Swiss Super League

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Swiss Super League
Founded1898; 125 years ago (1898)
as Swiss Serie A[1]
1933; 90 years ago (1933)
as Nationalliga A[2]
Number of teams12
Level on pyramid1
Relegation toChallenge League
Domestic cup(s)Swiss Cup
International cup(s)
Current championsYoung Boys (16th title)
Most championshipsGrasshopper (27 titles)[1]
TV partners
Current: 2023–24 Swiss Super League

The Swiss Super League (known as the Credit Suisse Super League for sponsorship reasons) is a Swiss professional league in the top tier of the Swiss football league system and has been played in its current format since the 2003–04 season.[3][4] As of January 2022, the Swiss Super League is ranked 14th in Europe according to UEFA's ranking of league coefficients, which is based upon Swiss team performances in European competitions.[5] The 2023–24 season will be the 127th season of the Swiss top-flight, making it the longest continuously running top-flight national league.


The Super League is played over 36 rounds from the end of July to May, with a winter break from mid-December to the first week of February. Each team plays each other four times, twice at home and twice away, in a round-robin.

As teams from both Switzerland and Liechtenstein participate in the Swiss football leagues, only a Swiss club finishing in first place will be crowned champion—should a team from Liechtenstein win, this honor will go to the highest-placed Swiss team.[6] Relative to their league coefficient ranking the highest-placed teams will compete in UEFA competitions—again with exception of teams from Liechtenstein, who qualify through the Liechtenstein Cup. The bottom team will be relegated to the Challenge League and replaced by the respective champion for the next season. The club finishing in 9th place will compete against the second-placed team of the Challenge League in a relegation play-off over two games, home and away, for a spot in the succeeding tournament.[7]

Matches in the Super League employ the use of a video assistant referee.[8]


Previous names
Years German French Italian
1897 Coupe Ruinart (unofficial)
1898–1929 Serie A
1930–1931 1. Liga 1e Ligue Prima Lega
1931–1933 Nationalliga Ligue Nationale Lega Nazionale
1933–1934 Challenge National
1934–1944 Nationalliga Ligue Nationale Lega Nazionale
1944–2003 Nationalliga A Ligue Nationale A Lega Nazionale A
2003–present Super League
axpo Super League (2003–2012)
Raiffeisen Super League (2012–2021)
Credit Suisse Super League (2021–present)

Serie A era[edit]

Anglo-American club in 1899
Anglo-American Club, winners of the first championship organized by the Swiss Football Association.

The Swiss Football Association was founded in 1895, but were initially unable to organize an annual competition, citing the teams' travel costs. The first unofficial championship, competed for the Ruinart Cup, was organized by Genevan newspaper La Suisse sportive as a response in 1897. It was mainly contested by teams from the French-speaking area, with the exception of FC Zürich and Grasshopper Club Zürich, the latter of which eventually won the tournament.[9] The inaugural official championship was therefore organized for the following season, in 1898–99, and won by Anglo-American Club against Old Boys Basel. It was, however, only competed by Swiss-German teams (with the exception of a team from Neuchâtel) until 1900, due to a dispute about playing on Sundays.[10][11]

Teams from the canton of Zürich continued to dominate the league until 1907–08, with Grasshoppers winning a further three, FC Winterthur winning two, and FC Zürich winning one title. Other champions from that time included Servette, St. Gallen, and Young Boys, who subsequently also won three in a row from 1908–1911. Over the next decade, FC Aarau, Montriond LS (now Lausanne-Sport), SC Brühl, and Cantonal Neuchâtel FC each won their first title as nobody managed to monopolize the league. During the 1920s and 1930s, championships were achieved almost exclusively by modern Super League regulars, namely Grasshoppers, Servette, Zürich, Young Boys, Lausanne-Sport, and FC Lugano. FC Bern was the exception in 1923; however, their championship was denied after the use of an unauthorized player.[12][13]

Nationalliga era[edit]

The league was reformed into the Nationalliga in 1931 and initially changed from three regional groups to two groups with 9 teams each.[14][15] The league composition thereafter varied on several occasions, ranging from 12 to 16 teams competing in a single group. Contrary to its neighboring countries, national football was not suspended during World War II due to Switzerland's neutrality,[16] but the post-war years nevertheless brought change. The 1944–45 season saw the separation of the league into the Nationalliga A and B, with the winner of the former declared Swiss champion.[17][18] The 1946–47, 1947–48, 1952–53, and 1953–54 seasons saw further maiden victories achieved by FC Biel-Bienne, AC Bellinzona, FC Basel, and FC La-Chaux-de-Fonds, respectively. In 1954, broadcasting rights were sold to SRG SSR for the first time, with the company initially being restricted in showing games on TV.[19][20] For the 1956–57 season, jersey numbers were declared mandatory,[21] with Young Boys initiating an unprecedented streak of four titles the same season.[12]

The 1966–67 season first saw the emergence of Basel as a dominant team, as they won 7 of the following 14 seasons. As shirt sponsors first appeared by 1976, the SRG SSR refused to broadcast teams that wore advertisements on their kits. As a result, the broadcaster and the league reached a compromise, where the former would only show sponsors in reports lasting a maximum of 6 minutes, and teams would be obligated to wear neutral jerseys for longer appearances.[22][23] The 1980s and 1990s saw Grasshoppers dominate and Neuchâtel Xamax, FC Luzern, and FC Sion win their first titles in 1986–87, 1988–89, and 1991–92.[12] In 1985, the number of foreigners on a team was increased from one to two,[24] promptly leading to a new transfer record of 1.3 million francs with Servette acquiring Mats Magnusson.[25] In 1992–93 Aarau won the championship the first time in 79 years, while St. Gallen earned their first title in 97 years at the turn of the millennium.[12]

Super League era[edit]

The rebranding of the Nationalliga A into the Super League occurred in 2003, when the league was restructured from 12 to 10 teams for the 2003–04 season, simplifying the format by removing the relegation playoff round. A return to 12 teams was discussed on multiple occasions in 2009 and 2018, but ultimately rejected, among others due to reservations about the early relegation battle.[26][27]

This new era initially proved to be one of domination for Basel, as 11 of the first 14 seasons were won by them, including a record-breaking streak of 8 championships between 2009 and 2017. After a change in leadership in 2017,[28] however, they were dethroned by Young Boys, who won the next four straight championships.[12]

Format Change[edit]

In April 2022, another proposal by the SFL committee to increase the league size to 12 was announced.[29] The proposal includes three stages: an initial round-robin qualifying stage with all 12 teams (22 rounds); an intermediary stage, with two groups (1st-6th placed in the Championship and 7-12th placed in the Qualification Group) of six teams each (10 rounds); the format of the third and final playoff phase is still to be determined. Despite pushback from fans and a general negative response from club officials,[30] the proposal to increase the league size as well as the proposed format change were approved by the general assembly of the Swiss Football League on 20 May 2022.[31]

The details of the final playoff stage was also finalized:

  • The first and second placed teams of the Championship Group will play a best of three Championship Final. The first placed team has home advantage in the first and third game.
  • The 3rd-6th placed teams of the Championship Group and the 1st-4th placed teams of the Qualification Group (eight teams total) will play a three round playoff for the remaining spots in international championships. The playoff will be carried out according to the European model, with home and away games except in the final match. Teams are seeded according to their placement.
  • The 5th placed team of the Qualification Group will play a relegation playoff against the second placed team of the Challenge League. The last placed team is relegated directly.

The new format will be implemented for the 2023–24 season, while the transitional 2022–23 season season will have only the last placed team playing a relegation playoff against the 3rd place of the Challenge League. A change of format for the Swiss Challenge League is not yet clear.

In October 2022, following heavy fan protests, reigning champions FC Zürich officially submitted a request to repeal the decision to introduce the play-off modus.[32] Instead they propose to use the system used in the Scottish Premiership. An according fan petition gathered 18,000 signatures (including national team star Breel Embolo) in the first day of its publication and Super League heavy-weights BSC Young Boys officially supported the motion immediately.[33] This triggered a renewed vote by the general assembly.

On 11 November 2022, the new proposal to instead use the "Scottish Model" was approved by the general assembly of the Swiss Football League.[34] By the time of the vote, the petition opposing the play-off system had gathered over 60,000 signatures. The increased number of teams was not up for a re-vote, though. The new format is as follows:

  • In a first phase all twelve teams play each other three times each, for a total of 33 matchdays.
  • Following that, the league is split into two groups of six each, one "Championship Group" and one "Relegation Group".
    • Each team will play every other team in their group one time (five matches each), for a total of 38 matchdays.
    • The Championship Group will play for the title of Swiss Football Champion and qualification to European championships.
    • The Relegation Group will play against relegation (last place) and qualification to the relegation play-off (second-to-last place).
  • Points won in the first phase are carried over to the second phase.

Current season[edit]

Club Location Stadium Capacity Ref
FC Basel Basel St. Jakob-Park 37,994 [35]
BSC Young Boys Bern Stadion Wankdorf 31,120 [36]
Grasshopper Club Zürich Zürich Letzigrund 26,103 [37]
FC Lausanne-Sport Lausanne Stade de la Tuilière 12,544 [38]
FC Stade Lausanne Ouchy Lausanne Stade Olympique de la Pontaise 8,500 [39]
FC Lugano Lugano Stadio Cornaredo 6,390 [40]
FC Luzern Lucerne Swissporarena 16,490 [41]
Servette FC Geneva Stade de Genève 28,833 [42]
FC St. Gallen St. Gallen Kybunpark 19,455 [43]
FC Winterthur Winterthur Stadion Schützenwiese 8,400 [44]
Yverdon-Sport FC Yverdon-les-Bains Stade Municipal 6,600 [45]
FC Zürich Zürich Letzigrund 26,103 [46]

Promotion/relegation from 2022–23 season[edit]

Team records[edit]

Season Recent champions
(Super League only)
Runners-up Third place Top scorer(s)
Player (Club) Nat. Goals
2003–04 Basel Young Boys Servette Stéphane Chapuisat (Young Boys)   SUI 23
2004–05 Basel (2) Thun Grasshopper Christian Giménez (Basel)  ARG 27
2005–06 Zürich Basel Young Boys Alhassane Keita (Zürich)  GUI 20
2006–07 Zürich (2) Basel Sion Mladen Petrić (Basel)  CRO 19
2007–08 Basel (3) Young Boys Zürich Hakan Yakin (Young Boys)   SUI 24
2008–09 Zürich (3) Young Boys Basel Seydou Doumbia (Young Boys)  CIV 20
2009–10 Basel (4) Young Boys Grasshopper Seydou Doumbia (Young Boys)  CIV 30
2010–11 Basel (5) Zürich Young Boys Alexander Frei (Basel)   SUI 27
2011–12 Basel (6) Luzern Young Boys Alexander Frei (Basel)   SUI 23
2012–13 Basel (7) Grasshopper St. Gallen Ezequiel Scarione (St. Gallen)  ARG 21
2013–14 Basel (8) Grasshopper Young Boys Shkëlzen Gashi (Grasshopper)  ALB 19
2014–15 Basel (9) Young Boys Zürich Shkëlzen Gashi (Basel)  ALB 22
2015–16 Basel (10) Young Boys Luzern Moanes Dabbur (Grasshopper)  ISR 19
2016–17 Basel (11) Young Boys Lugano Seydou Doumbia (Basel)  CIV 20
2017–18 Young Boys Basel Luzern Albian Ajeti (Basel, St. Gallen)   SUI 17
2018–19 Young Boys (2) Basel Lugano Guillaume Hoarau (Young Boys)  FRA 24
2019–20 Young Boys (3) St. Gallen Basel Jean-Pierre Nsame (Young Boys)  CMR 32
2020–21 Young Boys (4) Basel Servette Jean-Pierre Nsame (Young Boys)  CMR 19
2021–22 Zürich (4) Basel Young Boys Jordan Pefok (Young Boys)  USA 22
2022–23 Young Boys (5) Servette Lugano Jean-Pierre Nsame (Young Boys)  CMR 21

Performance by club[edit]

Titles Club Last Championship won

Last updated: 22 May 2022
Source: RSSSF[1]

Performance by club (professional era only)[edit]

Titles Club

Player records[edit]

All records are since the introduction of the Super League in 2003.[47]

Players in italics are still active. As of 15 December 2020.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Switzerland - List of Champions RSSSF
  2. ^ Swiss Football League - Nationalliga A RSSSF
  3. ^ WSC 257 Jul 08. "When Saturday Comes – Border crossing". Retrieved 15 November 2014.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ Heinrich Schifferle. "Swiss Football League". European Professional Football Leagues. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  5. ^ "Member associations - UEFA Coefficients - Country coefficients". Retrieved 20 January 2022.
  6. ^ Bürge, Christian (17 April 2005). "Bestnoten statt Luftschlösser". Neue Zürcher Zeitung (in German). Archived from the original on 5 July 2018.
  7. ^ "Thun und Vaduz in der Barrage - Neue Spielregeln". SwissFootballLeague (in German). Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  8. ^ "Video Assistant Referee (VAR)". Swiss Football League - SFL. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  9. ^ Pfister, Benedikt (16 December 2017). "Der obskure erste Meistertitel der Grasshoppers". TagesWoche (in German). Archived from the original on 22 September 2020.
  10. ^ Schaub, Daniel (18 August 2018). "Wie die Old Boys zu den ersten Forfait-Siegern der Schweizer Fussballgeschichte wurden". TagesWoche (in German). Archived from the original on 23 November 2018.
  11. ^ "Schweizerischer Fussballverband - 1895-1904". Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  12. ^ a b c d e "Meistertafel seit 1897". Swiss Football League - SFL. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  13. ^ "Geschichte". FC Bern. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  14. ^ "Schweizerischer Fussballverband - 1925-1934". (in German). Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  15. ^ "Switzerland 1931/32". RSSSF. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  16. ^ "Club history: 1933/34 until 1942/43". FC Basel. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 27 March 2009.
  17. ^ "Switzerland 1944/45". RSSSF. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  18. ^ "Schweizerischer Fussballverband - 1935-1944". (in German). Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  19. ^ "Die Nationalliga und das Fernsehen". Oberländer Tagblatt (in German). 2 December 1959.
  20. ^ "Keine Fussballreportagen im Fernsehen". Neue Zürcher Zeitung (in German). 27 April 1959.
  21. ^ "Eine wichtige Neuerung". Der Bund (in German). 24 August 1956.
  22. ^ "Einigung SRG - Nationalliga in Sachen Leibchen". Walliser Bote (in German). 10 November 1976.
  23. ^ "Vorläufiger Kompromiss zwischen SRG und Nationalliga". Thuner Tagblatt (in German). 8 March 1977.
  24. ^ "Zweiter Ausländer erlaubt". Freiburger Nachrichten (in German). 22 April 1985.
  25. ^ "Fussball". Neue Zürcher Zeitung (in German). 12 August 1987.
  26. ^ "Zurück zum Strich mit 12 Teams". Bluewin (in German). 22 April 2008. Archived from the original on 7 February 2010.
  27. ^ Dubach, Matthias (31 October 2017). "Swiss Football League: Super League bleibt 10er-Liga". Blick (in German). Archived from the original on 15 November 2017. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  28. ^ "Neuer Präsident beim FC Basel - Burgener – der unbekannte Bescheidene". Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen (SRF) (in German). 20 February 2017. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  29. ^ "SFL-Komitee schlägt Erhöhung der CSSL auf 12 Klubs vor". SFL (in German). 5 April 2022. Retrieved 5 April 2022.
  30. ^ "Am Freitag entscheidet sich die Zukunft der Super League". SFL (in German). 19 May 2022. Retrieved 20 May 2022.
  31. ^ "12 Klubs und neuer Modus in der Super League". SFL (in German). 20 May 2022. Retrieved 20 May 2022.
  32. ^ "Der FC Zürich beantragt Abschaffung des play-off-Modus" [FC Zürich requests abolishment of play-off modus] (in German). FC Zürich. 29 October 2022. Retrieved 11 November 2022.
  33. ^ "Die Revolution gegen die Playoffs beginnt – und sie hat Chancen" [The revolution against he play-offs begins - and it has a good chance] (in German). Tages Anzeiger. 21 October 2022. Retrieved 11 November 2022.
  34. ^ "Keine Playoffs: SFL spricht sich für «schottisches Modell» aus" [No play-offs: SFL speaks out for the "Scottish model"] (in German). SRF. 11 November 2022. Retrieved 11 November 2022.
  35. ^ "FC Basel 1893". Swiss Football League.
  36. ^ "BSC Young Boys". Swiss Football League.
  37. ^ "Grasshopper Club Zürich". Swiss Football League.
  38. ^ "FC Lausanne-Sport". Swiss Football League.
  39. ^ "FC Stade-Lausanne-Ouchy". Swiss Football League.
  40. ^ "FC Lugano". Swiss Football League.
  41. ^ "FC Luzern". Swiss Football League.
  42. ^ "Servette FC". Swiss Football League.
  43. ^ "FC St. Gallen". Swiss Football League.
  44. ^ "FC Winterthur". Swiss Football League.
  45. ^ "Yverdon-Sport FC". Swiss Football League.
  46. ^ "FC Zürich". Swiss Football League.
  47. ^ "Spieler-Bestmarken in der Super League". Swiss Football League - SFL. Retrieved 15 December 2020.

External links[edit]