Introduced in 2004, the Malaysia Super League catered only to the top eight football teams in the country. The bottom two teams at the end of the season are usually relegated to the Malaysian Premier League. The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) also decided to privatize the league and created MSL Sendirian Berhad (or MSL Proprietary Limited) to oversee the marketing aspects of the game.
The league used to have eight teams and teams would play three rounds of matches (21 matches in total). The first two rounds were played on a home/away format while the third round would be hosted by the stadium which had the bigger attendance during the first two rounds.
From Malaysia Super League 2009 the league will have 14 teams, and all teams will play each other only twice (26 matches total).It was also decided that the teams will no longer feature any foreign players.
Since its inception in 2004, the Malaysia Super League title has seen four different teams become champions. Kedah FA becomes the first club that won the Malaysia Super League title back-to-back, in 2006-07 season and in 2007-08 season.
|2005-06||Negeri Sembilan FA|
(For detailed information on a particular season, click on the season.)
These teams will be playing in the Malaysia Super League 2009 season.
¹ - promoted from Malaysia Premier League
A football league competition involving the representative sides of the state football assiociations was first held in Malaysia in 1982. When it began, it was intended primarily as a qualifying tournament for the final knock-out stages of the Malaysia Cup. However over the years since then, the league competition has gained important stature in its own right.
Initially the only teams only allowed to participate in the league were the state FA's sides, teams representing the Armed Forces and the Police, and teams representing the neighbouring countries of Singapore and Brunei (though the Football Association of Singapore pulled out of the Malaysian League after the 1994 season following a dispute with the Football Association of Malaysia over gate receipts, and has not been involved since). In recent years, top Malaysian club teams have also been admitted to the league competition.
Between 1989 to 1993 and 1998 to 2003, the football league in Malaysia was divided into two levels:
Between 1994 to 1997, there was no second level league as the top two leagues were combined.
Between 2004 to 2006, the professional football league in Malaysia was divided into 2 levels and 2 groups:
Between 2007 until now, the professional football league in Malaysia was only divided into 2 levels when Malaysia Premier League combined into 1 level:
Prior to the introduction of the current set-up, the top league competition in Malaysia was known as the Semi-Pro League (1989-93), and the M-League (1994-2003).
|2003||Premier 1: Perak FA|
|2002||Premier 1: Perak FA|
|2001||Premier 1: Penang FA|
|2000||Premier 1: Selangor FA|
|1999||Premier 1: Pahang FA|
|1998||Premier 1: Penang FA|
|1993||Division 1: Kedah FA|
|1992||Division 1: Pahang FA|
|1991||Division 1: Johor FA|
|1990||Division 1: Selangor FA|
|1989||Division 1: Selangor FA|
|1988||Kuala Lumpur FA'''|
|1986||Kuala Lumpur FA|
The Malaysia Super League has had its share of criticism throughout its history.
With 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. Notable examples include:
The reasons given for the formation of the Malaysian Super League was the need to improve the standard of football in Malaysia. However, the Malaysian Super League was criticized by local press. Many called it a variation of the older M-League but with fewer teams in the top division. Many also disagreed with the fact that the league format changed almost annually and it is a problem which persists until today. The Malaysian Super League has gone through two format changes in its short history spanning three-years. The Football Association of Malaysia decided to expand the Malaysian Super League to accommodate 14 teams instead of 8, which was the number of league teams in the Malaysian Super League's first three seasons.
The professionalism of some teams have also been questioned. Most Malaysia Super League teams view foreign players as a necessity and as a result, most teams usually fill up their rosters with unknown foreigners. Teams usually sign foreigners based on their performances in pre-season trials. It is not uncommon for foreign players to be released after just two or three matches or be kept on the sidelines for an entire season.
The last case of unprofessional conduct involved Ivan Ziga, a Slovakian player who plays for Sarawak FA. Ivan Ziga claims his contract was terminated nine-months early without any explanation. He also claimed he was not paid. He took his plight to the Football Association of Malaysia but received no reply until Ivan Ziga threatened to take the case to FIFA.
Ivan Ziga's case is not uncommon in Malaysia, with most other cases involving African players who are either not paid or left stranded when their contracts are terminated early without any proper explanation given by teams.
|2007-08||Marlon Alex James||Kedah FA||23|
|2006-07||Keita Mandjou Mohd Shahrazen Said||Perak FA DPMM FC||21|
|2005-06||Keita Mandjou||Perak FA||17|
|2005||Julio Cesar Rodrigues Zacharia Simukonda||Sabah FA Perlis FA||18|
|2004||Indra Putra Mahayuddin||Pahang FA||15|
|2003||Phillimon Chepita||Perlis FA||23|
|2002||Muhamad Khalid Jamlus||Perak FA||17|
|2001||Norizam Ali Hassan||Perak FA||13|
|2000||Azizul Kamaluddin||Pahang FA||12|
|1999||Azman Adnan||Penang FA (Penang E & O)||13|
|1998||Vyatcheslav Melnikov||Pahang FA||17|
|1997||Laszlo Repasi||Perak FA||19|
|1996||Scott Ollerenshaw||Sabah FA||18|
|1995||Scott Ollerenshaw||Sabah FA||22|
|1994||Mohd Hashim Mustapha||Kelantan FA||25|
|1993||Mohd Hashim Mustapha||Kelantan FA||13|
|1992||Zainal Abidin Hassan||Pahang FA||12|
|1991||Abbas Saad||Johor FA||11|
|1989||Zainal Abidin Hassan||Selangor FA||12|
Below are the record of teams in Malaysian football competitions since 1921 till present.
|Team||Malaysia Super League||Malaysia Premier League||Malaysia FA Cup||Malaysia Cup||Malaysia Charity Shield||AFC Cup||AFC Champions League||Total of Champion(s)|
|Selangor FA||4 (2)||2||4 (1)||32 (15)||6 (4)||-||(1)||48|
|Singapore||2 (2)||-||-||24 (19)||1 (1)||-||-||27|
|Kedah FA||3 (4)||3||3||4 (6)||2 (2)||-||-||15|
|Perak FA||2 (1)||(1)||2||7 (11)||3||-||-||14|
|Kuala Lumpur FA||2||-||3 (1)||3 (1)||3 (4)||-||-||11|
|Pahang FA||5 (3)||-||1 (1)||2 (4)||2 (4)||-||-||10|
|Penang FA (Penang E & O)||3 (3)||-||1 (2)||4 (9)||1||-||-||9|
|Johor FA||1 (1)||1||1||2(1)||1 (2)||-||-||6|
|Perlis FA||1||1||(3)||2 (1)||2 (1)||-||-||6|
|Terengganu FA||(2)||2||1 (2)||1 (3)||1 (1)||-||-||5|
|Negeri Sembilan FA||1 (1)||1||1||1 (2)||(1)||-||-||4|
|Sarawak FA||1||-||1 (2)||(1)||1 (1)||-||-||3|
|Sabah FA||1||-||1 (3)||(3)||(1)||-||-||2|
|Public Bank FC||(1)||1||-||-||-||-||-||1|
|Kuala Muda NAZA||-||1||-||-||-||-||-||1|