OriginsThailand has had league-football competition since 1916. Before the inception of the Thai League, the highest level of club football was the semi-professional league Kor Royal Cup ( th, ถ้วย ก.) which was contested in a tournament format from 1916 to 1995.
FoundationThai League was introduced in 1996 by the Football Association of Thailand (FAT) under the name 1996–97 Thailand Soccer League, 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. Thai Farmers Bank F.C., Thai Farmers Bank was crowned as the first champion of the 1996–97 Thailand Soccer League. The Thai League originally had 10 to 12 clubs each season until Thai Premier League 2007, 2007, when it was expanded to 16 clubs. At the end of each season, the three bottom placed clubs are relegated to the Thai Division 1 League.
Leagues integration (2007)Most of Thai League clubs in that time were the organisation of government authorities club that based in Greater Bangkok and Metropolitan. Meanwhile, the other local clubs had competed in the semi-pro league called the 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 Thai Premier League 2007, 2007, Thai League was integrated with Provincial League completely. Chonburi F.C., Chonburi from the Provincial League was the first champion of the new Thailand Premier League in Thai Premier League 2007, 2007 season.
Modern era (2009)In 2009 Thai Premier League, 2009 season, there were significant changes in the lead to the new era of the Thai Premier League. Asian Football Confederation declared the regulations for the associations that have the intention to send the clubs to compete in AFC Champions League starting from 2011. Football Association of Thailand had to establish Thai Premier League co.ltd and forced the clubs in the top league to complete AFC Club License Criteria otherwise Thai clubs will not eligible to play in the Champions League. Clubs were forced to separate themselves from the parent organisations 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 F.C., Krung Thai Bank failed to complete the new regulations. The organisation decided to sell the club. The club was acquired by Boon Rawd Brewery, Boon Rawd and rebranded to be Bangkok Glass F.C., Bangkok Glass. Bangkok University had expelled their football club section. The club rebrand itself to Bangkok United F.C., Bangkok United since then. The organisation-based clubs had to relocate to find the local supporters to backup the clubs. Osotspa F.C., Osotspa changed their home stadium to Saraburi Province, TOT F.C., TOT moved to play in Kanchanaburi Province, Kanchanaburi, Royal Thai Navy F.C., Royal Navy played in Rayong Province while TTM Customs F.C., Thailand Tobacco Monopoly integrated to Samut Sakhon Province and rebranded to TTM Samut Sakhon. Muangthong United F.C., 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 ClasicoThailand Clasico or The Classic Match of Thailand is the matchup between Muangthong United F.C., Muangthong United and Chonburi F.C., Chonburi. It is the matchup that presents Thai football in the modern era. 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 the 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 were just promoted from Division 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 one of the most classic matches in Thai League history. The Muangthong versus Chonburi matchup was dubbed as "Thailand Clasico" ever since then.
The first invincibleIn 2012 Thai Premier League, 2012 season, Muangthong United F.C., Muangthong United under Serbs, Serbian head coach Slaviša Jokanović, had become the first club in the league history that completed the season with an unbeaten record. Muangthong finished at the top of the final standing with 25 wins and 9 draws.
Buriram dominanceThe Buriram Dominance refers to the 2013 to 2015 season, which Buriram United F.C., 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 Thai Premier League, 2013 and 2015 Thai Premier League, 2015 season.
Rebranding (2017)In 2017, Football Association of Thailand decided to rebrand Thai Premier League into Thai League 1. Since its inception in 1996 the Thai Premier League has relied upon local sponsorship. Re-branding initiatives seek to foster an international identity for the Thai and elevate the league globally through commitment to world class level management and marketing which incorporates multifaceted promotion through various media in order to draw attention to league competition and cups. This rebranding earned the Good Design Award in the Brand Identity branch from the Japan Institute of Design Promotion.
Wins by club
The InvinciblesUnbeatable champions: * Muangthong United F.C., Muangthong United in 2012 Thai Premier League, 2012 * Buriram United F.C., Buriram United in 2013 Thai Premier League, 2013 and 2015 Thai Premier League, 2015
ClubsThere are 16 clubs in the league, with three promoted teams from Thai League 2 replacing the three teams that were relegated from the 2020-21 Thai League 1, 2020-21 season. Sukhothai F.C., Sukhothai, Trat F.C., Trat and Rayong F.C., Rayong were relegated at the end of the 2020–21 season after finishing in the bottom three places of the table. They were replaced by 2020-21 Thai League 2 champions Nongbua Pitchaya F.C., Nongbua Pitchaya. They were joined by runners-up Chiangmai United F.C., Chiangmai United, who also got promoted for the first time, and Khon Kaen United F.C., Khon Kaen United, promotion playoff winner which was first held in 2020–21 season.
Stadiums and location (2021–22):''Note: Table lists in alphabetical order.''
All-time top scorersFigures for active players (in bold).
Most appearancesFigures for active players (in bold) .
Player statistics* Youngest player: Suphanat Mueanta (Buriram United F.C., Buriram United) – 15 years, 8 months and 22 days (25 April 2018, Buriram United F.C., Buriram United 2–1 Nakhon Ratchasima F.C., Nakhon Ratchasima, 2018 Thai League 1) * Oldest player: Somchai Subpherm (TOT S.C., TOT) – 51 years, 7 months and 25 days (3 November 2013, Buriram United F.C., Buriram United 2–1 TOT S.C., TOT, 2013 Thai Premier League) * Youngest scorer: Suphanat Mueanta (Buriram United F.C., Buriram United) – 15 years, 9 months and 25 days (26 May 2018, Buriram United F.C., Buriram United 5–0 Air Force Central F.C., Air Force Central, 2018 Thai League 1) * Oldest scorer: Therdsak Chaiman (Chonburi F.C., Chonburi) – 40 years, 8 months and 24 days (2 June 2014, TOT SC, TOT 1–1 Chonburi F.C., Chonburi, 2014 Thai Premier League) * Fastest scorer: Nirut Kamsawad (Port Authority of Thailand FC, Port Authority) – 9 seconds (2001–02 Thai League) * Most consecutive matches scored: 10 games – Diogo Luís Santo (Buriram United F.C., Buriram United) (24 September 2017 – 2 March 2018, 2018 Thai League 1) * Most consecutive unconceded matches: 6 games ** Siwarak Tedsungnoen (Buriram United F.C., Buriram United, 2014 Thai Premier League, 2014) ** Kawin Thamsatchanan (Muangthong United F.C., Muangthong United, 2016 Thai League, 2016) ** Kawin Thamsatchanan (Muangthong United F.C., Muangthong United, 2017 Thai League, 2017) * All-time most clean sheets: 815 minutes – Siwarak Tedsungnoen * Most goals in a season: 38 goals – Dragan Bošković (Bangkok United F.C., Bangkok United, 2017 Thai League T1, 2017) * Most assists in a season: 19 assists – Theerathon Bunmathan (Buriram United F.C., Buriram United, 2015 Thai Premier League, 2015) * Most titles won: 7 times – Jakkaphan Kaewprom * Most seasons appeared: 19 seasons – Amnaj Kaewkiew (1996–2014) * All-time record for highest football transfer fee Thai players: 50 million baht – Tanaboon Kesarat (2017), Worachit Kanitsribampen (2021)
Prize money* Champion: 10,000,000 Baht * Runner-up: 2,000,000 * Third place: 1,500,000 * Fourth place: 800,000
Trophy* 2011 – 2016 trophy: In 2010, Football Association of Thailand and Thai Premier League Co. Ltd considered to improve the image of Thai Premier League Trophy. The trophy itself was designed by Glue Creative from England and produced by British Silverware of Sheffield. The trophy was crafted by silver with the European style of a crown. Three divas are holding up the trophy and three golden elephants are standing on the base. The trophy is 75 cm tall and weighs more than 30 kg. The production used 250-man hours of work and the finished trophy worth 2 million baht. * 2017 – current trophy: In 2017, Football Association of Thailand order the trophy produced from England that was created by Royal Jewellers Garrard & Co, Asprey of London to be new champions trophy. The trophy reflecting Thai identity by the use of Kranok pattern mixed with modern pattern and sculpt it pieces by piece.
Player of the Year
Young Player of the Year
Coach of the Year
Competition format and sponsorship
CompetitionThere are 18 clubs in the Thai League. During the course of a season, which lasts from February 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 League 2 and the top three teams from the Thai League 2 are promoted in their place.
Qualification for Asian competitionsIn 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 Asian Football Confederation, 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. 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.
RankingAs of 20 October 2018
Thai League All-Star Exhibition game
SponsorshipThe 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: * 1996–1997: Johnnie Walker (Johnnie Walker Thailand Soccer League) * 1998–2000: Caltex (Caltex Premier League) * 2001–2003: Advanced Info Service (GSM Thai League) * 2003–2005: ''None'' (Thai League) * 2006–2008: ''None'' (Thailand Premier League) * 2009: ''None'' (Thai Premier League) * 2010–2012: Sponsor (Sponsor Thai Premier League) * 2013–present: Toyota (Toyota Thai Premier League in 2013–2015, Toyota Thai League in 2016–2020-21, Toyota Hilux, Hilux Revo Thai League in 2021-22–present)
Match ballsThe 2021–2028 season uses the Molten Corporation, Molten.
Youth LeagueLike the reserve league, the youth league is open to all the youth teams of all professional clubs in Thailand.
Other tournaments;Domestic tournaments * Thai FA Cup, Chang FA Cup (1975–2001, 2009–present) * Thailand Champions Cup (as Kor Royal Cup 1996–2016) (2017–present) * Thai League Cup, Toyota League Cup (1987–1994, 2010–present) ;International tournaments * AFC Champions League (1967–1971, 1985–present) * AFC Cup (2007, 2009–2012) * ASEAN Club Championship (2003–2005, 2020–present) ;Defunct tournaments * Kor Royal Cup (1916–2016) * Khǒr Royal Cup (1916–2015) * Khor Royal Cup (1962–2015) * Ngor Royal Cup (1962–2015) * Toyota Premier Cup (2011–2017) * Mekong Club Championship (2015–2017)
Asia Football / Soccer Clubs Ranking
See also* Football records in Thailand * List of Thai League 1 players * List of Thai League 1 managers * List of foreign Thai League 1 players * List of foreign Thai League 1 managers