Scottish Football League Third Division
The Scottish Football League Third Division was the fourth tier of the Scottish football league system between 1994 and 2013. The Scottish football league system had operated three divisions in the Scottish Football League from 1975. In 1994, as part of reconstruction to allow the admission of Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Ross County to the league, the fourth tier was named the Third Division. In 1998, the Premier Division clubs broke away to form the Scottish Premier League, the Third Division continued as the fourth tier of the league system, but was now the third tier of the SFL. In 2013, the SFL and SPL merged to form the Scottish Professional Football League, the SPFL named its fourth tier as Scottish League Two, which effectively replaced the Third Division. The Third Division consisted of ten teams throughout its existence, from 1994 until 2005, each season the top two teams were promoted to the Second Division. From 2005 until 2013, only the champion was promoted to the Second Division at the end of each season. The clubs that finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th entered a play-off with the 9th placed team of the Second Division, there was no relegation from the Third Division. The teams played each other four times with three points for a victory, one point for a draw and zero points for a loss, B. ^ Team failed to gain promotion via play-offs 1. ^ Every competitor in the league is a member of the Scottish Football League, however, one club – Berwick Rangers – is based in England. Official Site Scottish Football League Third Division clubs locations
Forfar Athletic F.C.
Forfar Athletic Football Club are a Scottish semi-professional football club from the town of Forfar, Angus. They are members of the Scottish Professional Football League and currently play in the Scottish League Two and they play their home games at Station Park, in the north end of Forfar. The club are nicknamed the Loons, although they are referred to as the Sky Blues. One explanation for the origins of the Loons moniker is that the string were younger than the first team. Other rival clubs in Angus include Arbroath, Brechin City and Montrose, as well as the clubs of Dundee, Dundee United, St Johnstone. As well as taking part in the Scottish Professional Football League, the club participate in the Scottish Cup, the League Cup, the Challenge Cup. The club were founded in 1885 when the team of the older Forfar club called Angus FC. Angus FC had been the senior club for a number of years, and on 24 September 1883, amalgamated with the Junior club Forfar West End. The demise of Angus in 1885 prompted the second string to go it alone, the early side played in a navy and black striped home strip. Forfar played their first match on 16 May 1885 when they beat Dundee Our Boys 1–0, on 1 September 1888 the club recorded their record win when they defeated Lindertis, a side from nearby Kirriemuir, 14–1. The club were admitted into the Scottish Football League in the 1921–22 season, entering the new Second Division, in the 1923–24 season a third division was established, Forfar were relegated into that division in the 1924–25 season by finishing bottom of Division Two. The club were lucky,12 of the 16 teams in that division were relegated as the division was to be scrapped the following season, national competitions were suspended with the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939. In this period Alec Troup was a key player for the club – he went on to play for Dundee, the clubs biggest defeat also came in this period, on 2 January 1930, when they lost 2–12 to Kings Park. When the league resumed in the 1946–47 season Forfar found themselves in the C Division of the league and this was considerable progress from the 1973–74 season when the club finished bottom of the division. The late 1970s and the 1980s can probably be considered the clubs most successful period – at the end of the 1985–86 season the club were just one point below promotion to the Premier Division, various kit colours were used throughout this period. In the 1950s and early 1960s, a home strip was used. Later the team adopted lighter blue with varying navy, the nickname The Sky Blues was introduced in the 1982–83 season to aid marketing, however it sometimes became confused with the nickname of English club Coventry City. The nickname was dropped by the club during the early 1990s, the club continued in the First Division until 1991–92, when they finished bottom under the management of Paul Hegarty
Scottish Football League Second Division
The Scottish Football League Second Division was the third tier of the Scottish football league system between 1975 and 2013. The Second Division was created in 1975, as part of a reconstruction of the Scottish Football League. Prior to 1975, the SFL had been split into two divisions, a fourth tier, known as the Third Division, was created in 1994. In 1998, the Premier Division clubs broke away from the SFL to form the Scottish Premier League, the Second Division continued as before, but it was now the second level of the SFL. In 2013, the SFL and SPL merged to form the Scottish Professional Football League, the SPFL named its third tier as Scottish League One, which effectively replaced the Second Division. From 1994 until 2013, the Second Division consisted of ten teams, from 1994 to 2006, the top two teams were promoted to the First Division and the bottom two were relegated to the Third Division. The bottom club was relegated to the Third Division and the 9th placed club entered an end of season play-off with the second, third. The teams played each other four times with three points for a victory and one point each for a drawn game, in the event of two teams finishing with the same number of points, the respective teams position is decided on goal difference. If goal difference is too, the team who has scored the most goals is placed higher. Most players in the Second Division were part-time professionals, B. ^ Team failed to gain promotion via play-offs 1. ^ Airdrie United lost in the play-offs, but were promoted due to Gretnas demotion to the Third Division, official Site Scottish Football League Second Division clubs locations
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
Dykehead Football Club was a football club based in the Dykehead area of Shotts, playing their home games at Parkside. The club were members of the Scottish Football League Third Division, the early history of the club is somewhat shrouded in mystery, although they were formed in 1880 but did not register with the Scottish Football Association until four years later. The club briefly competed in the Scottish Football Alliance, as well as the Eastern Football League, the Inter County Football League and the Scottish Football Union, which they won in 1912–13. They eventually ended up in the Western League, which was incorporated by the Scottish Football League as its new Third Division for the 1923–24 season, Dykehead lasted the Divisions three seasons, finishing 5th, 12th and 4th, but were not retained by the League. They continued until 1928 when they were wound up and they played their home games at Dykehead Park, Youngston Park, Craigmillar Park and Parkside. Their colours were black and white, players that have played/managed in the Football League or any foreign equivalent to this level. Players that hold a record or have captained the club. Tommy Davidson Ed McLaine Dykehead Historical Kits
Mid-Annandale Football Club, nicknamed The Mids, are a football club from the town of Lockerbie in the Dumfries and Galloway area of Scotland. They play in the South of Scotland Football League, the history of organised football in Lockerbie goes back to 1877, with the formation of the original Mid-Annandale F. C. In 1921, the Mids joined the Southern Counties Football League and they won the title that season, and retained the trophy the following season. An invitation to join the new Third Division of the Scottish Football League was accepted in 1923, although they were eventually accepted into the Scottish Alliance League, the glory days were long gone. The club eventually quit their Kintail Park ground and used various school playing fields for the rest of their career, despite a run of success in the Charity Cup during the early-30s, the club folded in 1936. Mid-Annandale play their fixtures at New King Edward Park, which re-opened mid-way through the 2014–15 season, prior to this, the club were sharing with Annan Athletic at their Galabank ground. During their time in the Scottish Football League they played at Kintail Park, the teams strip colours are yellow and black
Vale of Leven F.C.
Vale of Leven Football Club are an association club based in the town of Alexandria, Scotland, in the Vale of Leven area of West Dunbartonshire. Nicknamed the Vale and formed in 1939, they play at Millburn Park and they play in the Scottish Junior Football Association, West Region, and wear blue and white strips. In the early days of Scottish football, Vale of Leven, Vale won the Scottish Cup three times in succession. In 1878 they travelled down to England and beat the FA Cup winners, The Wanderers, the Wanderers had the advantage that the game was played under the English throw-in rule, but the Vales Scottish passing game proved superior to the English game of individual dribbling. The club also won the Celtic Society Cup in shinty in 1879, Vale of Leven was a founder member of the Scottish Football League when it was formed in 1890. By this time, the club was being eclipsed by the stars from Glasgow. In their second season failed to win a single game. Rather than face re-election for the time, the club withdrew. Between 1893 and 1902 the Vale played only friendly matches and in cup competition before joining the Scottish Football Combination, in 1905 they applied successfully for readmission to the Scottish League when the Second Division was extended with two additional places. They finished as runners-up in 1907 and in 1909 but did not receive the votes they needed to be elected to the First Division, as the following decade wore on, Vale of Leven struggled and regularly finished near the foot of the table. When the Second Division was suspended in 1915, Vale joined the Western League, after World War I ended Vale of Leven returned to the Scottish League for the third time as members of the reformed Second Division. After a decent fourth-place finish in their first season, the club was relegated to the new Third Division in 1924 and this ill-fated competition was abandoned in 1926 when it became clear that the cost of meeting match guarantees and additional travel expenses were beyond the means of its members. Despite the church name, Vale Ocoba appeared to be a flag of convenience for the Vale of Leven Football & Athletic Club struck off the SFAs roll. Original club colours, Dark blue shirts, dark blue shorts, disaster struck however when the start of World War II obliged the league to be suspended due to restrictions on travel by December 1939. Technically, the current club is unattached to the senior club. Scottish Junior football has a number of clubs that were forced to fold as Senior sides due to financial reasons or as a result of the collapse of the old Scottish Division Three in the late 1920s. This is more prevalent on the West Coast where no non-amateur Senior league exists any longer, the most recent example of this trend has been the former Junior turned Senior turned Junior again side Clydebank. Vale of Leven should not be confused with the slightly differently named East of Scotland League club Vale of Leithen
Montrose Football Club is a Scottish semi-professional football team, based in the town of Montrose, Angus. They are members of the Scottish Professional Football League and currently play in Scottish League Two, the club were founded in 1879 and play at Links Park. They joined Scottish Football in 1923, along with near-neighbours Brechin City, in the newly founded Scottish Third Division, Montrose are one of only three sides from that Third Division who are still competing today in the SFL. The club was readmitted to the Second Division in 1929–30, in the 1930s, the first few league seasons after readmission were difficult, with the club regularly finishing in the bottom four of the table. In the immediate period, Montrose spent time playing in the newly formed Division C, consisting of provincial clubs. With the re-formation of the Second Division in 1955–56, the once again joined that league. In the second round of 1974–75 Scottish Cup, Montrose recorded their largest victory when they beat Vale of Leithen 12–0, although this was an away fixture, due to a fire at their oppositions ground this tie was played at Links Park. Montrose won their first championship under the guidance of Iain Stewart in 1984–85, relegation followed in 1987 as the part-time club found themselves outgunned in a league largely consisting of full-time teams. Under co-managers Doug Rougvie and Chic McLelland, Montrose won promotion to Division One in 1991, Montrose have spent the vast majority of their recent history in the relative obscurity of the Third Division. At the end of the 1994–95 season, they were promoted to the Second Division after finishing as runners up to Forfar Athletic, however, the teams first attempt at this higher level was not successful, as they finished bottom of the table in 1995–96. The club have remained at this level ever since, and have achieved success in the league. Their most notable recent success was a surprising 5–1 win away at Second Division side Forfar Athletic in the First Round of the 2004–05 Scottish Cup, in the second round of the 2003–04 League Cup, Montrose were drawn away to SPL side Hibernian where they were crushed 9–0. Following a disappointing beginning to 2005–06 season, manager Henry Hall left the club by mutual consent, former Montrose player Eddie Wolecki was appointed new manager of the team on 12 December 2005. In July 2006 Aberdeen businessman Kenny Black invested money in the club and was offered a place on the board which he accepted, David Robertson became co-manager with Wolecki, but the latter parted company with the club in September 2006. Following a very poor run of results David Robertson left the club in early 2007, replaced in time by ex-St Johnstone stalwart Jim Weir, Links Park underwent a transformation ahead of the 2007–08 campaign. A new artificial pitch was laid, so the game on 21 April 2007 was the last game on grass for the foreseeable future, a smaller training pitch was installed beside the main stand. New state of the art catering facilities and changing rooms were also installed, the fortunes of the club on the pitch also improved with several big name signings and a great start to the season propelled Montrose into the top 4 for the majority of the season. Montrose came in third in the league and were pitted against Stranraer in the playoffs, a 1–1 draw in the first leg at Links park, was followed by a second leg in which Montrose went down 3–0
Lochgelly United F.C.
Lochgelly United Football Club were a football club based in Lochgelly, Scotland. Nicknamed the Happylanders, the club were members of the Scottish Football League between 1914 and 1926, the club was formed in 1890 by the merger of two local clubs, Lochgelly Athletic and Fifeshire Hibernian, and initially played at Schools Park. They spent their time variously in the Northern and Central leagues, in 1901 the club moved to Reids Park, where they remained until 1910, when they moved again, to Recreation Park. They were admitted to the Scottish Football League Second Division in 1914 and they continued in the Eastern and Central Leagues and returned to the Second Division when it was reinstated in 1921. However the club suffered a season in 1923–24, setting two unwanted records for the old Second Division – most defeats in a season and fewest league goals in a season. The Happylanders home form that season had been noted for low scores with the club, however, in one match, played against Kings Park on 16 February 1924, the club lost 8–3, half the total of all the others put together. They were relegated to the new Third Division in 1924 and and they remained in this league until 1928 when they were wound up. Players that have played/managed in the top two divisions of the Scottish Football League or any equivalent to this level. Players that hold a record or have captained the club. James Haldane Lochgelly United Historical Kits
Brechin City F.C.
Brechin City Football Club is a Scottish football club based in the town of Brechin in Angus. The club was founded in 1906 by players and officials of two clubs, Brechin Harp and Brechin Hearts. The club currently competes in the Scottish League One as a member of the Scottish Professional Football League, the clubs highest achievements include winning the third tier of Scottish football four times, the last coming in 2004–05 as champions of the Second Division. The club has reached the final of the Scottish Challenge Cup. Brechins home ground is Glebe Park with the capacity to seat around 1,500 spectators in its capacity of 4,083, the current player/manager is Darren Dods, who was appointed in June 2015. The club was founded in 1906 by players and officials from two successful local junior sides – Brechin Harp and Brechin Hearts. Although Brechin Harp folded with the establishment of the side, Brechin Hearts continued as a viable. The club won its first important local honour, the Forfarshire Cup, the club moved to their Glebe Park home in 1919, a stadium which currently has a capacity of 3,960 and is famous for the hedge that runs alongside one side of the pitch. The team was admitted to the Scottish league in 1923 with the formation of the original Third Division, however City struggled, finishing bottom of the League in that first season. The club failed to make any headway in the doomed division, the club was not away long however as it returned to the League for the 1929–30 season following the departure of Bathgate and Arthurlie the previous season. Once again however the club finished rock bottom, the club continued to struggle in the bottom half of the Second Division throughout the 1930s before going into hibernation during the Second World War. Indeed, so poor was the club at times that during the 1937–38 season the club were beaten 10–0 by Cowdenbeath, Albion Rovers, the club remained in this set-up until its success in the North-East section in the 1953–54 season saw it return to full League membership. Their first season back however resulted in another bottom placed finish, the unwanted feat of finishing bottom two years in a row was repeated again in 1972–73 and 1973–74 as Brechin City continued to be one of the weakest sides in Scottish League football. The club finished 17th out of 20 in the 1974–75 season and as such was placed in the new Division Two, the new set-up suited the club little better as they remained in and around the bottom. However a mid-table 1979–80 season ushered in something of a change in fortune as the club began to challenge for its first promotion as full League members. With both a new stand and floodlighting added to Glebe Park, the club played with a new ambition until finally breaking its duck with a win in the 1982–83 season. Under Wills progressive leadership City found its feet in the First Division, brechins return to the First Division was to prove somewhat inauspicious as it was immediately relegated, although 1992–93 season saw it promoted again, this time as runners-up. Again, however, it was relegated immediately and worse was to follow as it suffered consecutive demotions, dropping into the newly created Third Division, the fourth tier of League football
Solway Star F.C.
Solway Star Football Club were a football club based in Annan, Scotland, playing their home games at Kimmeter Park Green. The club were members of the Scottish Football League Third Division, founded in 1911 Star concentrated on friendlies for much of their early years as league competition was unpopular in the south west of Scotland. They managed only two seasons in the Southern Counties Football League before joining the Western League for a single season and this league was incorporated by the Scottish Football League as its new Third Division for the 1923–24 season. Solway Star lasted the Divisions three seasons, finishing 11th, 3rd and 11th, but were not retained by the League and they continued until 1928 when they were wound up. A single season in the Scottish Football Alliance with the club competing in the South of Scotland Football League. They returned to their cup games and friendlies status in 1933. Players that have played/managed in the Scottish Football League or any equivalent to this level. Players that hold a record or have captained the club. James Kerr Solway Star Historical Kits
Beith Football Club were a football club based at Bellsdale Park in Beith, Scotland. The club were members of the Scottish Football League from 1923 to 1926, the club was initially formed in 1875 and were founder members of the Ayrshire Football Association in 1877, but went into abeyance in 1883 and did not re-emerge fully until 1888. Nicknamed the cabinet makers, they joined the Ayrshire Football League in 1891 and would play in the Scottish Football Combination. Around this time the club featured goalkeeper Hugh McDonald, who later had success at Woolwich Arsenal. They eventually ended up in the Western League, which was incorporated by the Scottish Football League as its new Third Division for the 1923–24 season, Beith lasted the Divisions three seasons, finishing 7th, 13th and 12th, but were not retained by the League. The club joined the Scottish Football Alliance, playing against Galston, Beith won the Scottish Qualifying Cup in 1928 and won the Scottish Qualifying Cup South in 1932,1933 and 1935. When the First Division clubs decided that only their reserve teams could play in their reserve league, the club decided in 1938 to leave the senior ranks and become Beith Juniors. And join the Western League North Division for 1939–40 season, 1875–1882 Gateside Toll 1882–1883 Marshalland 1888–1894 Knockbuckle 1894–1903 James Meadow 1903–1915 Glebe Park 1919 Kersland Field Glengarnock 1920–1938 Bellsdale Park. Scottish Non League publishing Aitken, John, Scottish Non League publishing Aitken, John. The Scottish Junior Football Association 125 years, Scottish Non League publishing Beith Historical Kits
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
Peebles Rovers F.C.
Peebles Rovers Football Club is a Scottish football club based in Peebles, Scottish Borders. Founded in 1893, they play their matches at Whitestone Park. The club are members of the East of Scotland Football League and they were briefly members of the Scottish Football League, between 1923 and 1926. In 2006, Peebles Rovers merged with youth teams to form a new community club. The new Peebles F. C. took over Rovers EoSFL place until 2010, all told, Peebles Rovers played 86 Scottish Football League matches, winning 28, drawing 15 and losing 43. They scored 159 goals and conceded 190 and their record victory at their Whitestone Park home was 7–1 against Beith on 18 April 1925. Their best away win was 5–2 away against Galston, seven days previously on 11 April 1925, Peebles Rovers themselves were active long before the Third Division, being formed in 1893, and have played in the Scottish Cup proper over twenty times. Their first appearance was back in 1907–08, when they lost 4–0 away to Celtic, in their first 11 appearances, they were drawn away from home on each and every occasion, spanning 19 ties in all. They managed to win three of these and draw two, including holding Hibernian to a 0–0 draw at Easter Road in 1923 – easily their best result in the competition, in this season, Paddy McBoyle starred as top scorer with a total of 27 league goals. Other than a win over St Cuthberts Wanderers, they did not have a home tie until beating Keith 7–3 in 1926. They drew away to Albion Rovers in the round, before losing the replay. They also drew with their Coatbridge namesakes in 1957, and again lost the replay, the season before that, they were involved in a marathon tie with Brechin City. There was a 1–1 draw away, 4–4 at home after extra time, 0–0 in a replay at Easter Road, again after extra time and finally losing 6–2 in a third replay. After that they took some serious hammerings, losing 10–0 away to St Mirren in 1959, 6–1 at home against Ayr United the next year, joe Baker scored nine that day and his brother Gerry grabbed four in the earlier debacle at Love Street. During the 1959–1960 season, there was a record 23–2 defeat at the hands of Partick Thistle and their final appearance was better though, in 1965–66, they drew 2–2 at Dumbarton and took the Sons to extra time in the replay before losing 3–2. After the match both sides celebrated the match as an exemplar of what football could be, in the 1966–67, Rovers joined the junior grade of football and entered a period of decline, until they rejoined the senior ranks in the East of Scotland League in the 1980–81. Although they won several times, their stays in the Premier were of short duration. In the 2007–08 season, Peebles won promotion to the East of Scotland Premier Division, largest crowds to watch them have been 14,000 and 10,453, both at Easter Road in the Scottish Cup in 1923 and 1961
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
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