Thai League

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Thai League
abbreviation T1
Association Football Association of Thailand
First edition 1996
Teams 16
master Chiangrai United (1st title)
Record champions Buriram United (7 tracks)
Current season 2019
Qualification for AFC Champions League

The Thai League (until 2016 Thai Premier League ), ( Thai : ไทย พรีเมียร์ ลีก ลีก , also Toyota Thai League , Thai: โต โย ต้า ไทย พรีเมียร์ ลีก , or T1 for short ) is the top division in Thai football . It is a professional football league to which 16 clubs currently belong. Reigning champion is Chiangrai United and record winner is Buriram United .

Mode and Orientation

Competition mode

During a championship year, which is divided into a round-trip round, all 18 clubs in the Thai League meet twice on the basis of a pre-season schedule ; once in your own stadium and once in the opponent's stadium. A season with its (currently) 34 game days usually extends from February to January. From June to July there is a break between the first and second round. In years when a major tournament, such as the Asian Football Championship , is taking place, the break may be adjusted. The individual game days are played on Saturdays and Sundays. In the so-called English weeks there are also games on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. After a revision of the 2011 season schedule, these English weeks were given up in favor of more viewer-friendly weekend games. The games will kick off at either 4:00 p.m. or 6:00 p.m. This is mainly dependent on the stadium in which the game is played, as not every stadium has the required floodlights .

The team that took first place after this double round of points is the Thai football champions. The three last-placed teams must be relegated to the Thai Premier League Division 1 , the second division, the top three teams of which in turn go straight to the Premier League.

When determining the placements, the points scored by a club are first relevant. Three points are awarded for a win, one point for a draw and no points for a defeat. In the event of a tie, the results of the direct clashes of the teams with the same number of points decide on the placement. If both teams are the same here as well, the better goal difference decides the order of placement. If the difference is the same, then the number of goals scored.

The mode of the league has remained almost unchanged since the first edition. Only the number of participating clubs (10 to 18) and the number of relegation places (0 to 3) fluctuated. At times, relegation games were also played to determine who was promoted and relegated.

International qualification

In addition to the Thai champions and the relegated champions, the participants in the Asian club competitions are also determined via the Premier League. A ranking by the Asian Football Association, the AFC , determines which national association is represented with how many clubs in the Champions League and in the AFC Cup , and at which phase the clubs enter the competition. Unlike in European football, there is no rating based on sporting aspects. The ranking of the AFC is mainly determined by points of the professionalism of a league. Due to the current ranking of the Premier League, Thailand is allowed to send three participants to the competitions. The Thai champions can participate directly in the group stage of the AFC Champions League. The runner-up in the league was directly qualified for the AFC Cup until 2008. With the reintroduction of the national cup competition in 2009, the Thai Association determined that the cup winner would get a place in the AFC Cup.


Until 2009 the Thai Premiere League was held directly under the umbrella of the Thai Football Association (FAT). The association has transferred the operational tasks to the newly founded Thai Premier League Company Limited . Since then, the FAT and the Thai Premier League Company Ltd. as a merger of the 32 clubs of the 1st and 2nd league joint organizers. The establishment of the TPLC became necessary in order to meet the criteria of the Asian Association for professional structures. The main objective of the association and the TPLC is to promote professionalization and marketing as well as their national presence. The responsible managing director of TPLC is Dr. Wichit Yambonruang.


The founding season

From 1916 to 1995 the Thai football championship was held under the name " Kor Royal Cup ". Since 2005 this name has only been used for the Super Cup. In this game, the reigning champions met last season's runner-up until 2009. Champions and cup winners have been meeting each other since 2009. The Thai Premier League was founded in 1996; it was first played under the name Johnnie Walker Thailand Soccer League . From 1996 to 2008 inclusive, the Thai Premier League had the status of an amateur league, at best a semi-professional league.

In its first season the league consisted of 18 teams, u. a. with the reigning winner of the 1995 AFC Champions League : FC Thai Farmers Bank . The club was also the defending champion of the Thai championship. FC TOT , which also took part in the founding season , made it to the semi-finals of the Asian cup winners' competition in 1995 .

The 18 founding clubs of the Premier League were:

The clubs in the founding season all came exclusively from the greater Bangkok area . They were either factory teams or teams from institutions such as the army and police .

The best four teams qualified for the play-offs for the championship. The clubs in places 13 to 18 had to relegate to the newly founded second division. In the final for the championship, FC Bangkok Bank beat Bangkok Bank of Commerce 2-0, making them the first champions of the new Premier League. For the club it was the eighth championship. Stars of the league back then were players like Surachai Jaturapattarapong , Worrawoot Srimaka and Choketawee Promrut . In addition, Sutee Suksomkit came in his second season .


After the end of the first season, the first shadows of the Asian crisis could already be seen in the new league. The 1996/97 season runner-up, the Stock Exchange of Thailand, withdrew as owner and sponsor of the team. The team was taken over by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration , the government of Bangkok. The defending champions FC Bangkok Bank decided not to participate in the Asian Champions League for financial reasons. The FC Sinthana instead took his place. Singha Tero Sasana was renamed Tero Sasana because the Singha brand withdrew as a sponsor. The Royal Thai Air Force was deducted three points at the end of the season because the team did not want to compete at FC Sinthana. Champion of the 1997 season was the FC Royal Thai Air Force , which won its twelfth championship title. The team was coached by Piyapong Piew-on . In the preseason he was active as a player for the club. In addition to winning the championship, Piyapong was also voted Coach of the Year at the end of the 1997 season. The bottom of the table, the FC Royal Thai Navy had to relegate to the second division. In the second season of the league, and for the first time in history, there was a relegation game. The Royal Thai Police met the second division club FC Osotspa M-150 , which had to be relegated in the preseason. After the return leg Osotspa prevailed and rose to the first division.

Despite the major crisis, the 1998 season saw no major changes. Only the name of the league changed. The company Caltex Oil Thailand signed a sponsorship agreement with the national association. The contract ran for three seasons and guaranteed the league total revenue of 71 million baht . Caltex replaced Johnnie Walker as sponsor and namesake.

Relegated in the 98 season was the UCOM-Rajpracha club , which has not been able to return to the top division of Thailand to this day. Tero Sasana was renamed BEC-Tero Sasana before the season. The media company BEC had taken over the company Tero and incorporated it into its company as a subsidiary BEC-Tero. The club name is still valid today. The champions were FC Sinthana.

The 1999 season saw the Royal Thai Air Force FC as champions for the last time . The record champions celebrated their 13th championship this season thanks to the better goal difference against FC Port Authority of Thailand . On the last day of the match, the Air Force won 10-0 against the Bangkok Bank of Commerce, a difference that was one goal better than the PAT. This incident led to an investigation by the association. However, the result of the investigation is not known. The Bangkok Bank of Commerce went down in history as the worst team in the TPL at the end of the season. With only two points and a goal difference of 11:65, this is still valid today. Piyapong Piew-on was voted Coach of the Year again. With 13 goals, the young Sutee Suksomkit was the top scorer. A major change in Thai football took place outside the Premier League that same year and would change the image of the Premier League a few years later. The Thai Sports Association, the SAT, founded the Thailand Provincial League, a parallel league to the Premier League , in the same year . The reason for the founding of the league was for the SAT to offer the clubs from the provinces of Thailand their own platform. The leagues that were subordinate to the FAT, including the Premier League, consisted exclusively of clubs from the greater Bangkok area. Clubs from the rest of the country practically did not participate in league operations.

The new millennium

At the end of the 2000 season , FC TOT had to go into relegation for the first time. With 4: 0 against FC Bangkok Christian College they prevailed in the end. After two third places from the 1998 and 1999 seasons, BEC-Tero Sasana won the 2000 season. It was the club's first championship. Sutee Suksomkit was the top scorer for the second time in a row and then moved abroad. A big loss for the league was the dissolution of FC Thai Farmers Bank at the end of the season. The club produced many stars of national and Asian football and is still the only club from Thailand to win the AFC Champions League . In the international competitions, the league was able to put an "exclamation point" again. The 1999 cup winner, FC Bangkok Bank , reached the semi-finals in the AFC cup winners' competition . There, the club was only eliminated on penalties against Shimizu S-Pulse .

GSM Thai League logo

The league now took an almost one-year break. From September 2000 to June 2001 not a single TPL game took place. With this shift, the game was played across the year for the first time. The 2001/02 season BEC-Tero was just like the preseason decide for themselves. BEC-Tero was the first club in the TPL, which managed to defend the championship title (2003/04 the Krung Thai Bank managed to defend the title, 2010 also succeeded Muang Thong United). This year, FC Rattana Bundit took part in the TPL for the first time. The team from the university of the same name took the place of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration in the TPL. For what reasons, however, cannot be proven. Presumably, however, the Rattana Bundit team has taken over the license. At the end of the season there were three relegated teams for the first time, as the league was reduced to 10 clubs. It hit the newcomer to the league with Rattana Bundit as bottom of the table. There were also the FC Royal Thai Police and the FC Royal Thai Navy . There was only one newcomer: FC Bangkok Christian College , which had failed in the relegation the previous season. In its only and first TPL season, the college went back to the second division as bottom of the table. In addition to college , FC TOT also went one league lower for the first time . The FC Thailand Tobacco Monopoly ended up in eighth place and had to relegate, but were able to prevail 1-0 after a round trip against the third leg of the Thailand Division 1 League , the FC Provincial Electricity Authority , and remained in the league. As champions of the Thai Premier League, FC Krung Thai Bank entered the list of winners for the first time at the end of the season . BEC-Tero Sasana caused a stir in Asia. In the AFC Champions League season 2002/03, the club reached the final of the new AFC Champions League. After the first and second leg, the final was only just lost to Al Ain Club . The main pillars of the team at that time, which won two championships and reached the final of the Champions League, were players like Therdsak Chaiman , Seksan Piturat and Worrawoot Srimaka . After the Thai Farmers Bank in 1995, BEC-Tero was only the second team from Thailand to reach the final of the Champions League.

In 2003/04 the Krung Thai Bank managed to defend their title, BEC-Tero was again only the runner-up. The master of the 1998 season, the FC Sinthana got ready as Table of the League and should have a soon merger received. The club was followed by the FC Royal Thai Air Force as ninth in the table in the second division. With this, the reigning record champion, who had won 13 Thai championships, left the country's top division. To date, the club has not been able to recover from this relegation.

In the following season, FC Thailand Tobacco Monopoly surprisingly won the Thai Championship. None of the established teams in recent years found themselves in the top four at the end of this season. FC TOT got relegated again after just getting promoted again. In order to increase the popularity of the league in the country, the association dared an experiment that would go down in league history as a roadshow. Up to now, the clubs mostly had hardly a permanent home stadium and played in larger stadiums, which either belonged to the FAT or the SAT. In the early years, for example, only two stadiums were played: the Suphachalasai Stadium and the Thephatsadin Stadium. Some games were televised, but hardly anyone was interested in Thai football. There was hardly a sufficient fan base. The association therefore decided that the games of the 2004/05 league season should be played in different locations across the country. However, it was difficult to get someone from the provinces of Thailand enthusiastic about a league, which consisted exclusively of clubs from the city of Bangkok. With the new season this should slowly change.

The new face of the league

The 2004/05 season ended in May 2005, and the league again took a longer break. It wasn't until January 2006 that the New Year's championship began. With this, the association wanted to go back to a season that is not multi-year. This is still valid today. After the sponsorship contract with the GSM company expired in 2003, the league was only called the Thai League . It is not known whether the association sought a sponsor and namesake for the 2006 season. The league, however, was called the Premier League again for the first time and received a new logo. These weren't the only changes. From ten teams in the previous season, they have now been increased to twelve. From the second division, in addition to the Royal Thai Army, the FC Thai Honda rose for the first time . Suphanburi FC and Chonburi FC were added to these two promoters . These two clubs played in the Thailand Provincial League , the parallel league to the TPL. Although a champion has always been played in this league, he had no right of promotion to the TPL. After the FAT and the SAT could not agree on the two leagues for years, they finally seemed to have found a way. Both associations agreed that the champion of the Pro League, as well as the runner-up, could be promoted to the TPL. A few years later this meant the end of the Pro League. But the Thai Sports Association had at least achieved the goal that provincial teams could also take part in the TPL. 2006 was about as surprising as the previous years. Once again there was a master that nobody had expected. The FC Bangkok University , two years earlier just risen, was led by Somchai Subpherm win the championship. Football at universities and schools in Thailand has always played a major role. One example is the annual Chula Thammasat football game . The last university or school team to win a Thai championship was the Chula-Alumni Association in 1955. BEC-Tero came back at the top with third place at the end of the 2006 season after the club in the previous season only finished sixth. FC Osotspa M-150 was runner-up for the second time in the history of the TPL . In the end, only one point was missing to win the title. The number of teams participating in the TPL was increased again for the new season; this time on 16 teams. With FC Nakhon Pathom , a provincial club rose again from the Pro League to the Premier League. So there were a total of three clubs in the league in 2006 that did not come from Bangkok.

A master from the provinces

Premier League game 2008 in Chonburi

A provincial champion, 2006, was the first in the Thai Premier League. Chonburi FC, promoted just a year earlier, managed to penetrate the phalanx of established clubs from Bangkok . The club from Chonburi won the championship by nine points . The club's coach, Jadet Meelarp, ​​was in charge of this . He managed to form a top team from young and talented young players. The FC Chonburi team included players such as goalkeeper Kosin Hathairattanakool , who is coached by the German Franz Schwarzwälder , Arthit Sunthornpit and the two twin brothers Suree and Surat Sukha . The season’s top scorer was Ney Fabiano from the Chonburi champions. He was the first foreigner who managed to become top scorer in Thailand. The FC Suphanburi , which had risen with Chonburi a season earlier, had to move into the second division. For the new season, Chula-Sinthana , the Customs Department , FC Coke-Bangpra and Samut Songkhram were added. The FC Chula-Sinthana was formed in 2004 from a merger of the former Premier League winner FC Sinthana and FC Chulalongkorn University. The FC Coke-Bangpra was a small club, which came from near the city of Chonburi and was friends with the local FC. From the beginning of its ascent, Chonburi FC assumed a role model role for all current and future TPL clubs. This was especially true in terms of marketing, public relations and sponsorship . The club's promotion season was still followed by a few hundred, the first games in the TPL recorded an average of around 1000 visitors. For the decisive home game, which brought the championship, 10,000 spectators were already in the stadium. For Thai standards this was an unbelievable number of spectators. In the past few years, BEC-Tero Sasana could be described as Croesus and a role model for the league. However, the club lost its supremacy to Chonburi FC. This did not succeed in 2008 to defend the title. Chonburi was only runner-up in the end. With the FC Provincial Electricity Authority , another club was allowed to enter the list of winners, which has never been able to become champions in its history. In 2008 there were three relegation places. Newcomers Customs Department was bottom of the table with just 17 points from 30 games. The club was accompanied by the eight-time Thai champions FC Bangkok Bank , which broke up a short time later. All other newcomers were able to hold the league, partly sovereign. FC Chula-Sinthana, trained by Kiatisak Senamuang , at his first coaching station, was able to take 8th place and delighted with refreshing offensive football. During the season, the club was renamed Chula United.

Chonburi, as Champion of the Year 2007, took part in the AFC Champions League in 2008 . The club managed to cause a stir. Although they were eliminated in the group stage, they set an exclamation point with a 1-1 win against Gamba Osaka and a 3-1 win against Melbourne Victory . The good performances of FC Chonburi in the Champions League sparked interest in the Thai league, both in Asia and nationally. In the same year the club announced that it would build a new stadium. The club was the first to announce its own stadium project as a Premier League club. The FC Krung Thai Bank , runner-up in 2007, also participated in the Champions League group stage part and could also not survive. With Nantawat Thaensopa , however , he was the top scorer of the competition. For the time being, it was the last time that Thailand was able to send two representatives to Asia's premier class. The Asian Association created a new ranking for the number of participating teams per country. This should come into effect with the 2009 season. This ranking is less about sporting aspects. The evaluation results from points such as the organization of the league, the technical standard, marketing and spectators. According to this, Thailand only got 221 points and finished 12th. This meant that the champions of Thailand are no longer allowed to participate directly in the Champions League, but have to qualify for the group stage via a qualifying round. The second representative must compete in the AFC Cup .

One step into the future

Logo of the Thai Premier League until 2016

Confronted with these facts, the association was forced to act and did so. First he founded a limited company , the Thai Premier League Company Limited , which should take care of all operational matters of the league. In addition, new criteria have been issued to obtain a license for the Thai Premier League. This also included the second division, which is now also part of the Premier League and is called Thai Premier League Division 1 .

The following guidelines have been and are to be implemented for leagues and clubs:

  • Every association must be a registered company or company .
  • Every club must have at least one youth team.
  • Every club is obliged to report the exact number of spectators and revenues to the league.
  • The stadiums in which the clubs play must meet the AFC standards for games in the Champions League and the AFC Cup.
  • The coach of the participating teams must have an AFC license.
  • The association must present a balance sheet with a profit and loss account, checked by an external auditor.

Due to the registration as a company, there were some name changes in the course of this.

Port Authority of Thailand → FC Thai Port
Bangkok University FC → Bangkok United FC
Thailand Tobacco Monopoly → TTM Samut Sakhon FC

Since the league's new rules stipulate that every club must be a registered company or company , the three-time champions FC Krung Thai Bank was dissolved. The reason for this lies in the legal system according to which banks are not allowed to set up or run such companies. The club's license was taken over by FC Bangkok Glass . This was founded in 2006 and was runner-up in the 4th division in 2007 and 2008. He took over the entire team of Krung Thai Bank, but not his history. The license for the first division was also bought from FC Coke-Bangpra . The newly founded club Pattaya United took over the club's license.

The buying up of the licenses from two first division clubs met with broad rejection within the fan scene. At least in the case of Krung Thai Bank, it would have been better if a club had moved up from the second division. The fans of FC Chonburi had a great friendship with the neighboring club Coke-Bangpra and were therefore very angry about the club's buy-out. Pattaya United, which took over the license from Coke-Bangpra, was only founded in November 2008. But it was agreed that a club like Pattaya United would look good in the league as a whole. Pattaya as a tourist destination has the necessary financial resources and can certainly also help to make the league known outside of Thailand. The club is now present across the city and a new stadium is already under construction.

Another newcomer to the league came with Muangthong United . The club managed to march through from league three to league one. Even before the season, the club was considered a contender for the championship title, which he was able to confirm. The club's merchandising and marketing are exemplary. The club has many young and talented players in its ranks.

All in all, the association's plan seemed to be working. The league has never been as popular as it was in the 2009 season. The audience numbers seem to be exploding. Some clubs like FC Thai Port had to build steel stands during the season in order to be able to increase capacity at short notice. 9,000 spectators came to the league game between the Rajnavy and Muangthong. On July 19, the first Thai Premier League fan shop opened in Bangkok . It is located directly across from the Rajamangala National Stadium .

In the course of the season so far, however, there have also been negative headlines. During the game between Thai Port and Chonburi, fans were upset about the referee's decisions. Whereupon a water bottle was thrown. This hit a female fan in the head. She then had to be taken to the hospital. In a game of Pattaya United, the team left the field closed because they felt disadvantaged by a referee decision.

With the progressive professionalization of the league, more local players could be kept in the league. There are still some Thai footballers in the leagues in Singapore and Vietnam, but the trend has been declining in recent years. In summer 2009 Teeratep Winothai returned from Belgium to the league. Surat Sukha, on the other hand, left the league for the A-League and has played for Melbourne Victory since then . With Michael Thomas Byrne a British player and Sasa Disic a German play in the Premier League for the first time .

Associations since 2017

society Season and placement
2017 2018 2019 2020
Buriram United 1. 1. 2.
Muangthong United 2. 4th 5.
Bangkok United 3. 2. 4th
Chiangrai United 4th 5. 1.
Bangkok Glass / BG Pathum United 5. 14.   T2
Ratchaburi Mitr Phol 6th 12. 8th.
Chonburi FC 7th 9. 7th
Pattaya United 8th. 8th.
Port FC 9. 3. 3.
Ubon United 10. 17.  
Suphanburi FC 11. 10. 14th
Nakhon Ratchasima FC 12. 7th 13.
Navy FC 13. 16.  
BEC Tero Sasana FC / Police Tero FC 14th 15.  
Sukhothai FC 15th 11. 12.
Thai Honda FC 16.  
Sisaket FC 17.  
Super Power Samut Prakan FC 18.  
PT Prachuap FC 6th 9.
Chainat Hornbill FC 13. 15.  
Air Force Central FC 18.  
Chiangmai FC 16.  
PTT Rayong FC 11.
Samut Prakan City FC 6th
Joined FC 10.
Rayong FC

  Relegation in Thai League 2

Master history

Master / runner-up

season master Runner-up
1996/1997 Bangkok Bank FC Stock Exchange of Thailand
1997 Royal Thai Air Force Sinthana FC
1998 Sinthana FC Royal Thai Air Force
1999 Royal Thai Air Force Port Authority
2000 BEC Tero Sasana FC Royal Thai Air Force
2001/2002 BEC Tero Sasana FC Osotsapa FC
2002/2003 Krung Thai Bank FC BEC Tero Sasana FC
2003/2004 Krung Thai Bank FC BEC Tero Sasana FC
2004/2005 TTM Thailand Tobacco Monopoly FC PEA FC
2006 Bangkok University FC Osotsapa FC
2007 Chonburi FC Krung Thai Bank FC
2008 PEA FC Chonburi FC
2009 Muangthong United Chonburi FC
2010 Muangthong United Buriram PEA FC
2011 Buriram PEA FC Chonburi FC
2012 Muangthong United Chonburi FC
2013 Buriram United Muangthong United
2014 Buriram United Chonburi FC
2015 Buriram United Muangthong United
2016 Muangthong United Bangkok United
2017 Buriram United Muangthong United
2018 Buriram United Bangkok United
2019 Chiangrai United Buriram United

Ranking list

society master season
Buriram United 7th 2008, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018
Muangthong United 4th 2009, 2010, 2012, 2016
Air Force United 2 1997, 1999
Police Tero FC 2 2000, 2001/2002
Krung Thai Bank FC 2 2002/2003, 2003/2004
Bangkok Bank FC 1 1996/1997
Bangkok United 1 2006
BBCU FC 1 1998
Chonburi FC 1 2007
TTM Thailand Tobacco Monopoly FC 1 2004/2005
Chiangrai United 1 2019

The promoted and relegated

The composition of the Premier League changes every game year due to the relegation of the last-placed clubs, which in turn are replaced by the best teams in the class below. In the first year the league played with 18 teams. To date, this was the highest number of teams participating in a season. Six teams had to relegate and formed the new second division. Of the six relegated members of the first season, Singha-Thamrongthai and Rajvithi-Agfatech did not return to the House of Lords.

A year later, played with twelve clubs, there was only one direct relegated. This was the Royal Thai Navy FC ; the FC Royal Thai Police had to be relegated. It was the first in the history of the league. This system was retained until the 2001/02 season . At the end of the 2000 season, the Thai Farmers Bank FC withdrew from gaming. As a result, the eleventh, FC Sinthana, did not have to go into relegation. Instead, FC TOT was the last to get the chance to stay in the league through a relegation game. For the 2002/03 season, the league was reduced to ten teams, which is why there were three relegated teams at the end of the 2001/02 season. In the league with ten participating clubs, 10th and 9th place meant direct relegation, while 8th place allowed for relegation. This system was valid up to and including the 2005 season. Due to an increase in the starting places for the 2007 season, there was no relegation in the previous season. The league has been playing with 16 clubs since the 2008 season and the last three places mean direct relegation.

So far, only one club has managed to move up from the third division to the second division and immediately a year later to the Premier League. This was Muangthong United . In 2007 the club won the championship of the third division and in 2008 the championship of the second division. So far, no club has been able to relegate directly as a promoted club and relegate to the third division one season later. The FC Thai Honda would in 2008 have been the first club. Relegated from the first division, the club found itself in 13th place at the end of the season. This placement would have meant relegation. But since FC Bangkok Bank withdrew from the game as relegated in the 2008 season, the association decided to let play-offs play off. The club won the play-offs and thus secured relegation in the end.

The team with the longest abstinence from the TPL so far is the FC Royal Thai Army . Relegated in 1999, she was no longer in the top division until 2006.

Environment of the Thai League

Stadiums and audience numbers

Most of the stadiums used in the TL have a small capacity, are not very comfortable, are out of date and do not meet the international standards of the AFC and FIFA. Some clubs only play on a slightly larger sports field such as Pattaya United . For example, clubs that are qualified for the continental competitions of the AFC have to move to larger stadiums. Most recently, this affected FC Chonburi and FC PEA . The Chulalongkorn University Stadium is the only stadium in the league to have VIP boxes. So far it is the only one in Thailand to have artificial turf . The largest capacity and most modern stadium in the league is the Chang Arena of record champions Buriram United .

The playing areas are often in very poor condition. In addition to bumps, the lawn is severely damaged , especially during the rainy season in Thailand. Despite monsoon-like rains, some of the games are played or have to be postponed. To get around this problem, the association wants to start the 2010 season in January.

Only a few stadiums can be described as pure football arenas. Most of them are multifunctional stages with a tartan track . Most of the stadiums are publicly owned or owned by institutions. A pure soccer stadium would not be financially viable in Thailand, was the unanimous opinion until 2008, especially since the number of spectators was very low. Only Chonburi FC manages to attract up to 10,000 spectators to the stadium. Chonburi FC was also the first club in Thailand to announce the construction of their own stadium. But this will also be a multifunctional stadium. However, the association was overtaken by the current developments in the TPL. The league is booming and the stadiums are mostly sold out. This made it necessary that some clubs had to increase their capacities in the course of the 2009 season with the help of tubular steel stands. Some stadiums were renovated before the start of the season in order to be able to increase capacity. With the Bangkok Glass FC and Muangthong United two clubs gave during the season ambitious stadium projects known. Both stadiums will be pure football stadiums, which meet modern requirements and offer space for up to 10,000 spectators. The city of Pattaya is currently pursuing what is probably the largest stadium project . A new stadium will be built for the local club Pattaya United , with a capacity of 20,000 spectators.

rank city Surname capacity career society
1 Buriram Chang Arena (Thunder Castle) 32,600 No Buriram United
2 Chiang Mai 700th Anniversary Stadium 25,000 Yes Chiangmai FC
3 Bangkok , Pathum Wan Chulalongkorn University Stadium 20,000 Yes Chamchuri United FC
Bangkok , Pathum Thani Thammasat Stadium 20,000 Yes Police United
Chonburi Chonburi Stadium 20,000 Yes Chonburi FC
Nakhon Ratchasima 80th Birthday Stadium 20,000 Yes Nakhon Ratchasima FC
7th Pathum Thani Leo Stadium 16,016 No BG Pathum United FC
8th Phichit Phichit Provincial Stadium 15,500 Yes FC TTM Phichit
9 Suphan Buri Suphanburi Provincial Stadium 15,000 Yes Suphanburi FC
Pak Kret Thunderdome Stadium 15,000 No Muangthong United
11 Sattahip Navy Stadium 14,000 Yes Rajnavy Rayong FC
12 Bangkok , Khlong Toei PAT Stadium 12,000 No FC Thai Port
13 Chiang Rai Singha Stadium 11,354 No Chiangrai United
14th Bangkok , Din Daeng Thai-Japanese Stadium 10,320 Yes Bangkok United
15th Si Sa Ket Sri Nakhon Lamduan Stadium 10,000 Yes FC Sisaket
16 Sukothai Thung Thalay Luang Stadium 8,000 No Sukhothai FC
Saraburi Saraburi Stadium 8,000 Yes Saraburi FC
18th Stepped Stepped Province Stadium 6,000 Yes Joined FC
Samut Songkhram Samut Songkhram Stadium 6,000 Yes FC Samut Songkhram
20th Bang Phli Samut Prakarn SAT Stadium 5,100 Yes Samut Prakan City FC
21st Bangkok , Lak Si Boonyachinda Stadium 3,550 Yes BEC-Tero Sasana
Princess Sirindhorn Stadium (2008)
Nongprue Municipality Sports Ground (2009)
Thunder Castle (2011)

There are no reliable audience figures for the past few years in TL. It was not until the 2009 season that the clubs were obliged to register the number of visitors and income and make them public. According to estimates, most of the games in recent years only lost a few hundred spectators. With few exceptions. However, the skyrocketing audience numbers in the 2009 season also cause security problems. There are only a few security guards and police in and around the stadiums. Bringing food and drinks to the stadium does not exactly improve safety either, and so some problems arose during the 2009 season, especially at FC Thai Port . After repeated incidents, bringing drinks into the PAT stadium was banned. The entrance fees are very low. You pay 50–100 Baht (approx. 1–2 euros ) for a TPL game. In the 2nd division, however, it is not even 0.50 euros. However, it is believed that this will soon change as heightened security measures need to be put in place. The league has already recognized this problem and will therefore make more funds available from the 2010 season.

The kick-off times vary greatly. Usually, however, games start between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. This is mainly dependent on the stadium in which the game is played, as not every stadium has the required floodlights . This is of course very annoying for the fans when it comes to games during the week. Since most of the fans are still at work at 4 p.m.

Media and reporting

The Thai media reported comparatively little about the TPL, which is why the external presentation and marketing of the league were also the main points of criticism of the AFC when evaluating the new AFC Pro-League. With the 2009 season , this changed a little, at least for the top division.

In the Thai-language newspapers there are now and then small reports with a photo on the first page. The only daily newspaper that reports regularly is Siam Keela . In the English daily newspapers such as Bangkok Post or The Nation , however, there is no detailed reporting. The main focus here is primarily on the European leagues, especially the English Premier League . On the other hand, the magazine Football Siam Weekly appears weekly , in Thai, with detailed reports on the TPL, futsal and the national team.

Entry ticket for the 2008 season

The league can only be seen on television on NBT 19 . But not on free TV or cable TV. The company Siam Sports Syndicate owns the main rights to the transmissions. Games that can be seen on NBT 19 can also be viewed on the Internet. The company has set up its own website for this purpose. The situation was similar for the 2008 season. In addition to NBT, the station True broadcast two live games every weekend; one on Saturday and one on Sunday. On match days, NBT 19 has a soccer show called Soccer Party Report . This is where current events and constellations are reported and discussed.

The generally low media presence may also be related to the fact that the English Premier League is omnipresent in Thailand.

The websites of the FAT and the Premier League are exclusively in Thai and not very extensive. Since the 2009 season there has been a live ticker of the current games on the association's website. In addition to the official websites, there are also private websites such as or, which are significantly more informative and up-to-date than the official ones. With the website , the league set up a new website. But after a short time the page was being revised.

With the website , a purely English website was launched for the first time in 2009. It informs about the current events in all leagues. There are also video interviews on the current games. The various internet forums are very active. For example at the Thai forum . In the forums of the clubs you can find a lot of high quality photos of the games of the TPL. Most of these come from a few amateur photographers who are also big football fans and mostly travel to different games to take pictures.

The forum of the website is also enjoying increasing popularity . The discussion here is exclusively in English .

Income and sponsorship

In Thai football there was no official data on the exact income of the clubs until 2009. There are hardly any figures on the sponsorship agreements concluded. The income should be divided into three areas. Ticket sales, sponsorship income and the sale of fan merchandise. In addition, there are league funds, which in turn come from the state and have to be re-budgeted and applied for every year. The national association has made 55 million baht available for the 2009 season.

The Chonburi is likely to be a leader in all areas. In 2008 the club signed a sponsorship deal with Hemaraj Land and Development PLC . The contract runs for three years and has a total volume of 18 million baht (about 350,000 euros). In the first half of the 2009 season, the club turned over three million baht from entrance fees and fan articles, making it the clear leader in the TPL.

Although advertising for alcohol is banned in Thailand, there are six clubs that advertise a beer brand on their shirts. These are the brands Chang, LEO and Cheers. The addition Beer , however (beer) was removed everywhere. The club's owner, the Telephone Organization of Thailand , advertises on the FC TOT jersey .

The following table shows the shirt sponsors of the Premier League in the 2015 season :

society Outfitter Sponsor (branch)
BEC-Tero Sasana Nike Fly Emirates (transport)
BG Pathum United FC Umbro LEO (luxury foods)
Bangkok United FBT True Corporation (Telecommunications)
Chonburi FC FBT Chang (luxury foods)
FC Sisaket Cool Muang Life Assurance (life insurance)
Muangthong United Grand Sport Group Yamaha (transport)
Police United Insee (industry)
FC Osotspa M-150 Grand Sport M-150 (food)
Suphanburi FC Warrix Chang (luxury foods)
Buriram United Chang (luxury foods)
Rajnavy Rayong FC Umbro PTT (mineral oil company)
FC Samut Songkhram Kappa SCG (conglomerate)
FC Royal Thai Army Grand Sport Acer (electronics)
FC TOT Diadora TOT (telecommunications)
TTM Samut Sakhon Diadora Government Housing Bank
FC Thai Port Grand Sport FB Battery


Nakhon Pathom FC fans

The Thais are generally considered to be very enthusiastic about football. However, very few Thais know that there is an association in their town or district. There has therefore been little interest in recent years. On the one hand, this was due to the presence in the media and marketing. On the other hand, because over the years many clubs had no permanent “home” and changed stadiums more often, which meant that there was no connection with the local population. At the clubs that belong to a company or institution, the audience numbers are usually very low, with clubs such as the Provincial Electricity Authority , the association of the state electricity supplier, or the FC Rajnavy Rayong achieving respectable successes. The number of spectators at those clubs that represent a region or city is a lot higher. The front runner here is also Chonburi FC with up to 10,000 spectators. Arbitrarily chosen kick-off times do not contribute to high audience figures. Games that sometimes kick off at 4:00 p.m. during the week certainly have fewer spectators than those that might kick off at 6:00 p.m. Every now and then it also happens that games are canceled and postponed at short notice - without giving reasons.

In the stadium you can hardly find a spectator or fan who is not wearing a club jersey or T-shirt. A jersey costs between 10 and 20 euros. Both the whole family and women come to the game. For almost the entire game, the team is cheered on by chants, mostly supported by big drums and fanfares. Due to the low security precautions in the stadiums, it is possible to burn down Bengali fires, rockets and firecrackers during the game. Since there are no food stands in the stadiums, as is the case in Germany, for example, most spectators bring their food and drinks with them to the stadium themselves. This often creates a “picnic atmosphere”. Although drinks can be bought in the stadiums, there is no alcohol, which does not prevent fans from buying them in front of the stadium and from bringing them into the stadium.

After the end of a TPL game

It also often happens that fans storm the lawn during a game. The fans of FC Thai Port in particular are extremely passionate. Despite a few minor incidents in the stadiums, there are no hooligans in Thailand . An ultra - and organized fan scene like in other European leagues does not yet exist. But this is already in development. Almost every club now has a fan club that you can join. Until 2009, this was almost not the case. Increasingly, one finds double holder and banners, known as well as from the Ultràszene in Europe. With the 4Sups you can also find a fan group from Germany, some of which live in Thailand. She supports Chonburi FC. In general, the spectators in the stadiums are very mixed. Many foreigners who live in Thailand attend the games and have made the local club their club. The best known in the fan scene is probably Dale Farrington, who is known under the name SiRachaShark . He has a very good reputation among the local fans. He has been following football in his adopted country since 1997. Just recently a report he wrote about his experiences with Chonburi FC was printed in the club's stadium booklet. A great honor for a farang in Thailand.

A special peculiarity of the league usually becomes visible after the end of a game. The fans run across the lawn, get hold of the players' shirts and take photos with them. There is also time for a short chat with the players. The players like this very much and are readily available to the fans.

Foreigners in the Thai League

It is not documented who were the first foreigners in the Thai League. However, the proportion of foreign players is very high, with the clubs being allowed to sign a maximum of seven foreigners from non-Asian countries. Above all, players from Africa belong to the contingent of almost every club, these come mainly from the Ivory Coast or from Ghana and Cameroon . There has also been an increase in the number of Brazilian players in recent years . For example, Ney Fabiano de Oliveira was the first foreigner to be the top scorer of the 2007 season and one of the first Brazilians in the league. At the end of the 2008 season, Kouakou Tahiri Henri Joel was chosen for the first time as a Foreign Player of the Year . With the former second division footballer Björn Lindemann , there was also a player from Germany in the Thai League from 2012 to 2017.

In 2009, foreign players received Thai citizenship for the first time in the TL. These were Koné Mohamed (Chonburi), Moussa Sylla (Muangthong United) and Bireme Diouf (Muangthong United).

In addition to foreign players, there are also coaches from abroad in the Premier League. However, the league is dominated by coaches from Thailand. The most successful foreign coach was the Brazilian José Alves Berwis , who won the 2005 Tobacco Monopoly championship with FC Thailand and was voted coach of the year . The German Hans Emser was a coach at Bangkok Glass FC in 2009 and has been head of the club's youth performance center ever since. After the Thai national team in 2013, Winfried Schäfer also coached the Muangthong United team on an interim basis. The former German national player Christian Ziege took over the coaching position at Ratchaburi Mitr Phol at the beginning of 2018 , but gave it up again after only two months due to conflicts with the owner family.

Best goalscorers since 1997

Status: June 2020

season player society Gates
1996/1997 ThailandThailand Amporn Amparnsuwan TOT SC 21st
1997 ThailandThailand Worrawoot Srimaka BEC Tero Sasana FC 17th
1998 ThailandThailand Ronnachai Sayomchai Port Authority of Thailand FC 23
1999 ThailandThailand Sutee Suksomkit Thai Farmers Bank FC 13
2000 ThailandThailand Sutee Suksomkit Thai Farmers Bank FC 16
2001/2002 ThailandThailand Worrawoot Srimaka Pitipong Kuldilok
BEC Tero Sasana FC
Port Authority of Thailand FC
2002/2003 ThailandThailand Sarayoot Chaikamdee Port Authority of Thailand FC 12
2003/2004 ThailandThailand Vimol Jankam Osotsapa FC 14th
2004/2005 ThailandThailand Supakit Jinajai Sarayut Chaikamdee
Provincial Electricity Authority FC
Port Authority of Thailand FC
2006 ThailandThailand Pipat Thonkanya BEC Tero Sasana FC 12
2007 BrazilBrazil Fabiano Thailand Tobacco Monopoly FC 18th
2008 ThailandThailand Anon Sangsanoi BEC Tero Sasana FC 20th
2009 ThailandThailand Anon Sangsanoi BEC Tero Sasana FC 18th
2010 CameroonCameroon Ludovick Takam Pattaya United 17th
2011 CameroonCameroon Franck Ohandza Buriram PEA FC 19th
2012 ThailandThailand Teerasil Dangda Cleiton Silva
Muangthong United
BEC Tero Sasana FC
2013 SpainSpain Carmelo González Buriram United 23
2014 BrazilBrazil Heberty Ratchaburi Mitr Phol 26th
2015 BrazilBrazil Diogo Buriram United 33
2016 BrazilBrazil Cleiton Silva Muangthong United 27
2017 MontenegroMontenegro Dragan Bošković Bangkok United 38
2018 BrazilBrazil Diogo Buriram United 34
2019 Guinea-aGuinea Lonsana Doumbouya Joined FC 20th


Player of the year

season player society
1996/1997 ThailandThailand Amporn Amparnsuwan TOT SC
1997 ThailandThailand Seksan Piturat Sinthana FC
1998 ThailandThailand Niweat Siriwong Sinthana FC
2000 ThailandThailand Anurak Srikerd BEC Tero Sasana FC
2001/2002 ThailandThailand Apichad Thaveechalermdit Bangkok Bank FC
2002/2003 ThailandThailand Cumpee Pintrakul Bangkok Bank FC
2003/2004 ThailandThailand Pichitphong Choeichiu Krung Thai Bank FC
2004/2005 BrazilBrazil José Carlos da Silva Thailand Tobacco Monopoly FC
2006 ThailandThailand Punnarat Klinsukon Bangkok University FC
2007 ThailandThailand Pipob On-Mon Chonburi FC
2008 ThailandThailand Narongchai Vachiraban Provincial Electricity Authority FC
2009 ThailandThailand Jetsada Jitsawad (defender) Kittipol Paphunga (midfielder) Pipat Thonkanya (striker)
Muangthong United
BEC Tero Sasana
Thai Port FC
2010 ThailandThailand Datsakorn Thonglao Muangthong United
2011 ThailandThailand Sinthaweechai Hathairattanakool Chonburi FC
2012 ThailandThailand Teerasil Dangda Muangthong United
2013 ThailandThailand Theerathon Bunmathan Buriram United
2014 ThailandThailand Suchao Nuchnum Buriram United
2015 BrazilBrazil Diogo Buriram United
2016 ThailandThailand Chanathip Songkrasin Muangthong United
2017 ThailandThailand Jakkaphan Kaewprom Buriram United
2018 BrazilBrazil Diogo Buriram United
2019 ThailandThailand Phitiwat Sukjitthammakul Chiangrai United

Coach of the year

season Trainer society
1996/1997 ThailandThailand Witthaya Laohakul Bangkok Bank FC
1997 ThailandThailand Piyapong Piew-on Royal Thai Air Force FC
1998 ThailandThailand Karoon Narksawat Sinthana FC
1999 ThailandThailand Piyapong Piew-on Royal Thai Air Force FC
2000 ThailandThailand Pichai Pituwong BEC Tero Sasana FC
2001/2002 ThailandThailand Attaphol Buspakom BEC Tero Sasana FC
2002/2003 ThailandThailand Narong Suwannachot Krung Thai Bank FC
2003/2004 ThailandThailand Worrawoot Damer Krung Thai Bank FC
2004/2005 BrazilBrazil Jose Alves Borges Thailand Tobacco Monopoly FC
2006 ThailandThailand Somchai Subpherm Bangkok University FC
2007 ThailandThailand Jadet Meelarp Chonburi FC
2008 ThailandThailand Prapol Pongpanich Provincial Electricity Authority FC
2009 ThailandThailand Attaphol Buspakom Muangthong United
2010 BelgiumBelgium René Desaeyere Muangthong United
2011 ThailandThailand Chalermwoot Sa-ngapol Pattaya United
2012 SerbiaSerbia Slaviša Jokanović Muangthong United
2013 ThailandThailand Attaphol Buspakom Bangkok Glass FC
2014 JapanJapan Masahiro Wada Chonburi FC
2015 BrazilBrazil Alexandre Gama Buriram United
2017 ThailandThailand Totchtawan Sripan Muangthong United
2018 MontenegroMontenegro Božidar Bandović Buriram United
2019 ThailandThailand Alongkorn Thong-um Chiangrai United

Thai League sponsors

season sponsor League name
1996-1997 Johnnie Walker Johnnie Walker Thailand Soccer League
1998-2000 Caltex Caltex Premier League
2001 - 2003 Advanced Info Service GSM Thai League
2003-2005 no sponsor Thai League
2006 - 2008 No sponsor Thailand Premier League
2009 No sponsor Thai Premier League
2010 - 2012 sponsor Sponsor Thai Premier League
2013 - today Toyota Toyota Thai Premier League (2013 - 2016)
Toyota Thai League (2017 - present)

Audience figures since 2011

season Number of teams Total audience average
2011 18th 1,392,011 4,564
2012 18th 1,475,769 4,823
2013 17th 1,657,887 6,095
2014 20th 1,911,277 5,029
2015 18th 1,926,278 6,295
2016 18th 1,503,600 5,428
2017 18th 1,399,728 4,604
2018 18th 1,366,497 4,466
2019 16 1,367,681 5,699

See also

Explanations / individual evidence

  1. Thailand League must improve to help develop national side  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  2. a b c d e Fresh coat of paint on Thai League
  3. FA Cup back on Thai calendar
  4. a b Details of the Asian Cup competitions 1994/95
  5. Final table for the 1996/97 season
  6. Caltex inks sponsor deal with FAT
  7. Season details
  8. Section All ready for Provincial League
  9. Details of the 2001/02 season
  10. Schedule of the 2001/02 season ( Memento of the original from August 12, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  11. a b Domestic league needs tweaking
  12. Milestones of the association ( Memento of the original from September 24, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  13. Report on the legal renaming of the association
  14. Bangkok United unveiled
  15. Glass eye title after searing start to season
  16. Pictures of the expansion ( Memento of the original from June 6, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  17. No deal yet for Peter Reid's move to Stoke
  18. Pictures from the game ( Memento of the original from October 8, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  19. ^ Thai Premier League Shop at FBT Building, Ramkamhaeng
  21. STEVE DARBY - EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW PART TWO  ( page can no longer be accessed , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  22. a b Midweek News 4/6
  23. New details about Muang Thong United stadium
  24. Pictures of the expansion ( Memento of the original from November 27, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  25. a b The Top Eight Earning Clubs in the first leg of the Thai Premier League
  26. Thai Premier league winnings upped to 15 million baht ( Memento of the original from December 26, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  29. Interview With The Webmaster - Part Two  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as broken. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  30. 4SupsChon  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  31. INTERVIEW WITH THE WEBMASTER  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  32. MICHAEL BYRNE INTERVIEW - PART THREE  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  33. A season in Bangkok
  34. Interview with Hans R. Emser. In: German Football Ambassador , February 4, 2015.
  35. Former international goat - Failed in the Thai province. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine (online), February 27, 2018.
  36. List of top scorer of the Thai League, accessed on June 21, 2020

Web links

Commons : Soccer in Thailand  - Collection of images, videos and audio files