New Zealand Premier Bitcoin Sports Betting

The NZFC or New Zealand Football Championship is the top tier professional/semi-professional football league in New Zealand. Founded in 2004, there are 10 active clubs in the division competing for premierships. If you are a fan of the league, bet on teams like Auckland City with your Bitcoins and use the provided betting odds below for the next NZ Premier.

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The New Zealand Football Championship, known for sponsorship reasons as ISPS Handa Premiership and commonly abbreviated as NZFC or IHP, is New Zealand’s premier football league tournament.

It was founded in 2004 to replace the National League. Unlike its predecessor, this tournament does not interfere with the winter regional leagues as it runs from November to April, the country’s summer months. Although initially composed exclusively of franchises, in 2016 it was opened to clubs interested in participating in both the championship and a regional competition.

It is a closed competition, as it does not have a system of promotions and relegations. It consists of two instances: first the regular phase is disputed, in which all the participating teams face each other in a system of all against all; later, the four best positioned in the table are classified to the playoffs, where the champion is defined by direct elimination.

Ten teams participate: Auckland City, Canterbury United, Eastern Suburbs, Hamilton Wanderers, Hawke’s Bay United, Southern United, Tasman United, Team Wellington, Waitakere United and Wellington Phoenix Reserves. The league originally consisted of eight teams, but expanded to the current number in 2016.

There are also several clubs that no longer participate for various reasons:

  • WaiBOP United
  • Wanderers
  • YoungHeart Manawatu

Of these, Auckland City and Waitakere United have won seven and five times respectively. It was only in the 2015-16 season that another club won the title, in this case Team Wellington. Having been the only clubs in the Auckland Region during the early years of the competition and the only ones capable of claiming the trophy, the match between them is called the Auckland derby. Although there are other matches that are also called derby, the derby is the tournament’s only genuine rivalry.

It is organised by the New Zealand Football Association, the country’s footballing body. In New Zealand, the competition is televised by Sky Sports, with two live matches per date. Although the official status of the league is amateur, some clubs give monetary rewards to their players, so some journalists consider it a semi-professional tournament.


The first tournament involving all the football teams in New Zealand was the Chatham Cup. Founded in 1923, the tournament on the basis of direct elimination became the country’s most prestigious competition. However, the first national league emerged only in 1970. The National Soccer League had 14 teams, but for economic reasons it did not last beyond 1992. The following year saw the formation of the Superclub Competition, which was the first to have a playoff system once the regular phase was over. The format, however, only survived until 1995, when the National Summer Soccer League was formed in 1996. In 1999 the championship was transformed into Islands Leagues and finally became the National Club Championship, a system that existed until 2003. The reason for the constant changes in format, name and teams were the debates that existed within the football community about at what time of the year it should be played; whether the clubs should not be changed, have limited promotions and relegations or be redefined each year from the performance in regional competitions; and which format was the most adequate to collaborate with the correct development of the players.

Creation of the tournament and economic problems

On 6 April 2004 the New Zealand Football Association announced the creation of a new league championship: the New Zealand Football Championship. Unlike previous formats, the tournament was designed to include eight franchises founded exclusively for the tournament, using the best players from regional league clubs. Eleven applications were received to establish the founding clubs, and three had to be rejected. The original eight clubs were: Auckland City, Canterbury United, Napier City Rovers, which after one season changed its name to Hawke’s Bay United, Otago United, Team Wellington, Waikato, Waitakere United and YoungHeart Manawatu. Among those rejected were a second team in Wellington, a third in Auckland and another in Tauranga. Although the last two did not meet the minimum requirements, the Wellington squad did, so it initiated legal proceedings against NZF. However, this was later dismissed and the clubs behind the bid conveyed their support to Team Wellington.

Initially the format consisted of a three-wheeled all-against-all system, with a total of 21 matches per club. Then, the second and third played a preliminary final, and the winner of that match the title final against the first of the regular phase. Although in the 2005-06 season the number of teams participating in the playoffs was five, this system lasted until the 2008-09 edition, in which the number of matches was reduced to 14 and the number of teams in the playoffs was increased to four. This was mostly due to financial problems, as some clubs could not afford the expenses. In that time, Auckland City had won the tournament three times and would be crowned champion with the new format in 2009. Waitakere United, for their part, had won the final in 2007-08.

Prior to the start of the 2009-10 championship, when the licences of all eight franchises had to be renewed, Canterbury United, who had been last in the 2007-08 and 2008-09 editions, announced that they would leave the competition, although they later chose to continue participating. However, the economic problems that the franchises continued to suffer led the organisers to look for possible teams in Manukau or North Shore as possible replacements if one of the teams left the tournament. In the end, however, this was not necessary.

First change of teams

Waitakere United won four consecutive titles between 2009 and 2013. In the meantime, the New Zealand Football Association considered the need for a change of teams and, in 2012, opened the door to nationwide bidding for a possible expansion of the tournament. In 2013 it was announced that YoungHeart Manawatu’s licence, the last in the 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13 tournaments, would not be renewed. Its place, despite the existence of five club projects,5 would be taken by the Wanderers, a club of players eligible to play in the 2015 U-20 World Cup, which took place in New Zealand, and funded by the NZF itself; seeking to increase the competitiveness of the New Zealand national team for the tournament. In turn, Otago United was renamed Southern United and Waikato, restructured, was renamed WaiBOP United.

The first alteration in the number of teams took place in 2014, increasing to nine. Wellington Phoenix Reserves, the reserve team of the Nix, the only professional team in the country participating in Australia’s A-League, was added. With this change, the regular phase of the 2014-15 season consisted of 16 dates, although the rest remained the same. In 2015, however, the number of participants returned to eight with the dissolution of the Wanderers, whose main purpose, the U-20 World Cup, had already been achieved. Auckland City, who had won the previous edition, were once again crowned champions.


During 2015 the New Zealand Football Association underwent a serious review of the ASB Premiership. Considering that the licences of the eight clubs expired at the end of the 2015-16 edition, the New Zealand entity called on all interested parties, including clubs participating in the regional leagues, to submit a bid for an eventual expansion to ten teams, with the aim of returning to a regular three-wheeled phase with a total of 27 matches by 2018. After receiving seven bids, it was announced in December 2015 that Tasman United, a franchise based in Nelson and Eastern Suburbs, then reigning Northern League and Chatham Cup champions, would be added to the tournament. On the other hand, by admitting the participation of clubs and not necessarily franchises as it had been before, WaiBOP United ceded its place to Northern League competitor Hamilton Wanderers to replace it. In addition to the expansion event, Team Wellington became the first team in addition to Auckland and Waitakere to win the title after beating the Navy Blues 4-2 in the final. With 10 participating teams, the 2016-17 final was the same as its predecessor, Wellington defeated Auckland 2-1 and won their second title.


The competition is a closed league of ten sports franchises, representing the country’s most populous regions and controlled by consortia of clubs. There is a regular league, with two rounds back and forth, and FIFA regulations. At the end of the league, the four best teams qualify for a knockout round, two semi-final matches and a single-leg final, which is held in the stadium of the team with the best ranking in the regular phase. There are no promotions or relegations.

The team that wins the Grand Final is proclaimed the league champion and will represent New Zealand in the OFC Champions League. In the same way, the OFC Champions League champions will also be representing New Zealand in the OFC Champions League.