Shanghai Premier League aims to provide football competitions in Shanghai that are Fun, Fair and Friendly in spirit.
The SPL was founded in 2002. At that time there was only one International Men’s League in Shanghai, however the location of the fields was far away in Tianma and the long travel time, especially for players living in Pudong, was a concern.
With the fast development of Pudong and many more foreigners deciding to work and live in Pudong, we thought it was the right time to start a Sunday League in Pudong. Luckily we found the best location in a place called “Green City” in Jinqiao – Pudong. A new development from the Golden Bridge Company, a local government cooperation, whose aim it was to convert Green City in to a foreign hub within Shanghai where the foreigners would feel at home at any time. It is for this reason they developed an area with Foreign Schools like Dulwich International School, Super markets, Bars, Restaurants, Mega Fitness Centre, American Style housing and even Hospitals specialized for foreigners. Obvious that a Football League would be a nice fit here!
We play on the school field with real grass and well maintained by the Grass master himself. One of the best pitches in Shanghai. There are many bars and restaurants around the field who are sponsoring one of our teams, like Latina, Hard Days Night, Big Bamboo, Pistolera Bulls and others. We have been growing over the years and currently we have 10 teams of 11-a-side each competing every Sunday from October until June. Most teams are representing different countries and come from different cultural backgrounds. We have two Japanese teams, two Chinese teams, a French team, two British teams, a Spanish/Belgium team, and two other mixed teams. With so many different cultures we are proud to call ourselves the “United Nations of Football”!
The principles of the SPL are the 4 F’s :Football Competition Friendship Fair Play Fun. As we have expanded our league over the years we are now making use of the facilities of the Shanghai Rugby and Football Club at Waigaoxiao as well. We want to continue to expand our league with more teams as there are more foreigners coming to China every year. By doing so the competition level will increase, which will be even more interesting for Players, Supporters and Sponsors!
We have organized together with the Goldenbridge company a very successful "mini-world cup" during the FIFA world cup 2006 which was broadcast on national TV in China and appeared in several magazines throughout Asia. We also organized other events like the Santa-Cups and End of the season Tournaments and Parties.
We hope in the future more players and supporters and sponsors can enjoy and share this unique feeling of being part of "The United Nations" and the best International Football league in China !
Freek Boelen / SPL President