UPB-MyTeam 2009 2
21 DPMM 2007–08 2
21 PLUS 2010 2
21 MPPJ 2005–06 2
21 Public Bank 2005 2
28 Johor 2010 1
28 Harimau Muda A 2011 1
28 Kuala Muda NAZA 2009 1

Top scorers[edit]

Golden Boot winners[edit]

Season Players Clubs Goals
2004 Malaysia Indra Putra Mahayuddin Pahang 15
2005 Brazil Julio Cesar Rodriguez
Zambia Zacharia Simukonda
2006 Guinea Keita Mandjou Perak 17
2007 Guinea Keita Mandjou
Brunei Mohd Shahrazen Said
2008 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Marlon Alex James Kedah 23
2009 Malaysia Mohd Nizaruddin Yusof Perlis 18
2010 Malaysia Ashaari Shamsuddin Terengganu 18
2011 Malaysia Abdul Hadi Yahya Terengganu 20
2012 Cameroon Jean-Emmanuel Effa Owona
Liberia Francis Forkey Doe
Negeri Sembilan
2013 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Marlon Alex James ATM 16
2014 Brazil Paulo Rangel Selangor 16
2015 Mali Dramane Traore PDRM 19
2016 Argentina Jorge Pereyra Díaz Johor Darul Ta'zim 18


Foreign players[edit]

Foreign players policy has changed multiple times since the league inception.[9] In 2009, FAM took a drastic measure when they change the foreign players policy when they were banned from playing in the league until 2011.[9] Foreign players were only allowed be back to the league starting from the 2012 season onwards.[9]

All foreign players must obtain International Transfer Certificate from their previous national football governing body that their previous clubs affiliated before they can be register with FAM in order to play in Liga Super.[9]

  • 2009-2011: foreign players banned.
  • 2012: 2 foreign players.
  • 2013: 3 foreign players.
  • 2014: 4 foreign players and only 3 can be on the field at a time.
  • 2015-now: 4 foreign players including 1 Asian quota.

See also[edit]

Ranking Asian[edit]

AFC Club Ranking[edit]

As of 02 July 2017.[35]
Current Rank Points Team
34 38.95 Johor Darul Ta'zim F.C.
94 9.951 Selangor FA
98 9.617 Pahang FA
121 5.284 Felda United F.C.
131 4.617 Kelantan FA


  1. ^ Liga Super
  2. ^ Saingan tiga pusingan 2004 -- Liga Super, Perdana lebih kompetitif
  3. ^ a b{DB65DE90-094A-4040-8B59-32328DD33CF7} More domestic football on TV next season
  4. ^ a b Company Overview of Liga Super Sdn Bhd
  6. ^ A media briefing and workshop was conducted by FAM, FMLLP and MPS to give a clearer picture on what we can expect in Malaysian football
  7. ^ a b c The Malaysian Premier League to be known officially as 100 Plus Liga Premier Malaysia this season
  8. ^ a b c d e f Empat syarikat `sambung nyawa' FAM
  9. ^ a b c d e Sejarah Perubahan Format & Peraturan Liga Bola Sepak Malaysia Dari 1982 Hingga 2016
  10. ^ a b MP & SILVA appointed as Football Association Of Malaysia Global Advisor For Media & Commercial Rights until 2030
  11. ^ a b MP & Silva in for the long term, says Managing Director
  12. ^ JDT julang kejuaraan hatrik Liga Super
  13. ^ a b "Club Licensing in Malaysia - FAM". Retrieved 28 March 2017. 
  14. ^ a b Why Club Licensing? - footballmalaysia
  15. ^ Pahang serba baru hadapi saingan 2016
  16. ^ CEO Pahang FC letak jawatan
  17. ^ Zainal, Zulhilmi (10 January 2016). "2015 AFC Cup champions Johor Darul Ta'zim are now owned by former Johor FA president and royal patron, Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim". PERFORM Media. Retrieved 9 September 2016. 
  18. ^ MUSA kini dikenali sebagai MUFC
  19. ^ a b c Charting the path to Malaysian football's future: FMLLP discusses key topics of the seasons ahead
  20. ^ Pelesenan Kelab Penting Demi Masa Depan Bola Sepak Negara - FMLLP
  21. ^ a b c Perjanjian ‘Feeder Club’ di antara Johor Darul Ta’zim dan Football Malaysia LLP Sebagai Langkah Positif ke Arah Perlesenan Kelab (Club Licensing)
  22. ^ a b Negeri terhimpit
  23. ^ a b c Liga M dapat tajaan lumayan RM220 juta
  24. ^ a b Logo baru Liga M dilancar Rabu
  25. ^ FMLLP jamin bayaran pertama selesai Februari
  26. ^ Hai-O claims FMLLP neglects player salary issues
  27. ^ FAs warned over non-payment of salary.
  28. ^ Gaji Tertunggak, FMLLP Sedia Potong Mata Pasukan
  29. ^ a b Fox Sports Asia eyeing M-League rights?
  30. ^ a b c Media Prima insider defends their M-League telecasts
  31. ^ a b Plans underway to improve Media Prima's match telecasts
  32. ^ a b National broadcasting station Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) will be telecasting the Liga Super opener this weekend
  33. ^ a b "MEDIA PRIMA RAIH HAK PENYIARAN LIGA BOLA SEPAK UNTUK 3 TAHUN". Football Malaysia LLP. 11 February 2016. 
  34. ^ Is Malaysia Cup losing its appeal?
  35. ^ "AFC Football / Soccer Clubs Ranking".