Hong Kong Premier League
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Hong Kong Premier League

Hong Kong Premier League
Hong Kong Premier League Official Logo.png
Founded2014; 5 years ago (2014)
CountryHong Kong
ConfederationAFC
Number of teams10
Level on pyramid1
Relegation toHong Kong First Division
Domestic cup(s)Senior Shield
HKFA Cup
Sapling Cup
International cup(s)AFC Champions League
AFC Cup
Current championsTai Po (1st title)
(2018-19)
Most championshipsKitchee (3 titles)
TV partnerson.cc
Websitehttp://www.hkfa.com/
2019-20 Hong Kong Premier League

Hong Kong Premier League (Chinese: ) is a Hong Kong professional football league organised by Hong Kong Football Association. It is currently sponsored by BOC Life and officially known as BOC Life Hong Kong Premier League (Chinese: ). The inaugural season began in September 2014. It is the top-division football league in Hong Kong.

History

On 7 February 2013, the Hong Kong Football Association stated that the new Premier League would get under way in Autumn 2014, where it was suggested that the 2013-14 season would be a transition year.[1] As a result, the 2013-14 Hong Kong First Division League was the last season of the First Division to be the top tier of football in the Hong Kong league system.

The clubs already in the top division initially reacted negatively to the perceived increased running costs of competing in a professional league, particularly one where some felt that there was little difference to the old First Division.[2] Five clubs - Citizen, Southern, Sun Hei, Happy Valley and Tuen Mun all eventually decided against joining the new league, which led to fears that the HKFA's plan to start the league with a minimum of 8 teams would not be possible.[3] In the end, however, through public funding and government support, two teams from the Hong Kong Second Division were able to meet the new league licence requirements and were promoted, making a total of 9 teams for the first season.[4]

With the recent completion of 'Project Phoenix' which started in 2011, the league has seen some improvements with further amendments planned for the future. This includes a new five-year funding agreement, a new licensing scheme for league member clubs, prize money for all participating teams and new measures put in place against corruption and match-fixing.[5]

Kitchee were crowned as champions of the inaugural season, after amassing a total of 36 points in the league with only 2 losses. Tai Po finished bottom of the league with only 7 points.

The following season, Eastern won the league with a game to spare, winning their first top flight championship in 20 years. They also created history, as they were the first team in the world to win a top flight men's title whilst being managed by a female coach. Wong Tai Sin were relegated after finishing last in the league.

In the 2016-17 season, Kitchee reclaimed the title on the final day of the season in a showdown with rivals Eastern, a game which they won 4:1. Eastern later won the End-of-Season playoffs and will therefore also compete along with Kitchee in the 2018 AFC Champions League. HKFC finished bottom of the table, and were thus automatically relegated to the First Division.

Kitchee successfully defended their title in 2017-18, becoming the first club to repeat as champions the following year.

In 2018-19, Tai Po won the league, becoming the first district team to win a top flight title since Yuen Long in 1962-63.

Format

The first season kicked off in September 2014, with 9 teams competing for the championship. It was initially suggested that a relegation system would not apply for the first few seasons, and that teams would continue to be promoted to the top-tier league until there were 12 member clubs.[6] In the end, however, the HKFA decided that one club would be relegated and one club would be promoted from the 2014-15 Hong Kong First Division League.[7]

By 2016-17, the league had expanded to 11 teams. The HKFA promoted Tai Po and HKFC who had finished at the top of the 2015-16 Hong Kong First Division into the league while adding expansion teams Hong Kong Sapling and R&F. Wong Tai Sin were relegated from the previous season and Metro Gallery chose to self relegate due to financial difficulties.

For the 2017-18 season, the league moved down to ten teams after Hong Kong's most successful and longest running top flight club South China chose to relegate themselves to the First Division in a shock move after the departure of their chairman, and them failing to find suitable financial means to keep the club in the Premier League. HKFC were also relegated after finishing bottom of the table.

The champions of the league qualify for the 2nd qualifying round of the AFC Champions League, while the champions of the Hong Kong FA Cup qualify for the playoff round of the AFC Cup. Should the league champions fail to qualify for the Champions League, they will instead receive Hong Kong's East Asia Zone group stage slot in the AFC Cup. Previously the FA Cup winners and the teams finishing in 2nd, 3rd and 4th competed in an end of season playoff for the final spot in the AFC Champions League, but this format was abolished after the 2016-17 season.

Prize money

The Hong Kong Premier League trophy.

The structure of the prize money for the inaugural season is as below.[7]

Final placing Prize money (HK$)
Champion 480,000
Second 216,000
Third 144,000
Fourth 108,000
Fifth 84,000
Sixth 60,000
Seventh 48,000
Eighth 36,000
Ninth 24,000

Current season

A total of 10 teams will participate in the 2019-20 season including newly promoted sides Happy Valley and Rangers.

Location of R&F.


Club Founded Home Stadium Shirt Sponsor Position
Last Season
Tai Po 2002 Tai Po Sports Ground 1st
China R&F 2016 Yanzigang Stadium, Guangzhou R&F Properties 2nd
Southern 2002 Mong Kok Stadium ISUZU 3rd
Kitchee 1931 Mong Kok Stadium edps 4th
Eastern 1932 Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground Topeast 5th
Pegasus 2008 Hong Kong Stadium RedMR Cosmos 6th
Yuen Long 1958 Yuen Long Stadium 7th
Lee Man 2017 Sham Shui Po Sports Ground Lee & Man 9th
Happy Valley 1950 Hammer Hill Road Sports Ground World Electronic Sports Games 1st in First Division
Rangers 1958 Tuen Mun Tang Shiu Kin Sports Ground Bjorn Hendal Sweden 3rd in First Division
  • Pink denotes a newly promoted club entering the league this year.

Stadiums

Primary venues used in the Hong Kong Premier League:

Champions

Wins by club

Media coverage

Live matches and highlights shows are provided free of charge through online website YouTube in Cantonese.

With regards to English coverage, the official Hong Kong Football Association website, and to a lesser extent the South China Morning Post, provide match reports, player interviews, club information and league data. The Hong Kong Football Podcast also covers the HKPL on a fortnighly basis.[10]

Other tournaments

Domestic tournaments
Continental tournaments

References

  1. ^ "Hong Kong soccer body seeks HK$20m in sponsorship for new Premier League". South China Morning Post. 7 February 2013.
  2. ^ Chan, Kin-Wa. "New Hong Kong Premier League no different to First Division: Peter Leung". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 2016.
  3. ^ Chan, Kin-Wa. "Premier League's viability in doubt as HKFA deadline looms". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 2016.
  4. ^ "Cash-Strapped District Clubs Thrown 'Lifeline' To Take Part In Hong Kong Premier League". Sports Business Daily. Retrieved 2016.
  5. ^ "Project Phoenix comes to an end". marksutcliffe.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2016.
  6. ^ ? in Chinese, from Apple Daily
  7. ^ a b (in Chinese)"?". Oriental Daily. 22 August 2014.
  8. ^ https://www.footballgroundmap.com/ground/tuen-mun-tang-shiu-kin-sports-ground/hong-kong-rangers
  9. ^ https://www.footballgroundmap.com/ground/yanzigang-stadium/rf-fc
  10. ^ "The Hong Kong Football Podcast". Soundcloud.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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