- Russian Premier League
Infobox football league
pixels = 150
country = Russia
confed = UEFA|
teams = 16
Russian First Division
levels = 1|
confed_cup = Champions League
FC Zenit Saint Petersburg
season = 2007|
most successful club =
FC Spartak Moscow(9 titles)*|
website = http://www.rfpl.org
current = 2008 season
* Incl. Rus. Top League and Rus. Top Division titlesThe Russian Premier League (also known as Rosgosstrakh Championship of Russia) is the top division of
Russian football. There are 16 teams in the competition. At the end of the season two teams get relegated to the Russian First Divisionand get replaced with the two top First Division teams.
The Russian Premier League was organized in
2001and succeeded the "Top Division", the difference being that the Top Division was run by the Professional Football League of Russia, and the creation of the Premier League gave the clubs a greater degree of independence.
Zenit Saint Petersburg are the current Russian Premier League champions.
After the break-up of the
Soviet Union, starting in 1992, each former Soviet republic organized an independent national championship. In Russia, the 6 Russian teams who had played in the Soviet Top Leaguein 1991 (CSKA Moscow, Spartak Moscow, Torpedo Moscow, Dinamo Moscow, Spartak Vladikavkaz, and Lokomotiv Moscow) were supplemented with 14 teams from lower divisions to organize 20-team Russian Top Division. The Top Division was further divided into two groups to reduce the total number of matches. The number of teams in the Top Division was gradually reduced to 18 in 1993 and 16 in 1994. Since then, the Russian Top Division (and subsequently the Premier League) has consisted of 16 teams, except for a short-lived experiment with having two more teams in 1996 and 1997.
Spartak Moscow was the dominant force in the Top Division, winning 9 of the first 10 titles. Spartak-Alania Vladikavkaz was the only team which managed to break Spartak's dominance, winning the Top Division title in
In 2007, Zenit Saint Petersburg climbed to the top. Zenit won the title for the first time. They also won a Soviet title in 1984.
Each team in the league plays each opponent twice, one home and once away, for a total of 30 matches. Three points are awarded for a win, one for a draw, and none for a loss. If the teams are level on points, the tie-breakers are the number of wins, then the goal difference, followed by several others. If the teams are tied for the first position, the tie-breakers are the number of wins, then head-to-head results. If the teams tied for the first place cannot be separated by these tie-breakers, the championship play-off is ordered.
As of 2007, the champions qualify for the
UEFA Champions League, and the runners-up for the Champions League qualification. Teams that finished 3rd , 4th or 5th qualify for the UEFA Cupqualification. Two bottom teams are relegated to the First Division.
Unlike other European football leagues, the league typically runs in summer, from March to November, to avoid playing games under the cold and snowy weather in winter.
In the 2008 season the Russian Premier League consists of the following teams:
#For clubs that have been renamed, their name at the time of their most recent season in the Premier League is given. The current members are listed in bold.
#Includes championship play-offs.
#For the purposes of this table, each win is worth 3 points. The three-points system was adopted in 1995.
#KAMAZ-Chally were deducted 6 points in 1997.
#Terek were deducted 6 points in 2005.
Players with most appearances
25 August 2008[http://www.championat.ru/football/article-24739.html]
All-time top scorers
4 September 2008[http://bombarder.narod.ru/01.htm]
Football in Russia
Soviet Top League
Sports league attendances
* [http://www.rfpl.org/ Official website]
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