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Title: Mestaruussarja  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Oulu, Jari Litmanen, Ässät, Veikkausliiga, Ykkönen, Keith Armstrong (footballer), Vaasan Palloseura, Mixu Paatelainen, 1989 in association football, Glyn Hodges
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Mestaruussarja (Championship series) was the top division of Finnish football from 1930 to 1989. It was replaced by Veikkausliiga in 1990.

In 1930 league format was used for the first time to decide Finnish champion. Before that from 1908 to 1929 the championship was decided with cup competition. The league was dominated by clubs from Helsinki, Turku and Vyborg. The first champion was HIFK from Helsinki. In 1935 four best clubs were from Helsinki and in 1934 and 1936 top three clubs also came from Helsinki. From 1908 to 1940 the championship went outside of Helsinki on only six occasions. Kuopio was the first inland city to get into the league when Pallotoverit were promoted in 1938. During World War I years the league was sometimes cut short, abandoned or decided with cup competition instead. In 1940s TUL clubs also participated.

The last Mestaruussarja season was 1989 and FC Kuusysi was crowned as the last champions. The new top level division was at first called SM-liiga and later renamed as Veikkausliiga.

Mestaruussarja consisted of 8 clubs when it was founded. It was later expanded to ten and at the time of dissolution league had 12 clubs. The league's popularity peaked in 1960s. Ten HJK matches between 1964 and 1969 had more than 10,000 spectators. The highest attendance was 17,293 between HJK and FC Haka in 1965. Highest average attendance was 3,071 in 1967, a figure that is yet to be beaten by current Veikkausliiga.


Top scorers

Season Player Club Goals
1930 Holger Salin HIFK 9
Olof Strömsten Kiffen
1931 Holger Salin HIFK 11
1932 Lauri Lehtinen TPS 13
1933 Olof Strömsten HIFK 18
1934 Olof Strömsten HIFK 15
1935 Aatos Lehtonen HJK 13
Nuutti Lintamo VPS
1936 Aatos Lehtonen HJK 14
1937 Aatos Lehtonen HJK 25
1938 Aatos Lehtonen HJK 14
1939 Aatos Lehtonen HJK 15
1941 Jussi Valtonen TPS 14
1944 Urho Teräs TPS 9
Leo Turunen Sudet
1948 Stig-Göran Myntti VIFK 15
1949 Yrjö Asikainen Ilves-Kissat 20
Kaimo Lintamo VPS
1950 Yrjö Asikainen Ilves-Kissat 15
Jorma Saarinen VPS
1951 Åke Forsberg Kiffen 16
1952 Mauri Vanhanen KTP 16
1953 Rainer Forss Pyrkivä 15
1954 Eino Koskinen TuTo 16
1955 Yrjö Asikainen Kiffen 12
1956 Pentti Styck HJK 20
1957 Matti Sundelin TPS 21
1958 Kalevi Lehtovirta TPS 17
Kai Pahlman HPS
1959 Matti Sundelin TPS 21
1960 Matti Sundelin TPS 30
1961 Kai Pahlman HPS 20
1962 Tor Österlund HIK 22
1963 Juha Lyytikäinen HIFK 16
1964 Arto Tolsa KTP 26
1965 Kai Pahlman HJK 22
1966 Markku Hyvärinen KuPS 16
1967 Tommy Lindholm TPS 22
1968 Tommy Lindholm TPS 23
1969 Hannu Lamberg KPV 18
Pekka Talaslahti HJK
1970 Matti Paatelainen HIFK 20
1971 Pentti Toivola MP 17
1972 Matti Paatelainen HIFK 16
Heikki Suhonen TPS
1973 Hannu Lamberg KPV 13
1974 Erkki Salo TPS 17
1975 Reijo Rantanen MiPK 16
1976 Matti Paatelainen Haka 17
1977 Matti Paatelainen Haka 20
1978 Atik Ismail HJK 20
1979 Atik Ismail HJK 15
Heikki Suhonen TPS
1980 Hannu Rajaniemi Sepsi-78 19
1981 Juhani Himanka OPS 22
1982 Atik Ismail HJK 19
1983 Mika Lipponen TPS 22
1984 Mika Lipponen TPS 25
1985 Ismo Lius Kuusysi 19
1986 Ismo Lius Kuusysi 13
Jari Niinimäki Ilves
1987 Ari Hjelm Ilves 20
1988 Ismo Lius Kuusysi 22
1989 Ismo Lius Kuusysi 15

External links

  • Finland - List of League First Level Tables at RSSSF
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