Followers of the Champions League may well have heard the phrase “The Swiss Model” which is the format the competition has decided to adopt for next season 2024/25.  So how does the Swiss football league work?  This article will make sense of it all.


Champions League adopt Swiss Model

The Champions League format will be bigger of course, with 36 teams taking part and each team will be drawn to play eight matches, half at home and half away.  The fixtures will still be drawn using a ranking process of four pots, with every team drawing two opponents from each pot which will see eight different opponents of different levels.

Following the eight matches, the top eight teams will qualify for the Round of 16.  The teams from 9th to 24th will compete in two-legged matches to reach the group of 16.  Teams from 25th to 36th will be eliminated.  The format from this stage of the competition has not changed.


The Swiss Super League Format History

The current version of the Swiss Super League has not been in place for long.   As recent as 2022, after many years of rejection, the league expanded from 10 teams to 12.

Simultaneously, it was voted that the original format would change with the league format changing to three stages.  That would start with 22 rounds of matches.  The 12 teams would at that stage be split between the top 6 and bottom 6 playing ten rounds of matches.  Then the top two would play a best of three Championship Final.

However by October 2022 over 60,000 fan signatures plus an appeal by champions FC Zurich, supported by Young Boys, saw this decision overturned (although 12 clubs would remain). The new proposal was to adopt a “Scottish Model” and implemented immediately for the current season.


Swiss Super League Format for 2023/24

The Swiss Super League comprises of 12 teams and works as follows:

  • Each team plays all other teams three times, creating 33 match days
  • After 33 matches the top 6 join the “Championship Group” and the bottom six enter the “Relegation Group”
  • Each team plays the other five teams once. (Matchdays 34-38)
  • The teams carry their existing points (from the first 33 matches) into the new group.
  • The final league positions dictate the winners, qualifications for Europe and relegation.


Swiss Super League Format

List of Swiss Super League Winners

Which teams have won the Swiss Super League?  Here is a list since 20023.

2003-04  FC Basel

2004-05  FC Basel

2005-06  FC Zurich

2006-07  FC Zurich

2007-08  FC Basel

2008-09  FC Zurich

2009-10  FC Basel

2010-11  FC Basel

2011-12  FC Basel

2012-13  FC Basel

2013-14  FC Basel

2014-15  FC Basel

2015-16  FC Basel

2016-17  FC Basel

2017-18  Young Boys

2018-19  Young Boys

2019-20  Young Boys

2020-21  Young Boys

2021-22  FC Zurich

2022-23  Young Boys