Malaysia Super League

Malaysia Super League
Country MalaysiaMalaysia
Confederation AFC
Founded 14 February 2004 (2004-02-14)
Number of teams 12 (from 2013)
Level on pyramid 1
Relegation to Malaysia Premier League
Domestic cup(s) Malaysia FA Cup
Malaysia Cup
Malaysia Charity Shield
International cup(s) AFC Champions League
Current champions Johor Darul Ta'zim (3 titles)
Most championships Johor Darul Ta'zim (3 titles)
TV partners Media Prima
Website Official Website
2016 Malaysia Super League

Malaysia Super League (MSL) (Malay: Liga Super Malaysia) also referred as the Malaysian Super League is a top-tier professional association football league in Malaysian football league system. Administrated by Football Malaysia Limited Liability Partnership (FMLLP), Malaysia Super league is contested by 12 clubs and operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the Malaysia Premier League.

The inaugural season started in 14 February 2004.[1] Seasons run from February to October. Seasons start in early February and last until late October, with a Ramadan break for a month. Teams play 22 matches each (playing each team in the league twice, home and away), totalling 132 matches in the season.[2] Most games are played on Saturdays, with a few games played during weekdays.

The competition was formed in 2004 following the decision by the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) to privatise the league. As a result, MSL Sendirian Berhad (or MSL Proprietary Limited) was created to oversee the marketing aspects of the league, but it was not fully privatised until 2015, when FMLLP was created in the course of privatisation of the Malaysian football league system.[3] The partnership saw all 24 teams of Malaysia Super League and Malaysia Premier League including FAM as the Managing Partner and MP & Silva as a special partner (FAM's global media and commercial advisor) to become stakeholders in the company.[4][5] FMLLP owns, operates and runs five entities in Malaysian football under its jurisdiction, which include Malaysia Super League (MSL), the Malaysia Premier League (MPL), the Malaysia FA Cup, the Malaysia Cup and the Charity Shield. It aims to transform and move Malaysian football forward.

The league still retain its name for 2016 season as Liga Super Malaysia without title sponsorship.[6]

While 30 clubs have competed since the inception of the Malaysia Super League in 2004, only eight have won the title: Johor Darul Ta'zim (3), Kedah, Selangor, Kelantan (2), Pahang, Perlis, Negeri Sembilan, and LionsXII (1). The current champions are Johor Darul Ta'zim, who won the title in 2016.



For more details on this topic, see History of Malaysian football.

Malaysia Super League was formed in 2004 following the decision by the Football Association of Malaysia to privatise the league. As a result, MSL Sendirian Berhad (or MSL Proprietary Limited) was created to oversee the marketing aspects of the league, but it was not fully privatised.[3]

The league has seen numerous changes to its format from eight teams to 14 teams to accommodate changes to the league rules and withdrawal of certain teams from the league in order to create a competitive environment and professional management among the clubs.[7]


The Malaysian league was revamp to be a fully professional league in 2004 which coined the creation of new top-tier division, Malaysia Super League.

Between 2004 to 2006, the professional football league in Malaysia was divided into two levels and two groups:

The new top-tier league, Malaysia Super League was competed by eight teams while there are 16 teams competing in Malaysia Premier League which was divided into 2 groups. While there are only eight teams in the league prior to the 2006-07 season, position movements were radical. Successive losses would condemn teams to a relegation dogfight. Similarly, successive wins would put a team in contention for the title. The Malaysia Super League has gone through two format changes in its short history spanning three-years. The Football Association of Malaysia decided to expand the Super League Malaysia to accommodate 14 teams instead of eight, which was the number of league teams in the Super League's first three seasons. But the plan was hold when some of the teams withdrew from the league for financial reason. Only from 2009 season the league will had 14 teams with all teams played each other only twice (26 matches total).

Below is the league changed for 2007 season, where Malaysia Premier League was combined into one level rather than two groups and in 2008 FAM Cup was revamp to form Malaysia FAM League:

In 2015, Football Malaysia LLP was created in the course of privatisation of the Malaysian football league system. The partnership saw all 24 teams of Malaysia Super League and Malaysia Premier League including FAM as the Managing Partner and MP & Silva as a special partner (FAM's global media and commercial advisor) to become stakeholders in the company.[4][8] The company owns, operates and runs five entities in Malaysian football under its jurisdiction, which include Malaysia Super League, the Malaysia Premier League, the Malaysia FA Cup, the Malaysia Cup and the Charity Shield. It aims to transform and move Malaysian football forward.

Since its inception in 2004, a total of 8 clubs have been crowned champions of Malaysia Super League where Pahang is the first champion. Kedah, Selangor, and Kelantan has won the league twice each while Pahang, Perlis, Negeri Sembilan and LionsXII has won it once. In 9 September 2016, Johor Darul Ta'zim became the first team to win Malaysia Super League three times in a row.[9]

Club Licensing Regulations

Every team in the Malaysia Super League must have a licence to play in the league, or else they are relegated. To obtain a licence, teams must be financially healthy and meet certain standards of conduct as organisations. As part of privation effort for the league, all clubs compete in MSL and MPL will be required to obtained FAM Club Licensing.[10][11]

As a preliminary preparation towards the total privatisation of the league, FAM Club Licensing Regulation is being created with the hope of it being enforced throughout MSL fully by the end of 2018 and MPL by end of 2019.[10][11]

As in other national leagues, there are significant benefits to being in the top division:

Privatisation of league football clubs

Pahang Football Association became the first FAM affiliates to separate itself from the management of football team with the formation of Pahang F.C. which now under the management of Pahang FC Sdn Bhd starting from 2016 season.[12][13]

In 10 January 2016, Johor Football Association became the second FAM affiliates to follow suit when it separate itself from management of football team and changing its focus to state football development and state league while the football team became its own entity as Darul Ta'zim FC.[14]

In November 2016, Melaka United Soccer Association became the third FAM affiliates to follow suit with privatisation of its football team as separate entity called as Melaka United Football Club for 2017 Malaysia Super League season onwards.[15]

In 6 November 2016, FMLLP has released an update regarding the club licensing progress where currently only Darul Ta'zim FC has obtained the CLR while others still in progress with 80 percent complete.[16][17] All clubs in MSL and MPL will be required to obtained CLR where MSL clubs needed to obtained by September 2017 while MPL clubs has an extended date from 2019 to 2020 as some of the clubs has only met 50 percent requirement completion.[16] FMLLP has also suggesting FAM to ensure that clubs in the Malaysia FAM League meet certain guidelines as this will allow them to get their license if promoted to the MPL.[16]

Logo evolution

Since the inception of the league in 2004, numerous logo has been introduced for the league to reflect the sponsorship purpose. From 2004 to 2010, the Malaysia Super League incorporated the TM brand as part of its logo as the title sponsor.[18] After the end of TM sponsorship for seven consecutive years, FAM launched a new logo for the 2011 season where it has been partnering with Astro Media as strategic partner for MSL marketing.[19] The Astro brand was only incorporated as part of the MSL logo from 2012 season until the end of 2014 season. In 2015 season, no title sponsor was incorporated when the league was sponsored by MP & Silva.[20] For 2016 season a new logo was introduced as part of the takeover of the league by FMLLP.[6]


Season Sponsors League Name
2004–11 TM[18][19] TM Liga Super
2012–14 Astro Media[18] Astro Liga Super Malaysia
2015 Liga Super Malaysia
2016 Liga Super Malaysia[6]
2017 Liga Super Malaysia


The FMLLP will introduce the merit-point system starting in 2016 season. Points will be awarded based on a team’s league position, progress in the Cup competitions (FA Cup and Malaysia Cup) and the number of live matches shown. A point in season’s Malaysian League will be worth RM41,000.[2]

The money will be distribute twice per season. First during early season where the team will received a basic payment out of that particular year league sponsorship and the second payment will be received at the end of the season where all merit-point has been calculated.[21] For 2016 season, the first basic payment will consist of 30 percent cut out of RM 70 Million league sponsorship that equal to RM 21 million which will be distributed among 24 teams of Malaysia Super League and Malaysia Premier League.

Team in Malaysian league has quite often involved in financial problem as their spending is more than their revenue. The Professional Footballers Association of Malaysia (PFAM) is one of the active member in pursuing the issue of unpaid salaries. In January 2016, PFAM president's suggest a couple solutions to promote financial sustainability on the competing team's part where the team's should make long-term investments by operating according to their budgets and requiring teams wage bills to be no bigger than 60 percent of their total spending. Other suggestion including for the salaries to be deducted directly from team grants and winning prizes, for points to be deducted from teams experiencing payment issues, and a ruling that requires teams to settle all their late salary payments before the start of every new season.[22]

In response to this issues, FMLLP decided starting 2016 season, football clubs would be given warnings with the deduction of three league points if they failed to pay player's salary.[23][24] If the problem persists, it will affect the licence of the clubs. When the club licence is withdrawn, the team will not be able to compete next season. If the team don't adopt the right structure, they will be left behind and club licensing will be a problem for them, and the team will drop out from competing in the league.

Other than this, each teams do raise revenue from sponsorship from local, regional and international sponsors for their team.

Media Coverage

Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM), a free-to-air channel has been broadcasting Malaysian league for a years even before the formation of Malaysia Super League. They continued to broadcast the league most of the times exclusively until end of 2010 where Astro Media was announced as sponsors and to manage the broadcasting right of the league for four years spanning from 2011 until 2014 season.[25] During this time, the league was broadcast on one of the cable channel of Astro Media, which is Astro Arena alongside the RTM for the free-to-air broadcast. In 2015, Astro lost the broadcasting right for the league where the right was given to Media Prima, a parent company of multiple free-to-air channel alongside the broadcast with RTM.[26][27][28] The broadcasting right for 2016 season has been given to Media Prima for 3 years with a maximum of three games in each gameweek will be shown live on television.[29]

Season TV Broadcasters
2004–10 RTM
2011–14 Astro Arena,[25][26] RTM
2015 Media Prima[26][27] (TV3, NTV7, TV9), RTM[28]
2016–18 Media Prima[29]


For unofficial Malaysia club ranking, see Football Malaysia Index.

Sime Darby F.C. were relegated to 2016 Malaysia Premier League after finished bottom of in 2015 Malaysia Super League. Meanwhile, ATM FA (11th places) also relegated after losing the play-off to T-Team F.C. who will replaced LionsXII in the league. Kedah and Penang promoted to Malaysia Super League after securing place as champions and runners-up in 2015 Malaysia Premier League.

Stadiums and locations

Locations of teams in the 2016 Malaysia Super League

Team Team Based Stadium Capacity
Felda United Bandar Pusat Jengka Tun Abdul Razak Stadium 25,000
Johor Darul Ta'zim Johor Bahru Larkin Stadium 30,000
Kedah Alor Setar Darul Aman Stadium 32,387
Kelantan Kota Bharu Sultan Mohammad IV Stadium 22,000
PDRM Kuala Lumpur Hang Jebat Stadium 40,000
Pahang Kuantan Darul Makmur Stadium 40,000
Penang George Town Bandaraya Stadium 20,000
Perak Ipoh Perak Stadium 60,000
Sarawak Kuching Sarawak Stadium 40,000
Selangor Shah Alam Shah Alam Stadium 80,372
T-Team Kuala Terengganu Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Stadium 15,000
Terengganu Kuala Terengganu Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium 50,000


Since its inception in 2004, the Malaysia Super League title has seen 8 different teams crowned as champions. Kedah FA becomes the first club that won the Super League Malaysia title back-to-back, in 2006–07 season and in 2007–08 season. Kelantan FA also managed to win back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012. In 2015, Johor Darul Ta'zim became the fourth team to win the titles back-to-back where they won the 2014 and 2015.

Year Champion Runners-up Third place
2004 Pahang Public Bank Perlis
2005 Perlis Pahang Perak
2005-06 Negeri Sembilan Melaka TMFC Perak
2006–07 Kedah Perak DPMM FC
2007–08 Kedah Negeri Sembilan Johor FC
2009 Selangor Perlis Kedah
2010 Selangor Kelantan Terengganu
2011 Kelantan Terengganu Selangor
2012 Kelantan LionsXII Selangor
2013 LionsXII Selangor Johor Darul Ta'zim
2014 Johor Darul Ta'zim Selangor Pahang
2015 Johor Darul Ta'zim Selangor Pahang
2016 Johor Darul Ta'zim Felda United Kedah


Club Wins Winning years
1 Johor Darul Ta'zim 3 2014, 2015, 2016
2 Kedah 2 2006–07, 2007–08
3 Selangor 2 2009, 2010
4 Kelantan 2 2011, 2012
5 Pahang 1 2004
6 Perlis 1 2005
7 Negeri Sembilan 1 2005–06
8 LionsXII 1 2013

Great honours

Great honours are titled for the team who won 2 trophies (double) and 3 trophies (treble) in the same season. It covers Malaysia Super League, Malaysia FA Cup, and Malaysia Cup.


Further information: Treble (association football)

National treble is the achievement given for winning a Malaysia's top tier division which is the Malaysia Super League and its primary cup competition which is the Malaysia FA Cup and also the Malaysia Cup, the country's one of Asia's oldest footballing tournaments, in the same season.[30]

Team Seasons Winning titles
Kedah Kedah FA 2006–07 Super League, FA Cup, Malaysia Cup
Kedah Kedah FA 2007–08 Super League, FA Cup, Malaysia Cup
Kelantan Kelantan FA 2012 Super League, FA Cup, Malaysia Cup


Further information: Double (association football)

Double is the achievement given for winning Malaysia's top tier division which is the Malaysia Super League and its primary cup competition which is the Malaysia FA Cup in the same season.

Team Seasons Winning titles
Selangor Selangor FA 2009 Super League, FA Cup
Johor Johor Darul Ta'zim F.C. 2016 Super League, FA Cup

Number of appearances

Included the current 13th season of Malaysia Super League.

1Perak Perak FA201714
2Pahang Pahang FA201713
3Selangor Selangor FA201712
4Johor Johor Darul Takzim FC201711
5Terengganu Terengganu FA201610
6Kelantan Kelantan FA20179
6Kedah Kedah FA20179
6Penang Penang FA20179
9Negeri Sembilan Negeri Sembilan FA20138
9Perlis Perlis FA20118
9Sarawak Sarawak FA20178
12Terengganu T-Team FC20177
13Kuala Lumpur Felda United FC20176
14Selangor PKNS FC20174
14 PDRM FA20164
14Singapore LionsXII20154
14Sabah Sabah FA20124
18 ATM FA20153
18Kuala Lumpur Kuala Lumpur FA20123
18Malacca Melaka TMFC2006–073
21Malacca Melaka United20172
21Kuala Lumpur Sime Darby FC20152
21Kuala Lumpur UPB-MyTeam FC20092
21Brunei Brunei DPMM FC2007–082
21Kuala Lumpur PLUS FC20102
21Selangor Selangor MPPJ2005–062
21Selangor Public Bank FC20052
28Johor Johor FA20101
28Malaysia Harimau Muda A20111
28Kedah Kuala Muda NAZA FC20091

Top scorers

Golden Boot winners

Season Players Clubs Goals
2004 Malaysia Indra Putra Mahayuddin Pahang Pahang FA 15
2005 Brazil Julio Cesar Rodriguez
Zambia Zacharia Simukonda
Sabah Sabah FA
Perlis Perlis FA
2006 Guinea Keita Mandjou Perak Perak FA 17
2007 Guinea Keita Mandjou
Brunei Mohd Shahrazen Said
Perak Perak FA
Brunei DPMM FC
2008 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Marlon Alex James Kedah Kedah FA 23
2009 Malaysia Mohd Nizaruddin Yusof Perlis Perlis FA 18
2010 Malaysia Ashaari Shamsuddin Terengganu Terengganu FA 18
2011 Malaysia Abdul Hadi Yahya Terengganu Terengganu FA 20
2012 Cameroon Jean-Emmanuel Effa Owona
Liberia Francis Forkey Doe
Negeri Sembilan Negeri Sembilan FA
Terengganu Terengganu FA
2013 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Marlon Alex James ATM FA 16
2014 Brazil Paulo Rangel Selangor Selangor FA 16
2015 Mali Dramane Traore PDRM FA 19
2016 Argentina Jorge Pereyra Díaz Johor Johor Darul Ta'zim F.C. 18


Foreign players

Foreign players policy has changed multiple times since the league inception.[31] In 2009, FAM took a drastic measure when they change the foreign players policy when they were banned from playing in the league until 2011.[31] Foreign players were only allowed be back to the league starting from the 2012 season onwards.[31]

All foreign players must obtain International Transfer Certificate from their previous national football governing body that their previous clubs affiliated before they can be register with FAM in order to play in Malaysia Super League.[31]

See also


  1. Saingan tiga pusingan 2004 -- Liga Super, Perdana lebih kompetitif
  2. 1 2{DB65DE90-094A-4040-8B59-32328DD33CF7} More domestic football on TV next season
  3. 1 2 Company Overview of Malaysia Super League Sdn Bhd
  5. A media briefing and workshop was conducted by FAM, FMLLP and MPS to give a clearer picture on what we can expect in Malaysian football
  6. 1 2 3 The Malaysian Premier League to be known officially as 100 Plus Liga Premier Malaysia this season
  7. Sejarah Perubahan Format & Peraturan Liga Bola Sepak Malaysia Dari 1982 Hingga 2016
  8. MP & SILVA appointed as Football Association Of Malaysia Global Advisor For Media & Commercial Rights until 2030
  9. JDT julang kejuaraan hatrik Liga Super
  10. 1 2
  11. 1 2 Why Club Licensing? - footballmalaysia
  12. Pahang serba baru hadapi saingan 2016
  13. CEO Pahang FC letak jawatan
  14. Zainal, Zulhilmi (10 January 2016). "2015 AFC Cup champions Johor Darul Ta'zim are now owned by former Johor FA president and royal patron, Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim". PERFORM Media. Retrieved 9 September 2016.
  15. MUSA kini dikenali sebagai MUFC
  16. 1 2 3 Charting the path to Malaysian football's future: FMLLP discusses key topics of the seasons ahead
  17. Pelesenan Kelab Penting Demi Masa Depan Bola Sepak Negara - FMLLP
  18. 1 2 3 Liga M dapat tajaan lumayan RM220 juta
  19. 1 2 Logo baru Liga M dilancar Rabu
  20. MP & Silva in for the long term, says Managing Director
  21. FMLLP jamin bayaran pertama selesai Februari
  22. Hai-O claims FMLLP neglects player salary issues
  23. FAs warned over non-payment of salary.
  24. Gaji Tertunggak, FMLLP Sedia Potong Mata Pasukan
  25. 1 2 Fox Sports Asia eyeing M-League rights?
  26. 1 2 3 Media Prima insider defends their M-League telecasts
  27. 1 2 Plans underway to improve Media Prima's match telecasts
  28. 1 2 National broadcasting station Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) will be telecasting the Malaysia Super League opener this weekend
  29. 1 2 "MEDIA PRIMA RAIH HAK PENYIARAN LIGA BOLA SEPAK UNTUK 3 TAHUN". Football Malaysia LLP. 11 February 2016.
  30. Is Malaysia Cup losing its appeal?
  31. 1 2 3 4 Sejarah Perubahan Format & Peraturan Liga Bola Sepak Malaysia Dari 1982 Hingga 2016
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