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
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
Greenock Morton F.C.
Greenock Morton Football Club is a Scottish professional football club, which will play in the Scottish Championship in 2016–17. The club was founded as Morton Football Club in 1874, making it one of the oldest senior Scottish clubs, Morton was renamed Greenock Morton in 1994 to celebrate the links with its home town of Greenock. Morton won the Scottish Cup in 1922, and achieved its highest league finish in 1916–17, Morton holds the record for the most promotions to and relegations from the top flight, but has not competed in the top flight of the Scottish football league system since 1988. In 2014–15, Morton won its league title in all divisions by winning the Scottish League One championship on the final day. Morton Football Club was established in 1874, in the early 1870s the popularity of football was growing, with many clubs being established around Scotland. At the clubs inaugural meeting, the first recorded words were that this club be called Morton Football Club. The name would be altered in 1994 to read Greenock Morton Football Club, to celebrate the links with its hometown. Morton was one of the members of the old Second Division, formed in 1893. Morton first gained promotion to the old First Division in 1899–1900, Mortons greatest success came in its 1–0 defeat of Rangers in the 1922 Scottish Cup Final. Jimmy Gourlay scored the goal directly from a free kick in the 11th minute. Right after the match Morton boarded a train for Hartlepool to play the local side in a friendly match. The celebrations were delayed until the following Wednesday when 10,000 locals turned out at Cappielow Park to celebrate, Morton has made two other major cup final appearances. On Saturday 17 April 1948, Morton drew 1–1 with Rangers in the Scottish Cup Final, Mortons goal was a free kick scored by Jimmy White. The match was replayed on Wednesday 21 April and this time Rangers won 1–0 after extra time. The goal was said to be controversial because it was claimed that Morton goalkeeper Jimmy Cowan was blinded by the flash of a camera. These matches were significant because of the crowds they attracted. The first match was played in front of 132,629, the replay, in front of 133,750, was at the time a British record attendance for a midweek match. Mortons third and final major cup final to date was in the League Cup, as in its previous two final appearances, Mortons opponent was once again Glasgow Rangers
Berwick Rangers F.C.
Berwick Rangers Football Club is a football team in the town of Berwick-upon-Tweed, England, on the border with Scotland. Founded in 1881, they play in Scottish League Two, the fourth tier of Scottish football. Berwick Rangers was officially formed on 7 January 1884 after a match was played in the town between a team of millworkers from Dunbar and a team of clerks from Newcastle. For much of the history it was believed that they had formed in 1881. Their first competitive match was against another team from Berwick, The Royal Oaks on 16 February 1884, Berwick Rangers won the match by one goal to nil. Berwick Rangers affiliated to the Scottish Football Association around 1905 and entered the Scottish Border League in 1905, recent research has revealed that the club joined the East of Scotland League immediately after the First World War, a new competition formed to replace the Borders League. The club made attempts to join the North Northumberland League but were rebuffed. It was not until 1951 that they were admitted to Scottish League Division C Division and this third tier, made up largely of reserve sides, had been created in 1946 and was regionalised in 1949. The division was scrapped in 1955 and Berwick, along with the other teams, were placed in an enlarged Division B. Berwick Rangers have played in the Scottish Football League ever since, despite low attendances, following its foundation, the club had had a nomadic existence before eventually settling down at Shielfield Park in 1954. A notable early success was a 3–0 win over Dundee in the Scottish Cup in 1954 in a run which saw them reach the quarter-final, ten years later they reached the semi-final of the Scottish League Cup losing to Rangers 3–1. Arguably their greatest success came in 1967, when they beat Rangers 1–0 in the Scottish Cup under the management of player manager Jock Wallace. It was the highlight of a cup run, which had seen them break a club record in beating Vale of Leithen 8–1 in the first round. The result sent shockwaves around Scottish football and led to a number of the Rangers players leaving Ibrox and they were paired with Hibernian in the following round but lost 1–0 in front of a crowd of nearly 30,000. The following years saw little progress until the late 1970s, when under the management of Dave Smith they won the Division Two title in 1979, despite that success they were unable to build and suffered a slow decline through the 1980s. The nadir came in season 1988–89 when they were nearly bankrupted, in 1988 Jim Jefferies took over as manager and led the team to a club record 21 game unbeaten run. The club weathered this and other crises in the early 1990s, later in the decade Berwick enjoyed a bit more in the way of success only missing out on promotion to Division One due to league reorganisation in 1994. They were relegated to Division Three in 1997 but under the management of Paul Smith regained promotion in 2000, under Smiths stewardship they took both Rangers and Heart of Midlothian to replays in the Scottish Cup
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
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
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
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
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
UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying
This page describes the qualifying procedure for the UEFA Euro 2008. Qualification coefficients were used to rank the teams according to their results in both UEFA Euro 2004 and FIFA World Cup 2006 qualifying stages, only the group matches, and not any additional playoffs, counted towards the coefficients, also determining which pot a national team was put in. Some points to note, Greece were European champions, thus were automatically seeded in the top pool, portugal did not have to qualify for UEFA Euro 2004 as they hosted the tournament. Only their record in 2006 World Cup qualifying was used, germany did not have to qualify for the World Cup 2006 as hosts. Only their record in UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying was used, kazakhstan had never competed in the European Championships, so only their World Cup record was used. The teams last continental qualifying was for the 2000 Asian Cup and their record in that competition is not used. After the independence from Serbia for Montenegro, Serbia took up the old Serbia, Montenegro had not been admitted to UEFA/FIFA at the time the qualifying competition had started, and therefore did not compete until the qualifying for the 2010 World Cup. The draw took place on 27 January 2006 in Montreux, Switzerland,1 Greece were first seeded, as European champions Austria and Switzerland were already assured of places at Euro 2008 as host nations. If this procedure does not lead to a decision, criteria 6), results of all group matches,1. Higher number of goals scored 3, higher number of goals scored away from home 4. Fair play conduct Drawing of lots Below is a table containing all seven qualifying groups, teams that secured a place in the final tournament are highlighted in green. The order of teams is by final group position, for the first time, UEFA named the qualifying groups alphabetically rather than numerically. Hosts Austria Switzerland The qualifying process started in August 2006, Austria and Switzerland were granted places in the tournament finals as host nations. The qualifying format had changed compared to the previous tournament. The winners and runners-up from seven groups will qualify for the Championship. Therefore, there were no play-offs between teams finishing in place in the groups. Six of the qualifying groups contain seven teams, and the other, as the official successor of the previous football association, Serbia inherited the position originally allotted to Serbia and Montenegro in Group A prior to the dissolution of the state union. Montenegro were granted UEFA membership after qualifying had started and thus were not able to participate in this European Championship. com
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
Fernando Jacob Hubertina Hendrika Ricksen is a Dutch former professional footballer who played as a right back and right midfielder. He is mostly known for his spell at Rangers. He earned 12 caps for the Netherlands at international level, on his second trip to Celtic Park six months later, he was sent-off before half-time in another defeat. He had been dropped for the two intervening derbies, in November 2000 Ricksen became the first player in Scottish football to be banned retrospectively on television evidence. His Kung Fu-style kick on Darren Young had been missed by the referee but caught on camera, Ricksen subsequently used his personal website to suggest Young required straightening out. 2003–04 proved to be a season for Rangers, with the departure of several players from the treble winning season most notably Barry Ferguson. Ricksen, however, proved to be an important member of the Rangers team which finished second, playing 42 games, in October 2003 Ricksen pushed then Rangers chairman John McClelland into a swimming pool before a match against Panathinaikos in Athens. The same week he was banned from the Netherlands national team for smashing a hotel door down after a night out. After the events Rangers banned Ricksen from talking to the media and manager McLeish said We would rather have Fernando on the back pages, in March 2004 Ricksen was again banned by the SFA video review panel. He had elbowed Derek Riordan in a CIS Cup defeat to Hibernian, resulting in a four-game ban and it remained unclear whether Ricksen would be seen as a key member of the Rangers team under new manager Paul Le Guen for the 2006–07 season. On 30 March 2014, Ricksen was inducted into the Rangers Hall of Fame along with Lee McCulloch, Ricksen moved on loan to Zenit St Petersburg on a season long loan on 9 August 2006, the Russian clubs manager being Dick Advocaat, who signed Ricksen for Rangers. Two weeks later he returned to Ibrox in a friendly between Rangers and Zenit and was booed after injuring Chris Burke with what was described as a reckless tackle, weeks later, Ricksen engaged in an on-field fist-fight with Zenit captain Vladislav Radimov. On 28 November 2006, Zenit St Petersburg announced that they bought out Ricksens transfer from Rangers, despite this, Ricksen again fought with Radimov during a match in January 2007. In January 2009, after two and a half years in Russia, Ricksen was demoted to Zenits reserve side, having refused to leave the club. On 28 August 2009 FC Zenit terminated his contract because of Ricksens constant disciplinary misbehaviours, on Christmas Day 2000 Ricksen was the subject of a report to the procurator fiscal after an incident when his car crashed into a lamppost in the early hours of the morning. Ricksen denied charges of drink-driving, careless driving, committing a breach of the peace by shouting and swearing, at a trial in February 2003 Ricksen was found to have been twice over the limit and was convicted of drunk-driving, receiving a £500 fine and a 12-month driving ban. He was acquitted of the other charges, in October 2003 Ricksen was fined £7,000 after being convicted of a breach of the peace and assault in relation to a drunken late-night house party he held the previous November. In football season 2004–05 Ricksen self-imposed an abstinence from alcohol, in July 2006 Ricksen checked himself into the Sporting Chance Clinic for residential treatment relating to alcohol abuse and anger management
South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa, is the southernmost country in Africa. South Africa is the 25th-largest country in the world by land area and it is the southernmost country on the mainland of the Old World or the Eastern Hemisphere. About 80 percent of South Africans are of Sub-Saharan African ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different Bantu languages, the remaining population consists of Africas largest communities of European, Asian, and multiracial ancestry. South Africa is a multiethnic society encompassing a variety of cultures, languages. Its pluralistic makeup is reflected in the recognition of 11 official languages. The country is one of the few in Africa never to have had a coup détat, however, the vast majority of black South Africans were not enfranchised until 1994. During the 20th century, the black majority sought to recover its rights from the dominant white minority, with this struggle playing a role in the countrys recent history. The National Party imposed apartheid in 1948, institutionalising previous racial segregation, since 1994, all ethnic and linguistic groups have held political representation in the countrys democracy, which comprises a parliamentary republic and nine provinces. South Africa is often referred to as the Rainbow Nation to describe the multicultural diversity. The World Bank classifies South Africa as an economy. Its economy is the second-largest in Africa, and the 34th-largest in the world, in terms of purchasing power parity, South Africa has the seventh-highest per capita income in Africa. However, poverty and inequality remain widespread, with about a quarter of the population unemployed, nevertheless, South Africa has been identified as a middle power in international affairs, and maintains significant regional influence. The name South Africa is derived from the geographic location at the southern tip of Africa. Upon formation the country was named the Union of South Africa in English, since 1961 the long form name in English has been the Republic of South Africa. In Dutch the country was named Republiek van Zuid-Afrika, replaced in 1983 by the Afrikaans Republiek van Suid-Afrika, since 1994 the Republic has had an official name in each of its 11 official languages. Mzansi, derived from the Xhosa noun umzantsi meaning south, is a name for South Africa. South Africa contains some of the oldest archaeological and human fossil sites in the world, extensive fossil remains have been recovered from a series of caves in Gauteng Province. The area is a UNESCO World Heritage site and has termed the Cradle of Humankind
Russian Premier League
The Russian Football Premier League, or Russian Premier League, is the top division professional association football league in Russia. The competition is administered by the Russian Football Premier League, there are 16 teams in the competition. The cup winner qualifies for the UEFA Europa League without play-offs, the last two teams are relegated to the Russian National Football League at the end of the season. The Russian Premier League was established in 2001 and succeeded the Top Division, the Top Division was run by the Professional Football League of Russia. Creation of the Premier League is considered to give the clubs a greater degree of independence, the league is currently called Rosgosstrakh Russian Football Championship for sponsorship reasons. CSKA Moscow is the current Russian Premier League champion, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, starting in 1992, each former Soviet republic organized an independent national championship. In Russia, the six Russian teams who had played in the Soviet Top League in 1991 were supplemented with 14 teams from lower divisions to form a 20-team Russian Top Division, the Top Division was further divided into two groups to reduce the total number of matches. The number of teams in the Top Division was gradually reduced to 18 in 1993 and 16 in 1994, since then, the Russian Top Division has consisted of 16 teams, except for a short-lived experiment with having two more teams in 1996 and 1997. Spartak Moscow was the dominant force in the Top Division, winning nine of the first ten titles, spartak-Alania Vladikavkaz was the only team which managed to break Spartaks dominance, winning the Top Division title in 1995. Lokomotiv Moscow have won the title twice, and CSKA Moscow six times, in 2007, Zenit St. Petersburg climbed to the top, winning the title for the first time in their history in Russian professional football, they had also won a Soviet title in 1984. 2008 brought the pinnacle of the rise of Rubin Kazan, an entirely new to the Russian top flight. Teams in the Russian Premier League play each other twice, once at home and once away, three points are awarded for a win, one for a draw, and none for a loss. If teams are level on points, the tie-breakers are the number of wins, then the goal difference, if the teams are tied for the first position, the tie-breakers are the number of wins, then head-to-head results. If the teams tied for the first place cannot be separated by these tie-breakers, as of 2010, the champions and the runners-up qualify for the UEFA Champions League group stage. The third-placed team qualifies for the Champions League second qualifying round, the fourth- and fifth-place teams qualify for the UEFA Europa League. The bottom two teams are relegated to the First Division, unlike most other European football leagues, the league traditionally ran in summer, from March to November, to avoid playing games in the cold and snowy weather in winter. This was altered ahead of the 2012–13 season, with the planning to run the season from autumn to spring. The transitional season of the began in early 2011 and continued until summer of 2012
FC Zenit Saint Petersburg
Football Club Zenit, also known as Zenit Saint Petersburg, is a Russian football club from the city of Saint Petersburg. Founded in 1925, the plays in the Russian Premier League. Zenit were the 2007,2010, 2011–12 and 2014–15 champions of the Russian Premier League, Zenits history is tightly connected with the political history of Saint Petersburg, Russia. The players of local teams were amateurs and loosely associated with each other. At the same time, several football clubs were founded in Saint Petersburg. Players membership was unofficial and very loose, however, sometimes allowing the players to play for several different teams during the same season. The club was renamed several times and its owners and leaders were under pressure for many decades. The origins of Zenit date back to the beginning of the 20th century to several teams in Saint Petersburg that were playing locally. The oldest documented predecessor of Zenit was the team Murzinka, founded in 1914, which played in the Obukhovsky stadium from 1914 until 1924, when the team came to be known as Bolshevik. The team and stadium survived the drama of World War I, the Bolshevik revolution of 1917, in 1925, another predecessor team of Zenit was formed, of workers from the Leningradsky Metallichesky Zavod, they were called the Stalinets in the 1930s. Historians documented that both teams of Zenit were playing independently until their official merger at the end of 1939. The Stalinets were not the team named Zenit that took part in the 1938 USSR championship. The current name of FC Zenit was registered in 1936, three years before the Stalinets merged with it, FC Zenit was ordered to take in members of the Stalinets metallurgical workers team after the end of the 1939 season. Zenit won their first honours in 1944, claiming the war-time USSR Cup after defeating CSKA Moscow in the well-attended final, the club was always adored in Leningrad, but was not able to make much of a significant impact in the Soviet League. Composer Dmitry Shostakovich and film star Kirill Lavrov were well known as ardent supporters of Zenit, Zenit won the bronze medal in 1980, also reaching the Soviet Cup Final and winning the Soviet League title in 1984. In 1985, Zenit beat the Soviet Cup holder in the Soviet Super Cup, the LOMO optical plant took up the ownership of the team after the war. In 1990, FC Zenit were re-registered as an independent city-owned professional club, after being relegated in the first year of the Russian League, Zenit returned to the top flight in 1996 and has been decent since. They claimed the 1999 Russian Cup, finished third in the League in 2001, made the Cup final in 2002, became the runners-up in the Premier League, in December 2005, Gazprom took a controlling stake in the club
Scotland national under-19 football team
The team, which is controlled by the Scottish Football Association, acts as a feeder team to the Scotland national football team. Scotlands best performance at a European Championship Finals occurred in 1982, beating Czechoslovakia 3–1 in the final, the team was then managed by Andy Roxburgh and Walter Smith, who would both go on to manage the senior side. Scotland defeated rivals England in the round and finished top of Group 4. In the semi-finals, Scotland beat Poland 2–0, Scotland reached the semi-finals of the 1978 tournament, where they lost on penalties to Yugoslavia. Scotland topped Group two – which included Germany and Italy – to qualify for the semi-final, having beaten Denmark in the qualifying round. Scotland were also runners-up in 2006 when, under the guidance of manager Archie Gemmill and coach Tommy Wilson and this performance guaranteed Scotlands participation at the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup, representing their first appearance for 20 years. In the 2007 tournament, Scotland qualified top of a group including Bosnia-Herzegovina, Estonia, the matches were played in early-October. Scotland won all three games which ensured qualification to the round of qualification along with Germany, which is the second qualifying round. For the elite round of the 2009 tournament Scotland played Slovakia, Bosnia, under the guidance of Billy Stark, the young Scots earned 2–1 and 3–0 victories against Slovakia and Bosnia respectively. However, they lost out to hosts, England, in the last game by 2–1, for the elite round of the 2010 tournament Scotland had a disappointing campaign. They got off to a start, beating Montenegro, however defeats to Belgium and hosts Croatia followed. Draws also include penalty shootouts, regardless of the outcome, the following players were named in the squad for 2017 UEFA European Under-19 Championship qualification matches in October 2016. Uefa Under-19 website Contains full results archive
Valdas Ivanauskas is a football coach and a former football striker from Lithuania. He is best known in Europe for his time at Hamburger SV as a player in 1993–97, Ivanauskas started his playing career and soon became a regular with FK Žalgiris, a club that was a respected member of the old Soviet Premier Division. Ivanauskas spent the 1985 season in the Second Division with CSKA Moscow, however, in season 1990, he played in the Second Division for Lokomotiv Moscow after Žalgiris decided to transfer to the new Lithuanian League. In November 1990, he moved abroad to play for Austria Vienna, as a result, Ivanauskas helped Austria to win three successive Championships and in June 1992, the Lithuanian striker scored the only goal of the Cup Final against Admira Wacker. In July 1993, he moved to Germany and became the first Lithuanian to play in the German Bundesliga and he was also a hero in his homeland and was voted Lithuanian footballer of the year in 1990,1991,1993 and 1994. Two years later the 35-year-old striker had a season with BV Cloppenburg where he retired for good in June 2002 and he played 28 international matches and scored eight goals for the national team, and also played 5 matches for the Soviet Union between 1988 and 1990. Since retiring he has acquired a UEFA Professional Coaching Licence in Germany, the same year Ivanauskas also took caretaker position in FK Vėtra, and was later appointed on a permanent basis. However, in just a couple of time he took over at FBK Kaunas and led the club to Lithuanian championship title. In summer 2005, after a run of results he resigned from FBK Kaunas. It was rumoured that he take over Scottish team Heart of Midlothian. Although these rumors persisted even after the sacking of managers John Robertson and George Burley, however, when in March 2006 Rix was also sacked, Ivanauskas was promoted to the position of interim head first team coach until the end of the season. After finishing second in the SPL and guiding to club to a Scottish Cup triumph, in doing so he became the clubs first foreign manager. On 23 October 2006, Ivanauskas was given two weeks leave by majority shareholder, Vladimir Romanov, citing health reasons – believed to be stress and he was replaced by Eduard Malofeev and returned as head coach on 27 November. On 20 March 2007, Ivanauskas left his position of head coach by mutual consent and he was replaced by Anatoly Korobochka and Stephen Frail who had served as sporting director and reserve coach respectively, during Ivanauskas reign. In September 2007, Ivanauskas became manager of FC Carl Zeiss Jena of Germanys 2 and his stay at FC Carl Zeiss Jena was cut short when he was fired on 22 December 2007 due to lack of results. In July 2008, Ivanauskas made a return to football and agreed to coach FK Banga Gargždai in the Lithuanian second division and led the team to its first bronze medal finish in 14 years. The team also earned promotion to the A Lyga, Lithuanian top football division for the 2009 season, on 22 July 2009, he was replaced with Vitalijus Stankevičius as the U-21 head coach, because LFF decided that he could not effectively complete his tasks. On 23 October 2009, he was fired from Standart Sumgayit, baltic Cup 1994 FBK Kaunas A Lyga,2004 Lithuanian Cup,2004 Heart of Midlothian Scottish Cup, 2005-06 Valdas Ivanauskas management career statistics at Soccerbase
Vladimir Nikolayevich Romanov is an ethnic Russian businessman who also holds Lithuanian citizenship following that countrys independence from the Soviet Union. He was chairman of UBIG Investments, which owned a majority of the shares in failed Lithuanian bank Ūkio Bankas, the group was the owner of Belarusian Premier League club FC Partizan Minsk before it was sold in March 2012. Romanov spent his childhood in Tver Oblast, before moving with his family to Lithuania at the age of nine. His father had served in the Red Army and fought in the Battle of Berlin and he then served in the Soviet Navy for six years, including time aboard the K19 submarine. Romanov later bought the submarine, and invited his fellow members to the 2006 Scottish Cup Final. Before the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Romanov had started to make money during the late 1980s through manufacturing and his wealth greatly increased during the early 1990s after state enterprises were sold off to the highest bidder. Romanov was amongst those who founded Ūkio bankas, which was the first private bank to be founded in Lithuania, through his private investment group UBIG, Romanov had business interests including aluminium, textiles, property and television. These activities are carried out in Lithuania, Ukraine, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belarus and his wealth has been variously estimated at £260M, £300M, and £200M in the 2008 Sunday Times Rich List. UKIO Bankas was closed by the Lithuania Central Bank on 12 February 2013, investigations continue into allegations of fraud, embezzlement and money laundering according to the Bank of Lithuania. Hearts, like many other Scottish Premier League clubs, ran into financial difficulties during the early part of the 2000s. An assessment by PWC in the autumn of 2003 found that Hearts, Dundee and Livingston subsequently went into administration, while Hibs and Dunfermline took drastic measures to balance their finances, cutting their player budgets severely and selling assets. Vladimir Romanov had shown interest in investing in Scottish football for some time because he wanted to see whether Lithuanian footballers could prosper abroad, Scottish football clubs were particularly ripe for takeover due to their weak finances and corporate structures. He made approaches to Dundee United, Dundee and Dunfermline, and he opened negotiations with the board of directors to invest in Hearts during August 2004. Romanov offered the prospect of the club staying at a redeveloped Tynecastle, board chairman George Foulkes pleaded that the shareholders should not scare Romanov away by demanding too much for their shares. Chief executive Chris Robinson, who had been the proponent of the necessity of selling Tynecastle. The sale of Robinsons shares was completed on 2 February 2005 after Romanov made financial guarantees that the club could continue to trade without selling Tynecastle and this sale increased Romanovs stake to 29. 9%, giving him effective control of the club. Romanovs takeover was welcomed by a fans representative, Romanov eventually increased his majority share in Hearts to 82%. Hearts got off to a start in the 2005–06 season
Belarus national football team
Belarus national football team represents Belarus in association football and is controlled by the Football Federation of Belarus, the governing body for football in Belarus. Belarus home ground is Borisov Arena in Borisov, Belarus has not yet qualified for a FIFA World Cup or UEFA European Championship. Since March 2017 the team is coached by Igor Kriushenko, after the split of Soviet Union, Belarus played their first match against Lithuania on July 20,1992. Before that, some Belarusian players played for the USSR national football team, the first FIFA-recognized international was a friendly against Ukraine on October 28,1992 and their first win came in a match against Luxembourg on October 12,1994. Belarus have never qualified for either the FIFA World Cup, or the UEFA European Championship and their Euro 2004 qualifying campaign was very unsuccessful as Belarus lost 7 of their 8 games. Around the same time a change occurred and a number of players from the U-21 team joined the senior national team. With each subsequent head coach the team improved their attacking skills, as a result, in each subsequent qualifying tournament starting with the 2006 World Cup Belarus scored more goals than in previous campaigns. However, problems in defense and a lot of missed goals prevented them from finishing higher than 4th in the group, belarusians achieved some success in minor tournaments. In 2002 the team beat out Russia and Ukraine to win the LG Cup, in 2004 and 2008, they won the 12th and 14th editions of Malta International Football Tournament respectively. The first with its Olympic Squad and the later with the first team, the team plays vast majority of its home matches at the 40,000 Dinamo Stadium in Minsk. In late 2012 Dinamo Stadium was closed for renovation and the team started alternating between different home venues, Central Stadion in Gomel, Borisov City Stadium and Torpedo Stadium in Zhodino, since 2014 Belarus moved to the newly opened Borisov Arena. Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s Belarus played home games in all white, all green uniform or green jerseys/white shorts were used as away kits. Since qualifying campaign for UEFA Euro 2004 Belarus changed their colors to red jerseys and green shorts. In 2011 home colors were changed to all red, in August 2016, the Football Association announced that the teams nickname would be the White Wings. The name was influenced by the book The Land Beneath White Wings by famous Belarusian writer Uladzimir Karatkevich, caps and goals are correct as of 28 March 2017, after the game against Macedonia. The following players have also called up to the Belarus squad during last 12 months. Currently active players are listed in bold. by Fan Site of the Belarus National Team
Steven John Pressley is a Scottish football player and manager. Pressley had a playing career, playing for both halves of the Old Firm and making over 100 league appearances for both Dundee United and Hearts. Pressley captained the Hearts side that won the 2006 Scottish Cup Final, as a player, Pressley was described as hard-working and exhibiting leadership. After retiring as a player, Pressley was assistant manager of Falkirk, Pressley also served as an assistant manager to George Burley while Burley was manager of Scotland. He moved to League One side Coventry City in March 2013, Pressley was appointed manager of Fleetwood Town in October 2015, Pressley resigned from his position at Fleetwood Town in July 2016 Pressley started his career at Rangers. During his time at Ibrox, he won a Scottish Cup winners medal in 1993, Pressley was transferred to English side Coventry City in October 1994 for £600,000. His one goal for Coventry came against Manchester United, Pressley returned to Scotland in July 1995 with Dundee United, who paid a transfer fee of £750,000. He helped Dundee United to get promotion to the Premier Division in his first season and this was followed by a third-place finish in the 1996-97 Scottish Premier Division. His influential style of play and his skills were noticed by Hearts manager Jim Jefferies. Pressley was appointed captain by Craig Levein in 2001–02. Only Bobby Parker has held the Hearts captaincy for a longer period, Pressley was captain when the team beat VfB Stuttgart, Bordeaux and Basel in European matches. He helped Hearts finish second in the league in 2005/06, third on three occasions, as well as reaching the Scottish Cup and League Cup semi-finals. Pressley led Hearts to success in the 2006 Scottish Cup Final, Pressley scored the first penalty for Hearts, who eventually won 4–2. His enrolment into the Hearts Hall of Fame highlights the status that he enjoyed at Tynecastle and he acted as a spokesman for the playing squad in response to the various controversies affecting the club under the ownership of Vladimir Romanov. Romanov stated that he would sell players if Hearts failed to beat Dunfermline Athletic, however, this game was played out in front of a sell-out crowd who showed their vocal backing for Pressley, Gordon and Hartley. Pressley was then absent from the Hearts squad to face Falkirk on 13 November 2006, a month later, on 9 December 2006, it was confirmed that Pressley and Hearts had parted company and was reported to be attracting the interest of several clubs. Despite reported interest from Championship Derby County and Premier League Charlton, having previously played for Rangers, he joined players such as Maurice Johnston, Alfie Conn and Kenny Miller in crossing the Old Firm divide. He made his Celtic debut on 2 January 2007 against Kilmarnock and he scored his first competitive goal for Celtic against Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the fifth round of the Scottish Cup, later scoring his only league goal against Hearts on 29 April 2007
Barry Ferguson MBE is a Scottish football player and coach. He was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire on 17 June 2006, Ferguson spent most of his career at Rangers, in two spells either side of a £7.5 million transfer to English club Blackburn Rovers. He totalled 431 games and 60 goals for Rangers, whom he captained from 2000, Ferguson won the Scottish Premier League, Scottish Cup and Scottish League Cup five times apiece for Rangers, including a treble in 2003 which earned him the honour of SFWA Footballer of the Year. He also helped them to the 2008 UEFA Cup Final, Ferguson made 45 appearances for the Scotland national team, starting from 1998. In 2009, following behavioural incidents while on Scotland duty, he was stripped of the captaincy of Rangers, later in his career, he returned to England with Birmingham City, Blackpool and Fleetwood Town. Towards the end of his spell with Blackpool, he was appointed caretaker manager of the club. Ferguson was appointed player-manager of Clyde in June 2014, he resigned from this position in February 2017, born in Hamilton, Fergusons older brother, Derek, was a member of the Rangers squad in the 1980s. Ferguson was promoted to the first team squad for the 1996–97 season and he made his debut on the last day of that season against Hearts on 10 May 1997. He would make a number of appearances the following season under manager Walter Smiths policy of easing him into the first team. Ferguson became a fixture in the first team during the 1998–99 season under new manager Dick Advocaat. The Dutchman soon secured Ferguson on a contract as he became an important member of the squad. He scored his first career goal in a League Cup match against Alloa Athletic on 18 August 1998, injury prevented him from being involved in the 1998–99 season run-in as the club achieved the Treble. Ferguson watched the 1999 Scottish Cup Final from the stands as Rangers won the match 1–0, Ferguson was so influential the following season that he was given an extended six-year deal at Rangers in October 1999. He was named the Scottish Football Writers Association Footballer of the Year for 1999–2000, in the autumn of 2000, with Rangers having a poor start to the season and the defence in particular having a horrendous run of form, Advocaat was already thinking about changes. Ferguson received minor injuries after engaging in a drunken hotel brawl following the 6–2 defeat to Celtic in August 2000. After being sent off in the match, Ferguson had made obscene gestures to the crowd then gone drinking in Bothwell in his club tracksuit. An incident in two bags of ice were thrown at the Celtic dug-out during a 2–0 defeat at Ibrox in September 2001 was attributed to Ferguson. Celtic manager Martin ONeill played down the incident, saying he thought the ice had been thrown by his clubs doctor
Paul Le Guen
Paul Le Guen is a French football manager and a former player. His last role was as manager of the Oman national football team, during his playing career he enjoyed successful stays with FC Nantes and PSG and won 17 caps for the French national team. During his playing career, Le Guen played at Stade Brest for six years, Nantes Atlantique for two years, before leaving Brittany for Paris St. Germain where he played for seven years. At international level he played 17 times for France due to injuries and he was part of the team which lost out on a trip to the World Cup in 1994, along with Eric Cantona and David Ginola. He ended his career by taking part in a friendly where his home region of Brittany faced Cameroon on 21 May 1998. Le Guen had a successful career in France, most notably leading Olympique Lyonnais to three consecutive Ligue 1 titles. He has also managed Stade Rennais, Paris Saint-Germain, Glasgow Rangers, in July,2016, he was to be named manager of the Nigeria national team, but didnt agree to the contract terms. He resigned from Rennes in 2001 after a fall-out with the clubs board and this led to him taking a year off from football. Le Guen replaced Jacques Santini as manager of Olympique Lyonnais in 2002 after they captured their first league title and he resigned from his position at Lyon on 9 May 2005, the day after the club won their fourth consecutive Ligue 1 championship. He was replaced by Gérard Houllier, after leaving the club, Le Guen embarked upon another year away from football management. During this time he turned down management positions at several top European clubs including Benfica and Lazio, on 11 March 2006, it was confirmed that Paul Le Guen had agreed to replace Alex McLeish as manager of Rangers starting in the 2006–07 season. Le Guen signed a contract with the option to extend his stay at Ibrox. However, Le Guen made a start to his Ibrox career. His record across his first ten league games was the worst start to a season by an Old Firm debutant since John Greigs team won two, drew six and lost two of their opening ten games in 1978–79. On 8 November, Rangers were knocked out of the Scottish League Cup at the stage by First Division side St Johnstone. The result, the first time Rangers had been knocked out of a cup tournament by a league side at home, prompted protests outside Ibrox. On 1 January 2007, Rangers announced that Le Guen had stripped Barry Ferguson of his captaincy of the club, BBC Sport reported that Ferguson would not play for Rangers again under Le Guen. Murray announced on 4 January 2007 that Paul Le Guen had left Rangers by mutual consent and this made him the clubs shortest-serving manager, and the only one to leave the club without completing a full season in charge
Gavin Paul Rae is a Scottish football player who currently plays for National Premier Leagues NSW club Hakoah Sydney City East FC. Rae started his career with Dundee, making over 200 league appearances for the club and he moved to Rangers in January 2004, but struggled to hold down a regular place in their team due to injury. He moved to Cardiff City in 2007 and featured regularly in the team reached the 2008 FA Cup Final. Rae left Cardiff in 2011 and had later in his career with Dundee. He also won 14 caps for Scotland between 2001 and 2009, in total he made 223 games for the club scoring 26 goals in a period of eight years. Rae made his debut for Rangers on 3 January 2004 against Celtic, after recovering, he managed to score his first goal against Dundee, his former club. However he suffered injury, damaging his knee against Dundee United on 24 April 2004. His road to recovery was hit by several set-backs before he made his return to the Rangers first team on 18 February 2006 against Hibernian. He went on to regular appearances in the Rangers team. In the 2006–07 season, Rae was given the captaincy in a number of games when Barry Ferguson was not playing. On 1 January 2007 he was announced as permanent captain after Fergusons meeting with Paul Le Guen, on 4 January 2007 Le Guen resigned from the managerial position at Rangers and new manager Walter Smith re-appointed Ferguson as club captain. He was offered a new deal at the club by Smith, Rae left Rangers as a free agent at the end of the 2006–07 season when his contract expired. On 21 May 2007 he was linked with a move to Hearts with his teammate at Rangers, Stephen Hughes. On 26 June 2007 he was quoted in an interview saying Believe me, I am coming to Cardiff fully fit, I am fired up to make the most of this chance. He went on to make a total of 55 appearances in all competitions in his first year, more than any other player at the club including playing in all 6 matches during the clubs run to the FA Cup Final. The following season began badly for Rae when, after making just two appearances, he chipped a bone in his leg just below his knee during a 2–1 win over Bournemouth in the League Cup. Rae was told that he could continue playing with the injury if he could withstand the pain and he went on to appear in 46 matches in all competitions for Cardiff, the second highest amount behind Roger Johnson. Rae started the 2009–10 season on the bench but was handed his first appearance of the year after 45 minutes of the game with Joe Ledley suffering from an illness
Scottish Football Association
Members of the SFA include clubs in Scotland, affiliated national associations as well as local associations. It was formed in 1873, making it the second oldest national football association in the world and it is not to be confused with the Scottish Football Union, which is the name that the SRU was known by until the 1920s. The Scottish Football Association sits on the International Football Association Board which is responsible for the laws of the game, the SFA is also a member of FIFA and founder member of UEFA. It is based at Hampden Park in Glasgow, in addition, the Scottish Football Museum is located there. Furthermore, Kilmarnock sent a letter stating their willingness to join, one of the most prominent roles of the chief executive is to hire and dismiss Scotland national football team managers. There was also a team, but this was disbanded in 2008. In womens football, there is the full Scotland womens national team, under-19. The Scottish Football Association encourages quality of governance in football clubs through a system of club licence awards, all SFA member clubs are assessed annually in four areas and, if appropriate, awarded a licence at gold, silver, bronze or entry level. As of January 2015, gold-level licences have been awarded to two clubs, Celtic and Hibernian. All clubs in the Scottish Professional Football League are required to be licensed at entry level or above, this has been extended to the Highland Football League and Lowland Football League
PFC CSKA Moscow
PFC Central Sport Club of the Army, Moscow is a Russian professional football club. It is based in Moscow, playing its matches at the 30. The club is the most known division of the CSKA Moscow sports club, founded in 1911, CSKA had its most successful period after World War II with five titles in six seasons. It won a total of 7 Soviet Top League championships, including the season in 1991. The club has also won 6 Russian Premier League titles, CSKA was the official team of the Soviet Army during the communist era. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union it has become privately owned, Russian businessman Roman Abramovichs Sibneft corporation was a leading sponsor of the club from 2004 to 2006. Officially, CSKA is a club and thus no longer a section of the Russian militarys CSKA sports club. The Russian Ministry of Defense is a PFC CSKA shareholder, however, the Moscow Army men won their 10th national title back in 2006 and they are one of the most successful clubs in Russian football, having an extensive legacy in Soviet football as well. In 2004, the received a major financial infusion from a sponsorship deal with Sibneft. The partnership with Sibneft lasted until 2006, when VTB became the sponsor of the club, CSKA started 2009 without a shirt sponsor. On 4 November 1992, CSKA qualified for the stage of the UEFA Champions League which contained only 8 teams after defeating Spanish champion FC Barcelona 4–3 on aggregate. On 16 March 2010, CSKA qualified for the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League after defeating Sevilla FC 3–2 on aggregate and they were later eliminated from competition by Internazionale, losing by 1–0 scorelines in both Milan and Moscow. On 7 December 2011, CSKA qualified for the phase of the UEFA Champions League after winning crucial 3 points by defeating Internazionale with scoreline 1–2 in Milan. On 6 December 2016, CSKA announced that manager Leonid Slutsky would leave the club after seven years at the club, following their last game of 2016,6 days later,12 December, Viktor Goncharenko was announced as the clubs new manager, signing a two-year contract. As of match played 6 December 2016 CSKA Moscow won their first, sergei Ignashevich lifted the 2005 UEFA Cup after CSKA ran out 3-1 winners over Sporting CP in Sportings own Estádio José Alvalade stadium. Goals from Aleksei Berezutski, Yuri Zhirkov and Vágner Love saw CSKA become the first Russian club to win a major European title, CSKA was nicknamed Horses because the first stadium was built on the old racecourse/hippodromo in Moscow. Its capacity is small for a club of its stature. This is one of the reasons the club uses other venues in the city
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
2007 Scottish League Cup Final
The 2007 Scottish League Cup Final was played on 18 March 2007 at Hampden Park in Glasgow and was the 60th Scottish League Cup Final. The final was contested by Kilmarnock and Hibernian, who had never met before in a Cup Final. The previous years winners were Celtic, who had beaten Dunfermline Athletic 3–0 in the 2006 Final, but they were knocked out in the quarter-finals by Falkirk, who beat them 5–4 on penalties. With Dunfermline also being eliminated in the rounds, it was the fourth successive year in which both of the previous years finalists did not make it back to the final. Rangers shock 2–0 defeat by First Division club St Johnstone meant that neither Old Firm club featured in the semi-finals, Kilmarnock beat Falkirk 3–0 at Fir Park and Hibernian beat St Johnstone 3–1 after extra time at Tynecastle in the semi-finals
Scottish Football League Second Division
The Scottish Football League Second Division was the third tier of the Scottish football league system between 1975 and 2013. The Second Division was created in 1975, as part of a reconstruction of the Scottish Football League. Prior to 1975, the SFL had been split into two divisions, a fourth tier, known as the Third Division, was created in 1994. In 1998, the Premier Division clubs broke away from the SFL to form the Scottish Premier League, the Second Division continued as before, but it was now the second level of the SFL. In 2013, the SFL and SPL merged to form the Scottish Professional Football League, the SPFL named its third tier as Scottish League One, which effectively replaced the Second Division. From 1994 until 2013, the Second Division consisted of ten teams, from 1994 to 2006, the top two teams were promoted to the First Division and the bottom two were relegated to the Third Division. The bottom club was relegated to the Third Division and the 9th placed club entered an end of season play-off with the second, third. The teams played each other four times with three points for a victory and one point each for a drawn game, in the event of two teams finishing with the same number of points, the respective teams position is decided on goal difference. If goal difference is too, the team who has scored the most goals is placed higher. Most players in the Second Division were part-time professionals, B. ^ Team failed to gain promotion via play-offs 1. ^ Airdrie United lost in the play-offs, but were promoted due to Gretnas demotion to the Third Division, official Site Scottish Football League Second Division clubs locations
Forfar Athletic F.C.
Forfar Athletic Football Club are a Scottish semi-professional football club from the town of Forfar, Angus. They are members of the Scottish Professional Football League and currently play in the Scottish League Two and they play their home games at Station Park, in the north end of Forfar. The club are nicknamed the Loons, although they are referred to as the Sky Blues. One explanation for the origins of the Loons moniker is that the string were younger than the first team. Other rival clubs in Angus include Arbroath, Brechin City and Montrose, as well as the clubs of Dundee, Dundee United, St Johnstone. As well as taking part in the Scottish Professional Football League, the club participate in the Scottish Cup, the League Cup, the Challenge Cup. The club were founded in 1885 when the team of the older Forfar club called Angus FC. Angus FC had been the senior club for a number of years, and on 24 September 1883, amalgamated with the Junior club Forfar West End. The demise of Angus in 1885 prompted the second string to go it alone, the early side played in a navy and black striped home strip. Forfar played their first match on 16 May 1885 when they beat Dundee Our Boys 1–0, on 1 September 1888 the club recorded their record win when they defeated Lindertis, a side from nearby Kirriemuir, 14–1. The club were admitted into the Scottish Football League in the 1921–22 season, entering the new Second Division, in the 1923–24 season a third division was established, Forfar were relegated into that division in the 1924–25 season by finishing bottom of Division Two. The club were lucky,12 of the 16 teams in that division were relegated as the division was to be scrapped the following season, national competitions were suspended with the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939. In this period Alec Troup was a key player for the club – he went on to play for Dundee, the clubs biggest defeat also came in this period, on 2 January 1930, when they lost 2–12 to Kings Park. When the league resumed in the 1946–47 season Forfar found themselves in the C Division of the league and this was considerable progress from the 1973–74 season when the club finished bottom of the division. The late 1970s and the 1980s can probably be considered the clubs most successful period – at the end of the 1985–86 season the club were just one point below promotion to the Premier Division, various kit colours were used throughout this period. In the 1950s and early 1960s, a home strip was used. Later the team adopted lighter blue with varying navy, the nickname The Sky Blues was introduced in the 1982–83 season to aid marketing, however it sometimes became confused with the nickname of English club Coventry City. The nickname was dropped by the club during the early 1990s, the club continued in the First Division until 1991–92, when they finished bottom under the management of Paul Hegarty
Scottish Football League
The Scottish Football League was a league featuring professional and semi-professional football clubs mostly from Scotland. From its foundation in 1890 until the breakaway Scottish Premier League was formed in 1998, after 1998, the SFL represented levels 2 to 4 of the Scottish football league system. In June 2013, the SFL merged with the SPL to form the Scottish Professional Football League, the SFL was associated with a title sponsor from the 1985–86 season. As this sponsor has changed over the years the league was known in turn as the Fine Fare League, B&Q League, Bells Scottish Football League, the SFL also organised two knock-out cup competitions, the Scottish League Cup and the Scottish Challenge Cup. Organised football in Scotland began in 1873 with the formation of the Scottish Football Association, during the next 15 years or so, clubs would play friendly matches, Scottish Cup ties and local cup ties. The Football League, initially containing clubs from the North West and this had been done in response to the professionalisation of football in England in 1885, with the regular diet of league fixtures replacing the haphazard arrangement of friendlies. Many Scottish players, known as the Scotch Professors, moved to the English league clubs to receive the high salaries on offer. This prompted Scottish clubs into thinking about forming their own league, in March 1890, the secretary of Renton wrote to thirteen other clubs inviting them to discuss the organisation of a league. All of the clubs accepted the invitation, except Queens Park and these concerns were to prove well-founded, as six of the founder members would leave the league before 1900. The Scottish Football League was inaugurated on 30 April 1890, the first season of competition, 1890–91, commenced with 11 clubs because St Bernards were not elected. The eleven original clubs in membership were Abercorn, Cambuslang, Celtic, Cowlairs, Dumbarton, Heart of Midlothian, Rangers, Renton, St Mirren, Third Lanark and Vale of Leven. Renton were expelled five games of the 1890–91 season for playing against St Bernards. Renton raised an action against the SFA in the Court of Session and won, in the 1890–91 season, Rangers and Dumbarton were level at the top of the league on 29 points. The teams drew 2–2 in a match, but no further thought had been given to separating teams by another method. Goal average was introduced for the 1921–22 season and replaced by goal difference for the 1971–72 season, the league proved to be highly successful, and in 1893 a Second Division was formed by the inclusion of a number of clubs previously in the Scottish Football Alliance. Promotion was initially based on a ballot of clubs, automatic promotion was not introduced until 1922, in 1923, the League decided to introduce a Third Division. The Western Football League was used as its backbone but the new set-up lasted only three years before it collapsed under heavy financial losses, from 1926 until 1946, the League returned to two divisions. Post-World War II reforms saw the League resume with three divisions, postwar seasons saw the divisions renamed A, B and C with the last section also including reserve sides
Raith Rovers F.C.
Raith Rovers Football Club is a Scottish professional football club based in the town of Kirkcaldy, Fife. The clubs highest ever league position came in 1922, when it finished third behind champions Celtic, the club also came runners-up in 1949 as well as being losing finalists in the 1913 Scottish Cup Final. As a result of winning the League Cup in 1994, Raith Rovers qualified for the UEFA Cup the following season, the club managed to reach the second round, only to be defeated 4–1 on aggregate to eventual champions FC Bayern Munich. Raiths home ground is Starks Park, an 8,867 all-seater stadium in the south of Kirkcaldy, the club has been based at the ground since 1891. The modern Raith Rovers were founded in 1883 in the Scottish town of Kirkcaldy, there had been a much earlier Raith Rovers which merged with what is now Cowdenbeath in 1882. Although it lends its name to many entities in the region, a Raith Rovers victory in the 1960s led to a famous BBC commentators blunder that the fans would be dancing in the streets of Raith tonight. Although commonly attributed to Englishman David Coleman, this was said by Scotsman Sam Leitch. Raith as an area once stretched from south of Loch Gelly as far as Kirkcaldy, a mixture of local success and ambition took the club into the senior leagues where they established themselves and thereby became the pre-eminent team in the town. The team subsequently moved to their current home of Starks Park named after, after two consecutive successful seasons in 2nd Division, the club elected to join the 1st Division in 1909–10. Three years later, the made their first appearance in the Scottish Cup Final losing 2–0 to Falkirk. In 1921 an innovation in training, previously unknown to the Scottish game, was introduced by directors following a visit to England, the use of a ball in training. As noted in the Fife Free Press, Hitherto, ball practice has been an absentee from the curriculum on the grounds that being away from the ball for a week imparted eagerness on the Saturday. This heralded an era of success, the club had its highest ever league finish in the Scottish top division, when they came third to the Old Firm in 1921–22. This was followed by the incident where the players were shipwrecked in 1923. The team had been en route to play matches on the Canary Islands when the boat ran aground. Fortunately, the players were able to disembark and continue on their way a few days later. The forward line of Glen, Gilmour, Norrie Haywood, Whitelaw, around this time, a then record crowd of 25,500 filled Starks Park on a Wednesday afternoon for a Scottish Cup quarter-final replay against East Fife. East Fife won 3–2 and went on to become the only 2nd Division club to win the Scottish Cup until Hibs matched the feat in 2016
Arbroath Football Club are a Scottish football club currently playing in the Scottish League Two. The club were founded in 1878 and play matches at Gayfield Park. They play in maroon strips, and are nicknamed the Red Lichties due to the red light that used to fishing boats back from the North Sea to the burghs harbour. Arbroath share a long-standing and fierce rivalry with local neighbours Montrose, jocky Petrie scored 13 goals in that game, a record for the most goals by a single player in a British senior match. The team has had mixed success in recent years, in the 1996–97 season they hit the bottom of the Scottish senior football standard as they finished bottom of the Third Division. However, the season they were promoted to the Second Division. They spent three years at this level before winning promotion to the First Division – arguably the clubs greatest achievement in recent history and they finished 7th in their first season in the First Division,13 points clear of relegation troubles. However, in the 2002–03 season, the team struggled badly, in the 2003–04 season, Arbroath narrowly avoided back-to-back relegations, as they escaped the drop on the last day of the season. In 2004–05, however, there was no escaping a 3–0 defeat at Dumbarton on 30 April 2005, therefore, in recent years the club has risen from the depths of the Third Division to the heights of the First Division, then fallen back down to the basement league. Arbroath finished fourth in Division 3 and disposed of Cowdenbeath 2–1 on aggregate thanks to an extra time winner from Robbie Raeside in the semi final. Stranraer were the opponents in the final and the Lichties ran out 2–0 winners in the home tie first leg at Gayfield thanks to a Robbie Raeside header. At Stranraer, the Arbroath goal was pummelled for much of the match, although one goal was conceded, a resolute defence saw the Lichties hold on for a 2–1 aggregate win and promotion. Arbroath managed to consolidate their position in Division 2 in 2008–09, the performances were boosted by loan additions such as Steven Doris, Craig Forsyth and ex Scotland International, Colin Cameron and the team got results when it mattered. Safety was all but assured with a narrow 1–0 win over Queens Park at Hampden, courtesy of a fine Robbie Ross strike, a 2–2 draw against Peterhead and a 0–0 draw against Raith Rovers in May was enough to seal 7th spot. During season 2009–10, results seemed to go into free fall after a 6–0 home defeat to St Johnstone in the CIS Cup early in the season. John McGlashan resigned to be replaced by Jim Weir who after a mixed start eventually rallied the team to a spirited last few weeks of the season. With a win needed against East Fife to avoid the play-offs, after beating Queens Park in the play-off semi final, their season ended with a 2–0 loss to Forfar Athletic in the final. Weir resigned to take up the vacant position at Brechin City, arbroaths next few seasons in the third tier were a mixed rollercoaster
East Stirlingshire F.C.
East Stirlingshire Football Club is a Scottish association football club based in the town of Falkirk. The club was founded in 1881 and competes in the Lowland Football League, the clubs origins can be traced to 1880 when a local cricket club formed a football team under the name Britannia, based in the village of Bainsford. The club was elected to the Scottish Football League in 1900–01 and has competed in the system for most of its existence. East Stirlingshire has won the tier of Scottish football once and finished runners-up once. The clubs highest league ranking came during the two seasons it competed in the top flight in 1932–33 and 1963–64. In 2016, East Stirlingshire became the first club ever to be relegated out of the league system. East Stirlingshire first entered in the Scottish Cup in 1882, its best result reaching the quarter-finals on three occasions, the last in 1981. The clubs best result in a cup competition was in the 2000–01 season when it reached the semi-finals of the Scottish Challenge Cup. In 2008, the club left Firs Park and moved to Ochilview Park to ground-share with local rivals Stenhousemuir, the clubs nickname is The Shire, which refers to the Stirlingshire part of the club name. In December 1883, the Stirlingshire Football Association was founded, with open to clubs exclusively from the county of Stirlingshire. It resulted in the establishment of a new tournament called the Stirlingshire Cup. East Stirlingshire dominated the tournament in its years, winning it for a record four years in a row between 1885 and 1889, including an emphatic 9–0 victory against Falkirk in the 1888 final. Two goals came from Lawrence McLachlan who was an influential goalscorer in the early successes. The latter years of the 19th century was East Stirlingshires most successful era in the Scottish Cup, in the 1888–89 and 1890–91 tournaments, the club reached the quarter-finals in what was to be the last time for 91 years, losing to Celtic and Hearts respectively. It was during this period that four East Stirlingshire players earned caps for their countries. The first was the Wales national team captain, Humphrey Jones, Three other players, David Alexander, Archibald Ritchie, and James McKie made appearances for the Scotland national team from 1891 to 1898. In March 1905, a proposal was raised for the club to merge with neighbours Falkirk with an aim to creating a bigger and more financially stable club, however, East Stirlingshires vote was not in favour and the club rejected the proposal. The club remained in Division Two until 1914–15 when it, at the end of World War I, the club was re-elected to the old Division Two which was re-established in the 1921–22 season
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
Ibrox Stadium is a football stadium located on the south side of the River Clyde in the Ibrox district of Glasgow. The home of Rangers F. C. Ibrox is one of the largest football stadiums in the UK, and it was opened as Ibrox Park in 1899, but suffered a disaster in 1902 when a wooden terrace collapsed. Vast earthen terraces were built in its place, while a main stand, a British record crowd of 118,567 gathered in January 1939 for a league match with Celtic. After the Ibrox disaster of 1971, the stadium was largely rebuilt, the vast bowl-shaped terracing was removed and replaced by three rectangular, all-seated stands by 1981. After renovations were completed in 1997, the ground was renamed Ibrox Stadium, Ibrox has also hosted the Scotland national football team, particularly when the national stadium Hampden Park was redeveloped in the 1990s. Ibrox also hosted three Scottish domestic cup finals in the same period and it has also been the venue for concerts by major performers, including Frank Sinatra. Rangers played its first match in May 1872, on Glasgow Green, the club then played home matches on public pitches across Glasgow, first moving to a regular home ground at Burnbank in 1875. A year later, Rangers played at the Clydesdale cricket ground in Kinning Park and this ground was improved to give a capacity of 7,000, but it was not owned by Rangers. After hints by the landlords that they wished to develop the site, the club shared Cathkin Park with Third Lanark for the remainder of the 1886–87 season. Rangers first moved to the Ibrox area later in 1887, playing on a site immediately to the east of the current stadium. The first match at this stadium was an 8–1 defeat to English side Preston North End on 20 August 1887 and this inaugural match had to be abandoned after 70 minutes due to a pitch invasion. The first Ibrox Park was a success in the short term, Celtic Park, built in 1892, was more advanced, however. Rangers opted to construct a new stadium, raising funds by forming a limited company, the last match at the old ground was played on 9 December 1899. The new Ibrox Park was formally opened with a 3–1 victory over Hearts on 30 December, Ibrox Park, as it was known between 1899 and 1997, is almost completely different from the Ibrox Stadium of today. It followed the model of most Scottish stadiums of the time, comprising an oval track around the pitch, with a pavilion, the ground had a capacity of 40,000. Celtic Park, Ibrox and Hampden Park all competed with other to host Scottish Cup Finals and Scotland matches. To aid their chances of gaining that revenue, Rangers constructed a large terracing, holding 36,000 people, the terracing, designed by Archibald Leitch, was formed by wooden planks bolted onto a framework made of iron. A similar wooden terracing was constructed at the end, giving a total capacity of 75,000