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The Israeli Premier League (Hebrew: ליגת העל, Ligat HaAl, lit. The Super League), officially Ligat Tel Aviv Stock Exchange[1] (Hebrew: ליגת הבורסה לניירות ערך) for sponsorship reasons with Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, is an Israeli professional league for association football clubs. It is the highest tier of the professional Israeli football league system. The league is contested by 14 clubs, and operates on a system of promotion and relegation with Liga Leumit. Seasons run from August to May, with teams playing between 33 to 36 matches each, totalling 240 matches in the season. Five games are played on Saturdays, with one game played on Sundays and one game on Mondays.

Israeli Premier League
Ligat Japanika.jpg
The Israeli Premier League 2019-2020
Organising bodyIsrael Football Association
Founded1999; 20 years ago (1999)
CountryIsrael
ConfederationUEFA
Number of teams14 (from 2013–14)
Level on pyramid1
Relegation toLiga Leumit
Domestic cup(s)Israel State Cup
Toto Cup (Al)
Israel Super Cup
International cup(s)UEFA Champions League
UEFA Europa League
Current championsMaccabi Tel Aviv
(22nd title)
Most championshipsMaccabi Tel Aviv
(22 titles)
TV partnersCharlton Sport, Sport5.co.il
Websitefootball.co.il
2019–20 Israeli Premier League
The logo used from 2005 to 2008
The logo used from 2008 to 2010
The logo used for the 2010–11 season
The logo used from 2012 to 2018

The competition formed on 1999 following the decision of the Israel Football Association to form a new league. It is also ranked eighteenth in the UEFA coefficients of leagues based on performances in European competitions over the last five years, ahead of the Bulgaria's First Professional Football League and Rominian's Liga I.[2]

Since 1923, a total of 14 clubs have been crowned champions of the Israeli football system. Of the twenty-eigth clubs to have competed since the inception of the Israeli Premier League in 1999, seven have won the title: Beitar Jerusalem (twice), Hapoel Be'er Sheva (thrice), Hapoel Tel Aviv (twice), Maccabi Haifa (seven times), Maccabi Tel Aviv (five times), and Ironi Kiryat Shmona (once). The current champions are Maccabi Tel Aviv, who won the 2018–19 season.

Contents

BackgroundEdit

The Israeli Premier League was created in 1999 to replace Liga Leumit (which became the second tier) when the Israel Football Association decided to reshuffle all the leagues in hopes of improving competition. In its first season there were 14 clubs; the top thirteen clubs from the 1998–99 season and the top place club from the Liga Artzit (then the second division). That season three clubs were relegated and one from Liga Leumit was promoted.

CompetitionEdit

There are 14 clubs in the league. At the end of each season, the two lowest-placed teams are relegated to Liga Leumit while two highest-placed teams of Liga Leumit are promoted in their place. For the 2012–13 season the league was decreased from 16 to 14 clubs as a result of reforms passed by the IFA on 27 June 2011.[3]

The participating clubs first play a conventional round-robin schedule for a total of 26 matches.

Following this, the top six teams play in a championship playoff, where they meet each other twice. Upon its conclusion, the first place team wins the Israeli championship and qualifies to participate in the first qualifying round of the 2018–19 UEFA Champions League. The runners-up and the third-placed teams qualify for the first qualifying round of the 2018–19 UEFA Europa League.

In Addition, the Israeli State Cup winners qualify for the second qualifying round of the 2018–19 UEFA Europa League. If the State Cup winners are also one of the teams to finish in the league's top three places then the fourth-placed team will also play in Europa League. In case the State Cup winners also win the Israeli Premier League then the fourth-placed league team will play in first qualifying round.

In addition, the bottom eight teams will play each other once to avoid two relegation spots.

ClubsEdit

A total of 28 clubs have played in the Israeli Premier League from its inception in 1999 and the start of the 2011–12 season. For a list of winners and runners-up of the Israeli Premier League since its inception, and top scorers for each season, see List of Israeli football champions.

Three clubs have been members of the Israeli Premier League for every season since its inception. This group is composed of Beitar Jerusalem, Maccabi Haifa, and Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Members for 2019–20Edit

The following 14 clubs will compete in the Israeli Premier League during the 2018–19 season.

Club
Position
in 2017–18
First season in
the Israeli Premier League
Number of seasons
in the Israeli Premier League
First season of
current spell in
Israeli Premier League
Top division
titles
Last top division title
Beitar Jerusalemab 7rd 1999–2000 21th 1999–2000 6 2007-2008
Bnei Yehudab 5th 1999–2000 19th 2015–2016 1 1989–1990
F.C. Ashdod 13th 2009–2010 7rd 2013–2014 0 Never
Hapoel Be'er Sheva 3rd 2001–2002 15th 2009–2010 5 2017–2018
Hapoel Haifab 11th 1999–2000 15th 2009–2010 1 1998–1999
Hapoel Hadera 2nd 2018–2019 2st 2018–2019 0 Never
Hapoel Kfar Saba 1st Liga Leumit 2019–2020 7th 2019–2020 1 1981-1982
Ironi Kiryat Shmona 10th 2003-2004 12th 2007-2008 1 2011-2012
Hapoel Ra'anana 9th 2009–2010 8th 2013–2014 0 Never
Hapoel Tel Avivb 8th 1999–2000 20th 2018–2019 14 2009–2010
Maccabi Haifaab 2nd 1999–2000 21th 1999–2000 12 2010–2011
Maccabi Netanya 5th 2003-2004 18th 2014-2015 5 1982-1983
Maccabi Tel Avivab 1st 1999–2000 21th 1999–2000 22 2018–2019
Sektzia Nes Tziona 2nd Liga Leumit 1999–2000 1st 1999–2000 0 Never

a: Never been relegated from the Israeli Premier League
b: One of the original Israeli Premier League teams

SponsorshipEdit

In recent years, the league 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:

  • 2002–2004: Pelephone – a mobile phone company (Ligat Pelephone)
  • 2005–2010: Toto Winner Organization – the Israeli Sports Betting Board (Ligat Toto)
  • 2010–2018: Toto Winner Organization – the Israeli Sports Betting Board (Ligat Winner)
  • 2018–2019: Japanika – Asian restaurant (Ligat Japanika)
  • 2019–present: Tel Aviv Stock Exchange – Stock Exchange (Ligat Tel Aviv Stock Exchange)

Number of foreignersEdit

Teams are limited to six foreign players per team. Special circumstances such as Druze players from the Golan (no citizenship) or cases such as that of Toto Tamuz, do not count against the foreign player limit. In addition, players who play in the league for 6 consecutive years do not count against the foreign player limit.

Broadcast RightsEdit

TelevisionEdit

Israeli Premier League games are broadcast live on Sport 1, Sport 1 HD, and Sport 2 channels, with the big match of the week which is reserved to be shown by Sport 5 and Channel 1 HD network television. There is also a league review show on Saturday nights at Sport 5 channel.

Abroad, rights to broadcasting in Hebrew are owned by The Israeli Network which broadcasts the matches in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Panama, Costa Rica and in Europe.

In the United Kingdom, William Hill broadcasts matches live with English commentary on their online television service, William Hill TV.

RadioEdit

The rights of broadcasting on the radio belongs to Radio Tel Aviv since 2011, which broadcast alongside Radio Haifa, Radio Darom, Radio Galei Zahal and Radio Darom 101.5 in a show called Saturday of Football which also broadcasts live on ONE TV channel.

InternetEdit

The big match of the week is shown on the Channel 1 website. Since 2010, games summaries are shown online by Ynet, ONE and Sport 5.

CellularEdit

Since 2012, ONE owns the broadcasting rights, which was previously owned by Sport 5.

RevenueEdit

Main sources of revenue for the clubs:

  • Television
  • Ticket sales
  • Merchandise
  • Toto Winner – The Israeli Sports Betting Council
  • Sponsorship

UEFA league rankingEdit

In European Leagues:

Source: UEFA Coefficients Graphs, 2019 UEFA Country Ranking



 

List of championsEdit

For the complete list read the main article.

Israeli Premier League (1999–present)Edit

 
Maccabi Tel Aviv celebrating their league winners title at the end of the 2012–13 season

When the Israeli Premier League became the top division of Israeli football in 1999–2000, Liga Leumit became the second division. Since then, only six clubs have won the title; Hapoel Tel Aviv, Ironi Kiryat Shmona, Maccabi Haifa, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Beitar Jerusalem and Hapoel Be'er Sheva. Hapoel Tel Aviv, Maccabi Haifa, Maccabi Tel Aviv and Beitar Jerusalem are sometimes referred to as the "Big Four" of Israeli football.[4]

Having won seven titles in the league's 17 seasons, the most successful club during this period is Maccabi Haifa; during the same period Maccabi Tel Aviv have added four to their total while Beitar Jerusalem and Hapoel Tel Aviv have won two championships each. Although Hapoel Tel Aviv have only finished top of the league twice since 1999—in 1999–2000 and ten years later in 2009–10—they have won the double on both occasions.

This achievement was matched by Beitar Jerusalem in 2007–08. Ironi Kiryat Shmona won their first championship during the 2011–12 season, thereby becoming the first northern title-winners. Maccabi Tel Aviv then won three titles in a row, including a Treble in 2014–15.

Key
  Champions also won the Israel State Cup during the same season.
  Champions also won the League Cup during the same season.
  Champions also won both cups during the same season.
(titles) A running tally of the total number of championships won by each club is kept in brackets.
Season Winner (titles) Runners-up Third place Top Scorer Goals Notes
1999–2000 Hapoel Tel Aviv (12)  Maccabi Haifa Hapoel Petah Tikva Assi Tubi (Maccabi Petah Tikva) 27
2000–01 Maccabi Haifa (6) Hapoel Tel Aviv Hapoel Haifa Avi Nimni (Maccabi Tel Aviv) 25 [nb 1]
2001–02 Maccabi Haifa (7) Hapoel Tel Aviv Maccabi Tel Aviv Kobi Refua (Maccabi Petah Tikva) 18
2002–03 Maccabi Tel Aviv (18) Maccabi Haifa Hapoel Tel Aviv Yaniv Abargil (Hapoel Kfar Saba)
Shay Holtzman (Ironi Rishon LeZion / Ashdod)
18
2003–04 Maccabi Haifa (8) Maccabi Tel Aviv Maccabi Petah Tikva Ofir Haim (Hapoel Be'er Sheva)
Shay Holtzman (F.C. Ashdod)
16
2004–05 Maccabi Haifa (9) Maccabi Petah Tikva F.C. Ashdod Roberto Colautti (Maccabi Haifa) 19
2005–06 Maccabi Haifa (10)  Hapoel Tel Aviv Beitar Jerusalem Shay Holtzman (F.C. Ashdod) 18
2006–07 Beitar Jerusalem (5) Maccabi Netanya Maccabi Tel Aviv Yaniv Azran (F.C. Ashdod) 15
2007–08 Beitar Jerusalem (6)  Maccabi Netanya Ironi Kiryat Shmona Samuel Yeboah (Hapoel Kfar Saba) 15
2008–09 Maccabi Haifa (11) Hapoel Tel Aviv Beitar Jerusalem Barak Yitzhaki (Beitar Jerusalem)
Shimon Abuhatzira (Hapoel Petah Tikva)
Eliran Atar (Bnei Yehuda Tel Aviv)
14
2009–10 Hapoel Tel Aviv (13)  Maccabi Haifa Maccabi Tel Aviv Shlomi Arbeitman (Maccabi Haifa) 28
2010–11 Maccabi Haifa (12) Hapoel Tel Aviv Maccabi Tel Aviv Toto Tamuz (Hapoel Tel Aviv) 21
2011–12 Ironi Kiryat Shmona (1)  Hapoel Tel Aviv Bnei Yehuda Achmad Saba'a (Maccabi Netanya) 20
2012–13 Maccabi Tel Aviv (19) Maccabi Haifa Hapoel Tel Aviv Eliran Atar (Maccabi Tel Aviv) 22
2013–14 Maccabi Tel Aviv (20) Hapoel Be'er Sheva Ironi Kiryat Shmona Eran Zahavi (Maccabi Tel Aviv) 29
2014–15 Maccabi Tel Aviv (21)  Ironi Kiryat Shmona Hapoel Be'er Sheva Eran Zahavi (Maccabi Tel Aviv) 27
2015–16 Hapoel Be'er Sheva (3) Maccabi Tel Aviv Beitar Jerusalem Eran Zahavi (Maccabi Tel Aviv) 35
2016–17 Hapoel Be'er Sheva (4)   Maccabi Tel Aviv Beitar Jerusalem Viðar Örn Kjartansson (Maccabi Tel Aviv) 19
2017–18 Hapoel Be'er Sheva (5) Maccabi Tel Aviv Beitar Jerusalem Dia Saba (Maccabi Netanya) 24
2018–19 Maccabi Tel Aviv (22)  Maccabi Haifa Hapoel Be'er Sheva Ben Sahar (Hapoel Be'er Sheva) 15

"Big Four" dominanceEdit

"Big Four" since the start of the Israeli Premier League[7]
Season BJ HT MH MT
1999–2000 5 1 2 6
2000–01 5 2 1 4
2001–02 10 2 1 3
2002–03 9 3 2 1
2003–04 9 5 1 2
2004–05 4 9 1 8
2005–06 3 2 1 6
2006–07 1 4 5 3
2007–08 1 7 5 6
2008–09 3 2 1 6
2009–10 5 1 2 3
2010–11 11 2 1 3
2011–12 9 2 5 6
2012–13 10 3 2 1
2013–14 7 4 5 1
2014–15 4 8 5 1
2015–16 3 9 4 2
2016–17 3 14 6 2
2017–18 3 10 2
2018–19 7 8 2 1

Since the past few seasons, the Big Four Dominance has been challenged by 3 successive championships for Hapoel Be'er Sheva.

Top scorers by seasonEdit

All-time tableEdit

The All-time Israeli Premier League table is a cumulative record of all match results, points and goals of every team that has played in the Israeli Premier League since its inception in 1999. The table that follows is accurate as of the end of the 2018–19 season. Teams in green are part of the 2019–20 Israeli Premier League. Numbers in bold are the record (highest) numbers in each column.

Pos. Club S Pld W D L GF GFPG GA GAPG GD Pts R Avg. Pts
1 Maccabi Haifa 20 697 366 167 164 1134 1.627 671 0.963 463 1265 7 5 63.25
2 Maccabi Tel Aviv 20 700 365 167 168 1125 1.607 616 0.88 509 1262[nb 2] 5 4 4 63.1
3 Hapoel Tel Aviv 19 652 303 186 163 980 1.503 644 0.988 336 1081[nb 3] 2 6 2 1 56.89
4 Beitar Jerusalem 20 691 285 184 222 944 1.366 816 1.181 128 1039[nb 4] 2 5 51.95
5 Maccabi Petah Tikva 19 648 229 186 233 740 1.157 781 1.205 –41 873[nb 5] 1 1 2 45.95
6 Bnei Yehuda 18 622 212 167 243 713 1.146 792 1.273 –79 803 1 2 44.61
7 Hapoel Be'er Sheva 14 484 223 119 142 720 1.488 567 1.171 153 788 3 1 2 1 56.38
8 F.C. Ashdod 19 646 200 177 269 750 1.161 911 1.41 –161 777 1 1 40.89
9 Maccabi Netanya 18 584 203 162 219 736 1.26 787 1.348 –51 771 2 3 44.88
10 Bnei Sakhnin 15 510 155 152 213 524 1.027 664 1.302 –140 607[nb 6] 2 41.43
11 Hapoel Haifa 14 482 183 144 187 567 1.176 621 1.288 –54 597 1 3 43.08
12 Ironi Kiryat Shmona 11 378 146 109 123 478 1.265 421 1.114 57 547 1 1 2 1 49.73
13 Hapoel Petah Tikva 13 448 135 115 198 548 1.223 678 1.513 –130 508[nb 7] 1 3 39.08
14 Hapoel Akko 8 270 72 81 110 288 1.067 389 1.441 –101 295[nb 8] 2 36.88
15 Hapoel Ra'anana 7 236 64 70 102 224 0.949 305 1.292 –81 262 1 37.43
16 Hapoel Kfar Saba 7 237 56 76 105 237 1 349 1.473 –112 241[nb 9] 4 48.2
17 Hapoel Rishon LeZion 5 180 41 41 98 195 1.083 316 1.756 –121 164 2 32.8
18 Hapoel Nir Ramat HaSharon 3 106 32 23 51 97 0.9 154 1.5 –57 119 1 39.67
19 Maccabi Herzliya 3 105 25 24 56 113 1.076 180 1.714 –67 99 2 33
20 Hapoel Ashkelon 3 101 20 25 56 80 0.792 159 1.574 –79 85 2 28.33
21 Hapoel Ramat Gan 3 103 19 29 55 95 0.922 161 1.563 –66 82[nb 10] 2 27.33
22 Hapoel Nazareth Illit 2 66 20 20 26 71 1.076 93 1.409 –22 80 1 40
23 Hakoah Amidar Ramat Gan 2 66 12 21 33 58 0.879 100 1.515 –42 57 2 28.5
24 Maccabi Ahi Nazareth 2 68 15 13 40 73 1.074 143 2.103 –70 55[nb 11] 2 27.5
25 Hapoel Hadera 1 36 12 6 18 43 59 –16 42 42
26 Maccabi Kiryat Gat 1 33 7 6 20 34 1.03 58 1.758 –24 27 1 27
27 Hapoel Jerusalem 1 39 6 6 27 33 0.846 82 2.103 –49 24 1 24
28 Hapoel Tzafririm Holon 1 38 4 4 30 25 0.658 85 2.237 –60 16 1 16
29 Sektzia Nes Tziona

League or status at 2019–20:

Ligat HaAl
Liga Leumit
Liga Alef
Liga Bet
Liga Gimel
Clubs that no longer exist

Player recordsEdit

Top scorersEdit

As of matches played 29 April 2018
Rank Nat Name Club Years Goals Apps Ratio
1   Alon Mizrahi Bnei Yehuda, Hapoel Tel Aviv, Maccabi Haifa, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Ironi Ashdod, Beitar Jerusalem, Hapoel Kfar Saba, Ahi Nazareth, Hapoel Be'er Sheva 1989–2005 206 404 0.51
2   Oded Machnes Maccabi Netanya, Maccabi Petah Tikva, Maccabi Tel Aviv 1974–1990 196 385 0.51
3   Avi Nimni Maccabi Tel Aviv, Beitar Jerusalem 1989–2008 194 429 0.45
4   Moshe Romano Shimshon Tel Aviv, Beitar Tel Aviv 1965–1982 192 402 0.48
5   Shay Holtzman Maccabi Netanya, Maccabi Haifa, Tzafririm Holon, Hapoel Be'er Sheva, Beitar Jerusalem, Hapoel Haifa, Maccabi Petah Tikva, Hapoel Rishon LeZion, F.C. Ashdod 1990–2009 169 474 0.36
6   Mordechai Spiegler Maccabi Netanya, Hapoel Haifa 1963–1981 168 362 0.63
7   Uri Malmilian Beitar Jerusalem, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Hapoel Be'er Sheva, Hapoel Kfar Saba 1973–1993 159 480 0.33
8   David Lavi Maccabi Netanya, Beitar Tel Aviv 1973–1988 158 360 0.44
9   Nahum Stelmach Hapoel Petah Tikva, Bnei Yehuda 1952–1970 155 367 0.42
10   Yehoshua Feigenbaum Hapoel Tel Aviv, Shimshon Tel Aviv, Hapoel Jerusalem, Hapoel Ramat Gan, Hapoel Haifa 1964–1983 148 430 0.34

Most appearancesEdit

Rank Nat Name Years Apps Goals
1   Arik Benado 1991–2011 573 12
2   Rafi Cohen 1988–2010 546 0
3   Walid Badir 1992–2013 531 71
4   Alon Harazi 1990–2009 526 34
5   Gidi Damti 1968–1989 519 143
6   Liran Strauber 1992–2012 513 0
7   Shlomo Iluz 1978–1996 509 0
8   Menachem Bello 1964–1982 498 1
9   Yigal Antebi 1993–2014 494 14
10   Alon Hazan 1984–2004 483 66


NotesEdit

  1. ^ Maccabi Haifa's final match of the 2000–01 season, at home against Maccabi Tel Aviv, was abandoned after 82 minutes with Maccabi Haifa 3–2 ahead when supporters attempted to invade the pitch, resulting in a crush which injured 41 people. Maccabi Tel Aviv were awarded a 2–0 victory.[5][6]
  2. ^ Maccabi Tel Aviv were deducted 7 points and had 0-0 tie without points
  3. ^ Hapoel Tel Aviv were deducted 13 points and had 0-0 tie without points
  4. ^ Beitar Jerusalem were deducted 9 points
  5. ^ Maccabi Petah Tikva were deducted 3 points
  6. ^ Bnei Sakhnin were deducted 2 points
  7. ^ Hapoel Petah Tikva were deducted 12 points
  8. ^ Hapoel Ironi Acre were deducted 2 points
  9. ^ Hapoel Kfar Saba were deducted 3 points
  10. ^ Hapoel Ramat Gan were deducted 4 points
  11. ^ Maccabi Ahi Nazareth were deducted 3 points

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ https://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-5516755,00.html
  2. ^ "UEFA ranking of European leagues". UEFA. 2019. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  3. ^ "This season will have no halving of points" (in Hebrew). . ONE. 27 June 2011. Retrieved 27 June 2011.
  4. ^ Sinai, Allon (2011-07-20). "Local Soccer: Season schedule released". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2011-08-06.
  5. ^ Bleicher, Yaniv (2001-09-13). "Israel 2000/01". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 2011-08-05.
  6. ^ Adar, Shaul (October 2010). "Walid objection". When Saturday Comes. Retrieved 2011-08-05.
  7. ^ Israel Football Association

External linksEdit