Ladbrokes Coral Group plc /ˈlædbrʊks/ is a British-based betting and gambling company. It is based in Stratford, London, from 14 May 1999 to 23 February 2006, when it owned the Hilton hotel brand outside the United States, it was known as Hilton Group plc. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a member of the FTSE250 Index, in July 2015, Ladbrokes reached an agreement to merge with its rival, Gala Coral Group. Under the terms, Ladbrokes chief executive Jim Mullen became CEO of the new company, the company was founded by Mr. Schwind and Pennington in 1886 as commission agents for horses trained at Ladbroke Hall in Warwickshire. The name Ladbrokes was adopted in 1902 when one Arthur Bendir joined the partnership, Ladbrokes first London offices were situated in the vicinity of the Strand, later moving to Hanover Square in 1906 and, in 1913, the firm graduated to Six Old Burlington Street, Mayfair. Unusually for the times, Ladbrokes principal long-time representative on British racecourses was a woman, Mrs. Helen Vernet. Having joined the firm at behest of Arthur Bendir in 1919, she was made a partner in 1928 and remained with the firm shortly before her death in 1956. As a result, in 1956 the Company was acquired by Mark Stein and his then 28-year-old nephew, in 1961, the government legalised betting shops under the Betting and Gaming Act. As managing director, Stein used profits from the areas of the business to establish a chain of betting shops. On the last Saturday of 1963, football results cost the company over £1 million, in 1966, Cyril Stein became chairman of Ladbrokes and the following year floated the company on the London Stock Exchange at an initial valuation of £1 million. Under his chairmanship the company acquired Texas Homecare in 1986, and in 1995 sold it to J Sainsbury plc, in 1989, Ladbrokes also acquired Vernons Football Pools. In 1993, at the age of 65, Cyril Stein retired as chairman – at which time Ladbrokes was valued at near £2 billion on the London Stock Exchange, in 1999, the company acquired the Stakis Hotels chain and rebranded itself as Hilton Group plc. The Company once again came under fire from the ASA in January 2009 due to complaints received relating to an advertising campaign, in November 2009, the Company announced it would close its call centre at Aintree with the loss of 263 jobs. The last day of call centre operations at Aintree was at the end of March 2010, in January 2012, the Ladbrokes affiliate program introduced a new commission model based on the number of new customers sent every month, valid as from 1 February 2012. On 5 September 2013, Ladbrokes launched in Australia, on 30 September 2013, Ladbrokes issued a warning that full year profits from its e-gaming division would be much lower than originally expected. Profits from the division were originally forecast to be £27.5 million for the year and its woes relating to income uncertainty continued and in August 2014, Ladbrokes announced a pre-tax profits drop of 49. 7% during the first half of 2014. On 3 December 2014, Ladbrokes announced that it was to look for a replacement for CEO Richard Glynn who was to leave at the end of his five-year term. In June 2015, Ladbrokes said they were in talks with the board of Gala Coral Group over a possible merger, the deal was negotiated in July 2015
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
Albion Rovers F.C.
Albion Rovers Football Club is a semi-professional football team from Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, Scotland. They are members of the Scottish Professional Football League and, as of the 2016–17 season, play in League One and their sole major honours during that time have been wins in the lower two divisions of the senior league system. The clubs stadium, Cliftonhill, known as the Exsel Group Stadium for sponsorship purposes, Albion Rovers were formed in 1882 from a merger of the two Coatbridge sides Albion FC and Rovers FC, and played at Meadow Park from that year. The club joined the Scottish Football League Second Division in 1903 along with Ayr Parkhouse following an expansion in numbers. Rovers settled into the League reasonably well, albeit without ever clinching promotion, by 1915 the Scottish Football League had been merged into a single division structure, with the second division scrapped. The Rovers moved to join the Western Football League and whilst members of this moved to their current Cliftonhill home in 1919. They were close to returning to the Scottish League in 1917 but lost out in a vote amongst Clydebank, Vale of Leven, with their new stadium completed, Rovers returned to the single division Scottish League for the 1919–20 season. Rovers remained a top-flight side even after the return of the Second Division until their relegation in 1923 and it was during this period that John Jock White, became Rovers only international appearing for Scotland, in a match against Wales. The club remained in the Second Division until the 1933–34 season when they took the title by a point from Dunfermline Athletic, of the five seasons immediately before the Second World War Rovers spent all but one of them as a top-flight side. They took part in the emergency Western League during the 1939–40 season before transferring over to the Southern Football League, despite struggling from time to time to get a full side out the Rovers managed to survive the war in good shape. To add to their problems the celebrated wing partnership of Willie Findlay and Johnny McIlhatton was broken up when the former departed for Rangers, One feature of the McIlhatton transfer was a friendly match between the two clubs at Goodison Park in September 1946, which the Toffees won 6–3. Rovers took a 2–0 lead in the first leg against Kilmarnock, and no team has ever been able to put together a more spicy trio than Currie, Sage and Rice, who appeared in Rovers sides of the early 1970s. Changes brought in for the 1975–76 season saw Rovers placed in the new Second Division, in 1986 a book covering the clubs history was published, The Boys From the Brig by Robin Marwick. Players such as Vic Kasule and Bernie Slaven brought some flamboyancy to Rovers in the mid-1980s, the First Division stay was again to last just one season and Rovers subsequently finished bottom of the bottom division several times during the 1990s. Rovers found themselves in the newly created Scottish Football League Third Division, in an attempt to cut costs, the number of full-timers was substantially reduced and the clubs board took a decision to sell Cliftonhill and groundshare with Airdrieonians. Following another last place finish in 1999–00 there was an attempt to change the clubs fortunes, the team went full-time, although many of the full-time players were youths to whom the club gave employment under a government scheme. Rovers went into the last day of the season in 2001–02 and 2002–03 with a chance of promotion, the full-time experiment proved too expensive and had to be dismantled to keep the clubs costs under control. Rovers stayed put and it was against this background that a group of fans set up Albion Rovers Supporters Trust with a view to benefit the club and local community
Annan Athletic F.C.
Annan Athletic Football Club is a Scottish association football club based in the town of Annan, Dumfries and Galloway. The club was founded in 1942 and competes in the Scottish League Two as a member of the Scottish Professional Football League, Annan Athletic won the South of Scotland League twice and the East of Scotland League four times before successfully applying to join the Scottish Football League in 2008. Annan Athletics best finish in the SPFL was second in League Two in 2013–14 whilst its best result in the Scottish Cup was reaching the round on three occasions, most recently in 2011–12. The club is managed by Jim Chapman and plays its games at Galabank in the north of Annan. They had a successful time as a junior club, reaching the fifth round of the Scottish Junior Cup on one occasion. For the following season Annan Athletic joined the Carlisle and District League and this proved an astute move when Annan Athletic won every competition they entered bar one in their first season in membership. Annan remained members of the Carlisle and District League until they moved back to Scottish football in the 1977–78 season when they joined the South of Scotland Football League. This switch, along with some work to their Galabank ground also allowed the club to compete in the qualifying stages of the Scottish Cup as well. The club proved successful in the South League, winning every competition that was available to them. They won promotion in their first season in the East League and they became one of the leagues top sides and qualified for the Scottish Cups early rounds on various occasions. Annan applied to join the Scottish Football League in 2000, when two new clubs were admitted, but lost out to Peterhead and Elgin City, following the demise of local rivals Gretna in 2008, Annan applied along with four other clubs to replace them in the Third Division. They were the candidate, being chosen due to the standard of their facilities, ahead of Cove Rangers, Spartans, Preston Athletic. Their first league match as a professional team ended in a 4–1 win over Cowdenbeath in the 2008/09 season and they finished 7th that season and 8th in the next season. They were challenging for promotion to the Second Division in the 2010/11 season and they finished 4th and qualified for the play-off final after a win over Alloa Athletic in play-off semi-finals. They played Albion Rovers in the final, however, they lost the tie 4–3 on aggregate. After the first quarter of the 2011–12 season, Annan sat top of the league, also, for the second time since becoming SFL members in 2008, they reached the semi-finals of the 2011–12 Scottish Challenge Cup. Later as the season progressed Annan dropped points and fell into mid table, a 3–0 defeat to First Division Falkirk ended their hopes of a first Challenge Cup Final. During the 2012–13 season, Annan secured a 0–0 draw at home to Rangers on 15 September 2012, in the same season, on 9 March, Annan beat Rangers 2–1 at Ibrox
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
Clyde Football Club are a Scottish professional football club based in Cumbernauld, who play in Scottish League Two. Formed in 1877 at the River Clyde, the play their home games at Broadwood Stadium. The Clyde Football Club was founded and played on the banks of the River Clyde at Barrowfield, documentary evidence from the SFA and indeed match reports in the Glasgow press clearly show it all began in 1877, and the thread continues unbroken to this day. Heres how the SFA recorded Clydes origins, Sitting on the edge of Bridgeton, Barrowfield Park lay in a triangle of land enclosed by Carstairs Street, Colvend Street and the river Clyde. The area was a mix of chemical, engineering and textile works with a high population density to provide the labour. Today this area is dotted with industrial units, but also contains a grassed area. So it may be possible to stand upon a corner of the original Barrowfield pitch, Barrowfield was originally shared with a short-lived team called Albatross. The club founded then has no resemblance to a professional football club. Clyde F. C. were a members club more akin to a present-day golf or bowling club. Clydes Secretary, John Graham, was also a rower and it seems the club had other sporting. Although most fixtures were informal, the Scottish Cup had existed since 1873, soon there would also be the Glasgow Merchants & Charity Cup and the Glasgow Cup that in their time were hotly contested major competitions. Clyde entered the 1st Round of the Scottish Cup on 29 September 1877 along with one hundred, Third Lanark were the visitors once again and they triumphed 1–0. Clyde joined the Scottish Football League in 1891, following acceptance, Vale of Leven provided the opposition for Clydes first League fixture on Saturday,15 August 1891. In a dream introduction to League football Clyde triumphed 10–3, a mid-table finish saw Clyde complete a confident season in League football, with League football an undoubted success, Barrowfield revealed its limitations and simply could not cope with the crowds as many gained illegal entry. Opposition teams complained about the facilities and it was clear that Clyde would have to do something to appease the League, the solution lay directly across the Clyde on some open ground known as Shawfield. Clyde endured a final season at Barrowfield finishing bottom of Division 1. The final action at Barrowfield was a friendly against crack opposition in the form of Sunderland on 30 April 1898 ending in a 3–3 draw, at a stroke Clyde transformed from Brigtonians to Shawfielders. Clyde said farewell to Barrowfield in the spring of 1898, across the river lay an area of undeveloped land known as Shawfield
Cowdenbeath Football Club are a Scottish semi-professional football team based in Cowdenbeath, Fife. They are members of the Scottish Professional Football League and compete in League Two, formed in 1881, the club has played at Central Park since 1917. They first joined the Scottish Football League in 1905, the club has never won any of the major honours in Scottish football, but have won lower tier divisional titles on five occasions. They competed in the top division of the SFL from 1924 to 1934, Cowdenbeath traditionally date their origin to the merger of two local clubs, Cowdenbeath Rangers and Cowdenbeath Thistle, which occurred in 1881. The establishment of one club to represent the town coincided with the establishment of the Fifeshire Football Association that year. Cowdenbeath, who are the oldest surviving club in Fife, lost in the inaugural Fife Cup final in 1883. In 1888 the club moved to North End Park, and in 1905 were admitted to Division Two of the Scottish Football League and they won Division Two in 1913–14 and 1914–15, but were not promoted to Division One on either occasion. The SFL was suspended due to World War I in 1915, and they were placed in Division Two when it was reformed in 1921, and after finishing as runners-up in 1923–24, the club were promoted to Division One for the first time. The club remained in Division One until being relegated at the end of the 1933–34 season and this feat was in no small part aided by Rab Walls 54 League goals – the second highest seasonal total in Scottish League history. However, the outbreak of World War II cut short Cowdens return to Division One, when peacetime football resumed in 1946, the club were controversially placed in the new B Division. While a 1949 League Cup success over Rangers at Ibrox was a highlight of the early post-war period, Cowden struggled to return to the elite level of Scottish football. This was finally achieved under popular manager Andy Matthew in the 1969–70 season, a more professional approach was ushered in with the appointment of former Scotland defender Craig Levein, who had begun his playing career with Cowdenbeath, as manager in 1997. Promotion from the Third Division was achieved in the 2000–01 season, after a third-place finish in the 2004–05 season. The 2005–06 campaign saw the team achieve their first divisional title win for 67 years with player-manager Mixu Paatelainen when they won the Third Division, season 2008–09 saw Danny Lennons side miss out on promotion in a penalty shoot-out after a scoreless two-legged match and extra time against Stenhousemuir. However, they were promoted to the division for the 2009–10 season as Livingston were demoted to the Scottish Third Division after breaching the leagues rules on insolvency. After a tough start to life in the Scottish Second Division, Cowden soon found their feet, amazingly they went on to defeat Alloa and Brechin in the play-offs to secure promotion. Prior to the 2010–11 season Jimmy Nicholl was appointed new manager and it was a massive blow to the club especially after being 2–0 up at half time in the first leg in Brechin. Under new manager Colin Cameron, Cowdenbeath immediately regained promotion the following season, the season after, they ensured survival on the final matchday with a 3–1 away win over Hamilton Academical
Edinburgh City F.C.
Edinburgh City Football Club are a part-time professional senior Scottish football club, which plays in Scottish League Two, the fourth tier of the Scottish Professional Football League. The club are based at Meadowbank Stadium in Edinburgh, a club known as Edinburgh City was first formed in 1928. It participated in the Scottish Football League in the 1930s and 1940s, the present club adopted the Edinburgh City name in 1986. It applied to join the Scottish Football League in 2002 and 2008, Edinburgh City became members of the new Lowland League in 2013. The club won the Lowland League championship in 2015 and 2016, the original Edinburgh City was founded in 1928. The club adopted amateur status, with the aim of becoming the Edinburgh equivalent of Queens Park, Edinburgh City joined the Scottish Football League in 1931. The club played in the Lothian Amateur League during the Second World War and were admitted to the C Division in 1946. After three more years of struggle, the left the Scottish Football League in 1949. It switched to junior status and played in the Edinburgh & District Junior League, the club ceased activity completely in 1955, when the local council refused to renew its lease on its home ground, City Park. A club called Postal United was founded in 1966, the club has regularly participated in the Scottish Cup since the mid-1990s, when it became a full member of the Scottish Football Association. In the 1997–98 Scottish Cup they defeated SFL club, East Stirlingshire, before losing 7–2 to Dunfermline Athletic, the club applied to join the Scottish Football League in 2002, after Airdrieonians had gone bankrupt, but Gretna won the vote instead. Edinburgh City applied again following Gretnas liquidation in 2008, but this time lost out to Annan Athletic, Edinburgh City won the East of Scotland Football League Premier Division title for the first time in the 2005–06 season and became members of the new Lowland League in 2013. The club won the Lowland League championship in 2014–15 and 2015–16 and they then gained promotion to the Scottish Professional Football League by defeating East Stirlingshire in a playoff. The club colours are white and black, Postal United F. C. played in all-red, but switched to the traditional colours when it adopted the Edinburgh City identity in 1986. The original club played its matches at Powderhall Stadium and City Park during its time in the Scottish Football League. The present club initially played their fixtures at the Saughton Enclosure, which is now home to Lothian Thistle, before switching to Paties Road. Edinburgh City then moved to City Park and then Fernieside, Edinburgh City moved to Meadowbank Stadium in 1996, which had been vacated by the move of Meadowbank Thistle to Livingston. As of 18 February 2017 Note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules, players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality