The Austrian Football League is the highest ranking Bundesliga club competition in Austrian football. The competition will decide on the Austrian national football champions as well as the country's participants in the various UEFA European Cups. As Austria remained in 16th place in the coefficient rankings of the UEFA associations at the end of the 2015/16 season, the league won its first place in the UEFA Champions League. The Austrian Bundesliga, which began in the 1974/75 season, is since December 1, 1991 a separate registered association. The two Viennese giants Austria Wien, who were 21 times Bundeschampion, and Rapid Wien, who won, won most of the national title 32 times. Rapid's last title was in the 2007-08 season. The current champion is Red Bull Salzburg. Hans Rinner is President of the Austrian Bundesliga. The Austrian football league is currently referred to for sponsorship reasons as Tipico Bundesliga.
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With the annexation of Austria by Germany in 1938, the Austrian National League ended prematurely. Numerous teams were dissolved and some players fled the country. The Austrian National League was integrated under Gaufachwart Hans Janisch as section Gau XVII in the system of the NSRL, the sports department of the Third Reich. Despised unworthily by the National Socialists as a true German, professionalism in sport was banned in May 1938. "Innovations" such as the Hitler salute were introduced before and after each game as compulsory. Teams like Hakoah Wien were blocked and others like Austria Wien were initially closed and then renamed. Finally, the operation of the junior teams was handed over to the local Hitler Youth units. The new highest league in Austria, the Gauliga Ostmark, was an amateur league and included the entire former country, with the exception of Tyrol and Vorarlberg, which were added to the Bavarian league system. The league champion qualified now for the German football championship, the Rapid Vienna won in 1941. From 1941, the league was renamed Gauliga Donau-Alpenland to further eradicate the memory of Austria as an independent country. After the defeat of National Socialist Germany in the Second World War and the dissolution of the NSRL, the Austrian teams were again excluded from the German league.
In the 1974/75 season, the Bundesliga was introduced, which joined the two highest divisions of Austria under the leadership of the Austrian Football Association. In 1976, the National League was renamed Bundesliga - Second League, while the Bundesliga was now called Bundesliga - Erste Liga. From 1974 to 1982, the league was filled with ten clubs, with each club played four times against the other during the season. From 1982 to 1985, it played with sixteen clubs, each club played the other twice. The style of the league was changed in 1985 into a league with twelve teams, which played in the autumn of a home and an away round. The eight best clubs then reached the championship round (Official: Upper Play-off), in which they again played twice against each other. The bottom four of the autumn rounds played against the top four of the First League to determine the four teams that will play in the Bundesliga the following season. This mode was used for the next eight seasons until the league returned to its original ten-team format in 1993. 26 years after the dissolution of the independent state league on 17 November 1991, the Austrian football league was newly constituted as an association and approved December 1, 1991 to the Austrian Football Association as the 10th member. From the 2018-19 season, the league is expanding from the current 10 to 12 teams.
The Austrian Bundesliga is committed to the positive development of football as a sport on the elite level as well as to the promotion of young talent in cooperation with the teams at the junior level. For this purpose, the Bundesliga requires auditing of the teams, the introduction of laws for professional football, TV marketing, central sponsorship and collective marketing for all teams.
In the Tipico Bundesliga, 10 teams play a "double championship", with each team playing twice at home and twice away in a championship year divided into an autumn and a spring season. The season usually lasts from July to June of the following year. At the end of the season, the team, which occupies the last place in the table, descends into the Sky Go Erste Liga, whose champions rise to the Tipico Bundesliga.
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