Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and covers the northern third of the island of Great Britain. It shares a border with England to the south, and is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east. In addition to the mainland, the country is made up of more than 790 islands, including the Northern Isles, the Kingdom of Scotland emerged as an independent sovereign state in the Early Middle Ages and continued to exist until 1707. By inheritance in 1603, James VI, King of Scots, became King of England and King of Ireland, Scotland subsequently entered into a political union with the Kingdom of England on 1 May 1707 to create the new Kingdom of Great Britain. The union also created a new Parliament of Great Britain, which succeeded both the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of England. Within Scotland, the monarchy of the United Kingdom has continued to use a variety of styles, titles, the legal system within Scotland has also remained separate from those of England and Wales and Northern Ireland, Scotland constitutes a distinct jurisdiction in both public and private law. Glasgow, Scotlands largest city, was one of the worlds leading industrial cities. Other major urban areas are Aberdeen and Dundee, Scottish waters consist of a large sector of the North Atlantic and the North Sea, containing the largest oil reserves in the European Union. This has given Aberdeen, the third-largest city in Scotland, the title of Europes oil capital, following a referendum in 1997, a Scottish Parliament was re-established, in the form of a devolved unicameral legislature comprising 129 members, having authority over many areas of domestic policy. Scotland is represented in the UK Parliament by 59 MPs and in the European Parliament by 6 MEPs, Scotland is also a member nation of the British–Irish Council, and the British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly. Scotland comes from Scoti, the Latin name for the Gaels, the Late Latin word Scotia was initially used to refer to Ireland. By the 11th century at the latest, Scotia was being used to refer to Scotland north of the River Forth, alongside Albania or Albany, the use of the words Scots and Scotland to encompass all of what is now Scotland became common in the Late Middle Ages. Repeated glaciations, which covered the land mass of modern Scotland. It is believed the first post-glacial groups of hunter-gatherers arrived in Scotland around 12,800 years ago, the groups of settlers began building the first known permanent houses on Scottish soil around 9,500 years ago, and the first villages around 6,000 years ago. The well-preserved village of Skara Brae on the mainland of Orkney dates from this period and it contains the remains of an early Bronze Age ruler laid out on white quartz pebbles and birch bark. It was also discovered for the first time that early Bronze Age people placed flowers in their graves, in the winter of 1850, a severe storm hit Scotland, causing widespread damage and over 200 deaths. In the Bay of Skaill, the storm stripped the earth from a large irregular knoll, when the storm cleared, local villagers found the outline of a village, consisting of a number of small houses without roofs. William Watt of Skaill, the laird, began an amateur excavation of the site, but after uncovering four houses
The Celtic Football Club is a professional football club based in Glasgow, Scotland, which plays in the Scottish Premiership. The club was founded in 1887 with the purpose of alleviating poverty in the immigrant Irish population in the East End of Glasgow and they played their first match in May 1888, a friendly match against Rangers which Celtic won 5–2. Celtic established itself within Scottish football, winning six league titles during the first decade of the 20th century. The club enjoyed their greatest successes during the 1960s and 70s under Jock Stein when they won nine league titles. Celtic have won the Scottish League Championship on 48 occasions, most recently in the 2016–17 season, the Scottish Cup 36 times, Celtic also reached the 1970 European Cup Final, and the 2003 UEFA Cup Final. Celtic have a fierce rivalry with Rangers, and the clubs have become known as the Old Firm. The two clubs have dominated Scottish football, winning 102 league titles between them since the inception of the Scottish League in 1890. The clubs fanbase was estimated in 2003 as being around nine million worldwide, an estimated 80,000 fans travelled to Seville for the 2003 UEFA Cup Final. The club has the nickname, The Bhoys. However, according to the Celtic press office, the established club was known to many as the bold boys. A postcard from the early 20th century that pictured the team, the extra h imitates the spelling system of Gaelic, wherein the letter b is often accompanied by the letter h. On 28 May 1888, Celtic played their first official match against Rangers, Neil McCallum scored Celtics first ever goal. Celtics first kit consisted of a shirt with a green collar, black shorts. The original club crest was a green cross on a red oval background. In 1889 Celtic reached the final of the Scottish Cup, this was their first season in the competition, Celtic again reached the final of the Scottish Cup in 1892, but this time were victorious after defeating Queens Park 5–1 in the final, the clubs first major honour. Several months later the moved to its new ground, Celtic Park. In 1895, Celtic set the League record for the highest home score when they beat Dundee 11–0, in 1897, the club became a Private limited company and Willie Maley was appointed as the first secretary-manager. Between 1905 and 1910, Celtic won the Scottish League Championship six times in a row, in both 1907 and 1908 Celtic also won the Scottish Cup, this was the first time a Scottish club had ever won the Double
Partick Thistle F.C.
Kingsley is the official mascot for Scottish Premiership football team Partick Thistle. Kingsley succeeded Jaggy MacBee as the mascot, who was representative of the sponsorship of Scottish beverage company MacB. Following the launch of the Kingsford Capital sponsorship, Kingsley was the subject of mockery on social media. The launch, and subsequent pictures, appeared across the UK media including in The Daily Telegraph, The Times, BBC, Sky Sports, The Herald, The Sun, global coverage included media agencies such as CNN The Washington Post and TIME Magazine. Kingsley is active on Twitter, instagram and Facebook
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
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
Rangers Football Club are a football club in Glasgow, Scotland, which plays in the Scottish Premiership, the first tier of the Scottish Professional Football League. Their home ground, Ibrox Stadium, is in the south-west of the city, Rangers were the first British club to reach a UEFA tournament final and won the European Cup Winners Cup in 1972 after being runner-up twice in 1961 and 1967. A third runners-up finish in Europe came in the UEFA Cup in 2008, Rangers have a long-standing rivalry with Celtic, the two Glasgow clubs being collectively known as the Old Firm. The four founders of Rangers – brothers Moses and Peter McNeil, Peter Campbell, Rangers first match, in May that year, was a goalless friendly draw with Callander on Glasgow Green. David Hill was also a founder member, in 1873, the club held its first annual meeting and staff were elected. By 1876 Rangers had its first international player, with Moses McNeil representing Scotland in a match against Wales. In 1877 Rangers reached a Scottish Cup final, after drawing the first game, Rangers refused to turn up for the replay, Rangers won the Glasgow Merchants Charity Cup the following year against Vale of Leven 2–1, their first major cup. The first-ever Old Firm match took place in 1888, the year of Celtics establishment, Rangers lost 5–2 in a friendly to a team composed largely of guest players from Hibernian. The 1890–91 season saw the inception of the Scottish Football League, the clubs first-ever league match, on 16 August 1890, resulted in a 5–2 victory over Heart of Midlothian. After finishing joint-top with Dumbarton, a play-off held at Cathkin Park finished 2–2, Rangers first-ever Scottish Cup win came in 1894 after a 3–1 final victory over rivals Celtic. By the start of the 20th century, Rangers had won two titles and three Scottish Cups. During William Wiltons time as secretary and then team manager. Taking over as manager from William Wilton in 1920, Bill Struth was Rangers most successful manager, on 2 January 1939 a British league attendance record was broken as 118,567 fans turned out to watch Rangers beat Celtic in the traditional New Years Day Old Firm match. During the wartime regional league setup, Rangers achieved their highest score against old firm rivals Celtic with an 8–1 win in the Southern Football League, Rangers also lost by their biggest Old Firm margin of 7–1. Rangers reached the semi-finals of the European Cup in 1960, losing to German club Eintracht Frankfurt by a record aggregate 12–4 for a Scottish team. In 1961 Rangers became the first British team to reach a European final when they contested the Cup Winners Cup final against Italian side Fiorentina, Rangers lost again in the final of the same competition in 1967, by a single goal after extra time to Bayern Munich. The Ibrox disaster occurred on 2 January 1971 when large-scale crushing on an exit at the culmination of the New Years Day Old Firm game claimed 66 lives. An enquiry concluded that the crush was likely to have happened ten minutes after the final whistle and to have been triggered by someone falling on the stairs
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
Linlithgow Rose F.C.
Linlithgow Rose Football Club are a Scottish junior association football club from Linlithgow, West Lothian, who play in the East Region Super League. Linlithgow also finished as runners-up in 1974,2003 and 2013, formed in 1889, their home games have been played, since 1949, at Prestonfield. With a maximum capacity of 3,500 spectators, the attendance at the ground is 3,626 for a game against Petershill. Linlithgow won the Scottish Junior Cup in 2007 against Kelty Hearts, the winning goal being scored by the town hero Mark Whyte with a header from a free-kick in the last minute of extra-time. The game was played at East End Park in front of 5,000 Rose fans, Linlithgow then won the Scottish Junior Cup again in 2010 with a second half strike from Kevin Donnelly. They also managed to win The East Of Scotland Cup in June 2010 against Musselburgh which Linlithgow won 2–1, Linlithgow finished a close second in the league to near rivals Boness United in the 2009–10 season. Due to a reform in the SFA, Linlithgow Rose took part in the 2007–08 Scottish Cup, on 24 November 2007, they beat Dalbeattie Star 1–0 in the third round thanks to a goal from Stuart McArthur in the second minute of the game. They progressed into the round where they were drawn against Queen of the South. Queen of the South won the tie 4–0, Queen of the South later progressed to the final, before losing 3–2 to Rangers. The Rose also progressed into the round of the 2007–08 Scottish Junior Cup after beating Boness United 1–0 on 1 December 2007. However they were knocked out in the next round, jim Sinnet, who was one of the most successful managers in the clubs history, resigned during the 2007–08 season. Former Dumbarton and Forfar boss Brian Fairley was later appointed as his successor, dave Baikie was appointed on 24 April 2009. Bradley replaced Baikie as manager in December 2011, over a period of 13 months, Linlithgow went on an unbeaten run of 49 games, only to lose to Auchinleck Talbot in the 2013 Scottish Junior Cup Final. The club went on to history by going undefeated for the full season of 2012–13. In January 2016, Linlithgow became the first junior team to reach the last 16 of the Scottish Cup after beating Forfar Athletic, mcGlynn resigned as manager in October 2016, with his assistant Todd Lumsden, being given the role of manager on October 21st 2016. As of 5 January 2017 Note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules, players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. Michaels Cup, 1996–97, 1998–99, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2003–04 Brown Cup, 1964–65, 1966–67, 1974–75, 1984–85, 1994–95, 1995–96, 2001–02 Official website
It is one of three SPFL clubs in the city, the others being their Edinburgh derby rivals Hearts and Edinburgh City. Hibernian was founded in 1875 by Irish immigrants, but support for the club is now based on rather than ethnicity or religion. The Irish heritage of Hibernian is still reflected, however, in its name, colours, the name of the club is usually shortened to Hibs. The team are also called The Hibees and The Cabbage, a shortening of the slang for Hibs of Cabbage and Ribs, by fans of the club. Home matches are played at the Easter Road stadium, in use since 1893, Hibernian have played in the second tier of the Scottish football league system, known as the Scottish Championship, since being relegated in 2014. Hibernian have won the Scottish league championship four times, most recently in 1952, three of those four championships were won between 1948 and 1952, when the club had the services of The Famous Five, a notable forward line. The club have won the Scottish Cup three times, in 1887,1902 and 2016, Hibs have also won the Scottish League Cup three times, in 1972,1991 and 2007. The club was founded in 1875 by Irishmen from the Cowgate area of Edinburgh, the name is derived from Hibernia, the Roman name for Ireland. James Connolly, the famous Irish Republican leader, was a Hibs fan, there was some sectarian resistance initially to an Irish club participating in Scottish football, but Hibs established themselves as a force in Scottish football in the 1880s. Hibs were the first club from the east coast of Scotland to win a major trophy and they went on to defeat Preston North End, who had won the 1887 FA Cup, in a friendly match described as the Association Football Championship of the World Decider. Mismanagement over the few years led to Hibs becoming homeless. A lease on the Easter Road site was acquired in late 1892, despite this interruption, the club today views the period since 1875 as one continued history and therefore counts the honours won between 1875 and 1891, including the 1887 Scottish Cup. The club were admitted to the Scottish Football League in 1893, a significant change at this time was that players were no longer required to be members of the Catholic Young Mens Society. Hibs are not seen today as being an Irish or Roman Catholic institution, for instance, the Irish harp was only re-introduced to the club badge when it was last re-designed in 2000. This design reflects the three pillars of the identity, Ireland, Edinburgh and Leith. Geography rather than religion is now seen as the reason for supporting Hibs. Hibs had some success after being reformed, winning the 1902 Scottish Cup, after this, however, the club endured a long barren spell. The club lost its placing in the league, and were relegated for the first time in 1931, the notorious Scottish Cup drought began as they reached three cup finals, two in consecutive years, but lost each of them
Kilmarnock Football Club, commonly known as Killie, is a Scottish football team based in the town of Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire. Lee McCulloch is the manager of the side, after Lee Clark left in February 2017. The club has won many honours since its formation in 1869, the club is also one of only a few Scottish clubs to have played in all three European competitions. Killie is the oldest football club in the Scottish Premiership, and are also the oldest professional club in the country, home matches are played at Rugby Park, an 17,889 capacity all seater stadium situated in the town itself. Kilmarnock took part in the first ever match in the Scottish Cup against the now defunct Renton in 1873. On 5 January 1869 the club was founded during a meeting at Robertsons Temperance Hotel on Portland Street. Originally they played a more similar to rugby and these origins are reflected to this day by the name of the clubs home ground – Rugby Park. The difficulty in organising fixtures under this code and the influence of Queens Park soon persuaded them to adopt the association code instead. At this time, the club played games in a number locations including Holm Quarry, the Grange on Irvine Road, furthermore, Kilmarnock sent a letter stating their willingness to form the Scottish Football Association. Kilmarnock also competed in the inaugural Scottish Cup tournament in 1873–74 and their 2–0 defeat against Renton in the First Round on 18 October 1873 is thought to have been the first match ever played in the competition. Kilmarnock joined the Scottish League in 1895 and after winning consecutive Second Division titles were elected to the top flight for the first time in 1899, in 1920 Kilmarnock won the Scottish Cup for the first time beating Albion Rovers at Hampden. This was followed soon by their success in 1929 where the beat massive favourites Rangers 2–0 at the national stadium in front of a crowd of 114,708 people. The clubs greatest success was in 1965 under the management of Willie Waddell, on the final day of the season, they travelled to face Hearts at Tynecastle requiring a victory by two goals to nil to win the league at their opponents expense. A memorable 2–0 win saw Kilmarnock crowned Scottish League champions for the first and this capped a period of tremendous consistency which had seen them occupy runners-up spot in four of the previous five seasons. The club is one of only a few Scottish clubs to have played in all three European competitions. Kilmarnock reached the 2007 Scottish League Cup Final, but suffered a 5–1 defeat in the final by Hibernian, after selling Steven Naismith to Rangers for a club-record fee in August 2007, Killie struggled in the 2007–08 Scottish Premier League, finishing in 11th place with 40 points. In January 2010, Kilmarnock were second bottom of the 2009–10 Scottish Premier League, on 11 January 2010, Jim Jefferies left the club by mutual consent and Jimmy Calderwood was appointed manager. Kilmarnock then achieved a first win in nine years against Celtic, continued poor form, however, meant a final day showdown at Rugby Park with Falkirk for SPL survival
2002 FIFA World Cup qualification
A total of 199 teams entered the 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification rounds, competing for a total of 32 spots in the final tournament. South Korea and Japan, as the co-hosts, and France, as the champions, qualified automatically. The winner of the 0.5 place would advance to the intercontinental play-offs South America,4.5 places, the winner of the 0.5 place would advance to the intercontinental play-offs. North, Central America and Caribbean,3 places, contested by 35 teams, Africa,5 places, contested by 51 teams. Asia,4.5 places,2 of them went to automatic qualifiers South Korea and Japan, the winner of the 0.5 place would advance to the intercontinental play-offs. Oceania,0.5 place, contested by 10 teams, the winner of the 0.5 place would advance to the intercontinental play-offs. A total of 193 teams played at least one qualifying match, a total of 777 qualifying matches were played, and 2452 goals were scored. To see the dates and results of the rounds for each continental zone, click on the following articles. Slovenia advanced to the UEFA play-offs, Republic of Ireland advanced to the UEFA–AFC intercontinental play-off Group 3 – Denmark qualified. Czech Republic advanced to the UEFA play-offs, Turkey advanced to the UEFA play-offs. Ukraine advanced to the UEFA play-offs, Belgium advanced to the UEFA play-offs. Austria advanced to the UEFA play-offs, Romania advanced to the UEFA play-offs. Germany advanced to the UEFA play-offs, play-offs – Belgium, Germany, Slovenia and Turkey qualified over Czech Republic, Ukraine, Romania, and Austria respectively. South America Argentina, Ecuador, Brazil and Paraguay qualified, Uruguay advanced to the CONMEBOL–OFC intercontinental play-off. North, Central America and Caribbean Costa Rica, Mexico and USA qualified, Africa Group A – Cameroon qualified. Group E – South Africa qualified, asia Group A – Saudi Arabia qualified. Iran advanced to the AFC play-off, Group B – China PR qualified. United Arab Emirates advanced to the AFC play-off, play-off – Iran advanced to the UEFA–AFC intercontinental play-off over United Arab Emirates
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies making it the worlds most popular sport, the game is played on a rectangular field with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by getting the ball into the opposing goal, players are not allowed to touch the ball with their hands or arms while it is in play, unless they are goalkeepers. Other players mainly use their feet to strike or pass the ball, the team that scores the most goals by the end of the match wins. If the score is level at the end of the game, the Laws of the Game were originally codified in England by The Football Association in 1863. Association football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football, the first written reference to the inflated ball used in the game was in the mid-14th century, Þe heued fro þe body went, Als it were a foteballe. The Online Etymology Dictionary states that the word soccer was split off in 1863, according to Partha Mazumdar, the term soccer originated in England, first appearing in the 1880s as an Oxford -er abbreviation of the word association. Within the English-speaking world, association football is now usually called football in the United Kingdom and mainly soccer in Canada and the United States. People in Australia, Ireland, South Africa and New Zealand use either or both terms, although national associations in Australia and New Zealand now primarily use football for the formal name. According to FIFA, the Chinese competitive game cuju is the earliest form of football for which there is scientific evidence, cuju players could use any part of the body apart from hands and the intent was kicking a ball through an opening into a net. It was remarkably similar to football, though similarities to rugby occurred. During the Han Dynasty, cuju games were standardised and rules were established, phaininda and episkyros were Greek ball games. An image of an episkyros player depicted in low relief on a vase at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens appears on the UEFA European Championship Cup, athenaeus, writing in 228 AD, referenced the Roman ball game harpastum. Phaininda, episkyros and harpastum were played involving hands and violence and they all appear to have resembled rugby football, wrestling and volleyball more than what is recognizable as modern football. As with pre-codified mob football, the antecedent of all football codes. Non-competitive games included kemari in Japan, chuk-guk in Korea and woggabaliri in Australia, Association football in itself does not have a classical history. Notwithstanding any similarities to other games played around the world FIFA have recognised that no historical connection exists with any game played in antiquity outside Europe. The modern rules of football are based on the mid-19th century efforts to standardise the widely varying forms of football played in the public schools of England
Alexander Alex McLeish is a Scottish football manager and former player. Born in Glasgow, McLeish played as a defender for Aberdeen during their 1980s glory years, making nearly 500 League appearances for the club. He started his career with spells at Motherwell and Hibernian. McLeish spent ten months as manager of the Scotland national team which failed to qualify for the finals of the 2008 UEFA European championship. He then resigned this post in November 2007 to become manager of Birmingham City, though Birmingham were relegated at the end of the season, McLeish guided them back to the Premier League in 2009. Birmingham then won the 2011 Football League Cup Final, but were relegated again from the Premier League at the end of the 2010–11 season, following this relegation he resigned his post at Birmingham to become manager at their city rivals, Aston Villa. This made him the first manager to move directly from Birmingham City to Aston Villa, having only narrowly avoided relegation in the 2011–12 Premier League season, his contract was terminated by Villa at the end of his first season. McLeish was appointed manager of Championship club Nottingham Forest in December 2012 and he managed Belgian Pro League club Genk in the 2014–15 season, and Zamalek of the Egyptian Premier League in 2016. In recognition of his service to Scottish sport, in 2008 McLeish was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Aberdeen. McLeish was born in Duke Street Hospital, Glasgow to parents Alex, a shipyard worker and he has younger siblings Angela and Ian. After living in the Parkhead and Kinning Park districts of the city and he attended Springhill Primary, Barrhead High School, where he was one year below future Aberdeen and Scotland teammate Peter Weir, and John Neilson High School in Paisley. As a juvenile he played for Barrhead Youth Club, alongside Weir, after a local cup final with Glasgow United in 1976 which was watched by a delegation from Aberdeen, including then manager Ally MacLeod, McLeish signed for the Pittodrie club the following day. McLeish spent the majority of his first two seasons at Aberdeen in the reserves and also had a spell at local Junior side Lewis United. He made his debut under Billy McNeill in a New Year fixture against Dundee United on 2 January 1978. His first major appearance was under the management of Alex Ferguson as a substitute in a 2–1 defeat to Rangers in the 1978–79 League Cup. Over the next seven seasons however, he enjoyed great success winning eight domestic, highlights included scoring in a 4–1 victory over Rangers in the 1982 Scottish Cup Final on his 200th Dons appearance and a European Cup Winners Cup win over Real Madrid in 1983. During this period, McLeish formed a formidable defensive triumvirate with Willie Miller, when Ferguson left in 1986 to go to Manchester United, he tried to get McLeish to sign, but it did not work out, he also had talks with Tottenham Hotspur. He won the Scottish player of the year in 1990, after a season in which Aberdeen won both domestic cups and he was captain of Aberdeen after the retirement of Willie Miller
Airdrie, North Lanarkshire
Airdrie is a town in North Lanarkshire, Scotland. It lies on a plateau roughly 400 ft above sea level, Airdrie forms part of a conurbation with its neighbour Coatbridge, in the former district known as the Monklands. As of 2012, the town had a population of 37,130, chapelhall, Calderbank, Caldercruix, Gartness, Glenmavis, Greengairs, Longriggend, Moffat Mills, Plains, Stand, Upperton and Wattston are generally considered satellite villages of Airdrie. The origin of Airdries name first appeared in the Register of the Great Seal of Scotland in 1373 as Ardre, by 1546 it had become Ardry and by 1587 it was known as Ardrie. In 1630 it finally appeared in the Register as Airdrie, given the topography of the area, the most likely interpretation is that the name derives from the Gaelic An Àrd Ruigh meaning a level height or high pasture land. Another possibility is that it is from the Gaelic An Àrd Àirighe meaning a sheiling, a third possibility is the Gaelic Ard Reidh meaning a high plain. Unified the patronage of King Malcolm IVth Cistercian monks established an abbey at Melrose in 1136, five years later a daughter house was founded at Newbattle in Lothian. In 1160 Malcolm granted to the monks of Newbattle lands in central Scotland which became known as the Munklands, malcolms Charter constitutes the oldest documentary record of place-names in the Monklands. The one thing this Charter does not make any reference to is anything resembling Airdrie yet this is where Airdrie is located, Airdrie owes its existence to its location on the Hogs Back – a ridge of land running from east to west. One very important aspect of the history were the Cistercian monks of Newbattle Abbey, hence a name for the wider area. The monks were farmers and most of the land used is known today as The Four Isles, Mull, Islay, Iona. The Monks were also expert in the construction of roads, in the 12th century they established the original Glasgow to Edinburgh road via Airdrie and Bathgate, to link up with their lands in Newbattle in East Lothian. In those days travelling was often dangerous, horses were still very rare and could only be afforded by the rich. Low-lying ground was extremely difficult to navigate because of the numerous bogs, forests. Hence, it became more practical to travel on the high ground where one could avoid the mud. These roads became known as the Kings Highway, definitive evidence of the existence of Airdrie as a tenantry was only made clear in 1503. The old monks road was via Cliftonhill, Airdrie House, Aitchison Street, High Street, Hallcraig Street, Flowerhill Street and it was along this road that the first houses in Airdrie were built. Development was slow and it was only around 1650 that evidence of the number of inhabitants was known at around 500 for the Airdrie area
Airdrieonians Football Club are a Scottish professional football team based in Airdrie who are members of the Scottish Professional Football League and play in the SPFL Scottish League One. They were formed in 2002 as Airdrie United Football Club following the liquidation of the original club, the clubs official name was changed in 2013 with the approval of the SFA to the traditional name of Airdrieonians. As with the team of the same name, this is often colloquially shortened to simply Airdrie. The club have won two trophies in their short history – the Scottish Second Division in 2003–04 and the Challenge Cup in 2008–09, once described as the luckiest team in the Scottish League, the club have benefited in league division placements on three occasions. The club was formed in 2002 as Airdrie United, following the bankruptcy of the original Airdrieonians, Airdrieonians had finished runners-up in the Scottish First Division in the 2001–02 season but went out of business with debts approaching £3 million. The collapse of The Diamonds, as they were due to their distinctive kits. Accountant and Airdrieonians fan Jim Ballantyne attempted, with the help of others and their application however was rejected as the then English Northern Premier League side Gretna were preferred by league members over the new Airdrie United. Their debut season saw the club only narrowly fail to achieve promotion by one point due to a late goal from Brechin City which saw them promoted instead. During the rest of Stewarts tenure the club reached the final of the Challenge Cup in 2003, in November 2006, Stewart was sacked and replaced by former Airdrieonians player and Airdrie United coach Kenny Black, his first management post. Under Kenny Black the club suffered four successive defeats, In the 2006–07 season as relegation play-off finalists. In the 2007–08 season as promotion play-off finalists, in the 2008–09 season as relegation play-off finalists. Unlike the previous two seasons there was no reprieve, the club won the Challenge Cup in 2008, defeating Ross County 3–2 on penalties after a 2–2 draw, and after this success manager Kenny Black signed a long term contract. After big financial cutbacks saw all players released in May 2010, in June manager Kenny Black was relieved of his duties, with Jimmy Boyle appointed interim manager. Boyle was appointed manager on a permanent basis in September 2010, with the running until the end of season 2011–2012. The clubs decision to focus on developing youth was vindicated in January 2011, the first league game between Airdrie United and local rivals Albion Rovers took place at New Broomfield on 10 September 2011, with Airdrie winning 4–0. As Airdrie were runners up in the previous seasons Second Division promotion play-offs, a season in the First Division came to an end in May 2013, with the club finishing bottom of the league and relegated to Division Two. In June 2013, the officially changed its name from Airdrie United Football Club to Airdrieonians Football Club. The name change revived the name of the club it was formed to replace in 2002, the Airdrieonians all red club crest was also revived, with an alternate black and red version used for the away kits
UEFA Europa League
The UEFA Europa League, previously called the UEFA Cup, is an annual football club competition organized by UEFA since 1971 for eligible European football clubs. Clubs qualify for the competition based on their performance in their national leagues, previously called the UEFA Cup, the competition has been known as the UEFA Europa League since the 2009–10 season, following a change in format. For UEFA footballing records purposes, the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League are considered the same competition, in 1999, the UEFA Cup Winners Cup was abolished and merged with the UEFA Cup. For the 2004–05 competition a group stage was added prior to the knockout phase, the 2009 re-branding included a merge with the UEFA Intertoto Cup, producing an enlarged competition format, with an expanded group stage and changed qualifying criteria. The winner enters at least at the round, and will enter the group stage if the berth reserved for the Champions League title holders is not used. The title has been won by 27 different clubs,12 of which have won the more than once. The UEFA Cup was preceded by the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, which was a European football competition played between 1955 and 1971, the competition grew from 11 teams during the first cup to 64 teams by the last cup which was played in 1970–71. It had become so important on the European football scene that in the end it was taken over by UEFA, the UEFA Cup was first played in the 1971–72 season, with an all-English final of Wolverhampton Wanderers versus Tottenham Hotspur, with Spurs taking the first honours. The title was retained by another English club, Liverpool in 1973, Borussia would win the competition in 1975 and 1979, and reach the final again in 1980. Liverpool won the competition for the time in 1976, beating Club Brugge in the final. During the 1980s, IFK Göteborg and Real Madrid won the competition twice each,1989 saw the commencement of the Italian clubs domination, when Maradonas Napoli beat Stuttgart. The 1990s started with two finals, and in 1992, Torino lost the final to Ajax on the away goals rule. Juventus won the competition for a time in 1993 and Internazionale kept the cup in Italy the following year. 1995 saw a third final, with Parma proving their consistency. The only final with no Italians during that decade was in 1996, Parma won the cup in 1999, which ended the Italian club era. Liverpool won the competition for the time in 2001 and Porto triumphed in the 2003 and 2011 tournaments. In 2004, the cup returned to Spain with Valencia being victorious, either side of Sevillas success, two Russian teams, CSKA Moscow in 2005 and Zenit Saint Petersburg in 2008, had their glory and yet another former Soviet club, Ukraines Shakhtar Donetsk, won in 2009. Atlético Madrid would themselves win twice in three seasons, in 2010 and 2012, the latter in another all-Spanish final, in 2013, Chelsea would become the first Champions League holders to win the UEFA Cup/Europa League the following year
Livingston Football Club, is a Scottish football club based in Livingston, West Lothian. Livingston currently play in the Scottish League One and were founded in 1943 as Ferranti Thistle, the club was admitted to the Scottish Football League and renamed as Meadowbank Thistle in 1974, and played its matches at Meadowbank Stadium in Edinburgh. In 1995, the club was relocated to Livingston, West Lothian, since then Livingston have played their home games at the Almondvale Stadium. However, the club hit financial problems in 2004, and was relegated to the Scottish First Division in 2006, in July 2009 the club faced further financial problems and were on the verge of suffering a liquidation event before a deal was struck. Livingston were subsequently demoted to the Scottish Third Division, but the club achieved consecutive promotions, the club began life as Ferranti Amateurs in 1943. A works team of the Ferranti engineering company, they played in the Edinburgh FAs Amateur Second Division. During this period the club won the East of Scotland Qualifying Cup in 1963, in 1969 the club moved to the City Park ground in Edinburgh. In 1972 the club members of SFA which allowed them to enter the Scottish Qualifying Cup which they won in 1973 which previously had not been open to them. The clubs first match in the Scottish Cup was on 16 December 1972 against Duns. In 1974, as a result of the demise of Third Lanark seven years earlier, after beating off competition from four Highland League sides, Hawick Royal Albert and Gateshead United, Ferranti Thistle were accepted into the league by a vote of 21–16 over Inverness Thistle. The local council offered use of Meadowbank Stadium, a stadium built in 1970. After an Edinburgh Evening News campaign to find a name for the club and this was approved by the SFL in time for the new season. Having had little time to form a squad from the existing Ferranti squad, Meadowbank played their first competitive match in the League Cup, eventually losing 1–0 to Albion Rovers. In 1983 the club achieved promotion to the First Division but ultimately were relegated back to the Second Division at the end of the 1984–85 season, in the 1986–87 season, Meadowbank won the Second Division championship and won promotion to the First Division. They finished runners-up in the First Division in the following season, the part-time club began to struggle, and it became a limited company in 1993 but was relegated a short time after at the end of the 1992–93 season to the Second Division. Meadowbank suffered a relegation in 1994–95, finishing second from bottom in the Second Division. After this, Chairman Bill Hunter claimed Meadowbank had run into financial difficulties and were facing closure as a result. C. In their first season as Livingston they were crowned champions of the Third Division for the 1995–96 season, Three years later, in 1998–99, they won promotion again as Second Division champions
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland and one of its 32 local government council areas. Located in Lothian on the Firth of Forths southern shore, it is Scotlands second most populous city and the seventh most populous in the United Kingdom. The 2014 official population estimates are 464,990 for the city of Edinburgh,492,680 for the authority area. Recognised as the capital of Scotland since at least the 15th century, Edinburgh is home to the Scottish Parliament and it is the largest financial centre in the UK after London. Historically part of Midlothian, the city has long been a centre of education, particularly in the fields of medicine, Scots law, literature, the sciences and engineering. The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1582 and now one of four in the city, was placed 17th in the QS World University Rankings in 2013 and 2014. The city is famous for the Edinburgh International Festival and the Fringe. The citys historical and cultural attractions have made it the United Kingdoms second most popular tourist destination after London, attracting over one million overseas visitors each year. Historic sites in Edinburgh include Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace, the churches of St. Giles, Greyfriars and the Canongate, Edinburghs Old Town and New Town together are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which has been managed by Edinburgh World Heritage since 1999. It appears to derive from the place name Eidyn mentioned in the Old Welsh epic poem Y Gododdin, the poem names Din Eidyn as a hill fort in the territory of the Gododdin. The Celtic element din was dropped and replaced by the Old English burh, the first documentary evidence of the medieval burgh is a royal charter, c. 1124–1127, by King David I granting a toft in burgo meo de Edenesburg to the Priory of Dunfermline. In modern Gaelic, the city is called Dùn Èideann, the earliest known human habitation in the Edinburgh area was at Cramond, where evidence was found of a Mesolithic camp site dated to c.8500 BC. Traces of later Bronze Age and Iron Age settlements have found on Castle Rock, Arthurs Seat, Craiglockhart Hill. When the Romans arrived in Lothian at the end of the 1st century AD, at some point before the 7th century AD, the Gododdin, who were presumably descendants of the Votadini, built the hill fort of Din Eidyn or Etin. Although its location has not been identified, it likely they would have chosen a commanding position like the Castle Rock, Arthurs Seat. In 638, the Gododdin stronghold was besieged by forces loyal to King Oswald of Northumbria and it thenceforth remained under their jurisdiction. The royal burgh was founded by King David I in the early 12th century on land belonging to the Crown, in 1638, King Charles Is attempt to introduce Anglican church forms in Scotland encountered stiff Presbyterian opposition culminating in the conflicts of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. In the 17th century, Edinburghs boundaries were defined by the citys defensive town walls
Livingston, West Lothian
Livingston, is the largest town in West Lothian, Scotland. Designated in 1962, it is the fourth post-Second World War new town to be built in Scotland, taking its name from the village of Livingston in West Lothian, it was originally developed in the then counties of Midlothian and West Lothian. It is about 15 miles west of Edinburgh and 30 miles east of Glasgow and it was built around a collection of small villages, Livingston Village, Bellsquarry and Livingston Station. It has a number of residential precincts or areas and these include Craigshill, Howden, Ladywell, Knightsridge, Deans, Dedridge, Murieston, Almondvale, Eliburn, Kirkton and Adambrae. To the north of Craigshill lies the Houstoun Industrial Estate, the locality of Livingston as defined by the General Register Office for Scotland includes Uphall Station and Pumpherston. The wider urban settlement, also as defined by the GRO, also includes Mid Calder, other neighbouring villages include Kirknewton, Polbeth and West Calder. In 2001 the town had population of 50,826 according to the census, the 2011 census showed the population of Livingston had increased to 56,269. Livingston is the second biggest settlement in the Lothians after Edinburgh, until 1963 the area surrounding the ancient village of Livingston was open farm land and the ancient village is now called Livingston Village. The area around Livingston was previously an important shale oil area and this was based on oil extracted from shale, and by 1870 over 3 million tons of shale were being mined each year in the area around Livingston. Output declined with the discovery of oil reserves around the world in the early 1900s. The bings that characterise oil shale mining in West Lothian have largely been flattened, in 1898 Livingston had several houses, a Church of Scotland church, a United Free church and a school. Around 1 mile north of Livingston there was a station in a settlement called Livingston Station which is now part of Deans. The old part of Livingston is now called Livingston Village, Livingston was built as part of the New Towns Act of 1946, in part to ease overcrowding in Glasgow. Livingston was the new town of five. The others were East Kilbride, Glenrothes, Cumbernauld and Irvine, Livingston was designated as a New Town on 16 April 1962. The first people moved into Livingston in April 1966, three villages and numerous farmsteads remain islands of old buildings within the new developments. In 1984 Livingston gained its first railway station on the Shotts Line called Livingston South which was followed by Livingston North on the Edinburgh to Bathgate Line in 1986 and these stations replaced the former Livingston and Newpark stations which had closed before the construction of the town. In 1995 Livingston gained its professional team, Livingston F. C. which was essentially the relocation of Meadowbank Thistle F. C. from Edinburgh
Gretna Football Club was a Scottish football club that represented the town of Gretna, Dumfries and Galloway, close to the border between England and Scotland. The club was forced to dissolve in 2008, relying heavily on substantial financial support from Mileson, the club were promoted through the Scottish leagues from the Third Division to the Scottish Premier League in less than five years. The club also reached the 2006 Scottish Cup Final, losing in a penalty shootout to Hearts, the team struggled badly in the SPL and the club were placed in administration after Mileson withdrew his support due to illness. After this demotion, the one remaining offer to buy the club was withdrawn, the club resigned their place in the Scottish Football League on 3 June and were formally liquidated on 8 August. The clubs supporters trust then decided to establish a new club, Gretna 2008, whilst sharing the same fanbase and a similar name, the new club has no legal connection with the original Gretna Football Club. An amateur team called Gretna Green had existed in the town in the 19th century and this left the area without a team until Gretna Football Club was founded in 1946 by servicemen returning from the Second World War. The club initially played in the Dumfries and District Junior League, the following year, the club moved to the Carlisle and District League. This was despite the club being based in Scotland, albeit close to the Anglo–Scottish border. They remained in league for all but one season until 1982. During this period, the featured in the FA Cup. They managed to take Rochdale to a replay in 1991 and gave Bolton Wanderers a scare in 1993 before being beaten, the club saw its future in Scottish football and applied twice to join the Scottish League in 1993 and 1999. To help boost their later application, they played a Rangers XI in a game to raise money for victims of the Lockerbie air disaster, Gretna won 2–1 against a strong team. In 2002, Gretna were elected to the Scottish Football League at the third attempt, the club was soon taken over by Brooks Mileson and with his financial input Gretnas on-field fortunes improved. Gretna won the Division Three, Division Two and Division One titles in successive seasons from 2005 to 2007, during their seasons of successive promotions they scored 297 goals,130 in the 2004–05 season alone. Gretna were also runners-up in the 2006 Scottish Cup, Gretnas 3–0 win in the semi-final against Dundee made them the first team from the third tier of Scottish league football to reach the final. Gretna lost to Heart of Midlothian in the final on penalties after a 1–1 draw, Gretna faced League of Ireland side Derry City in the second qualifying round, but lost 7–3 on aggregate, losing the first leg 5–1 at Fir Park, Motherwell. Gretna had also promoted to the First Division in 2006. Gretna beat Ross County 3–2 with a goal by James Grady
Dumfries is a market town and former royal burgh within the Dumfries and Galloway council area of Scotland. It is near the mouth of the River Nith into the Solway Firth, Dumfries was a civil parish and became the county town of the former county of Dumfriesshire. Dumfries is nicknamed Queen of the South, people from Dumfries are known colloquially as Doonhamers. There are at least three theories on the etymology of the name, One is that the name Dumfries originates from the Scottish Gaelic name Dún Phris which means Fort of the Thicket. Another is that it comes from a Brythonic cognate of the alleged Gaelic derivation, No positive information has been obtained of the era and circumstances in which the town of Dumfries was founded. Some writers hold that Dumfries flourished as a place of distinction during the Roman occupation of North Great Britain. This is inferred from the etymology of the name, which, Dumfries was once within the borders of the Kingdom of Northumbria. The district around Dumfries was for centuries ruled over and deemed of much importance by the invading Romans. The Romanized natives received freedom as well as civilisation from their conquerors, late in the fourth century, the Romans bade farewell to the country. According to another theory, the name is a corruption of two words mean the Friars’ Hill, those who favour this idea allege that St. In the list of British towns given by the ancient historian Nennius, the name Caer Peris occurs, twelve of King Arthurs battles were recorded by Nennius in Historia Brittonum. The Battle of Tribruit, has suggested as having possibly been near Dumfries or near the mouth of the river Avon near Boness. It has been argued, the town thus characterised must have been Dumfries, however, against this argument is that the town is situated eight to nine miles distant from the sea, although the River Nith is tidal and navigable all the way into the town itself. Although at the time 1 mile upstream and on the bank of the Nith from Dumfries. The abbey ruins are on the site of the Bailey of the very early Lincluden Castle and this religious house was used for various purposes, until its abandonment around 1700. Lincluden Abbey and its grounds are now within the Dumfries urban conurbation boundary, William the Lion granted the charter to raise Dumfries to the rank of a Royal Burgh in 1186. Dumfries was very much on the frontier during its first 50 years as a burgh and it grew rapidly as a market town and port. Alexander III visited Dumfries in 1264 to plan an expedition against the Isle of Man, previously Scots, a royal castle, which no longer exists, was built in the 13th century on the site of the present Castledykes Park
Scottish Premier League
The Scottish Premier League was the top level league competition for professional football clubs in Scotland. The league was founded in 1998, when it broke away from the Scottish Football League and it was abolished in 2013, when the SPL and SFL merged to form the new Scottish Professional Football League, with its top division being known as the Scottish Premiership. A total of 19 clubs competed in the SPL, but only the Old Firm clubs, Celtic, for most of its history, the Scottish Football League had a two divisional structure between which clubs were promoted and relegated at the end of each season. This system came into force for the 1975–76 season and this setup continued until the 1994–95 season, when a four divisional structure was introduced. This involved the creation of a Third Division, with all four divisions consisting of ten clubs, on 8 September 1997, the clubs in the Premier Division decided to split from the Scottish Football League and form a Scottish Premier League. This followed an example in England, which came into force during the 1992–93 season. This decision was fuelled by a desire by the top clubs in Scotland to retain more of the revenue generated by the game, originally, league sponsorship money was divided proportionally between clubs in all four divisions. After the SPL was formed, its clubs retained all of its commercial revenues except for a payment to the SFL. Teams received three points for a win and one point for a draw, no points were awarded for a loss. Teams were ranked by points, then goal difference. At the end of season, the club with the most points was crowned league champion. If points were equal, the difference and then goals scored determine the winner. Originally the SPL contained 10 clubs, but it subsequently enlarged to 12 for the 2000–01 season, the increase from 10 clubs to 12 was part of the deal offered to obtain approval from SFL member clubs. After the expansion to 12 clubs the SPL operated a split format and this was done to prevent the need for a 44-game schedule, based on playing each other four times. That format had used in the Scottish Premier Division, but was considered to be too high a number of games in a league season. A season, which runs from July until May, was divided into two phases, during the first phase, each club played three games against every other team, either once at home and twice away or vice versa. After this first phase of matches, by which all clubs had played 33 games, the league split into a top six. Each club then played a further five matches against the five teams in their own section
UEFA Champions League
The UEFA Champions League is an annual continental club football competition organised by the Union of European Football Associations and contested by top-division European clubs. It is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world, the UEFA Champions League final is the most watched annual sporting event worldwide. The final of the 2012–13 tournament had the highest TV ratings to date, the pre-1992 competition was initially a straight knockout tournament open only to the champion club of each country. During the 1990s, the format was expanded, incorporating a round-robin group stage to include clubs that finished runner-up of some nations top-level league. Clubs that finish next-in-line in each top level league, having not qualified for the UEFA Champions League competition. In its present format, the UEFA Champions League begins in mid-July with three qualifying rounds and a play-off round. The 10 surviving teams enter the stage, joining 22 other teams qualified in advance. The 32 teams are drawn into eight groups of four teams, the eight group winners and eight runners-up proceed to the knockout phase that culminates with the final match in May. The winner of the UEFA Champions League qualifies for the UEFA Super Cup, Real Madrid is the most successful club in the competitions history, having won the tournament 11 times, including its first five seasons. Spanish clubs have accumulated the highest number of victories, followed by England, the competition has been won by 22 different clubs,12 of which have won it more than once. Since the tournament changed name and structure in 1992, no club has managed consecutive wins, Milan were the last holders to defend their title. The reigning champions are Real Madrid, who secured their title in the competition after defeating Atlético Madrid on penalties following a 1–1 draw in the 2016 final. The first pan-European tournament was the Challenge Cup, a competition between clubs in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Mitropa Cup, a competition modelled after the Challenge Cup, was created in 1927, an idea of Austrian Hugo Meisl, and played between Central European clubs. In 1930, the Coupe des Nations, the first attempt to create a cup for national clubs of Europe, was played and organised by Swiss club Servette. Held in Geneva, it brought together ten champions from across the continent, the tournament was won by Újpest of Hungary. Latin European nations came together to form the Latin Cup in 1949 and it was conceived in Paris in 1955 as the European Champion Clubs Cup. The first edition of the European Cup took place during the 1955–56 season, the first European Cup match took place on 4 September 1955, and ended in a 3–3 draw between Sporting CP and Partizan. The first goal in European Cup history was scored by João Baptista Martins of Sporting CP, the inaugural final took place at the Parc des Princes between Stade de Reims and Real Madrid
Aberdeen Football Club are a Scottish professional football club based in Aberdeen, Scotland. They compete in the Scottish Premiership and have never relegated from the top division of the Scottish football league system since they were promoted in 1905. Aberdeen have won four Scottish league titles, seven Scottish Cups and they are also the only Scottish team to have won two European trophies, having won the European Cup Winners Cup and the European Super Cup in 1983. Aberdeen were the last club outside of the Old Firm to win a title, in 1984–85. The team has enjoyed success since this golden era, though a 19-year wait for a major trophy was ended by winning the 2013–14 Scottish League Cup. Aberdeen have played at Pittodrie Stadium since their inception, the ground currently has a capacity of 20,866 and was the first all-seated and all-covered stadium in the United Kingdom. Pittodrie was also the first football stadium to feature a dug-out, the clubs colours have been primarily red and white since 1939, before this, they played in black and gold vertical stripes. Aberdeen attract support from the city and surrounding areas, as they are the senior team within a wide area. Aberdeen have no close rivals, their nearest neighbours at the same level are in the city of Dundee. The current Aberdeen F. C. was formed following the merger of three based in the city—Aberdeen, Victoria United and Orion—in 1903. The new club played its first match on 15 August 1903 and that first season produced a win in the Aberdeenshire Cup, but only a third-place finish in the Northern League. The club applied for membership of the Scottish League for the following season, in 1904, the club were managed by Jimmy Philip. At the end of its first season, despite having finished seventh out of teams, Aberdeen were elected to the new. They have remained in the top tier of Scottish football ever since, from 1906, the club made steady progress, with a Scottish Cup semi-final appearance in 1908 and another in 1911. In that season of 1910–11, Aberdeen recorded their first victories over the Old Firm of Celtic and Rangers, and led the league for a time, wartime affected the club as much as any other, despite spending cuts and other economies, by 1917 the situation became untenable. Aberdeen dropped out of football, along with Dundee and Raith Rovers. Senior football returned on 16 August 1919, and Aberdeen resumed with a fixture against Albion Rovers, Philip was still in charge, and continued to oversee a team capable of isolated good results, but never quite able to sustain a challenge long enough to win a trophy. In 1923, Aberdeen were drawn against Peterhead in the Scottish Cup, Philip retired a year later, and was replaced as manager by Paddy Travers
St Johnstone F.C.
St Johnstone Football Club is a professional football club based in Perth, Scotland. Although it is recorded as being formed in 1884, the club did not play its first game until February 1885. The clubs home since 1989 has been McDiarmid Park, the clubs first Scottish Cup appearance was in 1886–87 and they joined the Scottish Football League in 1911–12. St Johnstone won the Scottish Football League First Division, the tier of league football in Scotland. This gained them promotion to the Scottish Premier League, bringing a return of SPL football to McDiarmid Park for the 2009–10 campaign, the club have historically floated between the top two divisions of Scottish football, obtaining the reputation of being a yo-yo club. Their traditional rivals are the two Dundee clubs, Dundee and Dundee United, with matches between St Johnstone and either Dundee club being called Tayside derbies, the club has had limited success in cup competitions. After losing at the stage on numerous occasions, the club won their first Scottish Cup in 2014 with a 2–0 win against Dundee United. It has reached two Scottish League Cup Finals, losing them to each of the Old Firm clubs. They have also won the Scottish Second Tier seven times, the Scottish Challenge Cup in 2007, the B Division Supplementary Cup in 1949 and they have qualified for European competitions on six occasions. Their highest league position in the top division was third place on three occasions,1971,1999 and 2013, the club was formed by members of the local cricket team seeking to occupy their time once the cricket season had finished. The cricketers were kicking a football around the South Inch, a public park beside the River Tay during the autumn of 1884. Club members leased a piece of land adjacent to the South Inch, known as the Recreation Grounds, in the 1910–11 Scottish Division Two season, Port Glasgow Athletic F. C. finished next to bottom and declined to apply for re-election. They were replaced for the 1911–12 Scottish Division Two season by St Johnstone, St Johnstone were promoted to the old First Division in 1924–25, by winning the Second Division title, and appointed David Taylor as team manager. They remained in the top flight until 1929–30 when they finished bottom of Division One, Two years later, under new manager Tommy Muirhead, the Saints were runners-up in Division Two to gain their second promotion. They performed well in Division One through the 1930s, reaching the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup in 1933–34, in the final season before World War II, St Johnstone played well under manager David Rutherford to finish eighth. The Scottish Football League suspended competition for the duration of the war, St Johnstone were closed for most of the war and lost their top flight status as a result. The Southern Football League continued through the post-war 1945–46 season but with two divisions to incorporate clubs that were restarting, including St Johnstone, the Saints played in the 1945–46 B Division and finished sixth of fourteen clubs. St Johnstone had lost all the ground gained in the 1930s, jimmy Crapnell became the team manager for the 1947–48 season and was succeeded by Johnny Pattillo for 1953–54
Heart of Midlothian F.C.
Heart of Midlothian Football Club, commonly known as Hearts, is a Scottish professional football club based in Gorgie in the west of Edinburgh. It is currently the only Scottish Premiership club in the city, with Edinburgh derby rivals Hibernian playing in the Scottish Championship and Edinburgh City playing in Scottish League Two. Hearts is the oldest football club in the Scottish capital, having formed in 1874 by a group of friends from the Heart of Midlothian Quadrille Assembly Club. The modern club crest is based on the Heart of Midlothian mosaic on the citys Royal Mile, Hearts play at Tynecastle Stadium, where home matches have been played since 1886. Their current training facilities are at the nearby Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh, the clubs most successful period was under Tommy Walker from the mid 1950s to mid 1960s. They won seven trophies in this period and were runners up for five others, Jimmy Wardhaugh, Willie Bauld and Alfie Conn, Sr. known affectionately as the Terrible Trio were famed forwards at the start of this period with wing half lynch pins Dave Mackay and John Cumming. Wardhaugh was part of another notable Hearts attacking trinity in the 1957–58 league winning side, along with Jimmy Murray and Alex Young they set the record for the number of goals scored in that league winning campaign. In doing so became the only side to finish a season with a goal difference exceeding 100. Hearts have won the Scottish Cup eight times, most recently in 2012 after a 5–1 win over city-rivals Hibernian, Hearts four Scottish League Cup triumphs were all under Walker, most recently a 1–01962 Scottish League Cup Final victory against Kilmarnock. The most recent Scottish League Cup Final appearance was in 2013 when they lost to St Mirren 3–2, in 1958, Heart of Midlothian became the third Scottish and fifth British team to compete in European competition at the time. The club reached the quarter-finals of the 1988–89 UEFA Cup, losing out to Bayern Munich 2–1 on aggregate, the club was formed by a group of friends from the Heart of Midlothian Quadrille Assembly Club. The group of friends bought a ball before playing local rules football at the Tron from where they were directed by a policeman to The Meadows to play. Local rules football was a mix of rugby and football as we know it, in December 1873 a match was held between XIs selected by Mr Thomson from Queens Park and Mr Gardner from Clydesdale at Raimes Park in Bonnington. This was the first time that Association rules had seen in Edinburgh. Members from the dance club viewed the match and in 1874 decided to adopt the association rules, the new side was Heart of Mid-Lothian Football Club. The earliest mention of Heart of Midlothian in a context is a report in The Scotsman newspaper from 20 July 1864 of The Scotsman vs Heart of Mid-Lothian at cricket. It is not known if this was the club who went on to form the football club. The club took its name from the Heart of Midlothian jail, by becoming members of the Scottish Association Hearts were able to play in the Scottish Cup for the first time
Dunfermline Athletic F.C.
Dunfermline Athletic Football Club is a Scottish football club based in Dunfermline, Fife, commonly known as just Dunfermline. Founded in 1885, the club play in the Scottish Championship. Dunfermline play at East End Park, are nicknamed The Pars and are managed by Allan Johnston. The Pars most successful period was in the 1960s, when the won the Scottish Cup twice, in 1961 and 1968 under the management of Jock Stein. The club regularly played European football in this period, reaching the semi-finals of the 1968–69 European Cup Winners Cup under Farm. The club have played at East End Park since their formation in 1885, however, after a period of relative success in the 2000s marked by appearances in three major finals, all of which were lost against Celtic, Dunfermline were relegated to the First Division in 2007. Bobby Ancell was offered the managers post in 1950 but with the Pars making headlines for board room disputes, with a new board in place two seasons later, Ancell was offered the position again and this time accepted. Improving year on year Ancell delivered promotion back to the top flight in 1955 before leaving to start a decade at Motherwell, Jock Stein became manager in 1960 and so began the clubs golden decade. The club played regular European football in the UEFA and European Cup Winners Cups throughout the 60s, under Stein Dunfermline won the Scottish Cup in the 1960–61 season. They beat Celtic 2–0 in the final after a replay, in 1962 they reached the Cup-Winners Cup quarter finals, losing 5–3 on aggregate to Újpest Dózsa SC. On the way they beat St Patricks Athletic and FK Vardar, in the 1962–63 season Dunfermline beat Everton in the Fairs Cup and then played Valencia, losing 4–0 away before winning 6–2 at home. The Pars lost the subsequent play-off, Stein left in 1964 to join Hibernian. New manager Willie Cunningham took the club to the Scottish Cup final in the 1964–65 season and they lost the final 3–2 to a Celtic team that was at the beginning of new manager Jock Steins era. The Pars finished 3rd in the league, one point behind top two Kilmarnock and Hearts, the following year Cunningham took Dunfermline to the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup quarter-finals. Alex Ferguson was a player in the Dunfermline squad between 1964 and 1967, George Farm was manager from 1967 until 1970. He matched Stein by winning the Scottish Cup in 1968 with a 3–1 win in the final against Hearts, on the way to the semi-final Dunfermline beat APOEL, Olympiacos and West Bromwich Albion. Dunfermline, managed by Pat Stanton started the 1980s in poor form, the core of the team were Pars stalwarts, Dr Hugh Whyte in goal, John Salton, Kenny Thomson and Dr Bobby Robertson in defence and Sandy McNaughton up front. Of this quintet only Salton was not an ever-present in the league campaign, the team developed a habit of losing streaks,2 of five games and 2 of three games and this caused relegation nerves
Dundee United F.C.
Dundee United Football Club is a Scottish professional football club based in the city of Dundee. Formed in 1909, originally as Dundee Hibernian, the changed to the present name in 1923. United are nicknamed The Terrors or The Tangerines and the supporters are known as Arabs, the club has played in tangerine kits since the 1960s and have played at the present ground, Tannadice Park, since their foundation in 1909. United were founder members of the Scottish Premier League in 1998 and were ever-present in the competition until it was abolished in 2013 to make way for the SPFL structure, United were relegated in 2016 to the Scottish Championship, which is the second tier of the SPFL. Domestically, the club has won the Scottish Premier Division on one occasion, the Scottish Cup twice, United appeared in European competition for the first time in the 1966–67 season, going on to appear in Europe in 14 successive seasons from 1976. They also reached the European Cup semi-finals in 1984 and the UEFA Cup final in 1987, the club has a 100% record in four matches against Barcelona in competitive European ties. The club was formed as Dundee Hibernian in 1909, playing from the outset at Tannadice Park and they were voted into the Scottish Football League in 1910. After being saved from going out of business in October 1923, between 1925 and 1932 United were promoted and then relegated three times, winning the Second Division title in 1925 and 1929. The club achieved little success until Jerry Kerr became manager in 1959. Kerrs team won promotion in his first season in charge and became established in the top flight, Jim McLean took over from Kerr in 1971 and his youth policy led to the most successful era in the clubs history. United won the Scottish League Cup in 1979 and 1980 and then the Premier Division title in 1982–83, the club were also successful in Europe, reaching the European Cup semi-finals in 1984 and the 1987 UEFA Cup Final. The latter featuring another elimination of Barcelona, despite losing to IFK Gothenburg in the final, the club won a FIFA Fair Play Award. McLean retired as manager in 1993, but remained as club chairman, United won the Scottish Cup for the first time in 1994 under McLeans successor Ivan Golac, but were relegated in 1995, returning a year later. Shortly after Leveins departure, the won the Scottish Cup for a second time in 2010 under the management of Peter Houston. After several relatively successful seasons, a slump in form led to United being relegated in 2016, for a complete pictorial history of playing kit, see the Historical Football Kits site. After persuasion by the wife of manager Jerry Kerr, the colour would soon be adopted as the own in 1969 to give the club a brighter. The new colour was paraded for the first time in a friendly against Everton in August. When founded as Dundee Hibernian, they had followed the example of clubs of similar heritage by adopting the traditionally Irish colours of green shirts
Dundee Football Club is a professional football club based in the city of Dundee, Scotland. Founded in 1893, they are nicknamed The Dark Blues or The Dees, the club plays its home matches at Dens Park. Dundee have also won the Scottish Cup once in 1910 and the Scottish League Cup three times. Dundee F. C. was formed in 1893 by the merger of two clubs, East End and Our Boys, with the intention of gaining election to the Scottish Football League. Their application was successful and they played their first League game on 12 August 1893 at West Craigie Park, Dundee struggled during the first 10 years of their existence. Their best league position was fifth which they achieved in seasons 1895–96 and they also reached the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup in 1894–95 and 1897–98, losing to Renton and Kilmarnock respectively. On 26 October 1895 Dundee lost a game by a record score of 0–11 to Celtic in Glasgow. On 1 January 1894 Dundee defeated Newton Heath 2–1 at their then Carolina Port ground in Dundee, Carolina Port also hosted the first international football match held in Dundee on 21 March 1896 when Scotland defeated Wales 4–0. Dundees goalkeeper Frank Barrett, midfielder Sandy Keillor and inside-forward Bill Thomson were all capped for Scotland during this period of the clubs history. Things began to improve for Dundee with the beginning of the new century, in 1899 they moved from Carolina Port to their present ground of Dens Park. In season 1902–03 they finished runners-up in the championship to Hibernian. Dundee were also league runners-up in 1906–07 and 1908–09 finishing behind Celtic on both occasions, in 1908–09 by just 1 point, in the 10 seasons from 1902–03 Dundee lost just 16 league games at Dens Park out of 154 played and were unbeaten at home during season 1909–10. Although ultimate success eluded Dundee in the league the club achieved success in the Scottish Cup, in season 1909–10 Dundee won their first trophy by defeating Clyde in the Scottish Cup Final. The winning goal in the replay was scored by John Sailor Hunter. In season 1910–11 Dundee defeated Rangers 2–1 at Dens Park in the Scottish Cup quarter-final, in 1919 league football recommenced and good home form once again propelled Dundee up the league. They finished 4th in seasons 1919–20, 1920–21 and 1921–22, and were unbeaten at home during season 1921–22, however, they could not make the breakthrough to win the league championship. Dave Halliday had played on the left for his previous clubs, his hometown side Queen of the South, Halliday went then to Dundee in 1921 with the celebrated Alec Troup already playing on the left wing. With Halliday Dundee reached the 1924–25 Scottish Cup final eliminating the holders en route, Halliday scored 103 goals in 147 league and cup appearances for the Dees
Motherwell Football Club are a Scottish professional football club based in Motherwell, North Lanarkshire. The club compete in the Scottish Premiership, Motherwell have not dropped out of the top-flight of Scottish football since 1985, but have only lifted one trophy in that time – the Scottish Cup in 1991. Clad in their traditional claret and amber, Motherwell play their matches at Fir Park Stadium and have done since 1896. The clubs main rivals over the years have been Hamilton Academical and Airdrieonians and these matches are known as the Lanarkshire derby. Motherwells debut fixture proved to be a one as they overcame Hamilton Academical 3–2. On 5 August 1893 the decision was made to professional. Up until 1895 the club had played at a few different venues, including a site at Roman Road, the small pitch and muddy conditions at Dalziel Park were deemed unsuitable and fortunately Lord Hamilton granted a lease on a plot of land on his Dalzell estate. This new ground was named Fir Park and has remained the home for over one hundred years. The following years saw the club grow, appointing their first and longest serving manager to date, John Sailor Hunter, in 1913 the decision was made to change the clubs colours from blue to the now signature claret and amber. Motherwell enjoyed a period in the aftermath of World War I. The club placed third in the 1919–20 season and, although narrowly avoiding relegation in 1924–25, they climbed the table. In the summer of 1927, the made a very successful tour of Spain, winning six out of the eight games they played. These results included an emphatic 3–1 victory over Real Madrid and a 2–2 draw with Barcelona, following their success in Spain, the club went on another summer tour, this time of South America. After losing only three of their previous ten games, the tour culminated in a 5–0 defeat by a Brazilian League Select side, the championship was sealed on 23 April 1932, when Rangers could only draw at home against Clyde, handing Motherwell the title without kicking a ball. This was also the only League title won by a club outside the Old Firm between 1904 and 1947, in the two seasons following the league title win, Well finished runners up. Motherwell also contested three Scottish Cup finals in this period – in 1931,1933 and 1939, following the break-up of the squad after World War II, the club were not instantly successful. It then captured two trophies in as many years with victories in the 1950 Scottish League Cup Final. The club was relegated for the first time ever at the end of the 1952–53 season
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
Ross County F.C.
Ross County Football Club is a Scottish professional football club based in Dingwall, Highland. They play all of their matches at the Global Energy Stadium in Dingwall. The club currently play in the Scottish Premiership after winning promotion as champions of the First Division in the 2011–12 season, prior to the 1994–95 season they played in the Highland Football League, a competition they won three times. They have also won the Scottish First Division, Second Division, Third Division, in 2010, they reached the Scottish Cup Final and in 2016, they won the Scottish League Cup. Nicknamed The Staggies, Countys home colours are blue and white. The club was subsequently renamed Ross County, playing in the Highland League from 1929, they won the championship on three occasions, first in 1967, then in 1991 and 1992. They also gained a reputation for their performances in the early rounds of the Scottish Cup. The most notable of these came on 8 January 1994, when they won 4–0 at Forfar Athletic. County gathered 57 votes, while the merger to form Inverness Caledonian Thistle amassed 68. In 1998–99 they were Champions of the Third Division and thereby won promotion to the Second Division and this resulted in promotion to the First Division thanks to a reorganisation of the League, with the Premier League being expanded from ten clubs to twelve. After seven seasons in the First Division Ross County were relegated back to the Second Division in 2006–07 and they won the Second Division in 2007–08, and were promoted back to the First Division. Ross County finished their first season back in the First Division in 8th place and their manager for a very short spell until October 2005, was former Inverness and Hearts manager John Robertson. He left the club on 24 October 2005, due to differences of opinion on a number of issues with the chairman. Gardner Spiers, a former Aberdeen coach, was appointed caretaker manager, director of Football George Adams took temporary charge before former Motherwell player Scott Leitch was appointed on 18 April 2006. Ross County won their first ever trophy when they won the Scottish Challenge Cup in November 2006 on penalties with Jason Crooks scoring the deciding spot kick on his competitive debut. Leitch, after winning the Challenge Cup but suffering relegation, stood down at the end of the 2006–07 season, former Partick Thistle manager Dick Campbell was announced as his replacement in May 2007. However, after a run of results to start their Division 2 campaign, Campbell. Derek Adams took over as caretaker, and was confirmed as permanent manager a month later, after the good form continued
Clyde Football Club are a Scottish professional football club based in Cumbernauld, who play in Scottish League Two. Formed in 1877 at the River Clyde, the play their home games at Broadwood Stadium. The Clyde Football Club was founded and played on the banks of the River Clyde at Barrowfield, documentary evidence from the SFA and indeed match reports in the Glasgow press clearly show it all began in 1877, and the thread continues unbroken to this day. Heres how the SFA recorded Clydes origins, Sitting on the edge of Bridgeton, Barrowfield Park lay in a triangle of land enclosed by Carstairs Street, Colvend Street and the river Clyde. The area was a mix of chemical, engineering and textile works with a high population density to provide the labour. Today this area is dotted with industrial units, but also contains a grassed area. So it may be possible to stand upon a corner of the original Barrowfield pitch, Barrowfield was originally shared with a short-lived team called Albatross. The club founded then has no resemblance to a professional football club. Clyde F. C. were a members club more akin to a present-day golf or bowling club. Clydes Secretary, John Graham, was also a rower and it seems the club had other sporting. Although most fixtures were informal, the Scottish Cup had existed since 1873, soon there would also be the Glasgow Merchants & Charity Cup and the Glasgow Cup that in their time were hotly contested major competitions. Clyde entered the 1st Round of the Scottish Cup on 29 September 1877 along with one hundred, Third Lanark were the visitors once again and they triumphed 1–0. Clyde joined the Scottish Football League in 1891, following acceptance, Vale of Leven provided the opposition for Clydes first League fixture on Saturday,15 August 1891. In a dream introduction to League football Clyde triumphed 10–3, a mid-table finish saw Clyde complete a confident season in League football, with League football an undoubted success, Barrowfield revealed its limitations and simply could not cope with the crowds as many gained illegal entry. Opposition teams complained about the facilities and it was clear that Clyde would have to do something to appease the League, the solution lay directly across the Clyde on some open ground known as Shawfield. Clyde endured a final season at Barrowfield finishing bottom of Division 1. The final action at Barrowfield was a friendly against crack opposition in the form of Sunderland on 30 April 1898 ending in a 3–3 draw, at a stroke Clyde transformed from Brigtonians to Shawfielders. Clyde said farewell to Barrowfield in the spring of 1898, across the river lay an area of undeveloped land known as Shawfield
Inverness Caledonian Thistle F.C.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle Football Club is a professional football club from Inverness, Scotland who compete in the Scottish Premiership. They are currently managed by Richie Foran, Caledonian Thistle F. C. were formed in August 1994 by the merger of Caledonian and Inverness Thistle, both members of the Highland Football League. The new club was formed with a view to applying for one of the two vacancies in the Scottish Football League, created when the league restructured in 1994 to four divisions of ten teams each. They were successful and were elected to the Scottish Third Division along with Highland derby rivals Ross County, the clubs name was amended to Inverness Caledonian Thistle F. C. in 1996 at the request of Inverness District Council. Inverness also knocked other SPL teams out of cup competitions, including Motherwell, over the first ten years of their existence the club had been responsible for a total of 12 shocks and as a result had gained themselves a reputation as being giant killers. On 25 February 2007, Invernesss run of cup victories over Celtic came to an end following two goals in the last two minutes of their fifth round tie at Caledonian Stadium. Having led 1–0 for the majority of the thanks to a Graham Bayne goal. A significant event in the history was the signing of Romanian international Marius Niculae. Niculae was involved in the clubs 2007–08 campaign and played at UEFA Euro 2008 and he later became involved in a dispute with the club over a share of the transfer fee that was not paid to him when he left. As a result, Inverness were ordered by FIFA to pay £133,000 to the player, the club appealed against the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and in November 2011, the club won their appeal. Having won the 2009–10 First Division title in their first year back in the division since 2003–04, Season 2014–15 saw the club finish in their best ever placing of third. After a promising start to their campaign in 1994–95, the club eventually finished sixth in the Third Division. The following season, Inverness CT showed improvement with a third-place finish, in Season 1996–97, they won the Third Division Championship following a 4–1 home win over Albion Rovers in front of nearly 3,000 fans. This was just 5 months after moving into the Caledonian Stadium, the club spent two seasons in the Second Division. After a closely fought campaign, they finished runners-up to Livingston in Season 1998–99, Season 2003–2004 could be regarded as the clubs most successful up to that point. This made the club eligible for promotion to the Scottish Premier League, however, SPL rules at that time stated that all member clubs must have a stadium with a minimum capacity of 10,000 seats. Caledonian Stadium did not meet this criterion, leaving the clubs Board with a dilemma, either to remain in the First Division or to groundshare with Aberdeen, over 100 miles away. After consulting with supporters, the Board decided the sacrifice of one season in Aberdeen would be a compromise to ensure Premier League participation for the club
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
St Mirren F.C.
St Mirren Football Club is a Scottish professional football club based in Paisley, Renfrewshire, founded in 1877. The team plays in the Scottish Championship, having been relegated from the Scottish Premiership in 2014–15, the team has two nicknames, the Buddies and the Saints. St Mirren have won the Scottish Cup three times,1926,1959 and 1987, and the Scottish League Cup in 2013, the club has played in European competition four times, UEFA Cup Winners Cup in 1987–88 and the UEFA Cup in 1980–81, 1983–84 and 1985–86. The clubs home ground since 2009 is St Mirren Park, an 8,023 capacity all seater ground on Greenhill Road, the clubs former ground from 1894 until 2009 was also called St Mirren Park, but was more commonly known as Love Street. St Mirren was formed as a club which included, among other sports, cricket. The increasing popularity of football ensured that by 1877 the members had decided to play football and 1877 is the football clubs official foundation date. They are named after Saint Mirin, the founder of a church at the site of Paisley Abbey, there is also a street in Paisley named St Mirren Street. St Mirren played their first match on 6 October 1877, defeating Johnstone Britannia 1–0 at Shortroods, two years later, the club moved to another ground, Thistle Park, Greenhills. St Mirrens first Scottish Cup match came on 4 September 1880, the following year, the Buddies reached their first cup final but were beaten 3–1 by Thornliebank in the Renfrewshire Cup. In 1883 however the scores were reversed with the Saints winning the Renfrewshire Cup and it is in 1883 that move to their third home, that of West March, defeating Queens Park in the first game. In 1885, St Mirren played their first match against Morton, the 1890 season was an historic season for St Mirren, as they became founder members of the Scottish Football League along with fellow Paisley club Abercorn. Of the 11 founder clubs, only 4 survive in the current league system and it was during the match against Morton at Cappielow in this year, that St Mirren played one of the first night games under light from oil lamps. St Mirren moved to Love Street in 1894 and reached their first Scottish Cup final in the 1907–08 season but were defeated 5–1 by Celtic, the Buddies went on to lift the trophy in 1926,1959 and 1987. In 1922, St Mirren were invited to play in the Barcelona Cup invitational tournament to celebrate the inauguration of Les Corts and they won the tournament by beating Notts County in the final. In the 1979–80 season, St Mirren achieved their equal highest-ever finish in the top-flight finishing third behind Aberdeen and that season Saints also became the first and last Scottish club to win the Anglo-Scottish Cup, defeating Bristol City in a two-legged final. The following season, St Mirren competed in European competition for the first time, IF Elfsborg in Sweden, followed by a 0–0 draw in the second leg. The next round saw them play French team Saint-Étienne, although St Mirrens home leg ended up a 0–0 draw, Saint-Étienne pulled off a 2–0 victory in the second leg to put St Mirren out of the cup. In 2001, St Mirren finished bottom of the Premier League despite losing one of their final seven matches
Falkirk Football Club are a Scottish professional association football club based in the town of Falkirk. The club was founded in 1876 and competes in the Scottish Championship as a member of the Scottish Professional Football League, the football club was registered as a Limited Liability Company in April 1905 – Falkirk Football & Athletic Club Ltd. Falkirk won the Scottish Cup for the first time in 1913, after 1945, Falkirk were promoted and demoted between the Premier and First Divisions seven times until 1995–96, and during the 1970s spent three seasons in the Second Division. In 2005, Falkirk were promoted to the Scottish Premier League, Falkirk won the Scottish Cup again in 1957 and were runners-up in the competition in 1997,2009 and 2015. As a result of its performance in the 2009 Scottish Cup, Falkirk have won the second tier of Scottish football a record seven times, an honour shared with St Johnstone. They have also won the Scottish Challenge Cup more than any other club, in their early years, Falkirk played at three venues, Hope Street, Randyford Park and Blinkbonny Park. Between 1885 and 2003, the club was based at Brockville Park, after the creation of the SPL in 1998, its strict stadium criteria – to which Brockville Park did not conform – was enforced, and the club was denied promotion on three occasions. The clubs present home ground since 2003 is the Falkirk Stadium, the clubs date of formation is uncertain. Although some accounts point to the year 1876, others claim it was formed in 1877, however, the former is the date used by the club and its fans. The club reached the round in the first year that it competed. In the first few years after it was formed, Falkirk played mostly friendly games and they played their home matches at three different grounds during this period, Hope Street, Randyford Park and Blinkbonny Park. It left the latter in 1884 and moved to Brockville Park, the Stirlingshire Football Association was founded in 1883, which invited clubs from the Stirlingshire region to join. It resulted in the establishment of a new tournament, the Stirlingshire Cup, a competition open exclusively to the teams from the region, the clubs nickname is The Bairns, a Scots word meaning sons or daughters, which is given to natives of the town of Falkirk. This is reflected in the Falkirk Burgh motto, Better meddle wi the deil than the Bairns o Fakirk, at the time, the league consisted of two tiers, the First and Second Divisions. Falkirk was promoted to the top division with a second-place finish behind Clyde after two seasons, despite the clubs success, several months beforehand a proposal to merge with local rivals East Stirlingshire was raised, which was narrowly rejected in a vote. In 1907–08, Falkirks third season in the top flight, the finished the season in second place, its highest league position to date. On both occasions it finished behind champions Celtic despite being the top scorers in the league. In 1913, the won the Scottish Cup for the first time
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