The Israeli Premier League logo
|Organising body||Israel Football Association|
|Number of teams||14 (from 2013-14)|
|Level on pyramid||1|
|Relegation to||Liga Leumit|
|Domestic cup(s)||Israel State Cup|
Toto Cup (Al)
Israel Super Cup
|International cup(s)||UEFA Champions League|
UEFA Europa League
|Current champions||Maccabi Tel Aviv |
|Most championships||Maccabi Haifa |
|TV partners||Charlton Sport, Sport5.co.il|
|2019-20 Israeli Premier League|
The Israeli Premier League (Hebrew: ? , Ligat Ha`Al, lit. The Super League), officially The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange League (Hebrew: ? ? ) for sponsorship purposes, is a professional association football league which operates as the highest division of the Israeli Football League - the state's league of Israel. The league is contested by 14 clubs, and operates on a system of promotion and relegation with its second division Liga Leumit. Seasons run from August to May, with teams playing between 33 and 36 matches each, totalling 240 matches in every season. Five matches are played on Saturdays, with one match played on Sundays and the last one on Mondays.
The competition formed on 1999 following the decision of the Israel Football Association to form a new league. It is also ranked 23rd in the UEFA coefficients of leagues based on performances in European competitions over the last five years, ahead of the Belarusian Premier League and Kazakhstan Premier League.
Since 1923, a total of 14 clubs have been crowned champions of the Israeli Football League. Of the twenty-eight clubs to have competed since the inception of the Israeli Premier League in 1999, seven have won the title: Beitar Jerusalem (twice), Hapoel Be'er Sheva (three times), Hapoel Tel Aviv (twice), Maccabi Haifa (seven times), Maccabi Tel Aviv (five times), and Ironi Kiryat Shmona (once). The current champions are Maccabi Tel Aviv, who won the 2018-19 season.
The Israeli Premier League was founded in 1999 to replace its predecessor Liga Leumit (which became the second division) when the Israel Football Association decided to reshuffle all the leagues in hopes of improving competition. In its first season there were 14 clubs; the top thirteen clubs from the 1998-99 season and the top place club from the Liga Artzit (then, the third division). That season three clubs were relegated and one from Liga Leumit was promoted.
There are 14 clubs in the league. At the end of each season, the two lowest-placed teams are relegated to Liga Leumit while two highest-placed teams of Liga Leumit are promoted in their place. For the 2012-13 season the league was decreased from 16 to 14 clubs as a result of reforms passed by the IFA on 27 June 2011.
The participating clubs first play a conventional round-robin schedule for a total of 26 matches.
Following this, the top six teams play in a championship playoff, where they meet each other twice. Upon its conclusion, the first place team wins the Israeli championship and qualifies to participate in the first qualifying round of the 2018-19 UEFA Champions League. The runners-up and the third-placed teams qualify for the first qualifying round of the 2018-19 UEFA Europa League.
In Addition, the Israeli State Cup winners qualify for the second qualifying round of the 2018-19 UEFA Europa League. If the State Cup winners are also one of the teams to finish in the league's top three places then the fourth-placed team will also play in Europa League. In case the State Cup winners also win the Israeli Premier League then the fourth-placed league team will play in first qualifying round.
In addition, the bottom eight teams will play each other once to avoid two relegation spots.
A total of 28 clubs have played in the Israeli Premier League from its inception in 1999 and the start of the 2011-12 season. For a list of winners and runners-up of the Israeli Premier League since its inception, and top scorers for each season, see List of Israeli football champions.
The following 14 clubs will compete in the Israeli Premier League during the 2019-20 season.
|First season in
the Israeli Premier League
|Number of seasons
in the Israeli Premier League
|First season of
current spell in
Israeli Premier League
|Last top division title|
|Hapoel Kfar Saba||1st Liga Leumit||2019-2020||7th||2019-2020||1||1981-1982|
|Ironi Kiryat Shmona||10th||2003-2004||12th||2007-2008||1||2011-2012|
|Hapoel Tel Avivb||8th||1999-2000||20th||2018-2019||14||2009-2010|
|Maccabi Tel Avivab||1st||1999-2000||21st||1999-2000||22||2018-2019|
|Sektzia Nes Tziona||1999-2000||1st||1999-2000||0||Never|
a: Never been relegated from the Israeli Premier League
b: One of the original Israeli Premier League teams
In recent years, the league has been sponsored. The sponsor has been able to determine the league's sponsorship name. The list below details who the sponsors have been and what they called the competition:
Teams are limited to six foreign players per team. Special circumstances such as Druze players from the Golan (no citizenship) or cases such as that of Toto Tamuz, do not count against the foreign player limit. In addition, players who play in the league for 6 consecutive years do not count against the foreign player limit.
Israeli Premier League games are broadcast live on Sport 1, Sport 1 HD, and Sport 2 channels, with the big match of the week which is reserved to be shown by Sport 5 and Channel 1 HD network television. There is also a league review show on Saturday nights at Sport 5 channel.
In the United Kingdom, William Hill broadcasts matches live with English commentary on their online television service, William Hill TV.
The rights of broadcasting on the radio belongs to Radio Tel Aviv since 2011, which broadcast alongside Radio Haifa, Radio Darom, Radio Galei Zahal and Radio Darom 101.5 in a show called Saturday of Football which also broadcasts live on ONE TV channel.
The big match of the week is shown on the Channel 1 website. Since 2010, games summaries are shown online by Ynet, ONE and Sport 5.
Since 2012, ONE owns the broadcasting rights, which was previously owned by Sport 5.
Main sources of revenue for the clubs:
In European Leagues:
For the complete list read the main article.
When the Israeli Premier League became the top division of Israeli football in 1999-2000, Liga Leumit became the second division. Since then, only six clubs have won the title; Hapoel Tel Aviv, Ironi Kiryat Shmona, Maccabi Haifa, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Beitar Jerusalem and Hapoel Be'er Sheva. Hapoel Tel Aviv, Maccabi Haifa, Maccabi Tel Aviv and Beitar Jerusalem are sometimes referred to as the "Big Four" of Israeli football.
Having won seven titles in the league's 17 seasons, the most successful club during this period is Maccabi Haifa; during the same period Maccabi Tel Aviv have added four to their total while Beitar Jerusalem and Hapoel Tel Aviv have won two championships each. Although Hapoel Tel Aviv have only finished top of the league twice since 1999--in 1999-2000 and ten years later in 2009-10--they have won the double on both occasions.
This achievement was matched by Beitar Jerusalem in 2007-08. Ironi Kiryat Shmona won their first championship during the 2011-12 season, thereby becoming the first northern title-winners. Maccabi Tel Aviv then won three titles in a row, including a Treble in 2014-15.
|Champions also won the Israel State Cup during the same season.|
|Champions also won the League Cup during the same season.|
|Champions also won both cups during the same season.|
|(titles)||A running tally of the total number of championships won by each club is kept in brackets.|
|Season||Winner (titles)||Runners-up||Third place||Top Scorer||Goals||Notes|
|Hapoel Tel Aviv (12)||Maccabi Haifa||Hapoel Petah Tikva||Assi Tubi (Maccabi Petah Tikva)||27||-|
|2000-01||Maccabi Haifa (6)||Hapoel Tel Aviv||Hapoel Haifa||Avi Nimni (Maccabi Tel Aviv)||25||[nb 1]|
|2001-02||Maccabi Haifa (7)||Hapoel Tel Aviv||Maccabi Tel Aviv||Kobi Refua (Maccabi Petah Tikva)||18||-|
|2002-03||Maccabi Tel Aviv (18)||Maccabi Haifa||Hapoel Tel Aviv||Yaniv Abargil (Hapoel Kfar Saba)
Shay Holtzman (Ironi Rishon LeZion / Ashdod)
|2003-04||Maccabi Haifa (8)||Maccabi Tel Aviv||Maccabi Petah Tikva||Ofir Haim (Hapoel Be'er Sheva)
Shay Holtzman (F.C. Ashdod)
|2004-05||Maccabi Haifa (9)||Maccabi Petah Tikva||F.C. Ashdod||Roberto Colautti (Maccabi Haifa)||19||-|
|2005-06||Maccabi Haifa (10)||Hapoel Tel Aviv||Beitar Jerusalem||Shay Holtzman (F.C. Ashdod)||18||-|
|2006-07||Beitar Jerusalem (5)||Maccabi Netanya||Maccabi Tel Aviv||Yaniv Azran (F.C. Ashdod)||15||-|
|2007-08||Beitar Jerusalem (6)||Maccabi Netanya||Ironi Kiryat Shmona||Samuel Yeboah (Hapoel Kfar Saba)||15||-|
|2008-09||Maccabi Haifa (11)||Hapoel Tel Aviv||Beitar Jerusalem||Barak Yitzhaki (Beitar Jerusalem)
Shimon Abuhatzira (Hapoel Petah Tikva)
Eliran Atar (Bnei Yehuda Tel Aviv)
|2009-10||Hapoel Tel Aviv (13)||Maccabi Haifa||Maccabi Tel Aviv||Shlomi Arbeitman (Maccabi Haifa)||28||-|
|2010-11||Maccabi Haifa (12)||Hapoel Tel Aviv||Maccabi Tel Aviv||Toto Tamuz (Hapoel Tel Aviv)||21||-|
|2011-12||Ironi Kiryat Shmona (1)||Hapoel Tel Aviv||Bnei Yehuda||Achmad Saba'a (Maccabi Netanya)||20||-|
|2012-13||Maccabi Tel Aviv (19)||Maccabi Haifa||Hapoel Tel Aviv||Eliran Atar (Maccabi Tel Aviv)||22||-|
|2013-14||Maccabi Tel Aviv (20)||Hapoel Be'er Sheva||Ironi Kiryat Shmona||Eran Zahavi (Maccabi Tel Aviv)||29||-|
|2014-15||Maccabi Tel Aviv (21)||Ironi Kiryat Shmona||Hapoel Be'er Sheva||Eran Zahavi (Maccabi Tel Aviv)||27||-|
|2015-16||Hapoel Be'er Sheva (3)||Maccabi Tel Aviv||Beitar Jerusalem||Eran Zahavi (Maccabi Tel Aviv)||35||-|
|2016-17||Hapoel Be'er Sheva (4)||Maccabi Tel Aviv||Beitar Jerusalem||Viðar Örn Kjartansson (Maccabi Tel Aviv)||19||-|
|2017-18||Hapoel Be'er Sheva (5)||Maccabi Tel Aviv||Beitar Jerusalem||Dia Saba (Maccabi Netanya)||24||-|
|2018-19||Maccabi Tel Aviv (22)||Maccabi Haifa||Hapoel Be'er Sheva||Ben Sahar (Hapoel Be'er Sheva)||15||-|
Since the past few seasons, the Big Four Dominance has been challenged by 3 successive championships for Hapoel Be'er Sheva.
|1999-2000||Assi Tubi||27||Maccabi Petah Tikva|
|2000-01||Avi Nimni||25||Maccabi Tel Aviv|
|2001-02||Kobi Refua||18||Maccabi Petah Tikva|
|2002-03||Yaniv Abargil||18||Hapoel Kfar Saba|
|Shay Holtzman||18||Ironi Rishon LeZion / FC Ashdod|
|2003-04||Ofir Haim||16||Hapoel Be'er Sheva|
|Shay Holtzman||16||FC Ashdod|
|2004-05||Roberto Colautti||19||Maccabi Haifa|
|2005-06||Shay Holtzman||18||FC Ashdod|
|2006-07||Yaniv Azran||15||FC Ashdod|
|2007-08||Samuel Yeboah||15||Hapoel Kfar Saba|
|2008-09||Barak Yitzhaki||14||Beitar Jerusalem|
|Shimon Abuhatzira||14||Hapoel Petah Tikva|
|Eliran Atar||14||Bnei Yehuda|
|2009-10||Shlomi Arbeitman||28||Maccabi Haifa|
|2010-11||Toto Tamuz||21||Hapoel Tel Aviv|
|2011-12||Ahmad Saba'a||20||Maccabi Netanya|
|2012-13||Eliran Atar||22||Maccabi Tel Aviv|
|2013-14||Eran Zahavi||29||Maccabi Tel Aviv|
|2014-15||Eran Zahavi||27||Maccabi Tel Aviv|
|2015-16||Eran Zahavi||35||Maccabi Tel Aviv|
|2016-17||Viðar Örn Kjartansson||19||Maccabi Tel Aviv|
|2017-18||Dia Saba||24||Maccabi Netanya|
|2018-19||Ben Sahar||15||Hapoel Be'er Sheva|
The All-time Israeli Premier League table is a cumulative record of all match results, points and goals of every team that has played in the Israeli Premier League since its inception in 1999. The table that follows is accurate as of the end of the 2018-19 season. Teams in green are part of the 2019-20 Israeli Premier League. Numbers in bold are the record (highest) numbers in each column.
|2||Maccabi Tel Aviv||20||700||365||167||168||1125||1.607||616||0.88||509||5||4||4||63.1|
|3||Hapoel Tel Aviv||19||652||303||186||163||980||1.503||644||0.988||336||1081[nb 3]||2||6||2||1||56.89|
|5||Maccabi Petah Tikva||19||648||229||186||233||740||1.157||781||1.205||-41||873[nb 5]||1||1||2||45.95|
|7||Hapoel Be'er Sheva||14||484||223||119||142||720||1.488||567||1.171||153||788||3||1||2||1||56.38|
|10||Bnei Sakhnin||15||510||155||152||213||524||1.027||664||1.302||-140||607[nb 6]||2||41.43|
|12||Ironi Kiryat Shmona||11||378||146||109||123||478||1.265||421||1.114||57||547||1||1||2||1||49.73|
|13||Hapoel Petah Tikva||13||448||135||115||198||548||1.223||678||1.513||-130||1||3||39.08|
|16||Hapoel Kfar Saba||7||237||56||76||105||237||1||349||1.473||-112||4||48.2|
|17||Hapoel Rishon LeZion||5||180||41||41||98||195||1.083||316||1.756||-121||164||2||32.8|
|18||Hapoel Nir Ramat HaSharon||3||106||32||23||51||97||0.9||154||1.5||-57||119||1||39.67|
|21||Hapoel Ramat Gan||3||103||19||29||55||95||0.922||161||1.563||-66||2||27.33|
|22||Hapoel Nazareth Illit||2||66||20||20||26||71||1.076||93||1.409||-22||80||1||40|
|24||Maccabi Ahi Nazareth||2||68||15||13||40||73||1.074||143||2.103||-70||2||27.5|
|26||Maccabi Kiryat Gat||1||33||7||6||20||34||1.03||58||1.758||-24||27||1||27|
|28||Hapoel Tzafririm Holon||1||38||4||4||30||25||0.658||85||2.237||-60||16||1||16|
|29||Sektzia Nes Tziona||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
League or status at 2019-20:
|1||Alon Mizrahi||Bnei Yehuda, Hapoel Tel Aviv, Maccabi Haifa, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Ironi Ashdod, Beitar Jerusalem, Hapoel Kfar Saba, Ahi Nazareth, Hapoel Be'er Sheva||1989-2005||206||404||0.51|
|2||Oded Machnes||Maccabi Netanya, Maccabi Petah Tikva, Maccabi Tel Aviv||1974-1990||196||385||0.51|
|3||Avi Nimni||Maccabi Tel Aviv, Beitar Jerusalem||1989-2008||194||429||0.45|
|4||Moshe Romano||Shimshon Tel Aviv, Beitar Tel Aviv||1965-1982||192||402||0.48|
|5||Shay Holtzman||Maccabi Netanya, Maccabi Haifa, Tzafririm Holon, Hapoel Be'er Sheva, Beitar Jerusalem, Hapoel Haifa, Maccabi Petah Tikva, Hapoel Rishon LeZion, F.C. Ashdod||1990-2009||169||474||0.36|
|6||Mordechai Spiegler||Maccabi Netanya, Hapoel Haifa||1963-1981||168||362||0.63|
|7||Uri Malmilian||Beitar Jerusalem, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Hapoel Be'er Sheva, Hapoel Kfar Saba||1973-1993||159||480||0.33|
|8||David Lavi||Maccabi Netanya, Beitar Tel Aviv||1973-1988||158||360||0.44|
|9||Nahum Stelmach||Hapoel Petah Tikva, Bnei Yehuda||1952-1970||155||367||0.42|
|10||Yehoshua Feigenbaum||Hapoel Tel Aviv, Shimshon Tel Aviv, Hapoel Jerusalem, Hapoel Ramat Gan, Hapoel Haifa||1964-1983||148||430||0.34|