Malaysia Premier League

The Malaysia Premier League (Malay: Liga Premier) is the current second-tier professional football league in Malaysia. The league replaced the former second-tier league, Liga Perdana 2 in the Malaysian football league system.

Liga Premier
Malaysia Premier League logo.png
Organising bodyMalaysian Football League
Founded2004; 17 years ago (2004)
CountryMalaysia
ConfederationAFC
Number of teams12 (from 2010)
Level on pyramid2
Promotion toMalaysia Super League
Relegation toMalaysia M3 League
Domestic cup(s)FA Cup
Malaysia Cup
Challenge Cup
International cup(s)AFC Cup (possible via FA Cup)
Current championsNegeri Sembilan (1st title)
(2021)
Most championshipsFelda United
Kedah
PDRM
(2nd titles)
TV partnersMycujoo (streaming platform)
Websitewww.malaysianfootballleague.com
Current: 2021 Malaysia Premier League

The Malaysia Premier League is contested by 12 clubs where the season runs from early February to late October, with a Ramadan break for a month depending on the Islamic calendar. Teams play 22 matches each (playing each team in the league twice, home and away), totalling 132 matches in the season.[1] Most games are played on Fridays, with a few games played during weekdays.

The league operates on a system of promotion and relegation with promotion to the Malaysia Super League and relegation to the Malaysia M3 League.

In 2015, the Football Malaysia Limited Liability Partnership (FMLLP) was created in the course of the privatisation of the Malaysian football league system. The partnership saw all 24 teams of the Malaysia Super League and the Malaysia Premier League including the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) as a managing partner and MP & Silva as a special partner (FAM's global media and commercial advisor) to become stakeholders in the company.[2] The FMLLP owned, operated and ran five entities in Malaysian football under its jurisdiction, which included the Malaysia Super League (MSL), the Malaysia Premier League (MPL), the Malaysia FA Cup, the Malaysia Cup and the Piala Sumbangsih. It aimed to transform and move Malaysian football forward.

From the 2016 season to the 2018 season, the league was known as the 100PLUS Liga Premier for sponsorship reasons.[3][4]

The current champions are Penang who won the league in 2020.

HistoryEdit

OriginEdit

The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) decided to privatise the Malaysian League from the 2004 season onwards where the Malaysia Super League and Malaysia Premier League were formed.[5] Teams in Liga Perdana 1 and Liga Perdana 2 were then put through a qualification and playoff phase to be promoted into the Malaysia Super League. Teams that failed to qualify were put into the new second-tier league, the Malaysia Premier League.

Liga Perdana 1 was the nation's top-tier league from 1994 until 2003 when it was then succeeded by the formation of a new professional football league, the Malaysia Super League in 2004 formed by the Football Association of Malaysia. Liga Perdana 2 was replaced by the new Malaysia Premier League where the teams were divided into two different groups.

The inaugural season for the new second-tier league started in 2004 with 18 teams divided into 2 said groups.[6]

Between 2004 and 2006, the Malaysia Premier League was divided into two groups of 8 teams, with the number changing due to some teams withdrawing:

  • First Division: Malaysia Super League
  • Second Division: Malaysia Premier League Group A
  • Second Division: Malaysia Premier League Group B

At the end of the season, the top team from each group of the Malaysia Premier League were promoted to the Malaysia Super League. The teams that finished at the bottom of each group were relegated to the Malaysia FAM League. The two group champions also faced-off to determine the Malaysia Premier League champion.

2007 league revamp as a single groupEdit

For the 2006-07 season, the Malaysia Premier League was reorganised into a single division of 11 teams instead of being a competition involving two separate groups of teams. There were a fewer number of teams due to more teams being promoted to the Malaysia Super League, as part of that league's expansion, while some others withdrew from the Malaysia Premier League.

From 2007 onwards, the Malaysia Premier League was combined into one single league.

  • First Division: Malaysia Super League
  • Second Division: Malaysia Premier League

2010 league season with 12 teamsEdit

Over the years since its formation, the league has witnessed numerous changes to its format in order to accommodate the changes to the rules and number of teams competing in the league, only since the 2010 season was when the number of teams competing was stabilised to 12 teams.

In 2015, the Football Malaysia Limited Liability Partnership (FMLLP) was created in the course of the privatisation of the Malaysian football league system. The partnership saw all 24 teams of the Malaysia Super League and the Malaysia Premier League including the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) as the Managing Partner and MP & Silva as a special partner (FAM's global media and commercial advisor) to become stakeholders in the company.[2][7][8][9] The company owned, operated and ran five entities in Malaysian football under its jurisdiction, which included the Malaysia Super League, the Malaysia Premier League, the Malaysia FA Cup, the Malaysia Cup and the Piala Sumbangsih. It aimed to transform and move Malaysian football forward.

Club licensing regulationsEdit

Every team in the Malaysia Premier League must have a licence to play in the league, or risk getting relegated from the league. To obtain a licence, teams must be financially healthy and meet certain standards of conduct such as organizational management. As part of the privatisation efforts for the Malaysian Football League, all clubs competing in the Malaysia Super League and Malaysia Premier League are required to obtain FAM Club Licensing.[10][11]

As a preliminary preparation towards the total privatisation of the league, FAM Club Licensing Regulations was created with the hope of it being enforced throughout the Malaysia Super League fully by the end of 2018 and the Malaysia Premier League by end of 2019.[10][11]

Privatisation of the league's football clubsEdit

In November 2016, the Melaka United Soccer Association became the third FAM affiliate to separate itself from the management of its football team with a separate entity called Melaka United F.C. from the 2017 Malaysia Super League season onwards. The first two being the Pahang Football Association with Pahang F.C. and the Johor Football Association with Johor Darul Ta'zim F.C. in early 2016.[12]

State football associations such as the Johor Football Association shifted its focus to state football development and managing their own state league, the Johor Darul Taʼzim League.

In February 2017, the FMLLP released a statement regarding the official status of Johor Darul Ta'zim F.C. and Johor Darul Ta'zim II F.C. where Johor Darul Ta'zim II became an official feeder club to Johor Darul Ta'zim F.C. when the feeder club agreement between both clubs was approved on 19 August 2016.[13] Through the agreement, both clubs were allowed an additional four player transfer quota which can be used outside of the normal transfer windows for players between both clubs. The feeder club was also required to register a minimum of 12 players under the age of 23 for its squad from 2017 onwards.[13] A feeder club will be required to be in the league below the main club at all times which meant that Johor Darul Ta'zim II will never be allowed promotion even if the club won the Malaysia Premier League. By 2018, a feeder club must field four players under the age of 23 in their first eleven during match days and a feeder club is not allowed to play in other cup competitions where the parent club competes in such as the Malaysia FA Cup and the Malaysia Cup.[13]

Logo evolutionEdit

Since the inception of the league as the second-tier league in 2004, numerous logos had been introduced for the league to reflect sponsorships. In its inaugural season, the Dunhill logo was incorporated as a title sponsor and it was the only season sponsored by the tobacco company before tobacco advertising was banned in the country.[14]

From 2004 to 2010, the Malaysia Premier League incorporated the TM brand as part of its logo as the title sponsor.[15]

After the end of the TM sponsorship which lasted for seven consecutive years, FAM launched a new logo for the 2011 season where it was partnered with Astro Media as a strategic partner for the Malaysian League marketing.[16] The Astro branding was only incorporated as part of the Malaysia Premier League logo from the 2012 season which included the wording of Malaysia until the partnership ended at the end of the 2014 season.

In the 2015 season, no title sponsor was incorporated when the league was sponsored by MP & Silva.[8] For the 2016 season a new logo was introduced as part of the takeover of the league by the FMLLP where 100PLUS was announced as title sponsor.[3]

SponsorshipEdit

Season Sponsors League Name
2004 Dunhill[14] Dunhill Liga Premier
2005–10 TM[15][16] TM Liga Premier
2011 No sponsor Liga Premier
2012–14 Astro Media[16] Astro Liga Premier Malaysia
2015 No sponsor Liga Premier Malaysia
2016–18 100PLUS[3] 100PLUS Liga Premier Malaysia
2019–20 No sponsor Liga Premier Malaysia

FinancesEdit

The FMLLP introduced the merit-point system starting from the 2016 season. Points were awarded based on a team’s league position, progress in the Cup competitions (Malaysia FA Cup and Malaysia Cup) and the number of live matches shown. A point in the season’s Malaysian League was worth RM41,000.[1]

The money is distributed twice per season. First during early in the season where the teams will receive a basic payment out of that particular year's league sponsorship and the second payment will be received at the end of the season where all merit-points have been calculated.[17] For the 2016 season, the first basic payment consisted of a 30 percent cut out of the RM70 million in league sponsorship that equated to RM21 million which was distributed among the 24 teams of the Malaysia Super League and the Malaysia Premier League.[17]

Teams in the Malaysian League have quite often been involved in financial problems as their spending was more than their revenue. The Professional Footballers Association of Malaysia (PFAM) is one of the active members in pursuing the issue of unpaid salaries. In January 2016, the PFAM president suggested a couple of solutions to promote financial sustainability on the competing teams' parts where the teams should make long-term investments by operating according to their budgets and requiring teams' wage bills to be no bigger than 60 percent of their total spending. Other suggestions included for the salaries to be deducted directly from team grants and winning prizes, for points to be deducted from teams experiencing payment issues, and a ruling that requires teams to settle all their late salary payments before the start of every new season.[18]

In response to these issues, the FMLLP decided that starting from the 2016 season, football clubs would be given warnings with the deduction of three league points if they failed to pay a player's salary.[19][20] If the problem persists, it will affect the licence of the clubs. When a club's licence is withdrawn, the team will not be able to compete in the next season. If a team doesn't adopt the right structure, they will be left behind and club licensing will be a problem for them, with the team ultimately dropping out from competing in the league.[19][20]

Other than this, each team raises revenue via sponsorship deals from local, regional and international sponsors for their team.[21][22][23][24][25]

Media coverageEdit

Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM), a free-to-air broadcaster had been broadcasting the Malaysian League for years even before the formation of the Malaysia Premier League. They continued to broadcast the league for the most part exclusively until the end of the 2010 season where Astro Media were announced as sponsors and were contracted to manage the broadcasting rights of the league for four years spanning from 2011 until the 2014 seasons.[26] During this time, the league was broadcast on one of the cable channels of Astro Media, which was Astro Arena alongside RTM where it showed free-to-air broadcasts. In 2015, Astro Media lost the broadcasting rights to the league where the rights were given to Media Prima, a parent company of multiple free-to-air channels alongside the broadcast with RTM.[27][28][29] In 2016, RTM stopped broadcasting the Malaysia Premier League. However, the broadcasting rights for the 2016 season were been given to Media Prima for 3 years with a maximum of three games in each gameweek shown live on television.[30]

In 2019, MyCujoo won the Malaysia Premier League broadcasting rights for the 2019 season, with MyCujoo airing up to 3 games per week and in 2020, aired all 66 games of the season that was truncated due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although the broadcasting rights were held by the broadcasters, Malaysia Premier League matches have not been shown live for a quite some time as most of the production is fully utilised for Malaysia Super League matches. As a result, matches from the Malaysia Premier League most of the time are only shown as highlights for sports news segments on local television.

Season TV Broadcasters
2004–2015, 2018 RTM
2005, 2015–2017 Media Prima[5][27][28][30] (TV3, NTV7 (2005 only), TV9)
2011–14 Astro Arena[26][27]
2019–present Mycujoo[31]

ChampionsEdit

Since the inception of the Malaysia Premier League as a second-tier league in 2004, Kedah, PDRM FA and Felda United are the most successful Malaysia Premier League teams with two titles.

Season Champions Runners-up
2004 MPPJ TM
2005 Selangor Negeri Sembilan
2005–06 Kedah Malacca
2006–07 PDRM UPB-MyTeam
2007–08 Kuala Muda Naza PLUS
2009 Harimau Muda T-Team
2010 Felda United Sabah
2011 PKNS Sarawak
2012 ATM Pahang
2013 Sarawak Sime Darby
2014 PDRM Felda United
2015 Kedah Penang
2016 Melaka United PKNS
2017 Kuala Lumpur Terengganu FC
2018 Felda United Felcra
2019 Sabah Johor Darul Ta'zim II
2020 Penang Kuala Lumpur
2021 Negeri Sembilan Sarawak United

Best performing teamsEdit

Table below is a list of the number of league winners since 2004.

# Club Titles
1 Felda United FC 2
Kedah Darul Aman FC 2
PDRM FC 2
2 Penang FC 1
Sabah FC 1
MPPJ FC 1
Selangor FC 1
Kuala Muda Naza FC 1
Harimau Muda FC 1
PKNS FC 1
ATM FA 1
Sarawak United FC 1
Melaka United FC 1
Kuala Lumpur City FC 1
Negeri Sembilan FC 1

Great honoursEdit

Great honours for the Malaysia Premier League are entitled to the team who have won 2 trophies (double)) or 3 trophies (treble) in the same season. It covers the Malaysia Premier League, Malaysia FA Cup and the Malaysia Cup. As of 2021, only Selangor have achieved this feat.

TrebleEdit

Year Teams Titles
2005 Selangor Liga Premier, Piala FA & Piala Malaysia

PlayersEdit

Golden Boot winnersEdit

Below is the list of golden boot winners of the Malaysia Premier League since its inception as a second-tier league in 2004.

Season Players Clubs Goals
2004   Brian Fuentes Selangor 25
2005   Bambang Pamungkas Selangor 23
2005–06   Gustavo Fuentes Melaka United 18
2006–07   Marin Mikac UPB-MyTeam 13
2008   Mohamed Moustapha N'diaye Kelantan 27
2009   Haris Safwan Kamal T-Team 24
2010   Muhammad Zamri Hassan PKNS 11
2011   Mohd Fitri Omar MP Muar 16
2012   Khairul Izuan Abdullah PDRM 27
2013   Karlo Primorac Sime Darby 24
2014   Billy Mehmet Kedah Darul Aman 23
2015   Francis Forkey Doe Negeri Sembilan 17
2016   Ilija Spasojević Melaka United 24
2017   Guilherme de Paula Kuala Lumpur 27
2018   Casagrande Felcra 19
2019   Žarko Korać UKM 13
2020   Casagrande Penang 9
2021   Jordan Mintah

  Fernando Rodríguez

Terengganu II

Johor Darul Takzim II

16

Foreign playersEdit

The foreign players policy has changed multiple times since the league's inception.[32] In 2009, FAM took a drastic measure when they changed the foreign players policy to banned them from playing in the league until 2011.[32] Foreign players were only allowed be back to the league starting from the 2012 season onwards.[32]

All foreign players must obtain International Transfer Certificate from their previous national football governing body that their previous clubs are affiliated to before they can be register with the FAM in order to play in the Malaysia Premier League.[32]

  • 2009–2011: foreign players banned.
  • 2012: 2 foreign players.
  • 2013: 3 foreign players.
  • 2014: 4 foreign players and only 3 can be on the field at a time.
  • 2015–present: 4 foreign players including 1 Asian quota.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Eric Samuel (7 May 2015). "More domestic football on TV next season". The Star. Archived from the original on 27 February 2018. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Press Release: FAM Inks deal with MP & Silva to formalise FMLLP". Football Association of Malaysia. 23 January 2015. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  3. ^ a b c Zulhilmi Zainal (5 February 2016). "New MSL and MPL emblems revealed by FMLLP". Goal.com. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  4. ^ Zulhilmi Zainal (2 February 2018). "Malaysia Super League gets title sponsor in RM480 million deal". Goal.com. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  5. ^ a b Amran Mulup (24 January 2005). "Empat syarikat 'sambung nyawa' FAM". Utusan Malaysia (in Malay). Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  6. ^ "Saingan tiga pusingan 2004 -- Liga Super, Perdana lebih kompetitif". Utusan Malaysia (in Malay). 12 January 2004. Archived from the original on 8 January 2019. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  7. ^ Ooi Kin Fai (7 May 2015). "Malaysian football going for the German way". Goal.com. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  8. ^ a b Seng-Foo Lee (4 February 2015). "MP & Silva in for the long term, says Managing Director". FourFourTwo. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  9. ^ "MP & Silva appointed as Football Association of Malaysia Global Advisor for Media & Commercial Rights until 2030". MP & Silva. 20 January 2015. Archived from the original on 25 January 2015. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  10. ^ a b "Club Licensing in Malaysia". Football Association of Malaysia. Retrieved 28 March 2017.
  11. ^ a b "Club Licensing" (PDF). Football Malaysia LLP. 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 March 2016. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  12. ^ Sharenaanes Murad (1 November 2016). "Musa kini dikenali sebagai MUFC" (in Malay). Stadium Astro. Archived from the original on 1 November 2016. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  13. ^ a b c "Perjanjian 'Feeder Club' di antara Johor Darul Ta'zim dan Football Malaysia LLP sebagai langkah positif ke arah Pelesenan Kelab (Club Licensing)" (in Malay). Football Malaysia LLP. 10 February 2017. Archived from the original on 5 December 2017. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  14. ^ a b Amran Mulup (23 October 2004). "Negeri terhimpit". Utusan Malaysia (in Malay). Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  15. ^ a b "Liga M dapat tajaan lumayan RM220 juta". Utusan Malaysia (in Malay). 3 January 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  16. ^ a b c Wan Fakhrul Bakar (22 January 2011). "Logo baru Liga M dilancar Rabu" (in Malay). Kosmo!. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  17. ^ a b FMLLP jamin bayaran pertama selesai Februari (02:45) (in Malay). Astro Awani. 6 February 2016. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  18. ^ Zulhilmi Zainal (12 January 2016). "Hai-O claims FMLLP neglects player salary issues". Goal.com. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  19. ^ a b "FAs warned over non-payment of salary". Bernama. Daily Express. 16 January 2016. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  20. ^ a b Suryati Mohd Nor (16 January 2016). "Gaji Tertunggak, FMLLP Sedia Potong Mata Pasukan" (in Malay). mStar. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  21. ^ CLDN (28 December 2015). "Melaka United gets RM5mil funding". Sarawak Crocs. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
  22. ^ "Melaka Utd ready for Premier League season with four foreign signings". Bernama. The Malay Mail. 1 February 2016. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
  23. ^ "JDT sponsorships are not based on publicity". Johor Southern Tigers. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  24. ^ Rossa Calla (30 December 2013). "Senarai Sponsor Pasukan JDT & JDT II Tahun 2014" (in Malay). Panduan Malaysia.com. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
  25. ^ "Kuala Lumpur FA seek legal redress over sponsorship". The Star. 5 June 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
  26. ^ a b K. Rajan (22 February 2014). "Football: Fox Sports Asia eyeing M-League rights?". The Star. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  27. ^ a b c "Media Prima insider defends their M-League telecasts". Goal.com. 6 March 2015. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  28. ^ a b "Plans underway to improve Media Prima's match telecasts". Goal.com. 9 March 2015. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  29. ^ "RTM to broadcast JDT vs Pahang". Goal.com. 29 January 2015. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  30. ^ a b "Media Prima raih hak penyiaran Liga Bola Sepak untuk 3 tahun" (in Malay). Football Malaysia LLP. 11 February 2016. Archived from the original on 16 February 2016. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  31. ^ Ismail, Sulaiman (30 January 2019). "Siaran Langsung Liga Premier 2019 Boleh Ditonton Menerusi Mycujoo". Semuanya BOLA. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  32. ^ a b c d "Sejarah Perubahan Format & Peraturan Liga Bola Sepak Malaysia Dari 1982 Hingga 2016" (in Malay). Semuanya Bola. 19 April 2016. Retrieved 4 December 2017.