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
Ayr United F.C.
Ayr United Football Club are a Scottish association football club, based in Ayr that plays in the Scottish Championship, the second tier of the Scottish Professional Football League. Formed in 1910 after the merger of former clubs Ayr Parkhouse and Ayr, their nickname is The Honest Men, taken from a line in the poem Tam o Shanter by Scotlands national poet, Robert Burns. The club have spent 34 seasons in Scotlands top division altogether, the club have been the champions of the second tier of Scottish football on six occasions and of the third tier twice, but have not won any national cup competitions. The clubs most famous and most successful manager is Ally MacLeod, in May 2016 United secured promotion to the Scottish Championship via the Playoffs. Ayr United were founded in 1910 after the merger of Ayr Parkhouse, the clubs honours include winning six Second Division titles and a further two such titles, most recently in 1996–97. They have won the competition the Ayrshire Cup on 26 occasions. The Ayrshire Cup was last played for in season 1996–97, since when the competition has been suspended, the clubs overall record scorer is Peter Price, who scored 213 times in competitive matches for the club between 1955 and 1962. Former Scottish national team manager Ally MacLeod is regarded as the clubs most famous and he led the club on three separate occasions spanning 15 years, during which his teams recorded a record 214 wins, and won two league titles. In 1973 MacLeod was voted Ayrs Citizen of the Year, more recent managers have also included the recent Scottish national team manager, George Burley, and former Scottish League Cup winner with Raith Rovers, Gordon Dalziel. Gordon Dalziel is the manager to take Ayr to a National Cup Final on 17 March 2002 when they lost to Rangers 4–0. Their current manager is Ian McCall, although the club has spent 34 seasons in Scotlands top division, they have played in the second and third tiers of Scottish senior football since the 1977–78 season. In 1988, Ayr United fan and businessman Sir David Murray offered to buy the club, during much of the 1990s and 2000s, a period of relative success both in league and cup competitions, the Ayr United chairman was local construction magnate Bill Barr. After Barr stood down, there were occasional boardroom struggles, the club suffered significant cashflow problems in 2004 although it survived with a combination of efforts, prestwick-based Roy Kennedy failed to takeover the club in 2005, and his company Kennedy Construction went bankrupt in 2006. On 24 May 2009, Ayr won the Scottish First Division Play-off against Airdrie United 3–2 on aggregate to win promotion to the First Division. The following season, to celebrate the centenary, Ayr United played in black and white hoops. The away kit was crimson and gold with blue shorts to reflect the club colours. But it was not a successful season, Ayr were relegated on the last day of the season after losing 2–1 to Morton. The club bounced back the season, winning promotion after defeating Forfar Athletic
Airdrieonians F.C. (1878)
Airdrieonians Football Club, more commonly known as Airdrie, were a Scottish professional football team from the town of Airdrie, in the Monklands area of Lanarkshire. During their 124-year existence the Diamonds, as they were nicknamed, the club also competed in four separate Scottish Cup finals, winning the competition in 1924. Airdrieonians were the first club in the Scottish League to fold since 1967, the team was founded in Airdrie, North Lanarkshire in 1878 as Excelsior Football Club, changing its name to Airdrieonians in 1881. It was elected to the Scottish Football League in 1894, the club enjoyed its most successful era in the 1920s, following the signing of Hughie Gallacher from Queen of the South in 1921. Airdrie challenged the dominance of Rangers, as finished in second place in the Scottish League championship four years in a row between 1923 and 1926 and won the Scottish Cup in 1924. Following this victory, in early summer 1925, the club visited Norway and Sweden, translations of local newspaper reports, and some photographs of the tour, are still available. This successful era came to an end after Gallacher and Bob McPhail were sold to Newcastle United, Airdrie spent much of the post war era yo-yoing between the top flight and Second Division. Airdrie entered the first Texaco Cup competition in 1970–71, defeating Nottingham Forest in the first round and that tie was decided by a penalty shootout and Airdrie became the first Scottish club to be involved in that method of deciding a contest. Airdrie reached the Texaco Cup Final in 1972, losing 2–1 on aggregate to Derby County and they also reached the 1975 Scottish Cup Final, losing 3–1 to Celtic. After the leagues were restructured in 1975, a called the Spring Cup was instituted for the teams in the lower divisions. Airdrie won this competition in 1976, but it was discontinued after one season as clubs preferred to play league games instead. MacDonald also guided the Diamonds to two Scottish Cup Finals, the first appearance coming on 9 May 1992 when the club faced Rangers in front of 44,045 strong crowd at Hampden Park. Unfortunately for Airdrie on this however, a goal each from Mark Hateley. Although Airdrie lost in the 1992 Scottish Cup Final they had qualified for the 1992–93 European Cup Winners Cup. Airdrie were drawn against Czech side Sparta Prague in the first round, Airdrie lost 1–0 at Broomfield and 2–1 in Prague, losing 3–1 on aggregate. Kenny Black, who went on to become manager of Airdrie United, scored the only Airdrie goal. Airdrie also reached the 1995 Scottish Cup Final, where they faced the other half of the Old Firm, Airdrie would once again fall at the final hurdle, as they lost 1–0 to a Pierre van Hooijdonk goal. Airdrie also won the Scottish Challenge Cup in 1994–95, Airdrie sold their Broomfield home to Safeway in 1994, but had to groundshare with Clyde at Broadwood Stadium for four years until the Excelsior Stadium was opened
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
Queen of the South F.C.
Queen of the South Football Club are a Scottish professional football club founded in 1919 and located in Dumfries. The club currently plays in the Scottish Championship, in the tier of Scottish football. They are officially nicknamed The Doonhamers but are referred to as Queens or QoS. Their home ground since their formation has been Palmerston Park, Queens led Scotlands top division up until New Year in season 1953–54 and the clubs highest finish in Scotlands top division was fourth in season 1933–34. The club reached their first major cup final in 2008 when they reached the final of the Scottish Cup, gary Naysmith is the current club manager, having been appointed on 1 December 2016 and John Rankin is the current club captain, having been appointed on 7 January 2017. Robbie Neilson, the current manager of MK Dons, said about Queens from his period at the club in 2002, Its a well-run club. In the 2008 UEFA Cup qualifying trip to Denmark Queen of the South fans were hailed as a great credit both to their club and to Scotland by Danish police, about 850 supporters of the Dumfries club travelled to Denmark to watch the UEFA Cup clash with FC Nordsjaelland. Despite the fact that their team was eliminated, local police said their behaviour was impressive. Insp Rune Hamann said, It was a pleasure hosting such a visit by Queen of the South whose supporters were well behaved. Copenhagen was particularly busy in the build up to and after the match with a carnival, I look forward to welcoming Queen of the South and their terrific supporters back in Denmark in the future. Ch Insp Mickey Collins from Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary said the fans were a pleasure to work along with and he added, Despite the huge numbers of supporters who travelled to Denmark there were no arrests, incidents or issues of any concern. Great praise should be passed on to those fortunate enough to be at the match, the club mascot is Dougie the Doonhamer, a human sized border collie dog. The character has been played for many years by supermarket worker Brian Harkness. Queen of the South are often cited as the only league club in the United Kingdom to be mentioned in the Bible. Luke 11,31 states The Queen of the South shall rise up at the judgment with the men of this generation, Queen of the South is similarly quoted under Matthew 12,42. In the biblical quote the Queen of the South is considered to be the Queen of Sheba. P, Queens played for 78 minutes with 10 men after goalkeeper George Farm was injured in the 12th minute and was carried off. Dundees Alan Gilzean scored 7 of the goals, Dundee were reigning Scottish League Champions at the time and would make the European Cup semi-finals that season where they lost to eventual winners AC Milan. Highest free standing floodlights in Scottish football, Queens floodlights were first used on 29 October 1958, to mark the occasion Preston North End sent a team north for a friendly match. First Queens players to four senior Scottish football medals while playing for the club, Jim Thomson
East Fife F.C.
East Fife Football Club is a semi-professional football club established in 1903 in Methil, Fife, Scotland. They are members of the Scottish Professional Football League and they compete in League One, the third tier of the Scottish football league system. The club were the first club to win the Scottish League Cup three times and one of two clubs from the second tier of the Scottish league system to win the Scottish Cup. This makes them the most successful club in Fife in terms of honours won. East Fife are one of four senior clubs based in Fife, the three other clubs are Cowdenbeath, Dunfermline Athletic and the Kirkcaldy-based Raith Rovers, all of whom have historically shared rivalries. The clubs East Fife Ladies team competes in the Scottish Womens Football League Second Division East and they are a developing club at all ages including first-team for ladies football, and play their home games in Levenmouth, Fife. Local demand for the establishment of a football team led to a public meeting being held in January 1903. The following season East Fife joined the Northern League, which included such as Dunfermline Athletic. The club remained in the Northern League until the 1908–09 season, East Fife remained in the Central League until 1921, apart from a period during the First World War when the Eastern League was reformed. In the period following the war, the clubs competing for the Central League were mainly from the coal and shale mining communities of Fife and West Lothian. As the mining towns thrived with the growth of the industry and its associated influx of miners and their families. The result of this was that by the end of the decade, in an effort to stop the migration of its players to the Central League, the Scottish League decided to admit the Central League clubs, including East Fife, to its membership. The Central League therefore became the Scottish Second Division at the start of the 1921–22 season, only six years after becoming members of the Scottish League, East Fife appeared in the 1927 Scottish Cup final, which it lost 3–1 to Celtic at Hampden Park. East Fifes only season in Scottish footballs top division before World War II was 1930–31 after finishing Second Division runners-up the year before, the 1927 cup feat was surpassed just over a decade later when The Fifers won the 1937–38 Scottish Cup. The prestigious cup was secured with a 4–2 win over Kilmarnock in the final, the game was watched by a crowd of almost 92,000 spectators. East Fifes best years were undoubtedly in the following the Second World War. In 1946–47 the club finished third missing promotion by one place, scot Symon joined as manager in 1947. At the end of East Fife were promoted to the top flight of Scottish football as B Division champions, during this Golden Period, the club won the Scottish League Cup on three separate occasions in seven seasons
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
Arbroath Football Club are a Scottish football club currently playing in the Scottish League Two. The club were founded in 1878 and play matches at Gayfield Park. They play in maroon strips, and are nicknamed the Red Lichties due to the red light that used to fishing boats back from the North Sea to the burghs harbour. Arbroath share a long-standing and fierce rivalry with local neighbours Montrose, jocky Petrie scored 13 goals in that game, a record for the most goals by a single player in a British senior match. The team has had mixed success in recent years, in the 1996–97 season they hit the bottom of the Scottish senior football standard as they finished bottom of the Third Division. However, the season they were promoted to the Second Division. They spent three years at this level before winning promotion to the First Division – arguably the clubs greatest achievement in recent history and they finished 7th in their first season in the First Division,13 points clear of relegation troubles. However, in the 2002–03 season, the team struggled badly, in the 2003–04 season, Arbroath narrowly avoided back-to-back relegations, as they escaped the drop on the last day of the season. In 2004–05, however, there was no escaping a 3–0 defeat at Dumbarton on 30 April 2005, therefore, in recent years the club has risen from the depths of the Third Division to the heights of the First Division, then fallen back down to the basement league. Arbroath finished fourth in Division 3 and disposed of Cowdenbeath 2–1 on aggregate thanks to an extra time winner from Robbie Raeside in the semi final. Stranraer were the opponents in the final and the Lichties ran out 2–0 winners in the home tie first leg at Gayfield thanks to a Robbie Raeside header. At Stranraer, the Arbroath goal was pummelled for much of the match, although one goal was conceded, a resolute defence saw the Lichties hold on for a 2–1 aggregate win and promotion. Arbroath managed to consolidate their position in Division 2 in 2008–09, the performances were boosted by loan additions such as Steven Doris, Craig Forsyth and ex Scotland International, Colin Cameron and the team got results when it mattered. Safety was all but assured with a narrow 1–0 win over Queens Park at Hampden, courtesy of a fine Robbie Ross strike, a 2–2 draw against Peterhead and a 0–0 draw against Raith Rovers in May was enough to seal 7th spot. During season 2009–10, results seemed to go into free fall after a 6–0 home defeat to St Johnstone in the CIS Cup early in the season. John McGlashan resigned to be replaced by Jim Weir who after a mixed start eventually rallied the team to a spirited last few weeks of the season. With a win needed against East Fife to avoid the play-offs, after beating Queens Park in the play-off semi final, their season ended with a 2–0 loss to Forfar Athletic in the final. Weir resigned to take up the vacant position at Brechin City, arbroaths next few seasons in the third tier were a mixed rollercoaster
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
Alloa Athletic F.C.
Alloa Athletic Football Club is a Scottish association football semi professional club based in the town of Alloa, Clackmannanshire. Founded as Clackmannan County in 1878, the changed its name to Alloa a year later. The club competes in the Scottish League One as a member of the Scottish Professional Football League, the club was elected to the second tier of the Scottish Football League in 1921–22, earning promotion to the top flight in its first season after winning the Second Division. Alloa Athletic first entered in the Scottish Cup in 1883, its best result reaching the quarter-finals on three occasions, the last in 1988. The clubs best result in a cup competition was reaching the final of the Scottish Challenge Cup thrice, winning in 1999. The clubs nickname is The Wasps, referring to its colours of black. Alloa Athletic has been based at Recreation Park in Alloa since 1895, the club were formed in 1878 as Clackmannan County, becoming Alloa a year later and finally adopting the present-day name Alloa Athletic in 1883. Admitted to the Scottish Football Association in the year, the club had to wait until 1921 to elected to the Scottish Football League. In 1906–07, the club were Scottish Football Union champions and won the Central Football League six years later, Alloa won the Scottish Football League Division Two title in their first season but were immediately relegated from the top flight the following season. Promotion was achieved again in 1938–39 but the onset of the Second World War saw the new season curtailed after just five games, when the leagues were re-organised after the war, Alloa were placed back in Division Two. The 1950s and 60s were not overly successful for the Wasps although the club did provide the game with John White who went on to play for Scotland, promotion was finally achieved again from the new Second Division in 1976–77 under the managership of Hugh Wilson. Relegation soon followed but the Wasps went back up 1981–82 under Alex Totten, unfortunately the team was relegated again a year later and a similar pattern followed after further promotions in 1984–85 and 1988–89. Following further league reconstruction, Alloa found themselves as members of the new Third Division in 1995. Under Tom Hendrie, Alloa won this league in 1997–98, the clubs first championship win since 1921–22, the following season saw the team consolidate in the Second Division and also enjoy a famous 7–0 derby win over local rivals Stirling Albion. The team was relegated at the first attempt but bounced back up in 2001–02, relegation followed once more, this time on goal difference. From 2003–2011 Alloa played in the Second Division, in the 2009–2010 season, Alloa looked certain to gain promotion to the Scottish First Division, but they lost out to Stirling by Goal Difference. Days after, however, Alloa pulled off a coup, appointing former Aberdeen. On 7 April 2012, Alloa were confirmed as Scottish Third Division champions after beating Elgin City 8–1 in a game at Recreation Park
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
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
Berwick Rangers F.C.
Berwick Rangers Football Club is a football team in the town of Berwick-upon-Tweed, England, on the border with Scotland. Founded in 1881, they play in Scottish League Two, the fourth tier of Scottish football. Berwick Rangers was officially formed on 7 January 1884 after a match was played in the town between a team of millworkers from Dunbar and a team of clerks from Newcastle. For much of the history it was believed that they had formed in 1881. Their first competitive match was against another team from Berwick, The Royal Oaks on 16 February 1884, Berwick Rangers won the match by one goal to nil. Berwick Rangers affiliated to the Scottish Football Association around 1905 and entered the Scottish Border League in 1905, recent research has revealed that the club joined the East of Scotland League immediately after the First World War, a new competition formed to replace the Borders League. The club made attempts to join the North Northumberland League but were rebuffed. It was not until 1951 that they were admitted to Scottish League Division C Division and this third tier, made up largely of reserve sides, had been created in 1946 and was regionalised in 1949. The division was scrapped in 1955 and Berwick, along with the other teams, were placed in an enlarged Division B. Berwick Rangers have played in the Scottish Football League ever since, despite low attendances, following its foundation, the club had had a nomadic existence before eventually settling down at Shielfield Park in 1954. A notable early success was a 3–0 win over Dundee in the Scottish Cup in 1954 in a run which saw them reach the quarter-final, ten years later they reached the semi-final of the Scottish League Cup losing to Rangers 3–1. Arguably their greatest success came in 1967, when they beat Rangers 1–0 in the Scottish Cup under the management of player manager Jock Wallace. It was the highlight of a cup run, which had seen them break a club record in beating Vale of Leithen 8–1 in the first round. The result sent shockwaves around Scottish football and led to a number of the Rangers players leaving Ibrox and they were paired with Hibernian in the following round but lost 1–0 in front of a crowd of nearly 30,000. The following years saw little progress until the late 1970s, when under the management of Dave Smith they won the Division Two title in 1979, despite that success they were unable to build and suffered a slow decline through the 1980s. The nadir came in season 1988–89 when they were nearly bankrupted, in 1988 Jim Jefferies took over as manager and led the team to a club record 21 game unbeaten run. The club weathered this and other crises in the early 1990s, later in the decade Berwick enjoyed a bit more in the way of success only missing out on promotion to Division One due to league reorganisation in 1994. They were relegated to Division Three in 1997 but under the management of Paul Smith regained promotion in 2000, under Smiths stewardship they took both Rangers and Heart of Midlothian to replays in the Scottish Cup
Dumbarton Football Club is a semi-professional football club based in Dumbarton, Scotland. The club were one of the most successful of the nineteenth century, the club were the first team to win at least one league title in each of the four tiers in the Scottish league system. Stevie Aitken is the manager, having been appointed on 27 May 2015. For the 2016–17 season, the team will wear strips from the Joma brand, the clubs badge features an elephant with a castle on its back, this represents Dumbarton Rock with Dumbarton Castle upon it, based on the historic town crest. Dumbarton Rock, a plug, is said to resemble an elephant. The teams nickname The Sons is derived from the phrase Sons of The Rock, Dumbarton play their home games at The Cheaper Insurance Direct Stadium. The 2,020 all seated stadium has used since 2 December 2000. The main stand is overshadowed by Dumbarton Rock & sits aside the banks of the River Leven, between May and November 2000, Dumbarton shared Cliftonhill in Coatbridge with Albion Rovers. The existing site would be used by Denny Homes to build 180 houses, Dumbarton were the first league club in Scotland to have a supporters trust, which works to strengthen the links between the club and the fans. The trust own a significant number of shares in the club and are currently the fourth largest shareholder, following a £25,000 direct investment, the trust also has a representative on the club board of directors. The supporters trust works with the club to produce the match programme & run the club website, as well as those important functions, the trusts main role at the club is that of overseeing commercial activity. As of 31 March 2017 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. Stats include permanent managers who had initial caretaker spells, as of match played Saturday 1 April 2017. C
Queen's Park F.C.
Queens Park Football Club is a Scottish football club based in Glasgow. Queens Park is the oldest association football club in Scotland, having founded in 1867. Queens Park is also the only Scottish football club to have played in the FA Cup Final, the clubs home is a Category 4 stadium, the all-seated Hampden Park in South East Glasgow, which is also the home of the Scottish national team. With 10 titles, Queens Park has won the Scottish Cup the third most times of any club, behind Rangers and Celtic, gentlemen from the local YMCA took part in football matches in the local Glasgow area which gave the club its name. During the inaugural meeting, debate raged over the clubs name, proposals included, The Celts, The Northern and Morayshire. Perhaps such choice of names suggest a Highland influence within the new club, after much deliberation, Queens Park was adopted and carried, but only by a majority of one vote. Although Queens was not the first club in Britain, that going to Edinburgh and John Hopes Football Club, formed in 1824. Opposition first came in the form of a now defunct Glaswegian side called Thistle F. C. on 30 November 1872, Scotland faced England at the West of Scotland Cricket Club ground at Hamilton Crescent. For the one and only time all eleven Scots players were from Queens Park and they wore blue jerseys,4,000 spectators watched Scotland play with a 2–2–6 formation and England with a 1–1–8 line-up. Queens Park formed the Scottish Football Association on 13 March 1873, the match against Dumbreck on 25 October was the first match to be played at Hampden Park. It was also the first match which saw Queens Park players wear their black and white hooped jerseys. David Wotherspoon, a Queens Park player and committee member, has credited with the introduction of the black. Most importantly, it was the first Scottish Cup tie and Scottish competitive match for the club, in the final, Queens defeated Clydesdale 2–0 at Hampden. Success in the Scottish Cup followed in the two years with final victories over Renton and Third Lanark. In drawing 2–2 with Clydesdale in the 1875 semi-final, Queens conceded their first ever goals, defeat for the club was first experienced with a 2–1 defeat to Vale of Leven in the 5th round in December 1876. Third Lanark and Rangers eliminated the Spiders before Queens reclaimed the cup in 1880 with a win over Thornliebank, Dumbarton were beaten in the final in successive years. In 1881, Queens had to them twice after Dumbarton successfully appealed that the crowd at Kinning Park had encroached following a 2–1 defeat. Dumbarton got revenge in 1883 but Queens won again in 1884 without even having to play the final after Vale of Leven refused to play on the date stipulated by the SFA, in the early days of Englands FA Cup, Scottish clubs were often invited to compete
Third Lanark A.C.
Third Lanark Athletic Club was a football club that existed for 95 years between 1872 and 1967, in Glasgow, Scotland. Third Lanark was known as Thirds, the Warriors, the Redcoats, the fans invariably started to sing Hi Hi Hi. as a battle cry to encourage the team to victory during the clubs matches. There was a house called The Hi Hi Bar at the southern end of Crown Street in the Gorbals area of Glasgow. One of the successful clubs in early Scottish Football, Third Lanark was not the first major club to be compulsorily liquidated and dissolved. Former Scottish Cup winners Renton and near neighbours Vale of Leven suffered similar fates and it was refounded in 1996 with forming Under-18s were formed by Jim Weir. Finally Third Lanark fielded a team, in 2007, to coincide with the 40th anniversary of Third Lanark’s withdrawal from Senior Scottish football. Third Lanark started as the team of the Third Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers. The team was founded on 12 December 1872 at a meeting of the Third Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers in the Regimental Orderly Room in Howard Street. The soldiers, inspired by the first ever international friendly which had taken two weeks previously, decided to form their own team. Several of the Scotland team in match, made up solely of Queens Park players, had been part of the regiment, including Billy Dickson, Billy MacKinnon. A later meeting decided that the kit should be, A cowl – one end blue, the other yellow. Blue trousers or knickerbockers with blue stockings, the players used an old drill field on Victoria Road to train. The club was a member of the Scottish Football League. The name was changed to Third Lanark AC in 1903, when links with the military were severed. The club won the Scottish League championship in 1903–04, as well as the Scottish Cup in 1889 and 1905, the last day of the 1960–61 season saw Third Lanark reach a historic landmark. The club beat Hibernian 6–1 at Cathkin Park to reach 100 goals for the season, the following season saw Thirds take part in European competition for the first and only time when they faced Rouen of France home and away in the Anglo-Franco-Scottish Friendship Cup. Rouen won 4–0 at Cathkin on 7 November 1961 and 2–1 in France on 9 May 1962, only four years after that successful 1960–61 season, the clubs terminal agony began. There followed another two seasons of mediocrity and discontent, Third Lanark recorded their lowest-ever home League attendance of 297 spectators on 15 April 1967 for the visit of Clydebank
Stranraer Football Club is a Scottish semi-professional football club based in the town of Stranraer in Dumfries and Galloway. The club was founded in 1870, making it the third oldest football club in Scotland behind Queens Park and Kilmarnock, the club currently competes in the Scottish League One as a member of the Scottish Professional Football League. They also won the Scottish Second Division on two occasions, most recently in 1997–98 as well as coming runners-up in 2004–05 and 2014–15 and their only ever national cup final came in 1996, when the club defeated First Division champions St Johnstone 1–0 in the Scottish Challenge Cup final. Stranraers home ground is Stair Park, which has the capacity to seat around 1,830 spectators and 4,178 including standing, the ground was opened in 1907 and is located in the east of Stranraer. They were founded in 1870 and play their football at Stair Park, however they had taken part in the Scottish Cup since their debut in the national tournament in 1877–78. In 1955 C Division was abolished and the Blues found themselves in B Division and they would remain in the bottom tier until their first-ever promotion eventually arrived under the clubs legendary manager Alex McAnespie in 1993–94. With Campbell Money at the helm Stranraer spent three seasons in the Second Division before winning back to the First Division at the end of the 1997–98 season. Once again, they finished bottom of the league, with the points total as before and 29 defeats. During that season a league win was secured at Easter Road against Hibernian. During Moneys reign the club lifted the Scottish League Challenge Cup, saints Danny Griffin was the unfortunate scorer of an own goal. However, the cup run did not reflect their league form, as they finished ninth in the Second Division. However, the teams fortunes improved from there, as, under Neil Watt, they won the Third Division at the first attempt, in season 2004–05, the team shocked most people, as they stayed in the top two for most of the campaign. The team had an unsuccessful campaign in 2006–07, with heavy defeats by relegation rivals Peterhead. They finished ninth, which resulted in a play-off with Third Division promotion contenders East Fife, a 4–2 aggregate defeat saw them relegated to the Third Division. On 21 January 2009, club chairman Nigel Redhead stated that Stranraer F. C. owed £250,000, and had a 50–50 chance of survival to the end of the season. In response, on 22 January 2009, a small consortium launched the Friends of Stranraer F. C. to try to secure the future through donations from the football community at www. savestranraerfc. com. On 23 January 2009, as part of efforts to reduce costs to a manageable level, on 24 January 2009, Stirling Albion defeated Stranraer 8–2. Shortly after the game, Stranraer and team manager Derek Ferguson parted company by mutual consent and Keith Knox took over the reins
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
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
Stenhousemuir Football Club is a Scottish football club located in Stenhousemuir, Falkirk. They are a member of the Scottish Professional Football League and currently play in Scottish League One, through much of its history the team has competed in the lower leagues of Scottish football, spending the 2006–07 season in the Third Division. In 2008–09, despite earning fourth place, the won the promotion play-offs. In September 2009, Stenhousemuir Football Club, Ltd. was re-registered as a Community Interest Company, the club was founded in 1884 following a break away from a local team called Heather Rangers. In 1890, the Warriors moved to Ochilview Park following spells at Tryst Park, in the early 20th century the club had a brief spell of success, winning the Scottish Qualifying Cup twice in 1901 and 1902. In 1902–03, the reached the Scottish Cup semi-final, losing 1–4 at home to Rangers. The 1921–22 season saw Stenhousemuir compete for the first time in senior Scottish League Football, in 1925–26, Stenhousemuir goalkeeper Joe Shortt was offered a £50 bribe to throw a match against Broxburn, but he rejected the offer and the Warriors won the match 6–2. A bookmaker from Bainsford, a village on the outskirts of Falkirk, was subsequently jailed for attempted match fixing. In 1928, the grandstand at Ochilview Park burnt down in a fire. During the 1936–37 season saw the record a record victory – a 9–2 win against Dundee United. More than a later in 1949–50, a Scottish Cup quarter-final tie against East Fife drew a record crowd of 12,500 – the highest ever at Ochilview Park. In November 1951, the first floodlit game between two Scottish senior teams occurred at Ochilview Park, between Stenhousemuir and Hibernian, the floodlights were paid for by Tommy Douglas, a butcher in King Street, Stenhousemuir. In 1972–73, the Warriors defeated Rangers 2–1 at Ibrox Stadium in the Scottish League Cup, notably, Rangers were the holders of the UEFA Cup Winners Cup at the time. In 1992–93, the Club allowed their rivals East Stirlingshire to groundshare at Ochilview Park, in the 1993–94 season, the Warriors were moved out of the bottom league for the first time, due to the formation of the Scottish Third Division. In the 1995–96 season, Stenhousemuir won the Scottish Challenge Cup, defeating Dundee United 5–4 on penalties after a goalless 90 minutes, in the process, reaching their first national semi-final since season 1902–03. In 1997–98, Stenhousemuir was relegated from the Scottish Second Division to the Scottish Third Division for the first time in the history of the Club. However, the season the Warriors won promotion back to the Second Division. In 2006–07, the Club installed a new surface at Ochilview Park
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