Ukrainian Premier League

The Ukrainian Premier League (Ukrainian: "Українська Прем'єр-ліга", Ukrayinska Premier Liha) or UPL is the highest division of Ukrainian annual football championship. As the Vyshcha Liha (Ukrainian: Вища ліга, Top League) it was formed in 1991 as part of the 1992[1] Ukrainian football championship upon discontinuation of the 1991 Soviet football championship and included the Ukraine-based clubs that competed previously in the Soviet top three tiers competitions as well as better clubs of the Ukrainian republican competitions. The initial season of the league featured six former Soviet Top League clubs among which were Dynamo, Shakhtar, Chornomorets, Dnipro, Metalist, Metalurh as well as four more clubs that previously also competed at the top league.

Ukrainian Premier League
Офіційна емблема Прем'єр-Ліги.png
Foundedfrom 1991 to 2008 (Vyshcha Liha)
since 2008 (Ukrayinska Premier Liha)
CountryUkraine
ConfederationUEFA
Number of teams14 (16 since 2021–22)
Level on pyramid1
Relegation toUkrainian First League
Domestic cup(s)Ukrainian Cup
Ukrainian Super Cup
International cup(s)UEFA Champions League
UEFA Europa League
UEFA Europa Conference League
Current championsShakhtar Donetsk (13th title)
(2019–20)
Most championshipsDynamo Kyiv (15 titles)
Most appearancesOleksandr Shovkovskiy (426)
Top goalscorerSerhiy Rebrov, Maksim Shatskikh (123)
Websiteupl.ua
2020–21 Ukrainian Premier League

In 1996 along with the other professional football leagues of Ukraine, the Top League became a member of the Professional Football League of Ukraine.[1][2] In 2008[3][4] it was withdrawn from Professional Football League of Ukraine and reformed into a separate self governed entity of the Football Federation of Ukraine, officially changing its name to the current one. Its rank was 10th highest in Europe as rated by UEFA as of 2019.

As a leading club of the Soviet Top League, Dynamo Kyiv continues to be the league's "flagship club", while in the last 10 seasons the league is dominated by Shakhtar Donetsk 8 to 2. Three of Ukrainian clubs reached European club competitions finals including Dynamo (as Soviet club), Shakhtar and Dnipro. Among Ukrainian fans the most popular Ukrainian clubs are Dynamo Kyiv and Shakhtar Donetsk.[5] Other popular clubs include Karpaty Lviv, Metalist Kharkiv, Chornomorets Odesa and Dnipro.[5]

General overview and formatEdit

The 2019–20 season is the league's twelfth after the restructuring of professional club football in 2008 and the 29th season since establishing of professional club's competition independent from the Soviet Union. As of 2020, Shakhtar Donetsk is the reigning Ukrainian Premier League champion. To summarise, Tavriya Simferopol won the first championship, while all the subsequent titles have gone to either Dynamo Kyiv or Shakhtar Donetsk. Only 2 teams, Dynamo Kyiv and Shakhtar Donetsk have participated in all previous 28 Ukrainian Top League competitions. The central feature of the league is a game between the same Dynamo and Shakhtar which is developed into the Klasychne (Classic).

On 15 April 2008 the new Premier-Liha (Premier League) was formed. The new sports organization consists of 12 football club organizations that take control of the league's operations under the statues of Football Federation of Ukraine, UEFA, and FIFA. With the new reorganization the format of the League was preserved, while the changes that were made were exclusively administrative. Competitions continued to be conducted in a double round robin format among 16 clubs. There were couple seasons when the 14-clubs league's composition was experimented. Since the 2014 Russian aggression, the league was reduced to 12 members, while its format also has changed. The season is still being played in a double round robin in the first half of a season, after which the league splits in half into two groups of six (6) teams. Both the top six and the bottom six play another a double round robin tournament with the clubs of own group. For 2019-20 there was also introduced post season play-off for qualification for the European club competitions.

The teams that reach the top ranks of the competition table at the end of each season as always gain the chance to represent Ukraine internationally in several prestigious tournaments (continental club tournaments). Also at the end of the season, the bottom clubs (usually two) are relegated to the First League (part of the lower Professional Football League) and replaced by the top clubs from that league. All the participants of the Premier League enter the National Cup competition and enter it at the round of 32 (1/16th of the final) or Round of 16 stage. Also the winner of the League at the beginning of every next season plays against the winner of the National Cup for the Ukrainian Super Cup (under administration of the Premier Liha). Beside Super Cup game and championship among senior teams of the league's clubs, the league also conducts competitions among junior teams including under 21 and under 19. The champion of the under 19 championship qualifies for the UEFA Youth League.

EmblemEdit

 
Old emblem
 
New emblem
 
Season's emblem in 2016
with Pari-Match as sponsor

The old emblem depicts a football that is wrapped around by the blue-yellow stripe (the national colors of Ukraine) on the blue background. Across the top and around the ball there are 16 stars that represent the league's participants (although in 2014 the league was shortened up to 14 teams the emblem was not changed). On the bottom the script says "Premier-League - Union of Professional Football Clubs of Ukraine".

As with the old emblem, the new emblem also contains 16 stars. For the 2016–17 season, the sponsor's name was added.

Title sponsorsEdit

 
A banner with Soyuz(S•V)Viktan in 2007 at Valeriy Lobanovskyi Dynamo Stadium

At least since 2006, the league was placing its sponsors' names for its seasons' titles. The first sponsor became Russian-Ukrainian production association of alcoholic beverages "Soyuz-Viktan" for the 2006–07 Ukrainian championship.[6][7][8] While the contract was signed for five years and officially presented by the presidents of the Football Federation of Ukraine and the Professional Football League of Ukraine as a title sponsor Soyuz-Viktan was expected to stay for couple of seasons, but already in 2007 there was announced a new title sponsor "Biola" from Dnipro.[9][6][10] Previously "Soyuz-Viktan" was sponsoring the Russian ice hockey team and its Hockey Super League, in 2006 it also became sponsor of newly established Channel One Cup.[11] Back in 2002, Mirror Weekly published an article that leaders of "Soyuz-Viktan" were convicted in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea to 15 years imprisonment.[12] Reputation of "Soyuz-Viktan" was questioned on several occasions.[13]

Soon after establishment of Premier-Liha, in 2008 there was signed a contract with a new sponsor Epitsentr K (network of home improvement stores).[6][14] The sum of the contract was announced as $3.6 million,[15] while just three months before there were speculations that new sponsor would pay no less than $5 million.[16] In 2013 the contract expired.

The new contract was established in 2015 with a bookmaking company Pari-Match, which lasted for couple of seasons.[14][17][18][19]

Season's format and regulationsEdit

Season regulations is one of the two most important documents (other being the competition calendar) that are adopted by the Premier League prior to each season.

Premier League directly organizes and conducts competitions among member clubs. Competitions are conducted on principle of "Fair play" and according to competitions calendar which is approved by the Premier League General Assembly and the FFU Executive Committee 30 days before start of competitions. Until 2019[citation needed] all advertisement, commercial rights and rights on TV and radio broadcasting of games of championship and cup belong to the club that hosts them (the Super Cup of Ukraine and the "Gold game"). All advertisement, commercial rights and rights on TV and radio broadcasting of the game of Super Cup and the "Gold game". Before 2014 Premier League was also administering some rounds of the Ukrainian Cup (Round of 8, Quarterfinals, and Semifinals). The earlier rounds were administered by the Professional League and the final by the Federation. Since 2014 the organization of Ukrainian Cup competitions in full belongs exclusively to the Federation.

There are currently 12 club members of the league. All participants get approved by the Premier League General Assembly. Each club fields each team for senior competitions, and competitions for under 21 and under 19 teams (three teams). A club is required to have a stadium (registered with FFU) and an education and training facility (or center). A club is also obligated to finance its own youth sports institution and a complex scientific-methodical group as well as to own and finance a number of youth teams. A Premier League club needs to ensure participation of at least four youth teams (ages groups between 14 and 17) in the Youth Football League of Ukraine. A club cannot field more than one team for a certain competition.

All club's staff members (coaches, physicians, massage specialists) have to be contracted and be UEFA licensed. All coaches should have A-diploma, while head coaches - PRO-diploma. Football players are listed in "A" and "B" rosters. "A" roster contains no more than 25 players, while "B" roster has unlimited number of players no older than 21 who have professional contracts or agreements for sports training. The 25-players "A" roster includes the number of slots allotted for players developed by the club.

During breaks in competitions in summer and winter there are two periods for registering players.

Beside the main championship among senior teams, the Premier League also organizes youth championship which was adopted from the previous Vyshcha Liha championship of doubles (reserves). Since 2012 there was added another competition for junior teams, so the original youth championship was renamed into the Championship of U-21 teams and the new competition was named as the Championship of U-19 teams. Unlike the Championship of U-21 teams, in the Championship of U-19 teams beside all of the Premier League clubs' junior teams, there also compete teams of some lower leagues' clubs.

The league's championship among senior teams is conducted by manner of the round robin system in two cycles "fall-spring" with one game at home and another at opponent's field with each participant. A competition calendar is formed after a draw that is conducted based on the Premier League club rankings. The calendar of the second cycle repeats the first, while hosting teams are switched. There should be no less than two calendar days between official games of a club. All games take place between 12:00 and 22:00 local time. Any game postponement is allowed only in emergencies and on decision of the Premier League Administration (Dyrektsiya). Game forfeitures are controlled by technical win/loss nominations and fines, followed by additional sanctions of the FFU Control-Disciplinary Committee, and possible elimination from the league.

Competition calendarEdit

Clubs play each other twice (once at home and once away) in the 26-match season. The league begins in mid-July and ends in mid-June. After 13 rounds of fixtures, there is a winter break that lasts for three months (from early December to early March). Thus, the winter break is significantly longer than the interval between seasons. This schedule accounts for climatic conditions and matches that of most European leagues in terms of the beginning and the end of the season.

The first season of the League in 1992 was an exception, as it lasted only half a year. This was because the last Soviet league season ended in the autumn of 1991, and the Football Federation of Ukraine decided to shift the calendar from “spring-fall” to “fall-spring” football seasons. In the inaugural season, 20 clubs were divided into two 10-team groups. In both groups, each club played each other twice, and the championship was decided by a play-off match between the group winners, in which Tavriya Simferopol surprised the pre-season favorite Dynamo Kyiv.

After the first season, in each of the following seasons each team played each other team in the League twice. The number of participating teams fluctuated between 14 and 18, stabilizing since 2002–03 season at 16.

As of the 2005–06 season, the golden match rule was introduced. According to the rule, if the first two teams obtain the same number of points, the championship is to be decided by an additional "golden" match between the two teams. In fact, in that season Dynamo Kyiv and Shakhtar Donetsk had earned the same number of points and Shakhtar won the championship by winning the golden match (2–1 after extra time).

HistoryEdit

CreationEdit

Before 1992, Ukrainian domestic football league competitions were conducted among Ukrainian teams that competed in one of groups within the Soviet third tier consisting of around 20 teams. Beside that championship another over 20 teams competed in two upper tiers where they played along with other teams across the Soviet Union. Also, at the same time there were conducted competitions among KFK (amateur teams) at lower level. With the Soviet Union tumbling down (as one classic once called it, "the biggest geopolitical disaster of the 20th century"),[20] in late 1991 there arose discussion about creation of separate competition which would include all better Ukrainian clubs. Following the failed 1991 August putsch, the Ukrainian parliament declared a state independence and appointed a date of referendum to confirm the decision.

Despite the failed putsch and declaration of independence by number of Soviet union republics, the Football Federation of the Soviet Union continued with planning of the 1992 football season.[20] In September 1991 in Soviet magazine "Futbol" appeared some comments from head coaches of Ukrainian clubs playing in the Soviet First League (Tavriya and Bukovyna).[20] The Tavriya head coach Anatoliy Zayaev said that the club is strongly against participation in Ukrainian championship and intend to continue to play in Soviet championship.[20] The Bukovyna head coach Yukhym Shkolnykov said that the club does not have any wishes to return to the Ukrainian group as planned by the republican federation and no one should let politics transverse football.[20]

In October 1991 some Moscow press took a big interview from FC Dnipro head coach Yevhen Kucherevsky titled "How to live on?" His direct speech had started with a phrase "Dnipro is definitely for the Soviet championship".[20] Next Yevhen Mefodiyich told about possible isolation of Ukrainian football, because if Ukraine would not be recognized by the World, there is nothing to think about membership in FIFA or UEFA.[20] After that recalling some kind of World Basket League, Kucherevsky discussed the topic that "people are uniting , but we..."[20] When questioned "what is the mood among coaches of other Ukrainian teams", he firmly answered "Almost all are for the united championship and against separate Ukrainian".[20] In particular, Kucherevsky mentioned his talks with head coach of Shakhtar Valeriy Yaremchenko.[20] More to it, according to Kucherevsky, majority of the Dnipro's fans judging by their letters and telephone calls also consider that conducting of Ukrainian championship not in time.[20] Ended his interview Kucherevsky with a phrase that "he wants to hope that the situation when they have to play in a separate championship will never come".[20] The coach even allowed the thought that Ukraine could be recognized as an independent state, but proposes an idea of the "Soviet open championship", referring to... the case with NHL.[20]

In general Kucherevsky was speaking of true situation.[20] Among all Ukrainian teams of the Soviet Top League, only Dynamo was clearly and firmly for its own independent championship. Other clubs took position from "strongly against" to "possibly for, but".[20] For example, Metalurh Zaporizhia that was playing its first season at such level was for the Soviet championship.[20] Yet, Metalist that was struggling to stay in, took a tricky position: "If we are would relegate to the First Union League, we will be for Ukrainian championship, if we would stay at the top, we will be for Soviet championship".[20]

In September 1991 there took place a session of the Football Federation of the Ukrainian SSR Executive Committee (ispolkom), which started with raising of blue-and-yellow flag that was given by a member of parliament Vyacheslav Chornovil.[21] On proposition of Viktor Bannikov who at time was heading the football federation, the struggle for independent championship had to take place under national colors.[21] The Executive Committee decided that blue-and-yellow flags had to flown over all stadiums where were playing Ukrainian teams.[21] Some members of the executive committee have spoken about the independent Ukrainian championship, but did not rush with a decision.[21] For that it was decided to wait until the Federation's plenum on 13-14 December 1991.[21]

Vyshcha Liha and Professional Football League (1992–1999)Edit

Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the inaugural independent championship took place hastily at the start of spring 1992 after the creation of the Ukrainian Higher League (Ukrainian: Вища Ліга, Vyshcha Liha). The League was created out of the six teams that took part in the Soviet Top League, two teams from the Soviet First League, and nine out of the eleven Ukrainian teams from the Soviet Second League. The other two of that eleven were placed in the Ukrainian First League as they were to be relegated anyway. The two best teams of the Soviet Second League B of the Ukrainian Zone were also placed in the Higher League along with the winner of the 1991 Ukrainian Cup which finished ninth in the same group (Soviet Second League B).

The 20 participants were split into two groups with the winners playing for the championship title and the runners-up playing for third place. Three teams from each group were to be relegated. As expected, the five favorites, Dynamo Kyiv, Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, Shakhtar Donetsk, Chornomorets Odesa, and Metalist Kharkiv finished at the top of each group. In the championship play-off game in Lviv, a sensation took place as Tavriya Simferopol beat Dynamo Kyiv 1–0. The Crimeans earned the first Ukrainian title (thus far their only one), losing only once to Temp Shepetivka.

After being stunned in the first championship by the tragedy in Lviv, Dynamo Kyiv were anxious to earn their first title at the second opportunity. In the second Ukrainian championship, which had a regular League format of 16 teams, the main rivals of the Kyivians were Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, who were top after the first half of the season. By the end of the season both teams were neck and neck and at the end they finished with the same number of points. The championship title was awarded to Dynamo Kyiv as they had a better goal difference. Neither the Golden match, nor the fact that Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk had a better head-to-head record was considered.

The next seven years were known as the total domination of Dynamo Kyiv. During this period 'the main Soviet protagonists' had changed as some of the best teams were facing a crisis. After the 1993–94 season Metalist Kharkiv were surprisingly relegated to the First League. In the 1995–96 season Shakhtar Donetsk had the worst year in the club's history, coming tenth. Chornomorets Odesa were relegated twice during that first decade after which manager Leonid Buryak was sacked. A few newly created teams have since emerged such as Arsenal Kyiv and Metalurh Donetsk, as well as Vorskla Poltava, who surprisingly came third in the club's first season at the Top Level in the 1997.

Dynamo–Shakhtar rivalry and Premier League (2000–2010)Edit

The next decade was marked by fierce competition between Dynamo Kyiv and Shakhtar Donetsk. Since 2000, Shakhtar Donetsk has proved to be the real challengers to Kyiv's dominance. In 2000 Shakhtar earned their first qualification to the Champions League earning a place in the Group stage. Nonetheless, Dynamo Kyiv is still considered to be the benchmark of excellence in the country and the primary feeder to the Ukrainian national football team. 2002 became the real cornerstone in the miners history when they earned their first national title under the management of the newly appointed Italian specialist, Nevio Scala, who managed to secure the Ukrainian Cup title as well. Since that time the issue of foreign players has become particularly acute and brought a series of court cases. The FFU and PFL worked together to solve that issue, coming up with a plan to force the transitional limitation of foreign players over time.

The clubs such as Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk and Chornomorets Odesa, who were recent contenders for the title, had to put up a fierce fight against the newly established contenders Metalurh Donetsk and Metalist Kharkiv to qualify for the European competitions. Metalist Kharkiv shone brightly in the late 2000s (decade) by consistently finishing right behind Dynamo Kyiv and Shakhtar Donetsk in third place. Their most remarkable feat was their participation in the 2009 European season when they had to face Dynamo Kyiv to earn a place in the quarter-finals of the 2008–09 UEFA Cup, but lost on the away goals rule. That same 2008–09 UEFA Cup competition was won for the first time by Shakhtar Donetsk, the first club of independent Ukraine to win the title. It was also the last UEFA cup title before it changed its name to the Europa league. In the 2008–09 season the league earned the highest UEFA league coefficient in Europe for that season.

 
Areal duel between players of Shakhtar and Metalist in September 2009 including Fernandinho and Marko Devic

On 15 November 2007 clubs' presidents of the Vyshcha Liha adopted a decision to create the Premier League (Premier Liha).[22] At the same meeting session there was created a supervisory board that consisted of Ravil Safiullin (Professional Football League), Vitaliy Danilov (FC Kharkiv), Petro Dyminskyi (FC Karpaty), and Vadym Rabinovych (FC Arsenal).[22] During the next three months that body curated a process on creation of the Premier League's regulation and statute as well as a procedure of launching the championship starting from the 2008–09 season.[22] On 15 April 2008 at one of the meetings among the presidents of clubs there was signed a protocol about establishing the Association of Professional Football Clubs of Ukraine "Premier-Liha"[22] as an autonomous entity, parting away from the PFL. The Premier League has been split since the moment it was created in regards to its president. The dispute went as far as even canceling the 13th round of 2009–10 season and moving it to the spring half, while having the 14th round still playing in the fall. The representatives of five clubs: Arsenal Kyiv, Dynamo Kyiv, Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, Kryvbas Kryvyi Rih, and Metalist Kharkiv have been boycotting most of the League meetings, not complying with its financial obligations and giving the broadcasting rights to TV-channels other than the League official supplier. They justified their actions due to what they deem to be the illegal election of the Premier League president. The representatives of the above-mentioned clubs did not recognize the election in 2008 of Vitaliy Danilov as the president and believed that the elections should have been won by Vadim Rabinovich.

To resolve this conflict Vitaliy Danilov instigated the re-election of the Premier League president in September 2009, and on 1 December 2009 won the election again with 11 clubs voting for his candidature, 3 were against, 1 abstained, and 1 was absent. This time most club presidents of the Premier League of Ukraine acknowledged Vitaliy Danilov legality. In the subsequent elections on 9 December 2011 Vitaliy Danilov was challenged by Andriy Kurhanskyi (through the proposal of Karpaty Lviv). The other available candidates, Miletiy Balchos (president of the Professional Football League of Ukraine) and Yuriy Kindzerskyi, were not picked by any members of the Premier League. Vitaliy Danilov managed to retain his seat with nine votes for him.

Big Four and two-round league (2011–present)Edit

Results of the 'Big Four' during the late 2000s–early 2010s
Season DNI DYN MET SHA
2005–06 6 2 5 1
2006–07 4 1 3 2
2007–08 4 2 3 1
2008–09 6 1 3 2
2009–10 4 2 3 1
2010–11 4 2 3 1
2011–12 4 2 3 1
2012–13 4 3 2 1
2013–14 2 4 3 1
2014–15 3 1 6 2
Top four 8 10 8 10
Finishes out of 10
  League champions
  Champions League
  UEFA Cup / Europa League group stage
  UEFA Cup / Europa League qualification
  UEFA Intertoto Cup

Starting from 2010 and to 2014 season, FC Shakhtar led by Romanian coach Mircea Lucescu obtained five national league titles in a row, making Lucescu the most successful manager in the history of the league with 9 titles. At the same time, in the beginning of 2010s the so-called "Big Four" of clubs eventually formed, consisting from Shakhtar, Dynamo, Metalist and Dnipro.[23] These four clubs consecutively took all the top 4 places for five seasons from 2009–10 to 2013–14 and displayed the biggest financial abilities in the league.[24]

In 2012–13, Metalist Kharkiv finished second and qualified for the UEFA Champions League for the first time, the achievement which was repeated by Dnipro in the next season. In the same 2013–14 season Dynamo Kyiv for the first time since Ukrainian independence placed as low as fourth in league's season ranking, which led to dismissal of former national team coach and the legend of Soviet football Oleh Blokhin as the club's manager. In European football, new club achievements were set in these years for Shakhtar in 2010–11 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals and for Metalist in 2011–12 UEFA Europa League quarter-finals.

 
The 2017 Liha Pari-Match champions FC Shakhtar Donetsk with a pennant (Hrayemo Chesno, We Play Fair)

Because of the Russian aggression against Ukraine and subsequent cleaning of the league from the clubs that became financially unreliable (Metalist, Hoverla, Metalurh Donetsk, Dnipro), the number of teams participating in the league was cut from 16 in the 2013–14 season to 14 in the following two seasons.[25] Both of the seasons were won by Dynamo Kyiv with Serhiy Rebrov as manager. With the continuation of the military conflict in the eastern oblasts (regions) of Ukraine since 2014 and its economic impact, the league was forced to change its format again and started to be contested by 12 teams after being cut from 14 after the 2015–16 season, introducing the two stages of the competition: after the standard two rounds of games the league would split into two 6-team groups according to their positions.

Under the new format, Shakhtar Donetsk under the manager Paulo Fonseca managed to win three league titles in a row from 2016–17 to 2018–19, runner-up in all the three seasons being Dynamo Kyiv. In 2019–20 season, Shakhtar set the record of the earliest title win in the history, win 5 rounds remaining.[26] In 2019, the decision was adopted to expand the league to 14 teams from the 2020–21 and to 16 teams from the 2021–22 season.[27]

OfficialsEdit

PresidentsEdit

  • Vitaliy Danilov, 27 May 2008 – 29 February 2016 (until 1 July 2009 – temporary acting, as president of FC Kharkiv, reelected on 1 July 2009 and 9 December 2011)[28]
  • Volodymyr Heninson, 29 February 2016 – 6 April 2018[29]
  • Thomas Grimm, 6 April 2018 – 5 April 2020[30]
    • (executive director, acting) Yevhen Dykyi[31]
  • TBA, (elections postponed; previously to dates 27 April 2020, 25 May 2020)

DirectorsEdit

  • General director: Oleksandr Yefremov[32]
  • Executive director: Yevhen Dykyi
  • Sport director: Petro Ivanov
  • Development director: Vadym Halahan

CompetitionsEdit

ClubsEdit

A total of 43 clubs have played in the Premier League up to 2019–20 season, 20 of which were the founding members of the inaugural 1992 season and 23 other were promoted in the later seasons.

Current clubsEdit

The following teams are competing in the 2020–21 season. Note, in parenthesis shown the actual home cities and stadiums.

Team Home city Stadium Capacity Position in
2019–20
First season
in PL
Seasons
in PL
Desna Chernihiv Chernihiv Stadion imeni Gagarina 12,060 4th 2018–19 3
Dnipro-1 Dnipro Dnipro-Arena 31,003 7th 2019–20 2
Dynamo Kyiva Kyiv Olimpiyskiy National Sports Complex 70,050 2nd 1992 30
Inhulets Petrove Petrove (Kropyvnytskyi) Zirka Stadium (temporarily) 14,628 FL:3rd debut 1
Kolos Kovalivka Kovalivka Kolos Stadium 5,000 6th 2019–20 2
Lviv Lviv Ukraina Stadium 28,051 11th 2008–09 4
Mariupol Mariupol Stadion imeni Boika 12,680 8th 1997–98 21
Mynai Mynai (Uzhhorod) Avanhard Stadium 12,000 FL:1st debut 1
Oleksandriya Oleksandria Nika Concert and Sports Complex 7,000 5th 2001–02 9
Olimpik Donetsk Donetsk (Kyiv) Stadion Dynamo imeni Lobanovskoho 16,873 9th 2014–15 7
Rukh Lviv Lviv Arena Lviv 34,915 FL:2nd debut 1
Shakhtar Donetska Donetsk (Kyiv) Olimpiyskiy National Sports Complex 70,050 1st 1992 30
Vorskla Poltava Poltava Stadion Vorskla imeni Butovskoho 24,795 10th 1996–97 25
Zorya Luhansk Luhansk (Zaporizhia) Slavutych-Arena 12,000 3rd 1992 20

a: Team played in every Ukrainian top flight season

MapsEdit

BroadcastingEdit

Free-to-air live matches from the Ukrainian Premier League will be broadcast on Saturdays and Sundays on satellite channel 2+2 (Sirius 5E). This is a list of television broadcasters which provide coverage of the Ukrainian Premier League, which is Ukrainian football's top level of competition.

International broadcastersEdit

The main international broadcaster of the league in west Europe and some countries of Africa is the French Ma Chaîne Sport providing coverage for such countries like France, and satellite communities in Andorra, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Monaco, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia. Another broadcaster Sport Klub provides coverage in all countries of former Yugoslavia including Bosnia/Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia, and Slovenia. National broadcasters of some other counties include 12 TV (Armenia), CBC Sport (Azerbaijan), Polsat Futbol (Poland), Futbol (Russia), and Dolce Sport (Romania).

UEFA ranking and European competitionsEdit

 
Shakhtar Donetsk against Arsenal in the 2010–11 UEFA Champions League

Ukrainian clubs being part of the Soviet Union competed in European competitions since 1960s when the Soviet clubs started to participate in continental competitions. In fact the very first Soviet club that took part in European competitions was Ukrainian club, FC Dynamo Kyiv, that took in the 1965–66 European Cup Winners' Cup. Before the fall of the Soviet Union, the following Ukrainian clubs participated in European competitions: FC Dynamo Kyiv (1965), FC Karpaty Lviv (1970), FC Zorya Luhansk (1973), FC Chornomorets Odessa (1975), FC Shakhtar Donetsk (1977), FC Dnipro (1984), and FC Metalist Kharkiv (1988).

At least five clubs participated in top continental competitions the European Cup and the UEFA Champions League among which are FC Dynamo Kyiv, FC Dnipro, FC Metalist Kharkiv, FC Shakhtar Donetsk, and SC Tavriya Simferopol.

Two teams (Dynamo and Shakhtar) were able to obtain trophies of European competitions including two Cup Winners' Cup, one UEFA Supercup, and one UEFA Cup. One more team (Dnipro) came just short to join their company losing in the 2015 UEFA Europa League Final.

Club seedingEdit

UEFA Club Ranking

Current
ranking
Movement Last season
ranking
Teams Coefficient
14   (18) Shakhtar Donetsk 81.000
22   (25) Dynamo Kyiv 62.000
43   (38) Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk 34.000
135   (109) Chornomorets Odesa 9.000
135   (136) Zorya Luhansk 9.000
142   (165) Oleksandriya 2.500
142   (154) Vorskla Poltava 2.000
142   (98) Metalist Kharkiv 2.000
142   (154) Metalurh Donetsk 1.000
142   (new) Olimpik Donetsk 1.000

Note: Since 1999 the country index (coefficient) indicates the lowest possible value any team of that country will get in the ranking. Currently it's 6.866 for Ukraine. Teams ranked below their country's ranking are positioned by the ranking of their country rather its own. Teams in bold will be participating in the 2017–18 European football season.[33] Last Updated: 21 May 2018

Country rankingEdit

UEFA Country Ranking

Current
ranking
Movement Last season
ranking
League Coefficient
6   (6)   Russian Premier League 53.382
7   (7)   Primeira Liga 47.248
8   (8)   Ukrainian Premier League 41.133
9   (9)   Belgian Pro League 38.500
10   (10)   Süper Lig 35.800

Last Updated: 21 May 2018.[34]

International relationsEdit

In 2009 The Ukrainian Premier League joined the European Professional Football Leagues.[35] Also in 2009 the league signed a partnership with IMG of which during the first month of cooperation sold broadcasting rights for the Ukrainian Cup to Poland and Armenia. On its own initiative the Ukrainian Premier League sold broadcasting rights to Romania and Russia as well.

Results by seasonEdit

Higher League (Vyshcha Liha)Edit

Season Champion Runner-up Third place Top goalscorer Rank
1992 Tavriya Simferopol Dynamo Kyiv Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk   Yuriy Hudymenko (Tavriya Simferopol, 12 goals) N/A[36]
1992–93 Dynamo Kyiv Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk Chornomorets Odesa   Serhiy Husyev (Chornomorets Odesa, 17 goals) 28/39
1993–94 Dynamo Kyiv Shakhtar Donetsk Chornomorets Odesa   Tymerlan Huseinov (Chornomorets Odesa, 18 goals) 24/44
1994–95 Dynamo Kyiv Chornomorets Odesa Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk   Arsen Avakov (Torpedo Zaporizhya, 21 goals) 24/47
1995–96 Dynamo Kyiv Chornomorets Odesa Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk   Tymerlan Huseinov (Chornomorets Odesa, 20 goals) 19/48
1996–97 Dynamo Kyiv Shakhtar Donetsk Vorskla Poltava   Oleh Matveyev (Shakhtar Donetsk, 21 goals) 22/48
1997–98 Dynamo Kyiv Shakhtar Donetsk Karpaty Lviv   Serhiy Rebrov (Dynamo Kyiv, 22 goals) 17/49
1998–99 Dynamo Kyiv Shakhtar Donetsk Kryvbas Kryvyi Rih   Andriy Shevchenko (Dynamo Kyiv, 18 goals) 15/50
1999–00 Dynamo Kyiv Shakhtar Donetsk Kryvbas Kryvyi Rih   Maksim Shatskikh (Dynamo Kyiv, 20 goals) 12/50
2000–01 Dynamo Kyiv Shakhtar Donetsk Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk   Andriy Vorobey (Shakhtar Donetsk, 21 goals) 13/51
2001–02 Shakhtar Donetsk Dynamo Kyiv Metalurh Donetsk   Serhiy Shyshchenko (Metalurh Donetsk, 12 goals) 13/51
2002–03 Dynamo Kyiv Shakhtar Donetsk Metalurh Donetsk   Maksim Shatskikh (Dynamo Kyiv, 22 goals) 14/52
2003–04 Dynamo Kyiv Shakhtar Donetsk Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk   Giorgi Demetradze (Metalurh Donetsk, 18 goals) 14/52
2004–05 Shakhtar Donetsk Dynamo Kyiv Metalurh Donetsk   Oleksandr Kosyrin (Chornomorets Odesa, 14 goals) 15/52
2005–06 Shakhtar Donetsk Dynamo Kyiv Chornomorets Odesa   Brandão (Shakhtar Donetsk, 15 goals)
  Emmanuel Okoduwa (Arsenal Kyiv, 15 goals)
13/52
2006–07 Dynamo Kyiv Shakhtar Donetsk Metalist Kharkiv   Oleksandr Hladkyi (FC Kharkiv, 13 goals) 11/52
2007–08 Shakhtar Donetsk Dynamo Kyiv Bronze stripped *    Marko Dević* (Metalist Kharkiv, 19 goals) 12/53

Premier LeagueEdit

Season Champion Runner-up Third place Top goalscorer Rank
2008–09 Dynamo Kyiv Shakhtar Donetsk Metalist Kharkiv   Oleksandr Kovpak (Tavriya Simferopol, 17 goals) 7/53
2009–10 Shakhtar Donetsk Dynamo Kyiv Metalist Kharkiv   Artem Milevsky (Dynamo Kyiv, 17 goals) 7/53
2010–11 Shakhtar Donetsk Dynamo Kyiv Metalist Kharkiv   Yevhen Seleznyov (Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, 17 goals) 8/53
2011–12 Shakhtar Donetsk Dynamo Kyiv Metalist Kharkiv   Yevhen Seleznyov (Shakhtar Donetsk, 14 goals)
  Maicon (Volyn Lutsk, 14 goals)
9/53
2012–13 Shakhtar Donetsk Metalist Kharkiv Dynamo Kyiv   Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Shakhtar Donetsk, 25 goals) 7/53
2013–14 Shakhtar Donetsk Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk Metalist Kharkiv   Luiz Adriano (Shakhtar Donetsk, 20 goals) 9/53
2014–15 Dynamo Kyiv Shakhtar Donetsk Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk   Alex Teixeira (Shakhtar Donetsk, 17 goals)
  Eric Bicfalvi (Volyn Lutsk, 17 goals)
8/54
2015–16 Dynamo Kyiv Shakhtar Donetsk Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk   Alex Teixeira (Shakhtar Donetsk, 22 goals)
8/54
2016–17 Shakhtar Donetsk Dynamo Kyiv Zorya Luhansk   Andriy Yarmolenko (Dynamo Kyiv, 15 goals) 8/55
2017–18 Shakhtar Donetsk Dynamo Kyiv Vorskla Poltava   Facundo Ferreyra (Shakhtar Donetsk, 21 goal) 8/55
2018–19 Shakhtar Donetsk Dynamo Kyiv Oleksandriya    Júnior Moraes (Shakhtar Donetsk, 19 goals) 9/55
2019–20 Shakhtar Donetsk Dynamo Kyiv Zorya Luhansk   Júnior Moraes (Shakhtar Donetsk, 20 goals) 10/55

Notes:

Performance by clubEdit

Club Winners Runners-up Third place Winning years
Dynamo Kyiv 15 12 1 1992–93, 1993–94, 1994–95, 1995–96, 1996–97, 1997–98, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2000–01, 2002–03, 2003–04, 2006–07, 2008–09, 2014–15, 2015–16
Shakhtar Donetsk 13 12 2001–02, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2007–08, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2013–14, 2016–17, 2017–18, 2018–19, 2019–20
Tavriya Simferopol 1 1992
Dnipro 2 7
Chornomorets Odesa 2 3
Metalist Kharkiv 1 6
Metalurh Donetsk 3
Kryvbas Kryvyi Rih 2
Vorskla Poltava 2
Zorya Luhansk 2
Karpaty Lviv 1
Oleksandriya 1
Total 29 29 28
  • Note: Defunct teams marked in Italics.

Honored teamsEdit

A representative star is placed above the team's badge to indicate 10 league titles.[39] Dynamo Kyiv became the first Ukrainian team to achieve the prestigious honor of winning the Soviet Top League for the 10th time in 1981. Dynamo Kyiv after having entered the Ukrainian championship has become the same dominant leader as during the Soviet times by earning its 20th national title at the top level in 1999. The two stars, however, were only added to the club's logo in 2007.[40] Earning its 10th national title in 2017, Shakhtar Donetsk has not yet adopted a star on its crest.

Currently (as of 2020) the following clubs earned the star element to be added to their crest.

Prestige trophyEdit

From 2016–17 to 2019–20 seasons, the league conducted season competition in two rounds, where after the first double round robin tournament the league is split in half into two groups of six teams. Then, top six play second double round robin for the title, while the bottom six play to determine teams to be relegated (and Europa League playoff participants in the 2019–20 season). The team that won the relegation group receives a consolation-type honorary award, the Prestige trophy.[41]

Season Prestige trophy
2016–17 Vorskla Poltava
2017–18 FC Oleksandriya
2018–19 Vorskla Poltava
2019–20 SC Dnipro-1

Premier League playersEdit

All-time Premier League appearance leaders
Rank Player Games
1   Oleksandr Shovkovskiy 426
2   Oleh Shelayev 412
3   Vyacheslav Checher 411
4   Oleksandr Chizhevskiy 400
5   Oleksandr Horyainov 391
6   Ruslan Rotan 374
7   Serhiy Nazarenko 373
8   Serhiy Shyshchenko 363
9   Ruslan Kostyshyn 359
10   Serhiy Zakarlyuka 356
Players in bold are still playing in Premier League
Data as of 25 July 2020[42][43]
All-time Premier League scorers
Rank Player Goals Games
1   Serhiy Rebrov 123 261
  Maksim Shatskikh 123[a] 341
3   Yevhen Seleznyov 111 230
4   Andriy Vorobey 105 315
5   Andriy Yarmolenko 99 228
6     Júnior Moraes 96 171
7   Oleksandr Haydash 95[b] 258
8     Marko Dević 90 219
  Serhiy Mizin 90 342
10   Tymerlan Huseynov 85 215
Players in bold are still playing in Premier League
Data as of 25 July 2020[45]

Ex-Dynamo Kyiv strikers Maksim Shatskikh and Serhiy Rebrov hold the record for most Ukrainian Premier League goals with 123, with Shatskikh winning the top single season scorer title twice in 1999–2000 and 2002–03, Rebrov once in 1997–98. Since the first Ukrainian Premier League season in 1992, 22 different players have won or shared the top scorer's title. Only five players have won the title more than once, Tymerlan Huseynov, Maksim Shatskikh, Yevhen Seleznyov, Alex Teixeira and Júnior Moraes.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan holds the record for most goals in a season (25), Serhiy Rebrov and Maksim Shatskikh are the only two players to score at least 20 goals twice. The most prolific all-time scorers are Ivan Hetsko and Viktor Leonenko, respectively attaining 0.59 and 0.57 goals per game.

Premier League managersEdit

 
Former Shakhtar Donetsk manager Mircea Lucescu is the most successful manager in Ukrainian Premier League history with 8 championships.
 
Myron Markevych has managed the most games in Ukrainian Premier League, participating in every season from the inaugurational 1992 to 2015–16 (with the exception of 2004–05).

The league's record holder for winnings is Mircea Lucescu.

Winning managers
Manager Club(s) Wins Winning years
  Mircea Lucescu Shakhtar Donetsk 8 2004–05, 2005–06, 2007–08, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2013–14
  Valery Lobanovsky Dynamo Kyiv 5 1996–97, 1997–98, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2000–01
  Paulo Fonseca Shakhtar Donetsk 3 2016–17, 2017–18, 2018–19
  Yozhef Sabo Dynamo Kyiv 2 1993–94, 1995–96
  Oleksiy Mykhailychenko 2002–03, 2003–04
  Serhiy Rebrov 2014–15, 2015–16
  Anatoliy Zayaev Tavriya Simferopol 1 1992
  Mykhailo Fomenko Dynamo Kyiv 1992–93
  Mykola Pavlov 1994–95
  Nevio Scala Shakhtar Donetsk 2001–02
  Anatoliy Demyanenko Dynamo Kyiv 2005–06
  Yuri Semin 2008–09
  Luis Castro Shakhtar Donetsk 2019–20

The league's record holder for games in the league is Myron Markevych.

Among other coaches who stayed in the league the longest, there are Roman Sanzhar (143), Viktor Prokopenko (140), Nikolay Kostov (139), Vasyl Sachko (137), Oleksandr Zavarov (134), Roman Pokora (129), Oleksandr Sevidov (129), Yuriy Maksymov (129), Oleksandr Ryabokon (124), and Ivan Balan (123).

Current managers
Nat. Name Club Appointed Time as manager
  Oleksandr Ryabokon Desna Chernihiv 16 March 2012 8 years, 218 days
  Volodymyr Sharan Oleksandriya 8 June 2013 7 years, 134 days
  Ruslan Kostyshyn Kolos Kovalivka 6 February 2014 6 years, 257 days
  Serhiy Lavrynenko Inhulets Petrove 31 August 2016 4 years, 50 days
  Viktor Skrypnyk Zorya Luhansk 3 June 2019 1 year, 139 days
  Luís Castro Shakhtar Donetsk 12 June 2019 1 year, 130 days
  Vasyl Kobin FC Mynai 19 June 2019 1 year, 123 days
  Yuriy Maksymov Vorskla Poltava 15 November 2019 340 days
  Ihor Klymovskyi Olimpik Donetsk 13 March 2020 221 days
  Ivan Fedyk Rukh Lviv 15 June 2020 127 days
  Giorgi Tsetsadze FC Lviv 22 June 2020 120 days
  Mircea Lucescu Dynamo Kyiv 23 July 2020 89 days
  Ostap Markevych Mariupol 3 August 2020 78 days
  Igor Jovićević Dnipro-1 22 September 2020 28 days

All-time participantsEdit

The table lists the place each team took in each of the seasons.

Vyshcha Liha era (1992–2008)Edit

Season 1992 92/93 93/94 94/95 95/96 96/97 97/98 98/99 99/00 00/01 01/02 02/03 03/04 04/05 05/06 06/07 07/08
Teams 20 16 18 18 18 16 16 16 16 14 14 16 16 16 16 16 16
Arsenal Kyiv[c]         4 11 10 7 10 6 12 5 9 9 12 14 6
Borysfen Boryspil                         7 16      
Bukovyna Chernivtsi 10 12 17                            
Chornomorets Odesa 5 3 3 2 2 7 15   15     8 5 6 3 6 7
Dnipro 3 2 4 3 3 4 4 12 11 3 6 4 3 4 6 4 4
Dynamo Kyiv 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 2 2 1 2
Hoverla Uzhhorod                     14     12 16   16
Karpaty Lviv 13 6 5 8 8 5 3 4 9 10 8 7 15     8 10
Kharkiv                             13 12 14
Kremin Kremenchuk 14 9 15 10 9 15                      
Kryvbas Kryvyi Rih   8 6 6 14 12 8 3 3 11 9 12 10 13 14 10 13
Mariupol             14 5 8 4 10 10 8 5 4 15  
Metalist Kharkiv 6 5 18         6 5 9 5 16   11 5 3 (3)*
Metalurh Donetsk             6 14 7 5 3 3 4 3 9 9 12
Metalurh Zaporizhya 11 7 16 9 5 8 9 8 6 8 4 15 11 10 8 7 9
Mykolaiv 18     13 16     16                  
Naftovyk-Ukrnafta Okhtyrka 16                               15
Nyva Ternopil 7 14 7 12 13 9 7 13 12 14              
Nyva Vinnytsia 15   10 14 15 16                      
Obolon Kyiv                       14 6 15      
Odesa 20                                
Oleksandriya                     13 13          
Prykarpattya Ivano-Frankivsk 17     11 11 13 13 15 14                
Shakhtar Donetsk 4 4 2 4 10 2 2 2 2 2 1 2 2 1 1 2 1
Stal Alchevsk                   13         11 16  
Tavriya Simferopol 1 10 8 5 12 6 12 9 13 7 7 9 12 7 7 5 5
Temp Shepetivka 19   9 17                          
Torpedo Zaporizhya 8 13 13 7 7 14 16                    
Veres Rivne   16 11 18                          
Volyn Lutsk 9 11 12 15 17             6 13 8 15    
Vorskla Poltava           3 5 10 4 12 11 11 14 14 10 13 8
Zirka Kropyvnytskyi         6 10 11 11 16       16        
Zorya Luhansk 12 15 14 16 18                     11 11

Premier League era (2008–present)Edit

Season 08/09 09/10 10/11 11/12 12/13 13/14 14/15 15/16 16/17 17/18 18/19 19/20 20/21
Teams 16 16 16 16 16 16 14 14 12 12 12 12 14
Arsenal Kyiv 11 7 9 5 8 16         12    
Chornomorets Odesa 10 15   9 6 5 11 11 6 11 11  
Desna Chernihiv                     8 4
Dnipro 6 4 4 4 4 2 3 3 11        
Dnipro-1                       7
Dynamo Kyiv 1 2 2 2 3 4 1 1 2 2 2 2
Hoverla Uzhhorod   16     15 12 12 13          
Inhulets Petrove                        
Karpaty Lviv 9 5 5 14 14 11 13 7 10 8 10 12  
Kharkiv 16                        
Kolos Kovalivka                       6
Kryvbas Kryvyi Rih 12 14 13 10 7                
Lviv 15                   6 11
Mariupol 14 12 14 11 9 10 14     5 4 8
Metalist Kharkiv 3 3 3 3 2 3 6 10          
Metalurh Donetsk 4 8 8 7 5 6 10            
Metalurh Zaporizhya 7 9 16   16 14 7 14          
Mynai                        
Obolon Kyiv   11 10 15                  
Oleksandriya       16       6 5 7 3 5
Olimpik Donetsk           8 9 5 4 9 9 9
Rukh Lviv                        
Sevastopol     15     9              
Shakhtar Donetsk 2 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 1 1 1 1
Stal Kamianske               8 8 12      
Tavriya Simferopol 8 6 7 6 11 15              
Veres Rivne                   6      
Volyn Lutsk     11 12 13 13 9 12 12      
Vorskla Poltava 5 10 6 8 12 8 5 5 7 3 7 10
Zirka Kropyvnytskyi                 9 10      
Zorya Luhansk 13 13 12 13 10 7 4 4 3 4 5 3

Teams marking (as of 2020–21):

Competing in UPL (1st tier)
Competing in PFL (2nd tier)
Competing in PFL (3rd tier)
Competing in AAFU (4th tier)
Competing in regional championships (below 4th tier)
Defunct clubs

All-time tableEdit

All figures are correct through the 2019–20 season.[47][48][49] Promotion/relegation playoff games are not included. Teams in bold currently compete in Premier League. Numbers in bold indicate the record values for each column.

  clubs that lost professional status or were dissolved
Rank Team Seasons P W D L GF GA GD Pts Achievement Other names used
1 Dynamo Kyiv 29 862 628 145 89 1844 572 +1272 2029 champions (15)
2 Shakhtar Donetsk 29 862 603 147 112 1827 635 +1152 1956 champions (13)
3 FC Dnipro 26 765 379 199 187 1127 718 +409 1336 runners-up (2)
4 Karpaty Lviv 27 800 255 227 318 872 1003 −131 992 3rd (1)
5 Chornomorets Odesa 24 715 266 178 271 795 835 −40 976 runners-up (2)
6 Vorskla Poltava 24 710 240 190 280 754 841 −87 910 3rd (2) Vorskla-Naftohaz
7 Metalist Kharkiv[d] 20 573 254 144 175 755 664 +91 906 runners-up (1)
8 Tavriya Simferopol[e] 23 681 237 170 274 795 873 −78 881 champions (1)
9 Metalurh Zaporizhya[f] 24 702 206 173 323 699 949 −250 791 4th (1)
10 Kryvbas Kryvyi Rih[g] 21 634 201 173 260 633 786 −153 776 3rd (2)
11 Metalurh Donetsk[h] 18 526 203 142 181 655 623 +32 751 3rd (3)
12 Arsenal Kyiv[i] 19 568 191 156 221 654 675 −21 729 4th (1)[j] CSKA, CSKA-Borysfen
13 FC Mariupol 20 594 189 143 262 667 847 −180 710 4th (3) Illichivets, Metalurh
14 Zorya Luhansk 18 536 178 117 241 585 775 −190 651 3rd (2) Zorya-MALS
15 Volyn Lutsk 16 472 140 102 230 473 710 −237 519 6th (1)
16 Nyva Ternopil 10 296 93 62 141 319 388 −69 341 7th (3)
17 FC Oleksandriya[k] 8 241 74 72 95 263 322 −59 294 3rd (1) Polihraftekhnika, PFC Oleksandriya
18 Zirka Kropyvnytskyi[l] 8 248 62 58 128 209 368 −159 244 6th (1) Zirka-NIBAS
19 Torpedo Zaporizhya[m] 7 210 64 42 104 214 315 −101 234 7th (2)
20 Prykarpattya Ivano-Frankivsk[n] 7 206 55 52 99 215 315 −100 217 10th (1)
21 Kremin Kremenchuk[o] 6 180 54 40 86 182 269 −87 202 9th (2)
22 Olimpik Donetsk 6 180 50 51 79 182 276 −94 201 4th (1)
23 Hoverla Uzhhorod[p] 9 256 41 64 151 186 421 −235 187 12th (3) Zakarpattia
24 Obolon Kyiv[q] 6 180 44 44 92 153 253 −100 176 6th (1)
25 Nyva Vinnytsia[r] 5 150 42 32 76 140 213 −73 158 10th (1)
26 Veres Rivne[s] 4 130 34 39 57 117 171 −54 141 6th (1)
27 FC Kharkiv[t] 4 120 25 33 62 94 156 −62 108 12th (1)
28 SC Mykolaiv 4 116 26 23 67 100 208 −108 101 13th (1) Evis
29 Desna Chernihiv 2 64 29 10 25 94 74 +20 97 4th (1)
30 Stal Kamianske[u] 3 90 24 24 42 72 106 −34 96 8th (2)
31 Temp Shepetivka[v] 3 86 24 16 46 79 113 −34 88 9th (1)
32 Bukovyna Chernivtsi 3 82 23 18 41 69 99 −30 87 11th (1)
33 FC Lviv 3 94 19 27 48 74 136 −62 84 6th (1)
34 Stal Alchevsk[w] 3 86 17 21 48 67 126 −59 72 11th (1)
35 FC Sevastopol[x] 2 58 17 11 30 58 91 −33 62 9th (1) PFC Sevastopol
36 Borysfen Boryspil 2 60 14 19 27 40 60 −20 61 7th (1)
37 SC Dnipro-1[y] 1 33 15 4 14 43 46 −3 49 7th
38 Naftovyk-Ukrnafta Okhtyrka[z] 2 48 11 11 26 30 66 −36 44 15th (1) Naftovyk
39 Kolos Kovalivka 1 34 12 2 20 38 60 −22 38 6th
40 SC Odesa[aa] 1 18 3 1 14 15 32 −17 10 20th SKA Odesa
41 FC Mynai recently promoted
Rukh Lviv
Inhulets Petrove

List of major penalized clubsEdit

Post-season play-offsEdit

There were several instances when the games outside of regular double round-robin tournament and split group seasons were scheduled or required. They were held either for determiniming the league position (golden and third place matches), international competitions qualification (Europa League play-off) or promotion or relegation (relegation play-off).

Golden matchesEdit

League finals for Premier League took place on two occasions. In the inaugural 1992 season, the league was conducted in two groups of 10 teams due to transition to the autumn-spring competition calendar. The teams in each group played a double round-robin tournament, after which the winners of both groups faced each other in the one-match league final at neutral field. The final was played on the 21 June 1992, crowning Tavriya Simferopol as the first champions of independent Ukraine after their 1–0 win over Dynamo Kyiv.

Starting from the 2005–06 season, if multiple teams finish tied on points on the top of the table, Golden match is required to determine the champion. In the same season, this rule came into effect for the first and only to the moment time: Shakhtar Donetsk and Dynamo Kyiv both finished with 75 points after the regular season. In the following final game, Shakhtar managed to win the title after the 100th-minute goal from Julius Aghahowa which concluded their 2–1 extra-time win.

Season Winner Result Runner-up Venue Date
1992 Tavriya Simferopol 1–0 Dynamo Kyiv Ukraina Stadium, Lviv 21 June 1992
2005–06 Shakhtar Donetsk 2–1 (a.e.t.) Dynamo Kyiv Metalurh Stadium, Kryvyi Rih 14 May 2006

Third place matchesEdit

Similarly to the league final, in the inaugural 1992 season the third place match was played between the runners-up of both 10-team groups that formed the league in the season. In the game at neutral field, Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk from Group B defeated Shakhtar Donetsk from Group A 3–2 and won their first bronze medals in the league.

Season Group A team Result Group B team Venue Date
1992 Shakhtar Donetsk 2–3 Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk Metalurh Central Stadium, Zaporizhia 20 June 1992

Europa League play-offsEdit

In the 2019–20 season, play-offs for qualification to the UEFA Europa League are played for the first time between the 5th and 6th teams from the Championship round and two top teams from the Relegation round (7th and 8th). The play-off consists of the semi-final and final stages, with ties in both played as single matches on the field of the team ranked higher in the season standings.

Season Home team Result Away team Venue Date
2019–20 Semi-finals
FC Oleksandriya 1–2 FC Mariupol CSC Nika Stadium, Oleksandriya 25 July 2020
Kolos Kovalivka 4–1 Dnipro-1 NSC Olimpiyskiy, Kyiv 25 July 2020
Final
Kolos Kovalivka 1–0 (a.e.t.) FC Mariupol NSC Olimpiyskiy, Kyiv 29 July 2020

Relegation play-offsEdit

For the first tome, play-off to determine the participant of the next Vyshcha Liha season was held unplanned at the end of the 1998–99 season. Third-placed team of 1998–99 First League, Torpedo Zaporizhia, who was to be promoted, filed for bankruptcy at the end of the season. The league regulations at the time did not specify what actions are needed to be taken in such situation, so PFL made a decision to held a play-off game between the highest-ranked relegated team, Prykarpattia Ivano-Frankivsk, and highest-ranked not promoted team, FC Cherkasy at neutral field in Kyiv. The game ended with Prykarpattia defending their league place 3–1.[54][55]

In the 2001–02 season, due to league enlargement play-off was held between the second-lowest Vyshcha Liha team, Polihraftekhnika Oleksandriya, and fourth First League team, Polissya Zhytomyr. The game on a neutral field in Kyiv ended 1–0 in favour of Oleksandriya.[55]

Since 2017–18 season, the play-offs are held in home-and-away format between the 10th and 11th teams from Premier League, and 2nd and 3rd from First League. During this time, 3 teams were promoted by play-offs, and another 1 managed to defend its place. However, in the 2019–20 season there will be no playoffs because of the league enlargement and three teams will promote from First League directly.[56]

Season Premier League team Result First League team Venue Date
1998–99 Prykarpattia Ivano-Frankivsk 3–1 FC Cherkasy Dynamo Stadium, Kyiv 4 July 1999
2001–02 Polihraftekhnika Oleksandriya 1–0 Polissya Zhytomyr CSK ZSU Stadium, Kyiv 16 June 2002
2017–18 Zirka Kropyvnytskyi 1–1
0–4
Desna Chernihiv Home and away 23 and 27 May 2018
Chornomorets Odesa 1–0
0–3 (a.e.t.)
FC Poltava
2018–19 Karpaty Lviv 0–0
3–0*
Volyn Lutsk 4 and 8 June 2019
Chornomorets Odesa 0–0
0–2
Kolos Kovalivka

Rivalries and city derbiesEdit

Klasychne derbyEdit

The central feature of the league is a rivalry between Shakhtar Donetsk and Dynamo Kyiv which has adopted its name as Klasychne derby. The rivalry started ever since the end of 1990s when both teams started consistently to place the top two places from season to season. The rivalry became really established when Shakhtar obtained its first national title in 2002.

Other championship contendersEdit

The surprising win of the first season by SC Tavriya Simferopol has never turned the club into a real contender for another title and the club was not always successful to secure a place among the top five. In the beginning of 1990s, FC Chornomorets Odessa and the two-time Soviet champions FC Dnipro were also among the main contenders. The 1972 Soviet champions FC Zorya Luhansk until 2013 really struggled to stay in the top league. Among other contenders there were FC Metalist Kharkiv that were the league's runners-up in 2012–13 and FC Metalurh Donetsk that showed some consistent form in the early 2000s.

Other rivalriesEdit

There are few smaller regional rivalries such between Karpaty and Volyn, Metalist and Dnipro, Zorya and Shakhtar.

Among city derbies, there were no running city derbies in the league for the 2017–18 season. Among the most notable previously there were Zaporizhia derby between Metalurh and Torpedo, Kyiv derby between Dynamo and Arsenal (CSKA), Donetsk derby between Shakhtar and Metalurh. Other derbies existed in Lviv, Odesa, Kharkiv, West Ukrainian football derby and others.

Stadiums and attendanceEdit

Ukraine has several big stadiums with capacity of 30,000+ spectators and at least two stadiums with capacity of over 50,000 which also are considered to be by UEFA the elite stadiums. Since the 2014 Russian aggression against Ukraine, the access to some stadiums was restricted. Many stadiums in Ukraine and their surrounding infrastructure were renovated in preparation to the Euro 2012.

UEFA Elite StadiumsEdit

# Stadium Capacity City Club Opened
1 Olimpiysky National Sports Complex 70,050 Kyiv Ukraine, Dynamo Kyiv 1923, 2011
2 Donbass Arena 52,518 Donetsk Shakhtar Donetsk 2009

Other major stadiumsEdit

Among 30,000+ football stadiums or multi-use stadiums adopted for football are Arena Lviv, Chornomorets Stadium, Dnipro-Arena, Metalist Stadium and others.

Other UEFA 4-category stadiums in the league:

# Stadium Capacity City Club Opened UEFA category
1 Metalist Stadium 40,003 Kharkiv Metalist Kharkiv (before 2016)
Shakhtar Donetsk (after 2017)
1926        
2 Arena Lviv 34,915 Lviv Karpaty Lviv (2011–2012, 2016)
Lviv (2018–2019)
2011        
3 Chornomorets Stadium 34,164 Odesa Chornomorets Odesa 2011        
4 Dnipro-Arena 31,003 Dnipro Dnipro (before 2017)
Dnipro-1 (since 2019)
2008        
5 Butovsky Vorskla Stadium 24,795 Poltava Vorskla Poltava 1951        
6 Slavutych-Arena 11,883 Zaporizhia Metalurh Zaporizhia
Zorya Luhansk (since 2014)
2006        

AttendanceEdit

Source:[citation needed]

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ On 22 July 2017 Ukrainian Premier League announced that Maksim Shatskikh might have scored 123 goals instead of 124 due to one of the autogoals (own goals) being counted towards his tally.[44]
  2. ^ Haidash who is recorded with 95 goals in reality did score 96, but the game in which he scored was cancelled along with his record.[44]
  3. ^ Arsenal Kyiv was renamed from CSKA Kyiv in 2001, the original CSKA Kyiv was recreated in the First League in place of CSCA-2 Kyiv.
  4. ^ Club was denied license in 2016 for failing to pay debts and ceased operations afterwards
  5. ^ The original club was forced to be dissolved due to the Russian aggression against Ukraine, it was later re-established and plays home games in Beryslav, Kherson oblast
  6. ^ The original club dissolved due to bankruptcy. Later it was revived in 2016–2018 based on amateur club FC Rosso Nero, and in 2017 replaced with municipal club
  7. ^ The club lost profession status due to bankruptcy and later was revived as an amateur club, competing in regional competitions of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast
  8. ^ Due to financial situation and hardship being forced to play away from home because of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, in 2015 the club merged with FC Stal Kamianske.
  9. ^ Being reorganized based on the first team of CSKA Kyiv in 2001–02, the club dissolved due to bankruptcy and was later revived based on its academy as FC Arsenal–Kyiv
  10. ^ Arsenal Kyiv's record includes the record of its predecessor CSKA Kyiv (when the club was sponsored by the Ministry of Defence). It does not include the 14 games that it played in 2013-14 that were annulled later.
  11. ^ The club was reformed in 2004 as a city team, in 2014 merged with FC UkrAhroKom Holovkivka
  12. ^ The original club dissolved in 2006 due to bankruptcy, was later was revived based on the local football school Olimpik. In 2019 team withdrew from professional competitions again
  13. ^ The club dissolved due to bankruptcy
  14. ^ The original club FC Prykarpattia dissolved due to bankruptcy, later a new team with the same name was formed
  15. ^ The club was dissolved and revived again two times
  16. ^ The club was denied license in 2016 for failing to pay salary to players and later was dissolved
  17. ^ The club was administratively reorganised in 2013 and had to change its name and start from the lower leagues
  18. ^ The club dissolved two times in 2005 and 2012 and both times was later revived
  19. ^ The original club was liquidated in 2011 and in 2015 was revived as NK Veres Rivne. In 2018 it merged with FC Lviv, at the same time re-entering Second League
  20. ^ The club folded in 2010
  21. ^ The club dissolved in 2018
  22. ^ The club dissolved in 1995
  23. ^ The club dissolved due to the Russian aggression against Ukraine
  24. ^ The club dissolved due to the Russian aggression against Ukraine and in its place was created Russian club SKChF which later changed its name to FC Sevastopol
  25. ^ The off-shot club that was created after the FIFA sanctions were applied to FC Dnipro forcing the latter to be relegated to amateurs
  26. ^ The club dissolved in 2018
  27. ^ The club merged with FC Chornomorets in 1999

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Hunchenko, O., Kazakov, V., Kulikovska, O. Historic and geographic characteristics of football development in Ukraine (ІСТОРИКО-ГЕОГРАФІЧНІ ОСОБЛИВОСТІ РОЗВИТКУ ФУТБОЛУ В УКРАЇНІ)
  2. ^ Historic profile. Professional Football League of Ukraine
  3. ^ There was adopted a decision on creation of the football Premier League of Ukraine (Прийнято рішення про створення футбольної Прем'єр-ліги України). Electronic Library of Ukraine.
  4. ^ In Ukraine was created Premier League (В Україні створено Прем’єр-лігу). Champion (Ukrayinska Pravda). 27 May 2008
  5. ^ a b Poll: Dynamo is ahead of Shakhtar in popularity (Опитування: "Динамо" випереджає "Шахтар" за популярністю) Archived 9 May 2015 at the Wayback Machine. UNIAN. 12 September 2013.
  6. ^ a b c Ukrainian football championship. Kick-off.by.
  7. ^ Igor Nitsak. The "Soyuz-Viktan" group of companies became a partner of the Ukrainian championship as well as the Ukrainian national and youth teams (Группа компаний «Союз-Виктан» стала партнером Чемпионата Украины, а также национальной и молодежной команд страны). Sport.ua. 20 July 2006
  8. ^ "Soyuz-Viktan" became a title sponsor of Ukrainian football championship ("Союз-Виктан" стал титульным спонсором ЧУ по футболу). Kommersant.ru. 20 July 2006
  9. ^ Godskiy. Everyone gets own (Каждому свое). Football.ua / Opinion column. 24 July 2007
  10. ^ A lion in its own juice (Лев в собственном соку). Pressing. 3 August 2007
  11. ^ The Ukrainian championship received its title sponsor (Чемпионат Украины получил титульного спонсора). Korrespondent.net. 20 July 2006
  12. ^ The leaders of the "Soyuz-Viktan" firm were convicted to 15 years of imprisonment (РУКОВОДИТЕЛИ ФИРМЫ «СОЮЗ-ВИКТАН» ПРИГОВОРЕНЫ К 15 ГОДАМ ЛИШЕНИЯ СВОБОДЫ). Mirror Weekly. 23 August 2002.
  13. ^ Andrei Dneprov. The Ukrainian vodka "Soyuz-Viktan" will be taught to respected the Russian laws (Украинскую водку «Союз-Виктан» научат уважать российские законы? (ФОТО)). Newdaynews.ru. 1 March 2007
  14. ^ a b Aleksandr Khlepytko. Evolution of the UPL emblem: from "Epitsentr" to bookmakers (Эволюция эмблемы УПЛ: от «Эпицентра» до букмекеров). Tribuna.com. 7 August 2019
  15. ^ "Epitsentr" is a title sponsor of the Ukrainian football championship («ЭпиЦентр» – Титульный спонсор Чемпионата Украины по футболу). Sport.ua. 29 July 2008
  16. ^ A title sponsor of the Ukrainian championship will pay more that $5 million (Титульный спонсор чемпионата Украины заплатит более ? 5 млн). Championat. 8 April 2008
  17. ^ Oleg Barkov. The official name of the 2015–16 Ukrainian championship is "Liha Pari-Match" (Официальное название чемпионата Украины в сезоне 2015/16 – "Лига Пари-Матч"). Footboom. 17 June 2015
  18. ^ The Liha Pari-Match: 43 million hryvnias for two years (Лига Пари-Матч: 43 млн гривен за два года). Football.ua. 25 June 2015
  19. ^ The Pari-Match was deprived of the opportunity to carry out financial obligations for the Premier League (Пари-Матч лишен возможности выполнять финансовые обязательства перед Премьер-лигой). UA-Football. 1 December 2015
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Volodymyr Mylenko. The Ukrainian quarter. The 1991, where who wants to play? (Украинский квотер. 1991, где кто хочет играть?). UA-Football. 14 April 2016
  21. ^ a b c d e Mykola Motornyi. Ukraine: "A breakthrough into the independence" (Украина: "Прорыв в независимость"). Fanat.ua.
  22. ^ a b c d At first there was a decision... (Спочатку було рішення…). Ukrainian Premier League. 16 November 2017
  23. ^ Ukrainian Championship: breakthrough or beginning of the end? (Чемпіонат України з футболу: прорив чи початок кінця?). BBC News Ukrainian. 11 June 2013
  24. ^ Mid-table clubs of Ukrainian Premier League are reducing players' salaries («Середняки» Української Прем'єр Ліги знижують зарплати футболістів). Ukrinform. 12 July 2013
  25. ^ Ukraine trying to revive Crimean champion football club, USA Today (19 June 2015)
  26. ^ Shakhtar equaled Real, Barcelona and PSG: the most dominating European clubs (Шахтар став в один ряд з Реалом, Барселоною і ПСЖ: найбільш домінуючі клуби Європи). Football 1. 20 June 2020
  27. ^ Number of participating clubs in the UPL will increase to 16 for the 2021/22 season (Кількість клубів-учасників УПЛ у сезоні 2021/22 зросте до 16). Ukrainian Association of Football. 10 July 2020
  28. ^ Danilov re-elected as president of Ukrainian football premier league
  29. ^ Официально. Владимир Генинсон — новый президент УПЛ
  30. ^ https://sport.ua/news/471064-tomas-grimm-upl-poluchit-novogo-prezidenta-6-aprelya
  31. ^ Ihor Tsyhanyk: "I get awfully angry when I get named as television presenter or commentator (Ігор Циганик: «Я страшенно злюся, коли мене називають телеведучим чи коментатором»). 1927.kiev.ua. 23 May 2020
  32. ^ In the UPL is a new general director (У УПЛ новый генеральный директор). Football.ua. 28 July 2009
  33. ^ UEFA Team Ranking 2017 (24 November 2016)
  34. ^ UEFA Country Ranking 2018
  35. ^ Profile of the Ukrainian Premier League at EPFL website
  36. ^ part of Soviet Union
  37. ^ Lausanne announced a verdict on the game Karpaty - Metalist (Лозанна озвучила вердикт по матчу "Карпаты" - "Металлист"). ua-football.com. August 2, 2013.
  38. ^ Football - Match Fixing Archived 15 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine. Court of Arbitration of Sport. Lausanne August 2, 2013.
  39. ^ Will Dynamo have two stars? Television Service of News (TSN). 12 June 2007
  40. ^ FC Dynamo Kyiv has a new emblem. Interfax Ukraine. 4 July 2011
  41. ^ "Dnipro-1" is the owner of the Prestige trophy for the 2019–20 season («Дніпро-1» — володар Трофею престижу сезону 2019/20 років!). Ukrainian Premier League. 19 July 2020
  42. ^ UPL old-timers: Vyacheslav Checher is moving up (Гвардійці УПЛ: В’ячеслав Чечер рухається вгору). Ukrainian Premier League. 29 January 2019
  43. ^ Ukrainian football championship – List of players with 200 or more appearances since 1992. Allplayers.in.ua
  44. ^ a b ...And on the horizon – Yarmolenko (…А на горизонті — Ярмоленко). Ukrainian Premier League. 22 July 2017
  45. ^ Ukrainian football championship – all scorers since 1992. Allplayers.in.ua
  46. ^ All coaches
  47. ^ Grand tournament table of the Ukrainian Championship (1992-2015) Archived 8 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine. ukr-football.org
  48. ^ Summarized table of championships. Ukrainskiy Futbol ot Dmitriya Troshchiya (Ukrainian Football from Dmitriy Troshchiy).
  49. ^ Summarized table of all years. Wildstat.
  50. ^ Metalist with a debt of 112 million hryvnia is heading the ranking of Ukrainian most indebted enterprises (Металлист с долгом 112 млн гривен возглавил рейтинг украинских предприятий-должников). UA-Football 31 October 2018
  51. ^ (Металісту, Говерлі і Волині відмовлено в атестації, Дніпро - допущений до чемпіонату). UA-Football. 25 April 2016
  52. ^ FFU deprived Kryvbas of license (ФФУ лишила Кривбасс лицензии). Sport.ua. 31 May 2013
  53. ^ The license of FC Kharkiv is withdrawn. UA-Football. 23 June 2010
  54. ^ In 1999 play-off match was held for the first time in the Vyshcha Liha history. It was introduced because of Torpedo's collapse (В 1999 впервые в истории Высшей лиги состоялся стыковой матч. Его придумали из-за развала Торпедо). UA-Football. 25 May 2020
  55. ^ a b How and why after-seasons were played in Ukrainian football (Як і чому гралися післясезоння в українському футболі). UA-Football. 25 May 2020
  56. ^ UAF Executive Committee approved a system of team exchange between leagues at the conclusion of 2019/2020 season (Виконком УАФ затвердив систему обміну команд між лігами за підсумками сезону-2019/2020). Ukrainian Association. 25 May 2020

External linksEdit