Thai Premier League
|Number of teams||18|
|Level on pyramid||1|
|Relegation to||Thai Division 1 League|
|Domestic cup(s)||Thai FA Cup
Kor Royal Cup
|League cup(s)||Thai League Cup|
|International cup(s)||AFC Champions League
Mekong Club Championship
|Current champions||Buriram United (5th title)
|Most championships||Buriram United (5 titles)|
|TV partners||True Visions|
The Thai League (Thai: ไทยลีก) is a Thai professional league for Football Association of Thailand clubs. At the top of the Thai football league system, it is the country's primary football competition. Contested by 18 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with Thai Division 1 League. The Thai League is a corporation in which the 18 member clubs act as shareholders. Seasons run from March to October, with teams playing 34 games each totaling 306 games in the season. It is sponsored by Toyota and therefore officially known as the Toyota Thai League. In the Thai League, most of the games are played during Saturdays and Sundays, with a few games played during the weekdays.
- 1 History
- 2 Champions
- 3 Clubs
- 4 Stadiums and location
- 5 Records
- 6 Awards
- 7 Competition format and sponsorship
- 8 Match balls
- 9 Former Thai League teams
- 10 Youth League
- 11 See also
- 12 References
- 13 External links
Thai League was introduced in 1996 by the Football Association of Thailand (FAT) with the name of Thailand Soccer League. Eighteen clubs who earlier competed for the Kor Royal Cup were registered to play in the first edition of a double round-robin league system. Thai Farmers Bank was crowded as the first champion of 1996–97 Thailand Soccer League.
The Thai League originally had 10 to 12 clubs each season until 2007, when it was expanded to 16 clubs. At the end of each season, three bottom placed clubs are relegated to the Thai Division 1 League.
Leagues intergration (2007)
Most of Thai League clubs in that time were the organization of government authorities club that based in Greater Bangkok and Metropolitan. Meanwhile, the other local clubs had competed in the semi-pro league called Provincial League. Thai Premier League faced the issue of low attendance and lack of local loyalties while the Provincial league suffered the financial issue. In 2007, Thai League was integrated with Provincial League completely. Chonburi from Provincial League was the first champion of the new Thailand Premier League in 2007 season.
Modern era (2009)
In 2009 season, there were significant changes the lead to the new era of Thai Premier League. Asian Football Confederation declared the regulations for the associations that have the intention to send the clubs to competed in AFC Champions League starting from 2011. Football Association of Thailand had to establish Thai Premier League co.ltd and forced the clubs in the top league to complete AFC Club License Criterea otherwise Thai clubs will not eligible to play in the Champions League. Clubs were forced to separate themselves from the parent organizations and registered as the independent football authorities.
The massive changes occurred in that season. Thailand Premier League renamed to Thai Premier League. Two times league champion Krung Thai Bank failed to complete the new regulations. The organization decided to sell the club. The club was acquired by Boon Rawd and rebranded to be Bangkok Glass. Bangkok University had expelled their football club section. The club rebrand itself to Bangkok United since then. The organization-based clubs had to relocate to find the local supporters to backup the clubs. Osotspa changed their home stadium to Saraburi Province, TOT moved to play in Kanchanaburi, Royal Navy played in Rayong Province while Thailand Tobacco Monopoly integrated to Samut Sakhon Province and rebranded to TTM Samut Sakhon.
Thailand Clasico or The Classic Match of Thailand is the matchup between Muangthong United and Chonburi. The name was given to the encounter of two teams due to the hype and massive atmosphere around the match. The first encounter between them happened in 2009 Thai Premier League season. On 30 May 2009, Chonburi that was regarded as the best club in Thailand at that moment hosted the new powerhouse who just promoted from Divison 1 Muangthong United. The match was played at Nong Prue Stadium, Pattaya. Before the match, Chonburi was the leader in the table after 10 matches of the season while Muangthong followed in second with one less point. Chonburi made the lead by 2-0 in the first thirty minutes but Muangthong bounced back to win by the 5-2 result at the end. The match was full of the exciting and dramatic moments. Then, it was considered as one of the most classic matches in Thai League history. Muangthong versus Chonburi matchup was dubbed as Thailand Clasico ever since then.
The first invincible
In 2012 season, Muangthong United under Serbian head coach Slaviša Jokanović, had become the first club in the league history that completed the season with an unbeatable record. Muangthong finished at the top of the final standing with 25 wins and 9 draws.
The Buriram Dominance refers to the 2013 to 2015 season, which Buriram United won Thai Premier League in three consecutive seasons as the first club in the league history. The three titles in that period included two invincible titles which Buriram United completed Thai Premier League campaign unbeaten in 2013 and 2015 season.
Wins by club
||2008, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015|
||2009, 2010, 2012|
|3||Air Force Central||
|BEC Tero Sasana||2000, 2001–02|
|Krung Thai Bank||2002–03, 2003–04|
Stadiums and location
|Army United||Bangkok||Thai Army Sports Stadium||20,000|
|Bangkok Glass||Pathumthani||Leo Stadium||13,000|
|Bangkok United||Pathumthani||Thammasat Stadium||25,000|
|BBCU||Nonthaburi||Nonthaburi Youth Centre Stadium||6,000|
|BEC Tero Sasana||Bangkok||72-years Anniversary Stadium||10,000|
|Buriram United||Buriram||New I-Mobile Stadium||32,600|
|Chainat Hornbill||Chainat||Chainat Stadium||12,000|
|Chiangrai United||Chiangrai||United Stadium of Chiangrai||15,000|
|Muangthong United||Nonthaburi||SCG Stadium||15,000|
|Nakhon Ratchasima||Nakhon Ratchasima||80th Birthday Stadium||28,000|
|Navy||Chonburi||Sattahip Navy Stadium||12,500|
|Super Power Samut Prakan||Samut Prakan||M-Power Stadium||3,500|
|Pattaya United||Chonburi||Dolphins Stadium||5,000|
|Ratchaburi||Ratchaburi||Mitr Phol Stadium||13,000|
|Sisaket||Sisaket||Sri Nakhon Lamduan Stadium||10,000|
|Sukhothai||Sukhothai||Thung Thalay Luang Stadium||8,000|
|Suphanburi||Suphanburi||Suphanburi Municipality Stadium||25,000|
|Army United||Bangkok Glass||Bangkok United||BBCU||BEC Tero Sasana||Buriram United|
|Thai Army Sports Stadium||Leo Stadium||Thammasat Stadium||Nonthaburi Youth Centre Stadium||72-years Anniversary Stadium||New I-Mobile Stadium|
|Capacity: 20,000||Capacity: 13,000||Capacity: 25,000||Capacity: 6,000||Capacity: 10,000||Capacity: 32,600|
|Chainat Hornbill||Chiangrai United||Chonburi||Muangthong United||Nakhon Ratchasima||Navy|
|Chainat Stadium||United Stadium||Chonburi Stadium||SCG Stadium||80th Birthday Stadium||Sattahip Navy Stadium|
|Capacity: 12,000||Capacity: 15,000||Capacity: 8,680||Capacity: 15,000||Capacity: 28,141||Capacity: 12,500|
|Super Power Samut Prakan||Pattaya United||Ratchaburi||Sisaket||Sukhothai||Suphanburi|
|M Power Stadium||Nong Prue Stadium||Mitr Phol Stadium||Sri Nakhon Lamduan Stadium||Thung Thalay Luang Stadium||Suphanburi Municipality Stadium|
|Capacity: 3,500||Capacity: 6,000||Capacity: 13,000||Capacity: 10,000||Capacity: 8,000||Capacity: 25,000|
All-time top scorers
- As of 24 July 2016
|1||Cleiton Silva||2010–2014, 2015–||112||172|
|2||Sarayuth Chaikamdee||2001–2004, 2007–2012, 2013–2014||101||233|
|3||Teerasil Dangda||2009–2014, 2015–||96||209|
|5||Mohamed Koné||2003–2007, 2009, 2010–2014||87||177|
|8||Teeratep Winothai||2006–2008, 2009–2014, 2016–||65||228|
|10||Worrawoot Srimaka||1996–2004, 2007–2009||59||156|
Figures for active players (in bold) .
- As of 24 July 2016
Figures for active players (in bold) .
- Youngest player : Eakkanit Punya (Chiangrai United) — 15 years 11 months and 5 days. (26 September 2015, Chiangrai United 3-0 Sisaket, 2015 Thai Premier League)
- Oldest player : Somchai Subpherm (TOT) — 51 years 7 months and 25 days. (3 November 2013, Buriram United 2-1 TOT, 2013 Thai Premier League)
- Youngest scorer : Eakkanit Punya (Chiangrai United) — 15 years 11 months and 28 days. (18 October 2015, Muangthong United 4-1 Chiangrai United, 2015 Thai Premier League)
- Oldest scorer : Therdsak Chaiman (Chonburi) — 40 years 8 months and 24 days. (2 June 2014, TOT 1-1 Chonburi, 2014 Thai Premier League)
- Most consecutive matches scored in: 7 games — Bireme Diouf (Sukhothai) (27 April — 28 May 2016, 2016 Thai League )
- Most consecutive unconceded matches : 6 games —
- Most goals in a season : 33 goals — Diogo Luis Santo (Buriram United, 2015)
- Most assists in a season : 19 assists — Theeraton Bunmathan (Buriram United, 2015)
- Most titles won : 4 times — Rangsan Viwatchaichok, Theeraton Bunmathan, Suchao Nuchnum, Siwarak Tedsungnoen.
- Most seasons appeared : 19 seasons — Amnaj Kaewkiew (1996-2014)
- Champion: 10,000,000 Baht
- Runner-up: 2,000,000 Baht
- Third Place: 1,500,000 Baht
- Fourth Place: 800,000 Baht
- 2011 – 2015 Trophy In 2010, Football Association of Thailand and Thai Premier League Co. Ltd considered to improve the image of Thai Premier League Trophy. The trophy itself was designed by Glue Creative from England and produced by British Silverware of Sheffield. The trophy was crafted by silver with the European style of a crown. Three of divas are holding up the trophy and three golden elephants are standing on the base. The trophy is 75 cm tall and weighs more than 30 kg. The production used 250 man hours of work and the finished trophy worth 2 million Baht.
- 2016 – current Trophy After Somyot Poompanmoung won the election and became the president of Football Association in February 2016, the new Association decided to promote Kor Royal Cup trophy from the Super Cup to be the reward of Thai League. Kor Royal Cup has returned to the top level trophy again since it was the highest level of club football competition which competed in the tournament in Thailand from 1916–1995.
Coach of the Year
Player of the Year
Competition format and sponsorship
There are 18 clubs in the Thai League. During the course of a season, which lasts from March to October, each club plays the others twice, once at their home stadium and once at that of their opponents, for a total of 34 games. Teams receive three points for a win and one point for a draw. No points are awarded for a loss. Teams are ranked by total points, then head-to-head, then goal difference, and then goals scored. At the end of each season, the club with the most points is crowned champion. If points are equal, the head-to-head, the goal difference and then goals scored determine the winner. If still equal, teams are deemed to occupy the same position. If there is a tie for the championship, for relegation, or for qualification to other competitions, a play-off match at a neutral venue decides rank. The three lowest placed teams are relegated into the Thai Division 1 League and the top three teams from the Division 1 League are promoted in their place.
Qualification for Asian competitions
In the past The Champion will play in AFC Champions League Playoffs and AFC Cup for the Champion of Thai FA Cup. Due to reforms from the AFC for the AFC Champions League and AFC Cup format, there will be no more a direct qualification spot for the AFC Champions League for the Thai Champion, for the time being. From 2012 Thai clubs has 1 automatic spot to the group stage and 1 playoff spot for the Thai FA Cup Winners.
Thai League All-Star Exhibition game
The Thai League has been sponsored since 1996 until 2003 and has been sponsored again since 2010. 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:
- 1996–1997: Johnnie Walker (Johnnie Walker Thailand Soccer League)
- 1998–2000: Caltex (Caltex Premier League)
- 2001–2003: Advanced Info Service (GSM Thai League)
- 2003–2005: None (Thai League)
- 2006–2008: None (Thailand Premier League)
- 2009: None (Thai Premier League)
- 2010–2012: Sponsor (Sponsor Thai Premier League)
- 2013–Present: Toyota (Toyota Thai Premier League in 2013–2015, Toyota Thai League in 2016– )
The 2013 season uses the Grand Sport.
Former Thai League teams
Like the reserve league, the youth league is open to all the youth teams of all professional clubs in Thailand.
- Football records in Thailand
- List of Thai Premier League players
- List of Thai Premier League managers
- List of foreign Thai Premier League players
- List of foreign Thai Premier League managers
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