The Premier Soccer League of South Africa

The Premier Soccer League (PSL) of South Africa is the body governing the club competition professional football in the Republic of South Africa. The PSL administer two league systems; the Premier Division (currently known as the Absa Premiership due to sponsorship reasons) and the National First Division (NFD) which is where the Premier Division  get relegated to, it also administer three cup competitions; the Top 8 (MTN 8), League Cup (Telkom Knockout) and the South African Cup (Nedbank Cup).

psl-logo
Registered Name National Soccer League
Trading Name Premier Soccer League
Founded 1996
Founders Irvin Khoza
Jomo Sono
Kaizer Motaung Sr.

Key People

Chairman Irvin Khoza
Vice-Chairman Kaizer Motaung Sr.
CEO Brand de Villiers

League Competitions

Premier Division 16 Teams
First Division 16 Teams

Cup Competitions

Top 8 8 Teams
League Cup 16 Teams
SA Cup 32 Teams

The PSL was founded in 1996 following an agreement between the National Soccer League (NSL) and remained of the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL).

Dr. Irvin Khoza – the chairman of Orlando Pirates football club, Kaizer Motaung Sr. – founder and chairman of Kaizer Chiefs football club and Jomo Sono – founder and chairman of Jomo Cosmos football club are all credited as founders of the Premier Soccer League in it’s current form and status.

The following clubs are credited as founding members; AmaZulu, Bloemfontein Celtic, Cape Town Spurs, Hellenic, Jomo Cosmos, Kaizer Chiefs, Manning Rangers, Michau Warriors, Moroka Swallows, Orlando Pirates, QwaQwa Stars, Real Rovers, Mamelodi Sundowns, Supersport United, Umtata Bush Bucks, Vaal Professionals, Witbank Aces and Wits University.

All 18 of these clubs were there for the 1996/97 inaugural season of the PSL with the Durban based Manning Rangers going all the way to be crowned champions under coaching maestro Gordon Igesund.

The Premier Soccer League is registered at the National Soccer League (NSL) and trades as the Premier Soccer League (PSL).

The NSL trading as the PSL is the special member of the South African Football Association (SAFA) .

The NSL consist of a total of 32 football clubs; 16 football clubs compete in the Premier Division, the highest league system in South Africa and the other 16 football clubs compete in the National First Division (NFD).

The teams that get relegated from the Premier Division go to the National First Division and those that get relegated from the National First Division fall away from the PSL (NSL) administration and compete in SAFA administered lower leagues.

All Premier Division and National First Division competitions are organized and administered by the Premier Soccer League this includes; both league systems, the top 8 cup, the league cup, the SA cup in which clubs beyond the PSL administration compete as well as the PSL-NFD promotion-relegation playoffs.

 

Administration

Dr. Irvin KhozaThe Premier Soccer League is chaired by Dr. Irvin Khoza – chairman of Orlando Pirates football club and the vice-chairman is Kaizer Motaung Sr. – chairman and founder of Kaizer Chiefs football club.

The current executive committee is as follows; Michael Mokoena (Free State Stars), Daniel Simelane (Mamelodi Sundowns), Mato Madlala (Golden Arrows), John Comitis (Ajax Cape Town), Stanley Matthews (SuperSport United) and David Thidiela (Black Leopards).

The current CEO of the Premier Soccer League is Brand de Villiers.

 

Competitions

The Premier Soccer League (PSL) consists of five official competitions in a single season. The four main competitions that are open to the Premier Division are named by the sponsorship.

  • Premiership

absa-premiership-logoThe flagship competition is the Premiership which is currently sponsored by Absa and therefore known as the Absa Premiership. In this competition; each team play the other 15 teams twice, once at home and once away – the winner earn 3 points, the loser does not earn any points and if the match end in a draw each team will earn a point.

The points are accumulated throughout the season which last from August to May, the team with the most point after 30 matches at the end of the season will win the League Championship. If more than one team have the same amount of points, the goal difference is used to decide the winner.

The most recent case was in the 2010/11 season where Orlando Pirates and Ajax Cape Town finished the season tied on 60 points, Orlando Pirates won the championship due to a better goal difference (the goal difference is the goals score minus goals conceded).

The League winner and the runner up qualify to play in the CAF Champions League while the third placed team will qualify to play in the CAF Confederation Cup.

The 16ht placed team will be directly relegated to the National First Division (NFD) while the 15th placed team will compete in the mini-league with the 2nd and 3rd placed team to decide who will take the 16th and final spot in the Premier Division for the next season.

 

 

  • Top 8

MTN-8-LogoThe first cup competition of the season is the Top 8, currently sponsored by MTN and therefore known at the MTN 8. This competition features 8 teams that finished in the top 8 of the previous season.

The quarter-finals are a single elimination match, the semi-finals are a two-legged match with a home and away leg and the final is a single elimination.

If the match end in a draw after 90 minutes, it is subject to 30 minutes extra time followed by penalties if necessary.

 

 

  • League Cup

Telkom Knockout_LogoThe second cup competition is the league cup, it is currently sponsored by Telkom and therefore known as the Telkom Knockout. The league cup feature all the 16 Premiership clubs in a single elimination match.

If the match end in a draw after 90 minutes, it is subject to 30 minutes extra time followed by penalties if necessary.

 

 

  • South African Cup (SA Cup)

Nedbank-Cup_logoThe third and final cup competition of the season is the SA Cup, currently sponsored by Nedbank and as a result known as The Nedbank Cup. The competition features a total of 32 teams; 16 automatic qualification from the Premier Division, 8 teams from the National First Division (NFD) and 8 teams from the lower -SAFA administered- divisions.

The NFD clubs need to play a single qualifier against other NFD clubs. The amateur teams go through a series of qualifiers to enter the main draw.

The final 32 will embark on a single elimination competition to decide the winner.

If the match end in a draw after 90 minutes, it is subject to 30 minutes extra time followed by penalties if necessary.

The winner of the tournament qualifies to play in the CAF Confederation Cup.

 

 

  • National First Division (NFD)

National-First-DivisionThe NFD is the league system tier below the Premier Division, it feature 16 football clubs

Each team play the other 15 teams twice, once at home and once away – the winner earn 3 points, the loser does not earn any points and if the match end in a draw each team will earn a point.

The points are accumulated throughout the season which last from August to May, the team with the most point after 30 matches at the end of the season will win the NFD Championship and gain automatic promotion to the Premier Division. If more than one team have the same amount of points, the goal difference is used to decide the winner.

The second and third placed teams will play a mini-league with the 15th placed team from the Premier Division to decide who will take the 16th and final spot in the Premier Division in the next season.

The 15th and 16th placed teams will be automatically relegated to the regional SAFA administered league system – the ABC Motsepe League.

 

Money

The winner of the flagship competition, the Absa Premiership receives R10 million and the runner up receives R5 million.

The rest of the teams are as follows; 3rd – R3 million, 4th – R2 million, 5th – R1.5 million, 6th –  R1.3m, 7th – R1.1m and the 8th placed team receives R1 million.

The bottom 8 receives less than a million rand, their prize money is as follows; 9th – R750 000 , 10th – R700 000, 11th – R650 000, 12th – R600 000,  13th – R550 000, 14th – R500 000, 15th –  R450 000 and 16th the placed team receives R400 000.

The monthly grants for the Premier Division clubs is R1.5 million.

  • Q-Innovation

The Q-Innovation was introduced in the 2012/13 season, the Premier Division is divided into four quarters; the first quarter consist of 8 round of matches, the second quarter consist of 7 round of matches, the third quarter consist of 8 round of matches and the fourth and final quarter consist of 7 round matches. All in all this totals to a full season worth of matches.

The winner of each quarter, which would be the team that earned the most points in that quarter, receives R1.5 million.

  • National First Division

In 2013 the National First Division clubs were reportedly getting R380 000 while reports as recent as 2014 have suggested that they are getting R450 000.

The prize money for the winner has been reported to be at R300 000, R700 000 lower than the R1 million prize money for the winner of the ABC Motsepe League (SAFA second division) which lower tier.

  • Cup Competitions

The Premier Division clubs stand a chance of earning more money in cup competitions with the MTN 8 offering the winner R8 million rand and all the participants R800 000.

The Telkom Knockout winner receives R4 250 000 while the runner up R1 750 0000. The losing semi-finalists each receive R 1 million, the losing quarter-finalists each receive R650 000 and those who lose in the first round receive R450 000.

The Nedbank Cup winner receives R7 million while the runners’ up receive R2.5 million. The losing semi-finalists will each get R1 million while the losing quarter-finalists each receive R400 000.

Those who are knocked out in the last 16 each receive R200,000 and those who lose in the last 32 each receive R100 000.

 

All Competitions since 1996

Season Premiership Top 8 League Cup SA Cup Relegated (End of Season) Promoted (End of Season)
96-97 Manning Rangers Orlando Pirates Umtata Bush Bucks Not Played Michau Warriors, Witbank Aces Santos, African Wanderers
97-98 Mamelodi Sundowns Unknown Kaizer Chiefs Mamelodi Sundowns African Wanderers, Real Rovers Seven Stars, Dynamos
98-99 Mamelodi Sundowns Unknown Kaizer Chiefs Supersport United Dynamos, Vaal Professionals African Wanderers, Tembisa Classic
99-00 Mamelodi Sundowns Unknown Mamelodi Sundowns Kaizer Chiefs AmaZulu, Mother City Golden Arrows, Ria Stars
00-01 Orlando Pirates Orlando Pirates Ajax Cape Town Santos Bloemfontein Celtic, African Wanderers AmaZulu, Black Leopards
01-02 Santos Kaizer Chiefs Kaizer Chiefs Not Played AmaZulu, Tembisa Classic African Wanderers, Dynamos
02-03 Orlando Pirates Santos Jomo Cosmos Santos Bush Bucks, African Wanderers AmaZulu, Silver Stars
03-04 Kaizer Chiefs Jomo Cosmos Kaizer Chiefs Moroka Swallows Hellenic, Zulu Royals Bush Bucks, Bloemfontein Celtic
04-05 Kaizer Chiefs Supersport Unite Kaizer Chiefs Supersport United Manning Rangers, Wits University Free State Stars, Tembisa Classic
05-06 Mamelodi Sundowns Bloemfontein Celtic Jomo Cosmos Kaizer Chiefs Free State Stars, Bush Bucks Wits University, Benoni Premier United
06-07 Mamelodi Sundowns Kaizer Chiefs Silver Stars Ajax Cape Town Maritzburg United Free State Stars
07-08 Supersport United Mamelodi Sundowns Kaizer Chiefs Mamelodi Sundowns Black Leopards, Jomo Cosmos Maritzburg United, Bay United
08-09 Supersport United Kaizer Chiefs Ajax Cape Town Moroka Swallows Bay United, Thanda Royal Zulu Jomo Cosmos, Mpumalanga Black Aces
09-10 Supersport United Golden Arrows Kaizer Chiefs BidVest Wits Jomo Cosmos Vasco da Gama
10-11 Orlando Pirates Orlando Pirates Kaizer Chiefs Orlando Pirates Mpumalanga Black Aces, Vasco da Gama Jomo Cosmos, Black Leopards
11-12 Orlando Pirates Orlando Pirates Orlando Pirates Supersport Santos, Jomo Cosmos University of Pretoria, Chippa United
12-13 Kaizer Chiefs Moroka Swallows Bloemfontein Celtic Kaizer Chiefs Chippa United, Black Leopards Mpumalanga Black Aces, Polokwane City
13-14 Mamelodi Sundowns Platinum Stars Platinum Stars Orlando Pirates Golden Arrows Chippa United (NFD Winner)
14-15 Kaizer Chiefs
Kaizer Chiefs Supersport United Mamelodi Sundowns
AmaZulu, Moroka Swallows
Golden Arrows (NFD Winner), Jomo Cosmos
15-16 Premiership Top 8 League Cup SA Cup Relegated (End of the Season) Promoted (End of the Season)
Mamelodi Sundowns Ajax Cape Town Mamelodi Sundowns SuperSport United Jomo Cosmos, Pretoria University Baroka FC, Highlands Park
16-17 Premiership Top 8 League Cup SA Cup Relegated (End of the Season) Promoted (End of the Season)
TBD BidVest Wits Cape Town City TBD TBD

 

Records

Kaizer Chiefs is the most successful club in South Africa by a number of official titles it has won; 2 League Championships, 13 League Cups, 13 SA Cups and 15 Top 8 Cups.

Mamelodi Sundowns is the most winner of the League Championships, having won the league 6 times.

Orlando Pirates is the only South African club to have won the CAF Champions League (1995) and the CAF Super Cup (1996). Orlando Pirates have since appeared in the final for the second time since winning it in 1995, in 2013 they lost to Al Ahly 3-1 on aggregate.

Mamelodi Sundowns played the CAF Champions League final in 2001 and lost 4-1 on aggregate to Al Ahly.

Kaizer Chiefs won the African Cup Winner’s Cup (today’s CAF Confederation Cup) in 2001 and went on to play Al Ahly in the CAF Super Cup and lost 4-1.

  • Doubles

In the PSL era, Mamelodi Sundowns where the first club to win a double in a season; a feat they went on to repeat once more, for the first time in the 1997/98 season (League and SA Cup) and in the 1999/00 season (League and League Cup).

In the 2000/01 season Orlando Pirates also secured a double under coach Gordon Igesund with a Top 8 and the League.

Kaizer Chiefs have won multiple doubles down the years; in the 2001/02 (Top 8 and League Cup), 2003/04 (League and League Cup), 2004/05 (League and League Cup) and in the 2012/13 (League and SA Cup).

Platinum Stars won the double in the 2013/14 season when the appeared in back-to-back finals and emerging victorious in both – the Top 8 and the League Cup.

  • Trebles

Orlando Pirates made history in the 2010/11 season when they became the only club to win the treble (League, Top 8 and SA Cup) in the PSL era, in that season they appeared in all domestic cup finals. Orlando Pirates went on to repeat the feat in the 2011/12 when they won the League, the Top 8 and the League Cup – making further history by becoming the only club in South Africa to win a treble in two consecutive seasons.

  • Other

Kaizer Chiefs, Mamelodi Sundowns, Moroka Swallows, Orlando Pirates and Supersport United are the only clubs in South Africa who have never been relegated from the Premier Division since the founding of the PSL.

Orlando Pirates have an ambiguous record – desirable, money-wise and undesirable, in terms of bragging rights – they have appeared in every single final since the 2013 Top 8 but only managed to win one cup.

Orlando Pirates played the following finals; 2013 Top 8, 2013 League Cup, 2013 CAF Champions League, 2014 SA Cup (winners) and the 2014 Top 8 final.

  • Coaches

Gordon Igesund is tied with Ted Dumitru for the most league titles in the PSL era, the have both won 4. It is worth noting that Gordon Igesund won all his titles with 4 different clubs (Manning Rangers, Orlando Pirates, Santos and Mamelodi Sundowns) while Ted Dumitru won his two titles with Mamelodi Sundowns and two with Kaizer Chiefs. Gavin Hunt won three league titles in three consecutive season with SuperSport United.

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