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
Cowdenbeath Football Club are a Scottish semi-professional football team based in Cowdenbeath, Fife. They are members of the Scottish Professional Football League and compete in League Two, formed in 1881, the club has played at Central Park since 1917. They first joined the Scottish Football League in 1905, the club has never won any of the major honours in Scottish football, but have won lower tier divisional titles on five occasions. They competed in the top division of the SFL from 1924 to 1934, Cowdenbeath traditionally date their origin to the merger of two local clubs, Cowdenbeath Rangers and Cowdenbeath Thistle, which occurred in 1881. The establishment of one club to represent the town coincided with the establishment of the Fifeshire Football Association that year. Cowdenbeath, who are the oldest surviving club in Fife, lost in the inaugural Fife Cup final in 1883. In 1888 the club moved to North End Park, and in 1905 were admitted to Division Two of the Scottish Football League and they won Division Two in 1913–14 and 1914–15, but were not promoted to Division One on either occasion. The SFL was suspended due to World War I in 1915, and they were placed in Division Two when it was reformed in 1921, and after finishing as runners-up in 1923–24, the club were promoted to Division One for the first time. The club remained in Division One until being relegated at the end of the 1933–34 season and this feat was in no small part aided by Rab Walls 54 League goals – the second highest seasonal total in Scottish League history. However, the outbreak of World War II cut short Cowdens return to Division One, when peacetime football resumed in 1946, the club were controversially placed in the new B Division. While a 1949 League Cup success over Rangers at Ibrox was a highlight of the early post-war period, Cowden struggled to return to the elite level of Scottish football. This was finally achieved under popular manager Andy Matthew in the 1969–70 season, a more professional approach was ushered in with the appointment of former Scotland defender Craig Levein, who had begun his playing career with Cowdenbeath, as manager in 1997. Promotion from the Third Division was achieved in the 2000–01 season, after a third-place finish in the 2004–05 season. The 2005–06 campaign saw the team achieve their first divisional title win for 67 years with player-manager Mixu Paatelainen when they won the Third Division, season 2008–09 saw Danny Lennons side miss out on promotion in a penalty shoot-out after a scoreless two-legged match and extra time against Stenhousemuir. However, they were promoted to the division for the 2009–10 season as Livingston were demoted to the Scottish Third Division after breaching the leagues rules on insolvency. After a tough start to life in the Scottish Second Division, Cowden soon found their feet, amazingly they went on to defeat Alloa and Brechin in the play-offs to secure promotion. Prior to the 2010–11 season Jimmy Nicholl was appointed new manager and it was a massive blow to the club especially after being 2–0 up at half time in the first leg in Brechin. Under new manager Colin Cameron, Cowdenbeath immediately regained promotion the following season, the season after, they ensured survival on the final matchday with a 3–1 away win over Hamilton Academical
Johnstone Football Club was a football club based at Newfield Park in Johnstone, Renfrewshire in Scotland. The club was a member of the Scottish Football League in two spells between 1912 and 1926, the club was formed in 1878 and initially played at Cartland Bank. After spending time in minor leagues, they joined the Scottish Football Alliance in 1894 after most of its membership had moved to the new Scottish League Division Two, in the same year the club moved to Newfield Park. During this time the club demonstrated its potential in the Scottish Cup by beating Greenock Abstainers 20–0 in a first round tie on 5 September 1891, in subsequent seasons they would play in the North Ayrshire League and, from 1898 until 1905, the Scottish Football Combination. When the league was reduced to a division in 1915, due to World War I. Johnstone returned to the Scottish League when the division was reinstated in 1921. Johnstone were relegated to the new Third Division at the end of the 1924–25 season, when this division was disbanded at the end of the following season, Johnstone returned to the Football Alliance. They remained in this league until 1927 when they were wound up, Navy blue shirts, navy blue shorts, navy blue & white hooped socks. 1880–1896 Navy blue shirts, white shorts, navy blue socks, 1896–1902 Royal blue shirts, white shorts, royal blue socks. 1902–1903 Maroon shirts, white shorts, maroon socks, 1903–1904 Royal blue shirts, white shorts, royal blue socks. 1907–1909 Black & white striped shirts, white shorts, black socks, 1909–1920 Black & gold striped shirts, white shorts, black socks with 2 gold bands on top. 1921–1923 Black & gold striped shirts, black shorts, black socks with 2 gold bands on top, 1923–1927 White shirts with black collar & cuffs, white shorts, black socks with 2 white bands on top
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
Dundee United F.C.
Dundee United Football Club is a Scottish professional football club based in the city of Dundee. Formed in 1909, originally as Dundee Hibernian, the changed to the present name in 1923. United are nicknamed The Terrors or The Tangerines and the supporters are known as Arabs, the club has played in tangerine kits since the 1960s and have played at the present ground, Tannadice Park, since their foundation in 1909. United were founder members of the Scottish Premier League in 1998 and were ever-present in the competition until it was abolished in 2013 to make way for the SPFL structure, United were relegated in 2016 to the Scottish Championship, which is the second tier of the SPFL. Domestically, the club has won the Scottish Premier Division on one occasion, the Scottish Cup twice, United appeared in European competition for the first time in the 1966–67 season, going on to appear in Europe in 14 successive seasons from 1976. They also reached the European Cup semi-finals in 1984 and the UEFA Cup final in 1987, the club has a 100% record in four matches against Barcelona in competitive European ties. The club was formed as Dundee Hibernian in 1909, playing from the outset at Tannadice Park and they were voted into the Scottish Football League in 1910. After being saved from going out of business in October 1923, between 1925 and 1932 United were promoted and then relegated three times, winning the Second Division title in 1925 and 1929. The club achieved little success until Jerry Kerr became manager in 1959. Kerrs team won promotion in his first season in charge and became established in the top flight, Jim McLean took over from Kerr in 1971 and his youth policy led to the most successful era in the clubs history. United won the Scottish League Cup in 1979 and 1980 and then the Premier Division title in 1982–83, the club were also successful in Europe, reaching the European Cup semi-finals in 1984 and the 1987 UEFA Cup Final. The latter featuring another elimination of Barcelona, despite losing to IFK Gothenburg in the final, the club won a FIFA Fair Play Award. McLean retired as manager in 1993, but remained as club chairman, United won the Scottish Cup for the first time in 1994 under McLeans successor Ivan Golac, but were relegated in 1995, returning a year later. Shortly after Leveins departure, the won the Scottish Cup for a second time in 2010 under the management of Peter Houston. After several relatively successful seasons, a slump in form led to United being relegated in 2016, for a complete pictorial history of playing kit, see the Historical Football Kits site. After persuasion by the wife of manager Jerry Kerr, the colour would soon be adopted as the own in 1969 to give the club a brighter. The new colour was paraded for the first time in a friendly against Everton in August. When founded as Dundee Hibernian, they had followed the example of clubs of similar heritage by adopting the traditionally Irish colours of green shirts
Dunfermline Athletic F.C.
Dunfermline Athletic Football Club is a Scottish football club based in Dunfermline, Fife, commonly known as just Dunfermline. Founded in 1885, the club play in the Scottish Championship. Dunfermline play at East End Park, are nicknamed The Pars and are managed by Allan Johnston. The Pars most successful period was in the 1960s, when the won the Scottish Cup twice, in 1961 and 1968 under the management of Jock Stein. The club regularly played European football in this period, reaching the semi-finals of the 1968–69 European Cup Winners Cup under Farm. The club have played at East End Park since their formation in 1885, however, after a period of relative success in the 2000s marked by appearances in three major finals, all of which were lost against Celtic, Dunfermline were relegated to the First Division in 2007. Bobby Ancell was offered the managers post in 1950 but with the Pars making headlines for board room disputes, with a new board in place two seasons later, Ancell was offered the position again and this time accepted. Improving year on year Ancell delivered promotion back to the top flight in 1955 before leaving to start a decade at Motherwell, Jock Stein became manager in 1960 and so began the clubs golden decade. The club played regular European football in the UEFA and European Cup Winners Cups throughout the 60s, under Stein Dunfermline won the Scottish Cup in the 1960–61 season. They beat Celtic 2–0 in the final after a replay, in 1962 they reached the Cup-Winners Cup quarter finals, losing 5–3 on aggregate to Újpest Dózsa SC. On the way they beat St Patricks Athletic and FK Vardar, in the 1962–63 season Dunfermline beat Everton in the Fairs Cup and then played Valencia, losing 4–0 away before winning 6–2 at home. The Pars lost the subsequent play-off, Stein left in 1964 to join Hibernian. New manager Willie Cunningham took the club to the Scottish Cup final in the 1964–65 season and they lost the final 3–2 to a Celtic team that was at the beginning of new manager Jock Steins era. The Pars finished 3rd in the league, one point behind top two Kilmarnock and Hearts, the following year Cunningham took Dunfermline to the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup quarter-finals. Alex Ferguson was a player in the Dunfermline squad between 1964 and 1967, George Farm was manager from 1967 until 1970. He matched Stein by winning the Scottish Cup in 1968 with a 3–1 win in the final against Hearts, on the way to the semi-final Dunfermline beat APOEL, Olympiacos and West Bromwich Albion. Dunfermline, managed by Pat Stanton started the 1980s in poor form, the core of the team were Pars stalwarts, Dr Hugh Whyte in goal, John Salton, Kenny Thomson and Dr Bobby Robertson in defence and Sandy McNaughton up front. Of this quintet only Salton was not an ever-present in the league campaign, the team developed a habit of losing streaks,2 of five games and 2 of three games and this caused relegation nerves
St Johnstone F.C.
St Johnstone Football Club is a professional football club based in Perth, Scotland. Although it is recorded as being formed in 1884, the club did not play its first game until February 1885. The clubs home since 1989 has been McDiarmid Park, the clubs first Scottish Cup appearance was in 1886–87 and they joined the Scottish Football League in 1911–12. St Johnstone won the Scottish Football League First Division, the tier of league football in Scotland. This gained them promotion to the Scottish Premier League, bringing a return of SPL football to McDiarmid Park for the 2009–10 campaign, the club have historically floated between the top two divisions of Scottish football, obtaining the reputation of being a yo-yo club. Their traditional rivals are the two Dundee clubs, Dundee and Dundee United, with matches between St Johnstone and either Dundee club being called Tayside derbies, the club has had limited success in cup competitions. After losing at the stage on numerous occasions, the club won their first Scottish Cup in 2014 with a 2–0 win against Dundee United. It has reached two Scottish League Cup Finals, losing them to each of the Old Firm clubs. They have also won the Scottish Second Tier seven times, the Scottish Challenge Cup in 2007, the B Division Supplementary Cup in 1949 and they have qualified for European competitions on six occasions. Their highest league position in the top division was third place on three occasions,1971,1999 and 2013, the club was formed by members of the local cricket team seeking to occupy their time once the cricket season had finished. The cricketers were kicking a football around the South Inch, a public park beside the River Tay during the autumn of 1884. Club members leased a piece of land adjacent to the South Inch, known as the Recreation Grounds, in the 1910–11 Scottish Division Two season, Port Glasgow Athletic F. C. finished next to bottom and declined to apply for re-election. They were replaced for the 1911–12 Scottish Division Two season by St Johnstone, St Johnstone were promoted to the old First Division in 1924–25, by winning the Second Division title, and appointed David Taylor as team manager. They remained in the top flight until 1929–30 when they finished bottom of Division One, Two years later, under new manager Tommy Muirhead, the Saints were runners-up in Division Two to gain their second promotion. They performed well in Division One through the 1930s, reaching the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup in 1933–34, in the final season before World War II, St Johnstone played well under manager David Rutherford to finish eighth. The Scottish Football League suspended competition for the duration of the war, St Johnstone were closed for most of the war and lost their top flight status as a result. The Southern Football League continued through the post-war 1945–46 season but with two divisions to incorporate clubs that were restarting, including St Johnstone, the Saints played in the 1945–46 B Division and finished sixth of fourteen clubs. St Johnstone had lost all the ground gained in the 1930s, jimmy Crapnell became the team manager for the 1947–48 season and was succeeded by Johnny Pattillo for 1953–54