Iranian Persian Gulf Pro League
The Persian Gulf Pro League (Persian: لیگ برتر خلیج فارس), formerly known as the Iran Pro League (Persian: لیگ برتر فوتبال ایران), is the highest division of professional football in Iran. The league was also known as the Persian Gulf Cup (Persian: جام خلیج فارس) from 2006. It is the top-level football league in Iran since its foundation in 2 November 2001. Each year, the top finishing team in the Persian Gulf Pro League becomes the Iranian football champion, and the lowest finishing teams are relegated to Azadegan League. Since 2013, the league comprises 16 teams. The winner and runner-up of the Persian Gulf Pro League and the Hazfi Cup champion are automatically qualified for the AFC Champions League group stage. The third of the Persian Gulf Pro League is qualified for the AFC Champions League Play-off round. The bottom two teams in the league are relegated to Azadegan League. In the past, the format and number of teams were changed for various times. Persepolis is the most successful club with five titles, two runners-up, and two third places. Persepolis also holds the Iranian record champion, with 12 titles.