Superliga or Alka Superliga as it’s called after the general sponsors was founded in 1991 and is one the younger leagues in Europe with a stable growth and an emphasis on player development.
Football is Denmark’s national sport and currently there are 356,754 players and 1,635 clubs registered. The league has lots of talent and the current average age of players is 24,6 years.
Season in Denmark starts mid July and ends at the end of May the following year which means players don’t get a lot of time off between seasons but they do get a winter break that lasts from the start of December to the end of February. There are 12 teams competing in the league and they play each other three times which accounts for 33 rounds. The championship works with a standard relegation system although the last two teams are directly relegated to the second division which makes for one of the highest chances of relegation in Europe. Winners of the Superliga enter the UEFA Champions League in the third qualifying round while runner-ups and third-placed enter 2nd and 1st qualifying round for the UEFA Europa League. Additionally, winners of the Danish Cup qualify for the UEFA Europa League in the 1st qualifying round.
Number of teams: 12
Level on the pyramid: 1
Domestic cup: Danish Cup
International cup: UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League
Current champions: FC Midtjylland
Transfer window: 15th June – 31st August and 5th January – 1st February
Season duration: 17th July – 6th December and 27th February – 30th May
Number of allowed foreign players per team: Unlimited*
Average stadium attendances: 6881
FC København is the most successful team in the league’s history with 10 trophies, followed by Brøndby IF which have 6 trophies to their name. Last years champions FC Midtjylland made history as they have won the league for the first time and are making waves around Europe with their statistical approach to the game. It’s a thouroghly fascinating story where the men in charge of the club put faith in data and spend hours and hours working on set-pieces which account for the half of the goals scored in their league winning campaign. You can read more about their story here.
There are 87 foreign players in the league currently which accounts for almost 30% of all players and is not that much if we consider the fact that Superliga has no limit of foreign players allowed per team or per match squad. However, they have a registration system in place similar to the Premier league where the maximum size of the squad is 25 players out of which 4 players have to have trained 3 years at the club before they’ve reached their 21st birthday and another 4 players that have trained in the nation for 3 years before their 21st birthday. As mentioned, Premier League has the same registration system but the number of foreigners there is much higher and accounts for almost 70% of all players, which is primarily down to the clubs’ resources.
Superliga has two transfer windows through the year with the summer one lasting from 15th June to 31st August and the shorter one in winter from 5th January to February 1st. Most of the transfer arrivals to the league this season happened locally as 23 players joined the first division clubs from the second Danish division named Bet25Liga. Nine players changed clubs in the league while 4 players came from the Dutch first division Eredivisie and Belgian Jupiler Pro League. Similar to arrivals, 25 players left the league for the second division, while the English Championship, Russian Premier Liga and Jupiler Pro league all got three players the Superliga.
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