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South African Premier League – Everything You Need To Know

South African Premier League

The South African Premier League or division has been the highest premier division soccer league system in the Republic of South Africa (RSA). It also often referred to as Premier Soccer League (PSL) because of it being the only top level competition in association football in the country.

According to the official website of the Premier league, PSL is the trading name of the National Soccer League (NSL). And as such, it is an affiliate member of the body that supervises association football in South Africa. The South African Football Association (SAFA) is the official supervising body and administrator of all professional football in the country.


The Premier league was established in the year 1996. The first club or team to be crowned champions was the Manning Rangers in the year 1997. Their manager then was Gordon Igesund and it was a surprised one as most people felt there were ‘good’ clubs who should have win the title.

Mamelodi Sundowns dominated the league competition in the subsequent three years from 1998 -2000 winning the all the three titles in a row.

The competition used to comprise of 18 teams but was later reduced to 16 in 2001/2002 season to avoid what they call as ‘fixture congestion “.

In 2004, the league experienced its highest match-fixing scandal and about forty (40) people were arrested including club managers, club owners, players, referees, assistant referees, match commissioners.

Kaizer Chiefs won the title back-to-back in both 2004 and defended the title successfully on 2005.

Mamelodi Sundowns won the league in the 2005/2006 season having gone drought after the 2000 season.
SuperSport, a big multimedia brand in the South Africa signed broadcast deal, with PSL to the tune of R 1.6 billion in 2007 and was the biggest deal ever in South Africa.

Castle Lager, a liquor company was replaced by ABSA group as the name sponsor for the Premier league in the 2007.

The Premier league has also enjoyed sponsorships from other strong and branded firms including Nedbank, Telkom, Coca Cola and Vodacom.

Due to the injection of massive capital from the sponsors, the standards of professional club soccer in the country has been raised to a substantial level. Due to this it has enjoyed a better media coverage across the continent and other parts of the world.

Many players have excelled making them among the sort after world class players with some plying their football careers in well advanced league in Europe and other countries.

Supersport United made a spectacular performance and broke the record of Mamelodi Sundowns after winning 2008, 2009 and 2010 titles.

According to CAF five year ranking system, the south African Premier league was rated as 6th best league in Africa as at May 2019.

Since 2018/2019 season, the each club participating in the league is granted R 2 million monthly with funds coming from sponsorship and broadcasting rights.

The winner of the Premier league is awarded total sum of R 10 million.
The Following are bosses or the CEOs who have managed the League since its inception in 1996.

ABSA PremierShip PSL

Trevor Philips (96-98
Joel Ndlela (98-2000, fired
Robin Petersen (2000-2001) resigned
Trevor Philips (02-07)
Kjetil Siem (2007-2011)
Zola Majavu (2011) resigned
Stanley Matthews 2012 resigned
Cambridge Mokanyane 2013 acting
Brand de Villers 2013-2015
Mato Madlala 2016 – date (acting)

PSL Format

The competition is composed of sixteen (16) professional league clubs and spans from August to May. Each club plays another club twice in a home and away order in a total of thirty (30) matches.

As it’s a general rule in association football, a win is awarded 3 points and a draw attracts one point.

At the end of the competition, the champion club and the second club or first runner ups qualify to play in the CAF Champions League. The team which finishes in the third position and the champions of the NedBank Cup qualify for CAF Confederation Cup all organized by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

The club that finishes last at the end of the season is automatically relegated to join the National First Division. On the hand the winner of the National First Division (NFD) qualifies to the PSL.

The 15th position on the PSL will be in playoff competition with the 2nd and third position of the NFD, and the winner joins the PSL the following season.


All time highest goal scorers (attach pix)
> Siyabonga Nomvete 111 goals
>Daniel Mudau 110 goals
Manuel Bucuane 104 goals
Mabhuti Khenyeza 104 goals
Siphiwe Tsabalala 101 goals
Collins Mbesuma 101 goals

All the goals includes goals scored within the PSL era and other cup competitions.

# Top appearances: Kaizer Chiefs, Mamelodi Sundowns, Orlando Pirates, Supersport United. (714 matches) They are ever present.
# PSL topmost title winner
Mamelodi Sundowns won 9 titles
# Biggest PSL win:
Supersport united 8-1 Zulu Royals (2003/2004) season
-Most Wins Mamelodi Sundowns 373
-Most goals scored in a single season 73 Kaizer Chiefs (1998/1999)

For a complete fixtures for the season 2019/20, check here

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