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Swiss Football League to vote on 12-team league after Scottish Premiership analysis

FC Zurich fans (Photo by Valeriano Di Domenico/Getty Images)

The Swiss Football League is to vote in March on a proposal to expand Switzerland’s top-tier Super League from 10 to 12 clubs.

Representatives of clubs from Switzerland’s top two leagues met yesterday (Monday) in Bern and the majority expressed their backing for the addition of two teams to the top flight.

A 12-team top flight would need to be approved at the SFL’s general assembly in the middle of March. During the intervening period, a detailed analysis is to be carried out of the 12-team model that has been in place in Scotland since 2000-01.

The 38-match Scottish Premiership season involves a split after 33 match days – after each team has played each other three times – as teams are divided into a top six and bottom six. Clubs then play an additional five matches in their respective section in order to decide the league winners, European qualification and relegation.

The existing Super League structure will remain in place if the 12-team plan fails to receive the necessary majority backing.

The 10 top-tier sides currently play each other four times per season, creating a total of 36 league fixtures each.

An expansion to 12 teams was considered by the SFL in 2017 but failed to receive the necessary approval. The Dutch consultancy Hypercube was mandated then to review the Swiss league structure and, following a feasibility study, a 12-team league with a split after 22 matches was proposed. The reintroduction of promotion and relegation play-offs was also proposed at the time, but ultimately not implemented.

The potential restructuring of the Super League comes ahead of an invitation to tender this year for the domestic media rights from 2021-22 onwards.

Pay-television broadcaster Teleclub holds live rights to all matches from 2017-18 to 2020-21 in a deal worth just over CHF30m (€28m/$31m) per year that also includes rights to the second-tier Challenge League. Teleclub sublicenses public broadcaster SRG SSR non-exclusive live rights to 36 weekly Sunday matches per season from the top tier.