Scottish Football League
The Scottish Football League was a league featuring professional and semi-professional football clubs mostly from Scotland. From its foundation in 1890 until the breakaway Scottish Premier League was formed in 1998, after 1998, the SFL represented levels 2 to 4 of the Scottish football league system. In June 2013, the SFL merged with the SPL to form the Scottish Professional Football League, the SFL was associated with a title sponsor from the 1985–86 season. As this sponsor has changed over the years the league was known in turn as the Fine Fare League, B&Q League, Bells Scottish Football League, the SFL also organised two knock-out cup competitions, the Scottish League Cup and the Scottish Challenge Cup. Organised football in Scotland began in 1873 with the formation of the Scottish Football Association, during the next 15 years or so, clubs would play friendly matches, Scottish Cup ties and local cup ties. The Football League, initially containing clubs from the North West and this had been done in response to the professionalisation of football in England in 1885, with the regular diet of league fixtures replacing the haphazard arrangement of friendlies. Many Scottish players, known as the Scotch Professors, moved to the English league clubs to receive the high salaries on offer. This prompted Scottish clubs into thinking about forming their own league, in March 1890, the secretary of Renton wrote to thirteen other clubs inviting them to discuss the organisation of a league. All of the clubs accepted the invitation, except Queens Park and these concerns were to prove well-founded, as six of the founder members would leave the league before 1900. The Scottish Football League was inaugurated on 30 April 1890, the first season of competition, 1890–91, commenced with 11 clubs because St Bernards were not elected. The eleven original clubs in membership were Abercorn, Cambuslang, Celtic, Cowlairs, Dumbarton, Heart of Midlothian, Rangers, Renton, St Mirren, Third Lanark and Vale of Leven. Renton were expelled five games of the 1890–91 season for playing against St Bernards. Renton raised an action against the SFA in the Court of Session and won, in the 1890–91 season, Rangers and Dumbarton were level at the top of the league on 29 points. The teams drew 2–2 in a match, but no further thought had been given to separating teams by another method. Goal average was introduced for the 1921–22 season and replaced by goal difference for the 1971–72 season, the league proved to be highly successful, and in 1893 a Second Division was formed by the inclusion of a number of clubs previously in the Scottish Football Alliance. Promotion was initially based on a ballot of clubs, automatic promotion was not introduced until 1922, in 1923, the League decided to introduce a Third Division. The Western Football League was used as its backbone but the new set-up lasted only three years before it collapsed under heavy financial losses, from 1926 until 1946, the League returned to two divisions. Post-World War II reforms saw the League resume with three divisions, postwar seasons saw the divisions renamed A, B and C with the last section also including reserve sides
It is one of three SPFL clubs in the city, the others being their Edinburgh derby rivals Hearts and Edinburgh City. Hibernian was founded in 1875 by Irish immigrants, but support for the club is now based on rather than ethnicity or religion. The Irish heritage of Hibernian is still reflected, however, in its name, colours, the name of the club is usually shortened to Hibs. The team are also called The Hibees and The Cabbage, a shortening of the slang for Hibs of Cabbage and Ribs, by fans of the club. Home matches are played at the Easter Road stadium, in use since 1893, Hibernian have played in the second tier of the Scottish football league system, known as the Scottish Championship, since being relegated in 2014. Hibernian have won the Scottish league championship four times, most recently in 1952, three of those four championships were won between 1948 and 1952, when the club had the services of The Famous Five, a notable forward line. The club have won the Scottish Cup three times, in 1887,1902 and 2016, Hibs have also won the Scottish League Cup three times, in 1972,1991 and 2007. The club was founded in 1875 by Irishmen from the Cowgate area of Edinburgh, the name is derived from Hibernia, the Roman name for Ireland. James Connolly, the famous Irish Republican leader, was a Hibs fan, there was some sectarian resistance initially to an Irish club participating in Scottish football, but Hibs established themselves as a force in Scottish football in the 1880s. Hibs were the first club from the east coast of Scotland to win a major trophy and they went on to defeat Preston North End, who had won the 1887 FA Cup, in a friendly match described as the Association Football Championship of the World Decider. Mismanagement over the few years led to Hibs becoming homeless. A lease on the Easter Road site was acquired in late 1892, despite this interruption, the club today views the period since 1875 as one continued history and therefore counts the honours won between 1875 and 1891, including the 1887 Scottish Cup. The club were admitted to the Scottish Football League in 1893, a significant change at this time was that players were no longer required to be members of the Catholic Young Mens Society. Hibs are not seen today as being an Irish or Roman Catholic institution, for instance, the Irish harp was only re-introduced to the club badge when it was last re-designed in 2000. This design reflects the three pillars of the identity, Ireland, Edinburgh and Leith. Geography rather than religion is now seen as the reason for supporting Hibs. Hibs had some success after being reformed, winning the 1902 Scottish Cup, after this, however, the club endured a long barren spell. The club lost its placing in the league, and were relegated for the first time in 1931, the notorious Scottish Cup drought began as they reached three cup finals, two in consecutive years, but lost each of them
Motherwell Football Club are a Scottish professional football club based in Motherwell, North Lanarkshire. The club compete in the Scottish Premiership, Motherwell have not dropped out of the top-flight of Scottish football since 1985, but have only lifted one trophy in that time – the Scottish Cup in 1991. Clad in their traditional claret and amber, Motherwell play their matches at Fir Park Stadium and have done since 1896. The clubs main rivals over the years have been Hamilton Academical and Airdrieonians and these matches are known as the Lanarkshire derby. Motherwells debut fixture proved to be a one as they overcame Hamilton Academical 3–2. On 5 August 1893 the decision was made to professional. Up until 1895 the club had played at a few different venues, including a site at Roman Road, the small pitch and muddy conditions at Dalziel Park were deemed unsuitable and fortunately Lord Hamilton granted a lease on a plot of land on his Dalzell estate. This new ground was named Fir Park and has remained the home for over one hundred years. The following years saw the club grow, appointing their first and longest serving manager to date, John Sailor Hunter, in 1913 the decision was made to change the clubs colours from blue to the now signature claret and amber. Motherwell enjoyed a period in the aftermath of World War I. The club placed third in the 1919–20 season and, although narrowly avoiding relegation in 1924–25, they climbed the table. In the summer of 1927, the made a very successful tour of Spain, winning six out of the eight games they played. These results included an emphatic 3–1 victory over Real Madrid and a 2–2 draw with Barcelona, following their success in Spain, the club went on another summer tour, this time of South America. After losing only three of their previous ten games, the tour culminated in a 5–0 defeat by a Brazilian League Select side, the championship was sealed on 23 April 1932, when Rangers could only draw at home against Clyde, handing Motherwell the title without kicking a ball. This was also the only League title won by a club outside the Old Firm between 1904 and 1947, in the two seasons following the league title win, Well finished runners up. Motherwell also contested three Scottish Cup finals in this period – in 1931,1933 and 1939, following the break-up of the squad after World War II, the club were not instantly successful. It then captured two trophies in as many years with victories in the 1950 Scottish League Cup Final. The club was relegated for the first time ever at the end of the 1952–53 season
Greenock Morton F.C.
Greenock Morton Football Club is a Scottish professional football club, which will play in the Scottish Championship in 2016–17. The club was founded as Morton Football Club in 1874, making it one of the oldest senior Scottish clubs, Morton was renamed Greenock Morton in 1994 to celebrate the links with its home town of Greenock. Morton won the Scottish Cup in 1922, and achieved its highest league finish in 1916–17, Morton holds the record for the most promotions to and relegations from the top flight, but has not competed in the top flight of the Scottish football league system since 1988. In 2014–15, Morton won its league title in all divisions by winning the Scottish League One championship on the final day. Morton Football Club was established in 1874, in the early 1870s the popularity of football was growing, with many clubs being established around Scotland. At the clubs inaugural meeting, the first recorded words were that this club be called Morton Football Club. The name would be altered in 1994 to read Greenock Morton Football Club, to celebrate the links with its hometown. Morton was one of the members of the old Second Division, formed in 1893. Morton first gained promotion to the old First Division in 1899–1900, Mortons greatest success came in its 1–0 defeat of Rangers in the 1922 Scottish Cup Final. Jimmy Gourlay scored the goal directly from a free kick in the 11th minute. Right after the match Morton boarded a train for Hartlepool to play the local side in a friendly match. The celebrations were delayed until the following Wednesday when 10,000 locals turned out at Cappielow Park to celebrate, Morton has made two other major cup final appearances. On Saturday 17 April 1948, Morton drew 1–1 with Rangers in the Scottish Cup Final, Mortons goal was a free kick scored by Jimmy White. The match was replayed on Wednesday 21 April and this time Rangers won 1–0 after extra time. The goal was said to be controversial because it was claimed that Morton goalkeeper Jimmy Cowan was blinded by the flash of a camera. These matches were significant because of the crowds they attracted. The first match was played in front of 132,629, the replay, in front of 133,750, was at the time a British record attendance for a midweek match. Mortons third and final major cup final to date was in the League Cup, as in its previous two final appearances, Mortons opponent was once again Glasgow Rangers
Airdrieonians F.C. (1878)
Airdrieonians Football Club, more commonly known as Airdrie, were a Scottish professional football team from the town of Airdrie, in the Monklands area of Lanarkshire. During their 124-year existence the Diamonds, as they were nicknamed, the club also competed in four separate Scottish Cup finals, winning the competition in 1924. Airdrieonians were the first club in the Scottish League to fold since 1967, the team was founded in Airdrie, North Lanarkshire in 1878 as Excelsior Football Club, changing its name to Airdrieonians in 1881. It was elected to the Scottish Football League in 1894, the club enjoyed its most successful era in the 1920s, following the signing of Hughie Gallacher from Queen of the South in 1921. Airdrie challenged the dominance of Rangers, as finished in second place in the Scottish League championship four years in a row between 1923 and 1926 and won the Scottish Cup in 1924. Following this victory, in early summer 1925, the club visited Norway and Sweden, translations of local newspaper reports, and some photographs of the tour, are still available. This successful era came to an end after Gallacher and Bob McPhail were sold to Newcastle United, Airdrie spent much of the post war era yo-yoing between the top flight and Second Division. Airdrie entered the first Texaco Cup competition in 1970–71, defeating Nottingham Forest in the first round and that tie was decided by a penalty shootout and Airdrie became the first Scottish club to be involved in that method of deciding a contest. Airdrie reached the Texaco Cup Final in 1972, losing 2–1 on aggregate to Derby County and they also reached the 1975 Scottish Cup Final, losing 3–1 to Celtic. After the leagues were restructured in 1975, a called the Spring Cup was instituted for the teams in the lower divisions. Airdrie won this competition in 1976, but it was discontinued after one season as clubs preferred to play league games instead. MacDonald also guided the Diamonds to two Scottish Cup Finals, the first appearance coming on 9 May 1992 when the club faced Rangers in front of 44,045 strong crowd at Hampden Park. Unfortunately for Airdrie on this however, a goal each from Mark Hateley. Although Airdrie lost in the 1992 Scottish Cup Final they had qualified for the 1992–93 European Cup Winners Cup. Airdrie were drawn against Czech side Sparta Prague in the first round, Airdrie lost 1–0 at Broomfield and 2–1 in Prague, losing 3–1 on aggregate. Kenny Black, who went on to become manager of Airdrie United, scored the only Airdrie goal. Airdrie also reached the 1995 Scottish Cup Final, where they faced the other half of the Old Firm, Airdrie would once again fall at the final hurdle, as they lost 1–0 to a Pierre van Hooijdonk goal. Airdrie also won the Scottish Challenge Cup in 1994–95, Airdrie sold their Broomfield home to Safeway in 1994, but had to groundshare with Clyde at Broadwood Stadium for four years until the Excelsior Stadium was opened