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Malaysia Super League
The Malaysia Super League (Malay: Liga Super Malaysia) is the Malaysian football league system's premier professional men's level. The Malaysia Super League is contested by twelve teams and is administered by the Football Malaysia Limited Liability Partnership (FMLLP), now known as the Malaysian Football League (MFL). It operates on the same promotion and relegation system as the Malaysia Premier League, with the two lowest-placed teams relegated and replaced by the promoted top two teams in that division.
Since the Malaysia Super League's debut in 2004, 32 clubs have played in the division, with eight clubs winning the title: Selangor F.C., Kedah Darul Aman F.C., Kelantan F.C., Sri Pahang F.C., Perlis, Negeri Sembilan F.C., LionsXII, and Johor Darul Ta'zim F.C. After winning the 2021 edition, Johor Darul Ta'zim F.C. is the current champion.
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Malaysia Super League
The Malaysia Super League was established in 2004 when the Malaysian Football Association (FAM) decided to privatize the league. The first season began on February 14, 2004. As a result, the Malaysia Super League Sdn Bhd (or MSL Proprietary Limited) was established to supervise the league's marketing efforts, however, it was not completely privatized. The league's format has changed multiple times, from eight to fourteen to twelve clubs, to accommodate changes in league regulations and the departure of certain clubs in order to establish a competitive climate and professional management among the clubs. In 2004, the Malaysian Competition was restructured to become a completely professional league, resulting in the formation of the Malaysia Super League, a new top-tier competition. Malaysia's second tier was divided into two levels and two groups between 2004 and 2006:
- Top tier: Malaysia Super League (8 teams)
- Second-tier: Malaysia Premier League Group A (8 teams)
- Second-tier: Malaysia Premier League Group B (8 teams)
- Third tier: Malaysia FAM Cup
Eight clubs played in the new top-tier Malaysia Super League, while 16 clubs fought in the new Malaysia Premier League, which was divided into two groups. Prior to the 2006-07 season, there were only eight clubs in the league, therefore positional changes were drastic. Losses in a row would send teams into a relegation struggle. Similarly, a series of victories would put a team in contention for the championship. In its three-year history, the Malaysia Super League has gone through two format revisions.
The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) has opted to extend the Malaysia Super League to include 14 clubs rather than the eight that were in the league during its first three seasons. However, the idea was put on hold after several of the clubs dropped out of the league owing to financial issues. 2009 through 2012 seasons were the only ones in which the league had 14 clubs, with each club playing each other twice, resulting in a total of 182 matches and 26 matches per club.
The Malaysia Premier League was consolidated into one division rather than two groups for the 2007 season, while the Malaysia FAM League was renovated to a league system rather than a knockout tournament structure for the 2008 season:
- Top tier: Malaysia Super League
- Second-tier: Malaysia Premier League
- Third tier: Malaysia FAM League
The Football Malaysia Limited Liability Partnership (FMLLP) was formed in 2015 as part of the Malaysian football league system's privatization. All 24 Malaysia Super League and Malaysia Premier League teams, as well as the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) as the Managing Partner and MP & Silva as a special partner (FAM's worldwide media and commercial adviser), became shareholders in the firm as part of the agreement. The Malaysia Super League was owned, controlled, and managed by the FMLLP. Other tournaments in Malaysian football, such as the Malaysia Premier League, the Malaysia FA Cup, the Malaysia Cup, and the Piala Sumbangsih, were also under its authority. Its goal was to change Malaysian football and propel it ahead to the next level.
3. Competition format and regulation
The format of the competition is double round-robin. Each team plays every other team twice, once at home and once away, during the course of the season, which runs from February to July, for a total of 132 matches. The majority of the games are held on Saturdays, with a handful held on weekdays. A victory earns three points, a tie earns one point, and a defeat earns zero points. The highest-ranked club at the end of the season is proclaimed champion.
The Malaysia Super League and the Malaysia Premier League both have promotion and relegation systems in place. The Malaysia Super League's worst two clubs are demoted to the Malaysia Premier League, while the Malaysia Premier League's top two clubs are promoted to the Malaysia Super League.
The Malaysia Super League champions advance to the AFC Champions League group stages the following season. The Malaysia FA Cup winners are also eligible for the AFC Champions League play-offs the following season. If a club fails to qualify for the group stages after losing in the play-off slots, it will compete in the AFC Cup play-off slots. The AFC Club Competitions Rankings, which are calculated based on the performance of teams competing in the AFC Champions League and AFC Cup, as well as their national team's FIFA World Rankings over the previous four years, determine the number of places allocated to Malaysian clubs in AFC competitions. Malaysia is currently rated 20th in the AFC Club Competitions Rankings.