Domestic sales process can begin as Super League expansion categorically ruled out
Swiss soccer clubs today emphatically rejected a proposal to expand the top-flight Super League, enabling an invitation to tender for domestic broadcast rights from 2021-22 to be issued in due course.
A vote over expansion took place at the Swiss Football League extraordinary general assembly in Bern, where one representative from each of the 20 clubs in the top two divisions also approved the resumption of the coronavirus-impacted 2019-20 season.
It means the second-tier Challenge League will restart on 19 June, followed by the Super League a day later. All matches will be played behind closed doors.
The resumption of Swiss soccer was the first vote of the day, the second being a proposal put forward by FC Lausanne-Sport (pictured), of the Challenge League, to revisit a plan to expand the Super League from 10 teams to 12.
Last month, the SFL conducted a postal vote of all 20 clubs, with the outcome being that 10 clubs voted in favour of expansion and 10 voted against.
Under the SFL's statutes, a two-thirds majority is required to enforce change.
Undeterred Lausanne-Sport put the issue back on the agenda today. Having been first promoted to the Super League in 2011, the club has spent five of the past nine seasons in the top flight, and four in the second tier, and would no doubt benefit most from an expanded elite.
However, the club's proposal was rejected by 14 votes to five, with one abstention.
That should signal the start of the domestic broadcast sales process for the next cycle.
Rights to the Super League and Challenge League from 2017-18 to 2020-21 are held by Teleclub, the pay-TV operator, in a deal worth around SFr32 million ($32.9 million) per season. The figure rises to SFr40 million per season when international media rights (Sportfive) and sponsorship rights (InfrontRingier) deals are taken into account.