Thai League

Thai League
Country Thailand Thailand
Confederation AFC
Founded 1996 (1996)
Number of teams 18
Level on pyramid 1
Relegation to Thai Division 1 League
Domestic cup(s) Thai FA Cup
Charity Cup
League cup(s) Thai League Cup
International cup(s) AFC Champions League
Mekong Club Championship
Current champions Muangthong United (4 titles)
Most championships Buriram United (5 titles)
TV partners True Visions
2017 season

The Thai League (Thai: ไทยลีก) is a Thai professional league for Football Association of Thailand clubs. At the top of the Thai football league system, it is the country's primary football competition. Contested by 18 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with Thai Division 1 League. The Thai League is a corporation in which the 18 member clubs act as shareholders. Seasons run from March to October, with teams playing 34 games each totaling 306 games in the season. It is sponsored by Toyota and therefore officially known as the Toyota Thai League. In the Thai League, most of the games are played during Saturdays and Sundays, with a few games played during the weekdays.



Before the inception of Thai League, the highest level of club football was the Kor Royal Cup (Thai: ถ้วย ก.) which was contested in a tournament format from 1916 to 1995.


Thai League was introduced in 1996 by the Football Association of Thailand (FAT) with the name of Thailand Soccer League. Eighteen clubs who earlier competed for the Kor Royal Cup were registered to play in the first edition of a double round-robin league system.[1] Thai Farmers Bank was crowded as the first champion of 1996–97 Thailand Soccer League.

The Thai League originally had 10 to 12 clubs each season until 2007, when it was expanded to 16 clubs. At the end of each season, three bottom placed clubs are relegated to the Thai Division 1 League.

Leagues intergration (2007)

Most of Thai League clubs in that time were the organization of government authorities club that based in Greater Bangkok and Metropolitan. Meanwhile, the other local clubs had competed in the semi-pro league called Provincial League. Thai Premier League faced the issue of low attendance and lack of local loyalties while the Provincial league suffered the financial issue. In 2007, Thai League was integrated with Provincial League completely. Chonburi from Provincial League was the first champion of the new Thailand Premier League in 2007 season.

Modern era (2009)

In 2009 season, there were significant changes the lead to the new era of Thai Premier League. Asian Football Confederation declared the regulations for the associations that have the intention to send the clubs to competed in AFC Champions League starting from 2011.[2] Football Association of Thailand had to establish Thai Premier League and forced the clubs in the top league to complete AFC Club License Criterea[3] otherwise Thai clubs will not eligible to play in the Champions League. Clubs were forced to separate themselves from the parent organizations and registered as the independent football authorities.

The massive changes occurred in that season. Thailand Premier League renamed to Thai Premier League. Two times league champion Krung Thai Bank failed to complete the new regulations. The organization decided to sell the club. The club was acquired by Boon Rawd and rebranded to be Bangkok Glass. Bangkok University had expelled their football club section. The club rebrand itself to Bangkok United since then. The organization-based clubs had to relocate to find the local supporters to backup the clubs. Osotspa changed their home stadium to Saraburi Province, TOT moved to play in Kanchanaburi, Royal Navy played in Rayong Province while Thailand Tobacco Monopoly integrated to Samut Sakhon Province and rebranded to TTM Samut Sakhon.

Muangthong United were promoted from Thai Division 1 League in that season and won Thai Premier League in their first year in the top league.

Thailand Clasico

Thailand Clasico or The Classic Match of Thailand is the matchup between Muangthong United and Chonburi. The name was given to the encounter of two teams due to the hype and massive atmosphere around the match. The first encounter between them happened in 2009 Thai Premier League season. On 30 May 2009, Chonburi that was regarded as the best club in Thailand at that moment hosted the new powerhouse who just promoted from Divison 1 Muangthong United. The match was played at Nong Prue Stadium, Pattaya. Before the match, Chonburi was the leader in the table after 10 matches of the season while Muangthong followed in second with one less point. Chonburi made the lead by 2–0 in the first thirty minutes but Muangthong bounced back to win by the 5–2 result at the end. The match was full of the exciting and dramatic moments. Then, it was considered as one of the most classic matches in Thai League history. Muangthong versus Chonburi matchup was dubbed as Thailand Clasico ever since then.

The first invincible

In 2012 season, Muangthong United under Serbian head coach Slaviša Jokanović, had become the first club in the league history that completed the season with an unbeatable record. Muangthong finished at the top of the final standing with 25 wins and 9 draws.

Buriram dominance

The Buriram Dominance refers to the 2013 to 2015 season, which Buriram United won Thai Premier League in three consecutive seasons as the first club in the league history. The three titles in that period included two invincible titles which Buriram United completed Thai Premier League campaign unbeaten in 2013 and 2015 season.


# Year Winners Runners-up
1 1996–97 Bangkok Bank Stock Exchange of Thailand
2 1997 Royal Thai Air Force Sinthana
3 1998 Sinthana Royal Thai Air Force
4 1999 Royal Thai Air Force Port Authority
5 2000 BEC Tero Sasana Royal Thai Air Force
6 2001–02 BEC Tero Sasana Osotspa M-150
7 2002–03 Krung Thai Bank BEC Tero Sasana
8 2003–04 Krung Thai Bank BEC Tero Sasana
9 2004–05 Tobacco Monopoly PEA
10 2006 Bangkok University Osotspa M-150
11 2007 Chonburi Krung Thai Bank
12 2008 PEA Chonburi
13 2009 Muangthong United Chonburi
14 2010 Muangthong United Buriram PEA
15 2011 Buriram PEA Chonburi
16 2012 Muangthong United Chonburi
17 2013 Buriram United Muangthong United
18 2014 Buriram United Chonburi
19 2015 Buriram United Muangthong United
20 2016 Muangthong United Bangkok United

Wins by club

Rank Club Wins Winning years
1 Buriram United
2008, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015
2 Muangthong United
2009, 2010, 2012, 2016
3 Air Force Central
1997, 1999
BEC Tero Sasana 2000, 2001–02
Krung Thai Bank 2002–03, 2003–04
6 Bangkok Bank
Bangkok United 2006
BBCU 1998
Chonburi 2007
TTM Customs 2004–05


BBCU, Chainat Hornbill and Army United were relegated to the 2017 Thai Division 1 League after finishing the 2016 season in the bottom three places.

They were replaced by Thai Honda Ladkrabang, Ubon UMT United and Port from Thai Division 1 League.

Stadiums and location (2016)

Team Province Stadium Capacity
Army United Bangkok Thai Army Sports Stadium 20,000
Bangkok Glass Pathumthani Leo Stadium 13,000
Bangkok United Pathumthani Thammasat Stadium 25,000
BBCU Nonthaburi Nonthaburi Youth Centre Stadium 6,000
BEC Tero Sasana Bangkok 72-years Anniversary Stadium 10,000
Buriram United Buriram New I-Mobile Stadium 32,600
Chainat Hornbill Chainat Chainat Stadium 12,000
Chiangrai United Chiangrai United Stadium of Chiangrai 15,000
Chonburi Chonburi Chonburi Stadium 8,500
Muangthong United Nonthaburi SCG Stadium 15,000
Nakhon Ratchasima Nakhon Ratchasima 80th Birthday Stadium 28,000
Navy Chonburi Sattahip Navy Stadium 12,500
Pattaya United Chonburi Nong Prue Stadium 5,000
Ratchaburi Ratchaburi Mitr Phol Stadium 13,000
Samut Sakhon City Power Samut Sakhon Samut Sakhon Province Stadium 3,500
Sisaket Sisaket Sri Nakhon Lamduan Stadium 10,000
Sukhothai Sukhothai Thalay Luang Stadium 8,000
Suphanburi Suphanburi Suphan Buri Provincial Stadium 25,000
Football clubs in Greater Bangkok

Stadiums (2016)

Army United Bangkok Glass Bangkok United BBCU BEC Tero Sasana Buriram United
Thai Army Sports Stadium Leo Stadium Thammasat Stadium Nonthaburi Youth Centre Stadium 72-years Anniversary Stadium New I-Mobile Stadium
Capacity: 20,000 Capacity: 13,000 Capacity: 25,000 Capacity: 6,000 Capacity: 10,000 Capacity: 32,600
Chainat Hornbill Chiangrai United Chonburi Muangthong United Nakhon Ratchasima Navy
Khao Plong Stadium United Stadium Chonburi Stadium SCG Stadium 80th Birthday Stadium Sattahip Navy Stadium
Capacity: 12,000 Capacity: 15,000 Capacity: 8,680 Capacity: 15,000 Capacity: 28,141 Capacity: 12,500
Super Power Samut Prakan Pattaya United Ratchaburi Sisaket Sukhothai Suphanburi
M Power Stadium Nong Prue Stadium Mitr Phol Stadium Sri Nakhon Lamduan Stadium Thalay Luang Stadium Suphan Buri Provincial Stadium
Capacity: 3,500 Capacity: 6,000 Capacity: 13,000 Capacity: 10,000 Capacity: 8,000 Capacity: 25,000


All-time top scorers

As of 25 September 2016
Thai League
Rank Player Period Goals Apps
1 Brazil Cleiton Silva 2010–2014, 2015– 117 178
2 Thailand Sarayuth Chaikamdee 2001–2004, 2007–2012, 2013–2014 101 233
3 Thailand Teerasil Dangda 2009–2014, 2015– 95 216
4 Thailand Pipob On-Mo 2006– 88 264
5 Ivory Coast Mohamed Koné 2003–2007, 2009, 2010–2014 87 177
6 Thailand Anon Sangsanoi 2006– 79 177
7 Republic of Macedonia Mario Gjurovski 2012– 71 150
8 Thailand Teeratep Winothai 2006–2008, 2009–2014, 2016– 65 232
East Timor Heberty 2014–2016 65 90
10 Thailand Wuttichai Tathong 2008–2015 63 185

Figures for active players (in bold) .

Most appearances

As of 25 September 2016
Rank Player Position Apps Goals
1 Thailand Rangsan Viwatchaichok MF 376 43
2 Thailand Sinthaweechai Hathairattanakool GK 353 1
3 Thailand Siwarak Tedsungnoen GK 336 0
4 Thailand Nattaporn Phanrit DF 335 19
5 Thailand Pichitphong Choeichiu MF 324 62
6 Thailand Narit Taweekul GK 315 1
7 Thailand Pipob On-Mo FW 265 88
8 Thailand Apichet Puttan DF 262 7
9 Thailand Kittisak Rawangpa GK 254 0
10 Thailand Jetsada Jitsawad DF 253 4

Figures for active players (in bold) .

Player statistics


Prize money


Top scorers

Thai League
Season Top scorer Club Goals
2016 Brazil Cleiton Silva Muangthong United 27
2015 Brazil Diogo Luís Santo Buriram United 33
2014 East Timor Heberty Fernandes Ratchaburi Mitr Phol 26
2013 Spain Carmelo González Buriram United 23
2012 Thailand Teerasil Dangda
Brazil Cleiton Silva
Muangthong United
BEC Tero Sasana
2011 Cameroon Frank Ohandza Buriram PEA 19
2010 Cameroon Kengne Ludovick Pattaya United 17
2009 Thailand Anon Sangsanoi BEC Tero Sasana 18
2008 Thailand Anon Sangsanoi BEC Tero Sasana 20
2007 Brazil Ney Fabiano de Oliveira Thailand Tobacco Monopoly 18
2006 Thailand Pipat Thonkanya BEC Tero Sasana 12
2004–05 Thailand Supakit Jinajai
Thailand Sarayoot Chaikamdee
Provincial Electricity Authority
Port Authority of Thailand
2003–04 Thailand Vimol Jankam Osotsapa 14
2002–03 Thailand Sarayoot Chaikamdee Port Authority of Thailand 12
2001–02 Thailand Worrawoot Srimaka
Thailand Pitipong Kuldilok
BEC Tero Sasana
Port Authority of Thailand
2000 Thailand Sutee Suksomkit Thai Farmer Bank 16
1999 Thailand Sutee Suksomkit Thai Farmer Bank 13
1998 Thailand Ronnachai Sayomchai Port Authority of Thailand 23
1997 Thailand Worrawoot Srimaka BEC Tero Sasana 17
1996–97 Thailand Amporn Amparnsuwan TOT 21

Coach of the Year

Season Coach Club
2015 Brazil Alexandre Gama Buriram United
2014 Japan Masahiro Wada Chonburi
2013 Thailand Attaphol Buspakom Bangkok Glass
2012 Serbia Slaviša Jokanović Muangthong United
2011 Thailand Chalermwoot Sa-ngapol Pattaya United
2010 Belgium René Desaeyere Muangthong United
2009 Thailand Attaphol Buspakom Muangthong United
2008 Thailand Prapol Pongpanich Provincial Electricity Authority
2007 Thailand Jadet Meelarp Chonburi
2006 Thailand Somchai Subpherm Bangkok University
2004–05 Brazil José Alves Borges Thailand Tobacco Monopoly
2003–04 Thailand Worrawoot Dangsamer Krung Thai Bank
2002–03 Thailand Narong Suwannachot Krung Thai Bank
2001–02 Thailand Attaphol Buspakom BEC Tero Sasana
2000 Thailand Pichai Pituwong BEC Tero Sasana
1999 Thailand Piyapong Piew-on Royal Thai Air Force
1998 Thailand Karoon Narksawat Sinthana
1997 Thailand Piyapong Piew-on Royal Thai Air Force
1996–97 Thailand Withaya Laohakul Bangkok Bank

Player of the Year

Season Player Club
2015 Brazil Diogo Luís Santo Buriram United
2014 Thailand Suchao Nutnum Buriram United
2013 Thailand Theeraton Bunmathan Buriram United
2012 Thailand Teerasil Dangda Muangthong United
2011 Thailand Sinthaweechai Hathairattanakool Chonburi
2010 Thailand Datsakorn Thonglao Muangthong United
2009 Thailand Jetsada Jitsawad (Defender)
Thailand Kittipol Paphunga (Midfielder)
Thailand Pipat Thonkanya (Striker)
Muangthong United
BEC Tero Sasana
Thai Port
2008 Thailand Narongchai Vachiraban Provincial Electricity Authority
2007 Thailand Pipob On-Mo Chonburi
2006 Thailand Punnarat Klinsukon Bangkok University
2004–05 Brazil José Carlos da Silva Thailand Tobacco Monopoly
2003–04 Thailand Pichitphong Choeichiu Krung Thai Bank
2002–03 Thailand Cumpee Pintrakul Bangkok Bank
2001–02 Thailand Apichad Thaveechalermdit Bangkok Bank
2000 Thailand Anurak Srikerd BEC Tero Sasana
1998 Thailand Niweat Siriwong Sinthana
1997 Thailand Seksan Piturat Sinthana
1996–97 Thailand Amporn Amparnsuwan TOT

Competition format and sponsorship


There are 18 clubs in the Thai League. During the course of a season, which lasts from March to October, each club plays the others twice, once at their home stadium and once at that of their opponents, for a total of 34 games. Teams receive three points for a win and one point for a draw. No points are awarded for a loss. Teams are ranked by total points, then head-to-head, then goal difference, and then goals scored. At the end of each season, the club with the most points is crowned champion. If points are equal, the head-to-head, the goal difference and then goals scored determine the winner. If still equal, teams are deemed to occupy the same position. If there is a tie for the championship, for relegation, or for qualification to other competitions, a play-off match at a neutral venue decides rank. The three lowest placed teams are relegated into the Thai Division 1 League and the top three teams from the Division 1 League are promoted in their place.

Qualification for Asian competitions

In the past the champions will play in AFC Champions League playoffs and AFC Cup for the champions of Thai FA Cup. Due to reforms from the AFC for the AFC Champions League and AFC Cup format, there will be no more a direct qualification spot for the AFC Champions League for that Thai Champion, for the time being.[4] From 2012 Thai clubs has 1 automatic spot to the group stage and 1 playoff spot for the Thai FA Cup Winners and 1 playoff spot for the thai league runner-up.

Thai League All-Star Exhibition game


The Thai League has been sponsored since 1996 until 2003 and has been sponsored again since 2010. 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:

Match balls

The 2016–2020 season uses the Grand Sport.

Former Thai League teams

Youth League

Like the reserve league, the youth league is open to all the youth teams of all professional clubs in Thailand.

See also


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