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
Hamilton Academical F.C.
They were established in 1874 from the school football team at Hamilton Academy and remain the only professional club in British football to have originated from a school team. Hamilton have won the Scottish Challenge Cup twice and have finished runners-up in the Scottish Cup twice, the club currently play their home games at New Douglas Park. Hamilton Academical F. C. was formed in late 1874 by the rector, in the 1970s, Hamilton briefly resigned from the league due to mounting debts. In 1994 the club sold its ground, Douglas Park, to Sainsburys supermarket. During this period the club went through hardships and unpaid players went on strike. As a result, Hamilton was unable to fulfil its fixtures during the 1999–2000 season and was docked 15 points, the club moved into its New Douglas Park stadium in 2001. In 2008, for the first time in 20 years, Accies gained promotion to the top division of Scottish football, in the 2009–10 season, a 3–0 victory against Kilmarnock on 17 April 2010 secured a third straight season in Scotlands top flight, with four games remaining. The Accies stay in the SPL ended in the 2010–11 season, after a hard-fought campaign during the 2013–14 Scottish Championship season, Accies finished in second position on the final day of the season following a 10–2 home victory over Morton. Hamilton lost the first leg 2–0 at New Douglas Park, but two goals in the return leg at Easter Road, including an injury time strike, forced the tie to extra time. Hamilton converted all of their spot-kicks and gained back to the top flight. Neil left the club in January 2015, to take up a position at English club Norwich, the club play their fixtures at New Douglas Park, which was opened in 2001. The pitch is a surface, one of two in the Scottish Premiership alongside Kilmarnock. The stadium has a capacity of 6,018 and is composed of two permanent and one temporary stand. The ground replaced Douglas Park, which was the home of Hamilton from 1888 to 1994, the ground was eventually sold to supermarket chain Sainsburys in 1994, with the proceeds going towards the construction of the new stadium, which lies adjacent to the site of Douglas Park. Between 1994 and 2001 the club had no home and they ground-shared at Cliftonhill and Firhill Stadium. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality, note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality, note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality, the following is a list of the officially-appointed captains of the Hamilton Academical first-team
Ayr Parkhouse F.C.
Ayr Parkhouse Football Club were a football club from the town of Ayr in Scotland. The club was a member of the Scottish Football League until 1910, Ayr Parkhouse were formed in 1886 and took their name from the Parkhouse farmhouse where the clubs players trained. They initially played their games at Ballantine Drive, before moving to the Ayr Racecourse ground. In 1888 Ayr vacated the better developed Beresford Park, and Ayr Parkhouse moved in, however, Ayr Parkhouse took the decision to remain a faithfully amateur club, only turning professional in 1905. Local success continued, but the rivalry that was built up with Ayr ceased to have an outlet when that club were admitted to membership of the Scottish Football League in 1897. Ayr Parkhouses ambitions were beginning to outgrow their local successes and the early amateur fuelled hostility to membership of the professional Scottish Football League was waning. Their initial season in the league was a disaster and they finished bottom of Division Two and therefore had to reapply for membership, but they declined to do so. After two seasons outwith the league, playing instead in the Scottish Football Combination, Ayr Parkhouse were accepted back into the Second Division in 1906, the club performed without much distinction in the following four seasons. At the end of the 1909–10 season, Ayr and Ayr Parkhouse merged to form Ayr United, Royal blue shirts, royal blue shorts. –1910 Royal blue & white hooped shirts, royal blue shorts. He was Manchester Uniteds first Scotland international, in 1912
Clyde Football Club are a Scottish professional football club based in Cumbernauld, who play in Scottish League Two. Formed in 1877 at the River Clyde, the play their home games at Broadwood Stadium. The Clyde Football Club was founded and played on the banks of the River Clyde at Barrowfield, documentary evidence from the SFA and indeed match reports in the Glasgow press clearly show it all began in 1877, and the thread continues unbroken to this day. Heres how the SFA recorded Clydes origins, Sitting on the edge of Bridgeton, Barrowfield Park lay in a triangle of land enclosed by Carstairs Street, Colvend Street and the river Clyde. The area was a mix of chemical, engineering and textile works with a high population density to provide the labour. Today this area is dotted with industrial units, but also contains a grassed area. So it may be possible to stand upon a corner of the original Barrowfield pitch, Barrowfield was originally shared with a short-lived team called Albatross. The club founded then has no resemblance to a professional football club. Clyde F. C. were a members club more akin to a present-day golf or bowling club. Clydes Secretary, John Graham, was also a rower and it seems the club had other sporting. Although most fixtures were informal, the Scottish Cup had existed since 1873, soon there would also be the Glasgow Merchants & Charity Cup and the Glasgow Cup that in their time were hotly contested major competitions. Clyde entered the 1st Round of the Scottish Cup on 29 September 1877 along with one hundred, Third Lanark were the visitors once again and they triumphed 1–0. Clyde joined the Scottish Football League in 1891, following acceptance, Vale of Leven provided the opposition for Clydes first League fixture on Saturday,15 August 1891. In a dream introduction to League football Clyde triumphed 10–3, a mid-table finish saw Clyde complete a confident season in League football, with League football an undoubted success, Barrowfield revealed its limitations and simply could not cope with the crowds as many gained illegal entry. Opposition teams complained about the facilities and it was clear that Clyde would have to do something to appease the League, the solution lay directly across the Clyde on some open ground known as Shawfield. Clyde endured a final season at Barrowfield finishing bottom of Division 1. The final action at Barrowfield was a friendly against crack opposition in the form of Sunderland on 30 April 1898 ending in a 3–3 draw, at a stroke Clyde transformed from Brigtonians to Shawfielders. Clyde said farewell to Barrowfield in the spring of 1898, across the river lay an area of undeveloped land known as Shawfield
Ayr Football Club was a Scottish Football League club from Ayr, Scotland. They were formed in 1879 by a merger of the Ayr Thistle and their initial home ground was Springvale Park, which they left in 1884 to play home fixtures at Beresford Park, which they in turn left in 1888 to move to Somerset Park. Ayr won their first ever game at Somerset Park 3–0 against Aston Villa, Ayr had spent 13 seasons in the Scottish Football League Division Two, with a best finish of third place which they managed on three occasions. They never managed to win promotion above this level, Ayr F. C. merged with fellow league members Ayr Parkhouse in 1910 to form Ayr United. This is the first and oldest example in Scottish football of a merger between two clubs from the same town until the Inverness thistle/Caledonian merger in 1994. The merger came about because it was felt that a club would have better prospects of playing in Division One. Ayr United achieved that status three years after the merger
Falkirk Football Club are a Scottish professional association football club based in the town of Falkirk. The club was founded in 1876 and competes in the Scottish Championship as a member of the Scottish Professional Football League, the football club was registered as a Limited Liability Company in April 1905 – Falkirk Football & Athletic Club Ltd. Falkirk won the Scottish Cup for the first time in 1913, after 1945, Falkirk were promoted and demoted between the Premier and First Divisions seven times until 1995–96, and during the 1970s spent three seasons in the Second Division. In 2005, Falkirk were promoted to the Scottish Premier League, Falkirk won the Scottish Cup again in 1957 and were runners-up in the competition in 1997,2009 and 2015. As a result of its performance in the 2009 Scottish Cup, Falkirk have won the second tier of Scottish football a record seven times, an honour shared with St Johnstone. They have also won the Scottish Challenge Cup more than any other club, in their early years, Falkirk played at three venues, Hope Street, Randyford Park and Blinkbonny Park. Between 1885 and 2003, the club was based at Brockville Park, after the creation of the SPL in 1998, its strict stadium criteria – to which Brockville Park did not conform – was enforced, and the club was denied promotion on three occasions. The clubs present home ground since 2003 is the Falkirk Stadium, the clubs date of formation is uncertain. Although some accounts point to the year 1876, others claim it was formed in 1877, however, the former is the date used by the club and its fans. The club reached the round in the first year that it competed. In the first few years after it was formed, Falkirk played mostly friendly games and they played their home matches at three different grounds during this period, Hope Street, Randyford Park and Blinkbonny Park. It left the latter in 1884 and moved to Brockville Park, the Stirlingshire Football Association was founded in 1883, which invited clubs from the Stirlingshire region to join. It resulted in the establishment of a new tournament, the Stirlingshire Cup, a competition open exclusively to the teams from the region, the clubs nickname is The Bairns, a Scots word meaning sons or daughters, which is given to natives of the town of Falkirk. This is reflected in the Falkirk Burgh motto, Better meddle wi the deil than the Bairns o Fakirk, at the time, the league consisted of two tiers, the First and Second Divisions. Falkirk was promoted to the top division with a second-place finish behind Clyde after two seasons, despite the clubs success, several months beforehand a proposal to merge with local rivals East Stirlingshire was raised, which was narrowly rejected in a vote. In 1907–08, Falkirks third season in the top flight, the finished the season in second place, its highest league position to date. On both occasions it finished behind champions Celtic despite being the top scorers in the league. In 1913, the won the Scottish Cup for the first time
East Stirlingshire F.C.
East Stirlingshire Football Club is a Scottish association football club based in the town of Falkirk. The club was founded in 1881 and competes in the Lowland Football League, the clubs origins can be traced to 1880 when a local cricket club formed a football team under the name Britannia, based in the village of Bainsford. The club was elected to the Scottish Football League in 1900–01 and has competed in the system for most of its existence. East Stirlingshire has won the tier of Scottish football once and finished runners-up once. The clubs highest league ranking came during the two seasons it competed in the top flight in 1932–33 and 1963–64. In 2016, East Stirlingshire became the first club ever to be relegated out of the league system. East Stirlingshire first entered in the Scottish Cup in 1882, its best result reaching the quarter-finals on three occasions, the last in 1981. The clubs best result in a cup competition was in the 2000–01 season when it reached the semi-finals of the Scottish Challenge Cup. In 2008, the club left Firs Park and moved to Ochilview Park to ground-share with local rivals Stenhousemuir, the clubs nickname is The Shire, which refers to the Stirlingshire part of the club name. In December 1883, the Stirlingshire Football Association was founded, with open to clubs exclusively from the county of Stirlingshire. It resulted in the establishment of a new tournament called the Stirlingshire Cup. East Stirlingshire dominated the tournament in its years, winning it for a record four years in a row between 1885 and 1889, including an emphatic 9–0 victory against Falkirk in the 1888 final. Two goals came from Lawrence McLachlan who was an influential goalscorer in the early successes. The latter years of the 19th century was East Stirlingshires most successful era in the Scottish Cup, in the 1888–89 and 1890–91 tournaments, the club reached the quarter-finals in what was to be the last time for 91 years, losing to Celtic and Hearts respectively. It was during this period that four East Stirlingshire players earned caps for their countries. The first was the Wales national team captain, Humphrey Jones, Three other players, David Alexander, Archibald Ritchie, and James McKie made appearances for the Scotland national team from 1891 to 1898. In March 1905, a proposal was raised for the club to merge with neighbours Falkirk with an aim to creating a bigger and more financially stable club, however, East Stirlingshires vote was not in favour and the club rejected the proposal. The club remained in Division Two until 1914–15 when it, at the end of World War I, the club was re-elected to the old Division Two which was re-established in the 1921–22 season
Raith Rovers F.C.
Raith Rovers Football Club is a Scottish professional football club based in the town of Kirkcaldy, Fife. The clubs highest ever league position came in 1922, when it finished third behind champions Celtic, the club also came runners-up in 1949 as well as being losing finalists in the 1913 Scottish Cup Final. As a result of winning the League Cup in 1994, Raith Rovers qualified for the UEFA Cup the following season, the club managed to reach the second round, only to be defeated 4–1 on aggregate to eventual champions FC Bayern Munich. Raiths home ground is Starks Park, an 8,867 all-seater stadium in the south of Kirkcaldy, the club has been based at the ground since 1891. The modern Raith Rovers were founded in 1883 in the Scottish town of Kirkcaldy, there had been a much earlier Raith Rovers which merged with what is now Cowdenbeath in 1882. Although it lends its name to many entities in the region, a Raith Rovers victory in the 1960s led to a famous BBC commentators blunder that the fans would be dancing in the streets of Raith tonight. Although commonly attributed to Englishman David Coleman, this was said by Scotsman Sam Leitch. Raith as an area once stretched from south of Loch Gelly as far as Kirkcaldy, a mixture of local success and ambition took the club into the senior leagues where they established themselves and thereby became the pre-eminent team in the town. The team subsequently moved to their current home of Starks Park named after, after two consecutive successful seasons in 2nd Division, the club elected to join the 1st Division in 1909–10. Three years later, the made their first appearance in the Scottish Cup Final losing 2–0 to Falkirk. In 1921 an innovation in training, previously unknown to the Scottish game, was introduced by directors following a visit to England, the use of a ball in training. As noted in the Fife Free Press, Hitherto, ball practice has been an absentee from the curriculum on the grounds that being away from the ball for a week imparted eagerness on the Saturday. This heralded an era of success, the club had its highest ever league finish in the Scottish top division, when they came third to the Old Firm in 1921–22. This was followed by the incident where the players were shipwrecked in 1923. The team had been en route to play matches on the Canary Islands when the boat ran aground. Fortunately, the players were able to disembark and continue on their way a few days later. The forward line of Glen, Gilmour, Norrie Haywood, Whitelaw, around this time, a then record crowd of 25,500 filled Starks Park on a Wednesday afternoon for a Scottish Cup quarter-final replay against East Fife. East Fife won 3–2 and went on to become the only 2nd Division club to win the Scottish Cup until Hibs matched the feat in 2016
Leith Athletic F.C.
Leith Athletic Football Club is a football club based in the Leith area of Edinburgh, Scotland. They are members of the East of Scotland Football League, First team matches are played at Meadowbank 3G, an artificial pitch which is part of the Meadowbank Stadium complex. The present club considers itself to be a continuation of the original Leith Athletic F. C. which was founded in 1887 and they played in the Scottish Football League in four different spells between 1897 and 1953, but went out of business in 1955. The name was revived at local level in 1996. In 2008, Leith Athletic returned to football when they amalgamated with Edinburgh Athletic. Leith Athletic were founded in 1887 in the Port of Leith, in 1891, Leith replaced Glasgow side Cowlairs in the Scottish Football League. After a reasonable start, Leith had to apply for re-election in 1894 and 1895 and they received only three votes in the latter year and were relegated to the Second Division. Leith fared rather better in the flight, finishing second in 1896,1897 and 1899. In 1905, having failed again in the end of 1905 season voting, Leith Athletic were wound up, in 1891, Robert Clements and Mathew McQueen played for Scotland against Ireland in Glasgow, McQueen having played a year earlier against Wales at Underwood Park in Paisley. Geordie Anderson, James Blessington and Robert Laing would represent the Scottish Football League against the Scottish Alliance League, john Blessington was transferred to Celtic in June 1893 for £20, and would gain four caps for Scotland against England and Ireland. Now playing as Leith F. C. the team won the Scottish Second Division championship in 1906. Despite this triumph, they failed to be elected to the First Division, as runners-up Clyde, Leith and Raith Rovers finished level on points and were declared joint champions in 1910. Raith were promoted, but it appears that Leith did not contest the elections, the 1912–13 season saw Leith finish in last position and won re-election to stay in the league. They survived until the competition was suspended in 1915 and they joined the Eastern League, Leith closed down for the duration of the First World War in 1916. When the club was reformed in 1919, the old name of Leith Athletic was revived, after playing for one season in the Scottish Alliance, Leith were admitted to the Third Division in 1924. Leith won the Third Division championship in 1926, but failed to win election to the Second Division, the club were eliminated on the chairman’s casting vote in the third ballot. It was becoming apparent that the two most prominent Edinburgh clubs, Heart of Midlothian and Hibernian were blocking attempts by Leith to progress. The abolition of the Third Division meant that Leith had to rejoin the Scottish Alliance, the clubs fortunes improved and they won the Second Division championship in 1930 and promotion to the First Division
Albion Rovers F.C.
Albion Rovers Football Club is a semi-professional football team from Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, Scotland. They are members of the Scottish Professional Football League and, as of the 2016–17 season, play in League One and their sole major honours during that time have been wins in the lower two divisions of the senior league system. The clubs stadium, Cliftonhill, known as the Exsel Group Stadium for sponsorship purposes, Albion Rovers were formed in 1882 from a merger of the two Coatbridge sides Albion FC and Rovers FC, and played at Meadow Park from that year. The club joined the Scottish Football League Second Division in 1903 along with Ayr Parkhouse following an expansion in numbers. Rovers settled into the League reasonably well, albeit without ever clinching promotion, by 1915 the Scottish Football League had been merged into a single division structure, with the second division scrapped. The Rovers moved to join the Western Football League and whilst members of this moved to their current Cliftonhill home in 1919. They were close to returning to the Scottish League in 1917 but lost out in a vote amongst Clydebank, Vale of Leven, with their new stadium completed, Rovers returned to the single division Scottish League for the 1919–20 season. Rovers remained a top-flight side even after the return of the Second Division until their relegation in 1923 and it was during this period that John Jock White, became Rovers only international appearing for Scotland, in a match against Wales. The club remained in the Second Division until the 1933–34 season when they took the title by a point from Dunfermline Athletic, of the five seasons immediately before the Second World War Rovers spent all but one of them as a top-flight side. They took part in the emergency Western League during the 1939–40 season before transferring over to the Southern Football League, despite struggling from time to time to get a full side out the Rovers managed to survive the war in good shape. To add to their problems the celebrated wing partnership of Willie Findlay and Johnny McIlhatton was broken up when the former departed for Rangers, One feature of the McIlhatton transfer was a friendly match between the two clubs at Goodison Park in September 1946, which the Toffees won 6–3. Rovers took a 2–0 lead in the first leg against Kilmarnock, and no team has ever been able to put together a more spicy trio than Currie, Sage and Rice, who appeared in Rovers sides of the early 1970s. Changes brought in for the 1975–76 season saw Rovers placed in the new Second Division, in 1986 a book covering the clubs history was published, The Boys From the Brig by Robin Marwick. Players such as Vic Kasule and Bernie Slaven brought some flamboyancy to Rovers in the mid-1980s, the First Division stay was again to last just one season and Rovers subsequently finished bottom of the bottom division several times during the 1990s. Rovers found themselves in the newly created Scottish Football League Third Division, in an attempt to cut costs, the number of full-timers was substantially reduced and the clubs board took a decision to sell Cliftonhill and groundshare with Airdrieonians. Following another last place finish in 1999–00 there was an attempt to change the clubs fortunes, the team went full-time, although many of the full-time players were youths to whom the club gave employment under a government scheme. Rovers went into the last day of the season in 2001–02 and 2002–03 with a chance of promotion, the full-time experiment proved too expensive and had to be dismantled to keep the clubs costs under control. Rovers stayed put and it was against this background that a group of fans set up Albion Rovers Supporters Trust with a view to benefit the club and local community
Arthurlie Football Club are a Junior football team based in Barrhead, East Renfrewshire in Scotland. Based at Dunterlie Park, they play in the West of Scotland Super League Premier Division, the club played in the Scottish Football League in two spells,1901 to 1915 and 1923 to 1929. The club was founded in 1874 and played as a league side until 1929. Notable early results include the 4–2 defeat of Celtic in the 1897 Scottish Cup, the club became a founder member of the Scottish Federation League in 1892 and played in the Scottish Football League between 1901 and 1915, achieving modest results in the Second Division. That division ceased operations in 1915, during the First World War and they instead waited until 1923 to apply for membership of the newly created Third Division. Arthurlie immediately won the Third Division championship, and four successful seasons in the Second Division followed. Financial problems forced the club to resign its membership of the league with six games of the 1928–29 season to play, as the club had played all the promotion-chasing clubs, their results were allowed to stand. A club of the same name joined the ranks during the early 1930s. They found success quickly with a Scottish Junior Cup win in 1937 – defeating Kirkintilloch Rob Roy 5–1 in the final, while the criminal courts found midfielder Mark Ross to be innocent of criminal assault, the SJFA punished the club for not co-operating with the enquiry. The club were also fined £3,000, in March 2006 the entire management team resigned and were replaced by former Larkhall Thistle manager Gary Faulds. Faulds re-appointed his Thistle assistant Stevie Moore in the same position, in June 2006 the entire playing staff of Arthurlie left the club, following the management staff out of the door. The most notable departures saw goalkeeper Kris Robertson, defender Gary Wilson, midfielder Zander Ryan and strikers Alan Waddell, the captain of the 2006–07 season was to be former St Mirren, Kilwinning Rangers and Pollok defender Roland Fabiani. Season 2007–08 saw Gary Faulds and his coaching staff resign their position after a string of results in the first half of the season. Mark Cameron and Roland Fabiani were temporarily placed in charge, jimmy McQuade was handed a coaching role at the club with whom he won the Scottish Junior Cup as manager in 1998, thus adding experience to the management team. Roland Fabiani decided to return to playing football, hence the relinquishment of his role as assistant manager to Mark Cameron and he was succeeded by Sammy Johnston. In 2011 Arthurlie won the Evening Times Cup and they also came in second in the league that season behind Irvine Meadow. The team were managed between October 2014 and January 2015 by former Clyde and Raith Rovers defender Craig McEwan, McEwan subsequently left for Glenafton Athletic, and Arthurlie moved to replace him with Bellshills Robert Downs, a former Arthurlie player. Downs was succeeded in January 2016 by Steve Kerrigan, following Kerrigans resignation in December 2016, Chris Mackie was appointed as manager in an interim role until the end of the season
Aberdeen Football Club are a Scottish professional football club based in Aberdeen, Scotland. They compete in the Scottish Premiership and have never relegated from the top division of the Scottish football league system since they were promoted in 1905. Aberdeen have won four Scottish league titles, seven Scottish Cups and they are also the only Scottish team to have won two European trophies, having won the European Cup Winners Cup and the European Super Cup in 1983. Aberdeen were the last club outside of the Old Firm to win a title, in 1984–85. The team has enjoyed success since this golden era, though a 19-year wait for a major trophy was ended by winning the 2013–14 Scottish League Cup. Aberdeen have played at Pittodrie Stadium since their inception, the ground currently has a capacity of 20,866 and was the first all-seated and all-covered stadium in the United Kingdom. Pittodrie was also the first football stadium to feature a dug-out, the clubs colours have been primarily red and white since 1939, before this, they played in black and gold vertical stripes. Aberdeen attract support from the city and surrounding areas, as they are the senior team within a wide area. Aberdeen have no close rivals, their nearest neighbours at the same level are in the city of Dundee. The current Aberdeen F. C. was formed following the merger of three based in the city—Aberdeen, Victoria United and Orion—in 1903. The new club played its first match on 15 August 1903 and that first season produced a win in the Aberdeenshire Cup, but only a third-place finish in the Northern League. The club applied for membership of the Scottish League for the following season, in 1904, the club were managed by Jimmy Philip. At the end of its first season, despite having finished seventh out of teams, Aberdeen were elected to the new. They have remained in the top tier of Scottish football ever since, from 1906, the club made steady progress, with a Scottish Cup semi-final appearance in 1908 and another in 1911. In that season of 1910–11, Aberdeen recorded their first victories over the Old Firm of Celtic and Rangers, and led the league for a time, wartime affected the club as much as any other, despite spending cuts and other economies, by 1917 the situation became untenable. Aberdeen dropped out of football, along with Dundee and Raith Rovers. Senior football returned on 16 August 1919, and Aberdeen resumed with a fixture against Albion Rovers, Philip was still in charge, and continued to oversee a team capable of isolated good results, but never quite able to sustain a challenge long enough to win a trophy. In 1923, Aberdeen were drawn against Peterhead in the Scottish Cup, Philip retired a year later, and was replaced as manager by Paddy Travers
Scottish football league system
The Scottish football league system is a series of generally unconnected leagues for Scottish football clubs. In senior football in Scotland there is one league, the Scottish Professional Football League. There are also regional leagues. From 2014–15, regular promotion or relegation between the two leagues and the SPFL national league was introduced for the first time. Rangers are the current record holders with 54 titles, one senior club based in England plays in the Scottish system in the Scottish League Two. A small number of English amateur clubs in the lowest levels of the game, based on or around the Anglo-Scottish border, also compete in the Scottish system for geographical, as of 2014–15 there were a total of 925 teams playing in the Saturday regular season structure. Overall, the structure of football in Scotland is among the most fractured and multi-faceted in Europe. It is not uncommon for a town or county to have clubs in as many as three or four separate systems. The current system has been in place since 2013–14, when the Scottish Professional Football League was formed by a merger of the Scottish Premier League, at the same time, the Lowland Football League was founded. It is based in the north of Scotland, including a club from the island of Orkney, the leagues below level four are classed as non-league football, meaning they are outside the Scottish Professional Football League and are played on a regional not a national basis. The Lowland League is parallel to the Highland League, below the Lowland League is the East of Scotland Football League and the South of Scotland Football League - with promotion and relegation into the Lowland League. As of 2016–17 this totals 109 teams across nine divisions, up to two non-SFA members can qualify for the Scottish Cup each season by winning the East or South leagues. There are a variety of cup tournaments, sometimes involving reserve teams fielded by the SPFL clubs, as of 2014–15 this represented a total of 161 teams across 12 divisions. These clubs operate separately from the Scottish Football Association, except Girvan and they participate in a number of their own cup competitions, as well as the Scottish Junior Cup. The term junior refers not to the age of the players, up to four non-SFA members can qualify for the Scottish Cup each season by winning the Superleagues or the Junior Cup. Banks O Dee also enter Senior tournaments the Aberdeenshire Cup and Shield, prestige centres around the historic Scottish Amateur Cup. For historical reasons Glasgow University are a member of both the SFA and the SAFA and enter the Scottish Cup and South Challenge Cup, a number of Senior and Junior clubs run reserve teams in Amateur football. As of 2014–15 there were 649 teams – in 16 geographic leagues containing a total of 58 divisions – playing Saturday football under a regular August–May season