South African Premier Division

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Absa Premiership
Country  South Africa
Confederation CAF
Founded 1996
Number of teams 16
Level on pyramid 1
Relegation to National First Division
Domestic cup(s) Nedbank Cup
Telkom Knockout
MTN 8
International cup(s) Champions League
Confederation Cup
Current champions Bidvest Wits
(1st title)
Most championships Mamelodi Sundowns (7 titles)
TV partners SuperSport, SABC1
Website www.psl.co.za
2016–17 South African Premier Division

The South African Premier Division (referred to as the Absa Premiership for sponsorship reasons) is the highest division of South African football league system. As the division is the top level of association football in South Africa, it is often referred to as the PSL – the name of the league's administrator.

The Premier Soccer League, South Africa's "administrator of professional football in the Republic of South Africa" refer to the competition as the "Premier Division" in their constitution.[1]

History[edit]

The league was founded in 1996 after an agreement between the National Soccer League and the remnants of the National Premier Soccer League.

The league was reduced from 18 to 16 teams after the end of the 2001–02 season to avoid fixture congestion, causing two teams, Ria Stars and Free State Stars, to be disbanded.

In 2004, a match-fixing scandal rocked South African football. An investigation codenamed "Operation Dribble" was launched by the South African police in June 2004. More than 40 arrests were made, ranging from club bosses to match commissioners, referees and their assistants.

Kaizer Chiefs successfully defended their league title in 2005 after they won the prestigious trophy in 2004 for the first time in a decade.

The 2005–06 season saw Mamelodi Sundowns capturing the title for the fourth time.

In 2007, the PSL signed a television deal with SuperSport worth R1.6-billion. It is the biggest sporting deal in the history of South Africa, and it took the Premier Division into the top 15 ranked leagues in the world in terms of commercial broadcast deals.

In the same year ABSA replaced Castle Lager as name sponsor.

In 2008, 2009 and 2010 Supersport United won a hat-trick of titles.

The league currently has teams in most of the country's largest cities, with Port Elizabeth being the obvious exception. The city has not had a team in the league since the 2008–09 Premier Soccer League, when the city's Bay United F.C. were relegated.

The league is rated as the 12th best in Africa in 2015. This is according to the CAF 5-Year Ranking system.

CEOs[edit]

Sponsorship[edit]

Since its inception in 1996, the Premier Division has been sponsored. The sponsor has been able to determine the league's sponsorship name. The list below details who the sponsors have been and what they called the competition:

Format[edit]

There are sixteen clubs in the Premier League. During the course of a season (which lasts from August to May) each club plays the others twice, once at their home stadium and once at that of their opponents for a total of 30 games for each club. Teams receive three points for a win and one point for a draw. No points are awarded for a defeat.

The champion and runners up of the Premier Division advances to the CAF Champions League, while the third-place finishers and the Nedbank Cup champions advance to the CAF Confederation Cup, which is the African equivalent of the UEFA Europa League.

The bottom team in the ABSA Premiership is automatically relegated and replaced by the winner of the National First Division. The team finishing 15th on the log enters a mini-league playoff with the teams who finished 2nd and 3rd in the National First Division – the winner earning a place in Premier Soccer League for the following season.

Media coverage[edit]

The league's main broadcast partner is SuperSport. SuperSport have in turn sub leased the rights to certain matches to the SABC, so that matches can be shown on public television.

SuperSport broadcast matches on Wednesday and Friday nights, as well as on Saturdays and Sundays. The SABC broadcast Wednesday afternoon matches, as well as Saturday and Sunday matches.

Clubs[edit]

Past seasons[edit]

Previous Winners, Runners-up and Relegated/Promoted Teams[edit]

Season Winner Runner-up Relegated at end of season Promoted at end of season
1996–97 Manning Rangers Kaizer Chiefs Michau Warriors, Witbank Aces Santos, African Wanderers
1997–98 Mamelodi Sundowns Kaizer Chiefs African Wanderers, Real Rovers Seven Stars, Dynamos
1998–99 Mamelodi Sundowns Kaizer Chiefs Dynamos, Vaal Professionals African Wanderers, Tembisa Classic
1999-00 Mamelodi Sundowns Orlando Pirates AmaZulu, Mother City Golden Arrows, Ria Stars
2000–01 Orlando Pirates Kaizer Chiefs Bloemfontein Celtic, African Wanderers Amazulu, Black Leopards
2001–02 Santos Supersport United AmaZulu, Tembisa Classic African Wanderers, Dynamos
2002–03 Orlando Pirates Supersport United Bush Bucks, African Wanderers Amazulu, Silver Stars
2003–04 Kaizer Chiefs Ajax Cape Town Hellenic, Zulu Royals Bush Bucks, Bloemfontein Celtic
2004–05 Kaizer Chiefs Orlando Pirates Manning Rangers, Wits University Free State Stars, Tembisa Classic
2005–06 Mamelodi Sundowns Orlando Pirates Free State Stars, Bush Bucks Wits University, Benoni Premier United
2006–07 Mamelodi Sundowns Platinum Stars Maritzburg United Free State Stars
2007–08 Supersport United Ajax Cape Town Black Leopards, Jomo Cosmos Maritzburg United, Bay United
2008–09 Supersport United Orlando Pirates Bay United, Thanda Royal Zulu Jomo Cosmos, Mpumalanga Black Aces
2009–10 Supersport United Mamelodi Sundowns Jomo Cosmos Vasco da Gama
2010–11 Orlando Pirates Ajax Cape Town Mpumalanga Black Aces, Vasco da Gama Jomo Cosmos, Black Leopards
2011–12 Orlando Pirates Moroka Swallows Santos, Jomo Cosmos University of Pretoria, Chippa United
2012–13 Kaizer Chiefs Platinum Stars Chippa United, Black Leopards Mpumalanga Black Aces, Polokwane City
2013–14 Mamelodi Sundowns Kaizer Chiefs Golden Arrows Chippa United
2014–15 Kaizer Chiefs Mamelodi Sundowns Moroka Swallows, Amazulu Golden Arrows, Jomo Cosmos
2015–16 Mamelodi Sundowns Bidvest Wits Jomo Cosmos, University of Pretoria Baroka, Highlands Park
2016–17 Bidvest Wits

Most league titles[edit]

Team Titles Years
Mamelodi Sundowns
7
1997–98, 1998–99, 1999-00, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2013–14, 2015–16
Orlando Pirates
4
2000–01, 2002–03, 2010–11, 2011–12
Kaizer Chiefs
4
2003–04, 2004–05, 2012–13, 2014–15
Supersport United
3
2007–08, 2008–09, 2009–10
Manning Rangers
1
1996–97
Santos
1
2001–02
Bidvest Wits
1
2016–17

Manager records[edit]

League winning managers[edit]

Season Winner Manager
1996–97 Manning Rangers South Africa Gordon Igesund
1997–98 Mamelodi Sundowns Romania Ted Dumitru
1998–99 Mamelodi Sundowns Romania Ted Dumitru
1999-00 Mamelodi Sundowns France Paul Dolezar
2000–01 Orlando Pirates South Africa Gordon Igesund
2001–02 Santos South Africa Gordon Igesund
2002–03 Orlando Pirates Zimbabwe Roy Barreto
2003–04 Kaizer Chiefs Romania Ted Dumitru
2004–05 Kaizer Chiefs Romania Ted Dumitru
2005–06 Mamelodi Sundowns South Africa Neil Tovey &
Argentina Miguel Gamondi
2006–07 Mamelodi Sundowns South Africa Gordon Igesund
2007–08 Supersport United South Africa Gavin Hunt
2008–09 Supersport United South Africa Gavin Hunt
2009–10 Supersport United South Africa Gavin Hunt
2010–11 Orlando Pirates Netherlands Ruud Krol
2011–12 Orlando Pirates Peru Augusto Palacios
2012–13 Kaizer Chiefs F.C. Scotland Stuart Baxter
2013–14 Mamelodi Sundowns South Africa Pitso Mosimane
2014–15 Kaizer Chiefs F.C. Scotland Stuart Baxter
2015–16 Mamelodi Sundowns South Africa Pitso Mosimane
2016–17 Bidvest Wits South Africa Gavin Hunt

League records[edit]

League participants[edit]

Club Number of seasons in Premier Division Seasons
African Wanderers 4 1997/98, 1999/00, 2000/01, 2002/03
AmaZulu 15 1996/97, 1997/98, 1998/99, 1999/00, 2001/02, 2003/04,[note 1] 2004/05, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15
Ajax Cape Town 18 1999/00, 2000/01, 2001/02, 2002/03, 2003/04, 2004/05, 2006/07, 2005/06, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17
Baroka 1 2016/17
Bay United 1 2008/09
Benoni Premier United 1 2006/07
Bidvest Wits University 20 1996/97, 1997/98, 1998/99, 1999/00, 2000/01, 2001/02, 2002/03, 2003/04, 2004/05, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17
Black Leopards 9 2001/02, 2002/03, 2003/04, 2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2011/12, 2012/13
Bloemfontein Celtic 18 1996/97, 1997/98, 1998/99, 1999/00, 2000/01, 2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17
Bush Bucks 9 1996/97, 1997/98, 1998/99, 1999/00, 2000/01, 2001/02, 2002/03, 2004/05, 2005/06
Cape Town Spurs 3 1996/97, 1997/98, 1998/99[note 2]
Cape Town City 1 2016/17
Chippa United 4 2012/13, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17
Dynamos 5 1998/99, 2002/03, 2003/04, 2004/05, 2005/06,
Free State Stars 17 1996/97, 1997/98, 1998/99,[note 3] 1999/00, 2000/01, 2001/02, 2005/06, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17
Hellenic 8 1996/97, 1997/98, 1998/99, 1999/00, 2000/01, 2001/02, 2002/03, 2003/04
Highlands Park 1 2016/17
Jomo Cosmos 15 1996/97, 1997/98, 1998/99, 1999/00, 2000/01, 2001/02, 2002/03, 2003/04, 2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2009/10, 2011/12, 2015/16
Kaizer Chiefs 21 1996/97, 1997/98, 1998/99, 1999/00, 2000/01, 2001/02, 2002/03, 2003/04, 2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17
Lamontville Golden Arrows 16 2000/01, 2001/02, 2002/03, 2003/04, 2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14, 2015/16, 2016/17
Mamelodi Sundowns 21 1996/97, 1997/98, 1998/99, 1999/00, 2000/01, 2001/02, 2002/03, 2003/04, 2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17
Manning Rangers 9 1996/97, 1997/98, 1998/99, 1999/00, 2000/01, 2001/02, 2002/03, 2003/04, 2004/05
Maritzburg United 10 2006/07, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17
Michau Warriors 1 1996/97
Moroka Swallows 19 1996/97, 1997/98, 1998/99, 1999/00, 2000/01, 2001/02, 2002/03, 2003/04, 2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15
Mother City 1 1999/00
Mpumalanga Black Aces 6 1996/97,[note 4] 2009/10, 2010/11, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16
Orlando Pirates 21 1996/97, 1997/98, 1998/99, 1999/00, 2000/01, 2001/02, 2002/03, 2003/04, 2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17
Platinum Stars 14 2003/04, 2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/07,[note 5] 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17
Polokwane City 4 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17
Real Rovers 2 1996/97, 1997/98
Ria Stars 2 2000/01, 2001/02
Santos 15 1997/98, 1998/99, 1999/00, 2000/01, 2001/02, 2002/03, 2003/04, 2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12
Seven Stars 1 1998/99[note 2]
Supersport United 21 1996/97, 1997/98, 1998/99, 1999/00, 2000/01, 2001/02, 2002/03, 2003/04, 2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17
Tembisa Classic 4 1999/00, 2000/01, 2001/02, 2005/06
Thanda Royal Zulu 2 2007/08, 2008/09
University of Pretoria 4 2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16
Vaal Professionals 3 1996/97, 1997/98, 1998/99
Vasco Da Gama 1 2010/11
  1. ^ Amazulu participated as Zulu Royals in 2003/04
  2. ^ a b Cape Town Spurs and Seven Stars were merged to create Ajax Cape Town
  3. ^ Free State Stars participated as Qwa Qwa Stars in 1996/97, 1997/98 and 1998/99
  4. ^ Participated as Witbank Aces in 1996/1997
  5. ^ Platinum Stars participated as Silver Stars in 2003/04, 2004/05, 2005/06 and 2006/07

Top goalscorers[edit]

Season Player Goals Team Source
1996–97 Zimbabwe Gary Hughes 22
1997–98 South Africa Rory Gaffney 24 Sundowns
1998–99 South Africa Levi Hughes 21 Sion Hill FC
1999–00 Zambia Dennis Lota 18 Orlando Pirates [2]
2000–01 Zimbabwe Gilbert Mushangazhike 19 Manning Rangers [3]
2001–02 South Africa Ishmael Maluleke 18 Manning Rangers [4]
2002–03 South Africa Lesley Manyathela 18 Orlando Pirates [5]
2003–04 South Africa Jackie Ledwaba 14 Zulu Royals [6]
2004–05 Zambia Collins Mbesuma 25 Kaizer Chiefs [7]
2005–06 Senegal Mame Niang 14 Swallows [8]
2006–07 Zambia Chris Katongo 15 Jomo Cosmos [9]
2007–08 Zambia James Chamanga 14 Swallows [10]
2008–09 South Africa Richard Henyekane 19 Golden Arrows [11]
2009–10 South Africa Katlego Mphela 17 Sundowns
2010–11 Zimbabwe Knowledge Musona 15 Kaizer Chiefs
2011–12 South Africa Siyabonga Nomvethe 20 Moroka Swallows
2012–13 South Africa Katlego Mashego 13 Moroka Swallows
2013-14 South Africa Bernard Parker 10 Kaizer Chiefs [12]
2014–15 South Africa Moeketsi Sekola 14 Free State Stars
2015–16 Zambia Collins Mbesuma 14 Mpumalanga Black Aces [13]

All time top goalscorers[edit]

NB: list includes all players who have scored at least 100 goals in the PSL era. Also includes cup competitions.

Source:[14]

Current players playing in other confederations[edit]

Footballers who have previously played for Premier Division clubs, and currently play for clubs in other confederations.

Founder Members[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]