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
Promotion and relegation
In sports leagues, promotion and relegation is a process where teams are transferred between two divisions based on their performance for the completed season. In some leagues, playoffs or qualifying rounds are used to determine rankings. This process can continue through several levels of divisions, with teams being exchanged between levels 1 and 2, levels 2 and 3, levels 3 and 4, the number of teams exchanged between the divisions is almost always identical. Such variations will almost inevitably cause an effect through the lower divisions. Even in the absence of such circumstances, the pyramid-like nature of most European football league systems can still create knock-on effects at the regional level. The system is said to be the characteristic of the European form of professional sports league organization. Promotion and relegation have the effect of allowing the maintenance of a hierarchy of leagues and divisions and they also maintain the importance of games played by many low-ranked teams near the end of the season, which may be at risk of relegation. In contrast, a low-ranked US or Canadian teams final games serve little purpose, although not intrinsic to the system, problems can occur due to the differing monetary payouts and revenue-generating potential that different divisions provide to their clubs. For example, financial hardship has sometimes occurred in leagues where clubs do not reduce their wage bill once relegated, some leagues offer parachute payments to its relegated teams for the following year. The payouts are higher than the money received by some non-relegated teams and are designed to soften the financial hit that clubs take whilst dropping out of the Premier League. However, in many cases these parachute payments just serve to inflate the costs of competing for promotion among the lower division clubs as newly relegated teams retain a financial advantage. If these are not satisfied, a team may be promoted in their place. While the primary purpose of the system is to maintain competitive balance. On several occasions, the Italian Football Federation has relegated clubs found to have involved in match-fixing. This occurred most recently in 2006, when the initial champions Juventus were relegated to Serie B. An exception is the proposed UEFA Nations League, which will feature promotion and relegation across four levels, in tennis, the Davis Cup has promotion and relegation where each group uses a knockout tournament format in which first-round losers play off to avoid relegation. In the United States, Canada, and Australia, teams are not promoted or relegated. The USL set up two leagues, now known as the United Soccer League and the Premier Development League, although the system is now in place, it is not compulsory and is rarely used
Scottish Premier League
The Scottish Premier League was the top level league competition for professional football clubs in Scotland. The league was founded in 1998, when it broke away from the Scottish Football League and it was abolished in 2013, when the SPL and SFL merged to form the new Scottish Professional Football League, with its top division being known as the Scottish Premiership. A total of 19 clubs competed in the SPL, but only the Old Firm clubs, Celtic, for most of its history, the Scottish Football League had a two divisional structure between which clubs were promoted and relegated at the end of each season. This system came into force for the 1975–76 season and this setup continued until the 1994–95 season, when a four divisional structure was introduced. This involved the creation of a Third Division, with all four divisions consisting of ten clubs, on 8 September 1997, the clubs in the Premier Division decided to split from the Scottish Football League and form a Scottish Premier League. This followed an example in England, which came into force during the 1992–93 season. This decision was fuelled by a desire by the top clubs in Scotland to retain more of the revenue generated by the game, originally, league sponsorship money was divided proportionally between clubs in all four divisions. After the SPL was formed, its clubs retained all of its commercial revenues except for a payment to the SFL. Teams received three points for a win and one point for a draw, no points were awarded for a loss. Teams were ranked by points, then goal difference. At the end of season, the club with the most points was crowned league champion. If points were equal, the difference and then goals scored determine the winner. Originally the SPL contained 10 clubs, but it subsequently enlarged to 12 for the 2000–01 season, the increase from 10 clubs to 12 was part of the deal offered to obtain approval from SFL member clubs. After the expansion to 12 clubs the SPL operated a split format and this was done to prevent the need for a 44-game schedule, based on playing each other four times. That format had used in the Scottish Premier Division, but was considered to be too high a number of games in a league season. A season, which runs from July until May, was divided into two phases, during the first phase, each club played three games against every other team, either once at home and twice away or vice versa. After this first phase of matches, by which all clubs had played 33 games, the league split into a top six. Each club then played a further five matches against the five teams in their own section
The Scottish Football Association Challenge Cup, commonly known as the Scottish Cup, is an annual association football knock-out cup competition for mens football clubs in Scotland. The competition was first held in 1873–74, entry is open to all clubs with full or associate membership of the Scottish Football Association. The competition is called the William Hill Scottish Cup for sponsorship reasons and it was first presented to Queens Park, who won the final match of the inaugural tournament in March 1874. The current holder is Hibernian, who won the tournament for the time by defeating Rangers 3–2 in the 2016 final. The tournament starts at the beginning of the Scottish football season in August or September, the Scottish Cup Final is usually the last game of the season, taking place at the end of May. Participating teams enter the tournament at different stages depending on their league ranking, the lowest ranked clubs enter the tournament at the first round whilst the highest ranked, those that compete in the Scottish Premiership, enter at the fourth round stage. The competition is a knock-out tournament, in each round of games the teams are paired at random, with the first team drawn listed as the home team. Every game lasts 90 minutes plus any additional stoppage time, the winner of each game advances to the next round, whilst the loser is eliminated from the tournament. If a game ends in a draw, the fixture is replayed at the ground of the other team at a later date. If the replay also ends in a draw,30 minutes of time is played followed by a penalty shoot-out if there is still no clear winner. In the semi-final and final rounds, if the ends in a draw there is no replay. The competition has a staggered entry system, Scottish League One and six Scottish Championship clubs started in the third round, while the remaining four Championship clubs and all 12 Scottish Premiership clubs entered in the fourth round. Any club that is a full or associate member of the Scottish Football Association is entitled to compete in the tournament, every team that plays in the Scottish Professional Football League is therefore eligible. Between 1895 and 2007, clubs that were SFA members but not competitors in the professional football leagues could only qualify for the tournament by winning the Scottish Qualifying Cup. Clubs that are not members of the SFA may still qualify for the tournament by winning the Highland League, Lowland League, three junior clubs, Banks O Dee, Girvan and Linlithgow Rose are also SFA members and therefore qualify automatically. From 2015, the winners of the Scottish Amateur Cup are also eligible to qualify, players that are registered with a competing club are eligible to play. However, players are not entitled to play for more than one club during the same tournament, each club names eleven players and up to five substitutes before every match. In order to play in the match, a player must have also been registered to compete in the semi-final round for the same club
Partick Thistle F.C.
Kingsley is the official mascot for Scottish Premiership football team Partick Thistle. Kingsley succeeded Jaggy MacBee as the mascot, who was representative of the sponsorship of Scottish beverage company MacB. Following the launch of the Kingsford Capital sponsorship, Kingsley was the subject of mockery on social media. The launch, and subsequent pictures, appeared across the UK media including in The Daily Telegraph, The Times, BBC, Sky Sports, The Herald, The Sun, global coverage included media agencies such as CNN The Washington Post and TIME Magazine. Kingsley is active on Twitter, instagram and Facebook
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
Clyde Football Club are a Scottish professional football club based in Cumbernauld, who play in Scottish League Two. Formed in 1877 at the River Clyde, the play their home games at Broadwood Stadium. The Clyde Football Club was founded and played on the banks of the River Clyde at Barrowfield, documentary evidence from the SFA and indeed match reports in the Glasgow press clearly show it all began in 1877, and the thread continues unbroken to this day. Heres how the SFA recorded Clydes origins, Sitting on the edge of Bridgeton, Barrowfield Park lay in a triangle of land enclosed by Carstairs Street, Colvend Street and the river Clyde. The area was a mix of chemical, engineering and textile works with a high population density to provide the labour. Today this area is dotted with industrial units, but also contains a grassed area. So it may be possible to stand upon a corner of the original Barrowfield pitch, Barrowfield was originally shared with a short-lived team called Albatross. The club founded then has no resemblance to a professional football club. Clyde F. C. were a members club more akin to a present-day golf or bowling club. Clydes Secretary, John Graham, was also a rower and it seems the club had other sporting. Although most fixtures were informal, the Scottish Cup had existed since 1873, soon there would also be the Glasgow Merchants & Charity Cup and the Glasgow Cup that in their time were hotly contested major competitions. Clyde entered the 1st Round of the Scottish Cup on 29 September 1877 along with one hundred, Third Lanark were the visitors once again and they triumphed 1–0. Clyde joined the Scottish Football League in 1891, following acceptance, Vale of Leven provided the opposition for Clydes first League fixture on Saturday,15 August 1891. In a dream introduction to League football Clyde triumphed 10–3, a mid-table finish saw Clyde complete a confident season in League football, with League football an undoubted success, Barrowfield revealed its limitations and simply could not cope with the crowds as many gained illegal entry. Opposition teams complained about the facilities and it was clear that Clyde would have to do something to appease the League, the solution lay directly across the Clyde on some open ground known as Shawfield. Clyde endured a final season at Barrowfield finishing bottom of Division 1. The final action at Barrowfield was a friendly against crack opposition in the form of Sunderland on 30 April 1898 ending in a 3–3 draw, at a stroke Clyde transformed from Brigtonians to Shawfielders. Clyde said farewell to Barrowfield in the spring of 1898, across the river lay an area of undeveloped land known as Shawfield
Inverness Caledonian Thistle F.C.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle Football Club is a professional football club from Inverness, Scotland who compete in the Scottish Premiership. They are currently managed by Richie Foran, Caledonian Thistle F. C. were formed in August 1994 by the merger of Caledonian and Inverness Thistle, both members of the Highland Football League. The new club was formed with a view to applying for one of the two vacancies in the Scottish Football League, created when the league restructured in 1994 to four divisions of ten teams each. They were successful and were elected to the Scottish Third Division along with Highland derby rivals Ross County, the clubs name was amended to Inverness Caledonian Thistle F. C. in 1996 at the request of Inverness District Council. Inverness also knocked other SPL teams out of cup competitions, including Motherwell, over the first ten years of their existence the club had been responsible for a total of 12 shocks and as a result had gained themselves a reputation as being giant killers. On 25 February 2007, Invernesss run of cup victories over Celtic came to an end following two goals in the last two minutes of their fifth round tie at Caledonian Stadium. Having led 1–0 for the majority of the thanks to a Graham Bayne goal. A significant event in the history was the signing of Romanian international Marius Niculae. Niculae was involved in the clubs 2007–08 campaign and played at UEFA Euro 2008 and he later became involved in a dispute with the club over a share of the transfer fee that was not paid to him when he left. As a result, Inverness were ordered by FIFA to pay £133,000 to the player, the club appealed against the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and in November 2011, the club won their appeal. Having won the 2009–10 First Division title in their first year back in the division since 2003–04, Season 2014–15 saw the club finish in their best ever placing of third. After a promising start to their campaign in 1994–95, the club eventually finished sixth in the Third Division. The following season, Inverness CT showed improvement with a third-place finish, in Season 1996–97, they won the Third Division Championship following a 4–1 home win over Albion Rovers in front of nearly 3,000 fans. This was just 5 months after moving into the Caledonian Stadium, the club spent two seasons in the Second Division. After a closely fought campaign, they finished runners-up to Livingston in Season 1998–99, Season 2003–2004 could be regarded as the clubs most successful up to that point. This made the club eligible for promotion to the Scottish Premier League, however, SPL rules at that time stated that all member clubs must have a stadium with a minimum capacity of 10,000 seats. Caledonian Stadium did not meet this criterion, leaving the clubs Board with a dilemma, either to remain in the First Division or to groundshare with Aberdeen, over 100 miles away. After consulting with supporters, the Board decided the sacrifice of one season in Aberdeen would be a compromise to ensure Premier League participation for the club
Airdrieonians F.C. (1878)
Airdrieonians Football Club, more commonly known as Airdrie, were a Scottish professional football team from the town of Airdrie, in the Monklands area of Lanarkshire. During their 124-year existence the Diamonds, as they were nicknamed, the club also competed in four separate Scottish Cup finals, winning the competition in 1924. Airdrieonians were the first club in the Scottish League to fold since 1967, the team was founded in Airdrie, North Lanarkshire in 1878 as Excelsior Football Club, changing its name to Airdrieonians in 1881. It was elected to the Scottish Football League in 1894, the club enjoyed its most successful era in the 1920s, following the signing of Hughie Gallacher from Queen of the South in 1921. Airdrie challenged the dominance of Rangers, as finished in second place in the Scottish League championship four years in a row between 1923 and 1926 and won the Scottish Cup in 1924. Following this victory, in early summer 1925, the club visited Norway and Sweden, translations of local newspaper reports, and some photographs of the tour, are still available. This successful era came to an end after Gallacher and Bob McPhail were sold to Newcastle United, Airdrie spent much of the post war era yo-yoing between the top flight and Second Division. Airdrie entered the first Texaco Cup competition in 1970–71, defeating Nottingham Forest in the first round and that tie was decided by a penalty shootout and Airdrie became the first Scottish club to be involved in that method of deciding a contest. Airdrie reached the Texaco Cup Final in 1972, losing 2–1 on aggregate to Derby County and they also reached the 1975 Scottish Cup Final, losing 3–1 to Celtic. After the leagues were restructured in 1975, a called the Spring Cup was instituted for the teams in the lower divisions. Airdrie won this competition in 1976, but it was discontinued after one season as clubs preferred to play league games instead. MacDonald also guided the Diamonds to two Scottish Cup Finals, the first appearance coming on 9 May 1992 when the club faced Rangers in front of 44,045 strong crowd at Hampden Park. Unfortunately for Airdrie on this however, a goal each from Mark Hateley. Although Airdrie lost in the 1992 Scottish Cup Final they had qualified for the 1992–93 European Cup Winners Cup. Airdrie were drawn against Czech side Sparta Prague in the first round, Airdrie lost 1–0 at Broomfield and 2–1 in Prague, losing 3–1 on aggregate. Kenny Black, who went on to become manager of Airdrie United, scored the only Airdrie goal. Airdrie also reached the 1995 Scottish Cup Final, where they faced the other half of the Old Firm, Airdrie would once again fall at the final hurdle, as they lost 1–0 to a Pierre van Hooijdonk goal. Airdrie also won the Scottish Challenge Cup in 1994–95, Airdrie sold their Broomfield home to Safeway in 1994, but had to groundshare with Clyde at Broadwood Stadium for four years until the Excelsior Stadium was opened
St Johnstone F.C.
St Johnstone Football Club is a professional football club based in Perth, Scotland. Although it is recorded as being formed in 1884, the club did not play its first game until February 1885. The clubs home since 1989 has been McDiarmid Park, the clubs first Scottish Cup appearance was in 1886–87 and they joined the Scottish Football League in 1911–12. St Johnstone won the Scottish Football League First Division, the tier of league football in Scotland. This gained them promotion to the Scottish Premier League, bringing a return of SPL football to McDiarmid Park for the 2009–10 campaign, the club have historically floated between the top two divisions of Scottish football, obtaining the reputation of being a yo-yo club. Their traditional rivals are the two Dundee clubs, Dundee and Dundee United, with matches between St Johnstone and either Dundee club being called Tayside derbies, the club has had limited success in cup competitions. After losing at the stage on numerous occasions, the club won their first Scottish Cup in 2014 with a 2–0 win against Dundee United. It has reached two Scottish League Cup Finals, losing them to each of the Old Firm clubs. They have also won the Scottish Second Tier seven times, the Scottish Challenge Cup in 2007, the B Division Supplementary Cup in 1949 and they have qualified for European competitions on six occasions. Their highest league position in the top division was third place on three occasions,1971,1999 and 2013, the club was formed by members of the local cricket team seeking to occupy their time once the cricket season had finished. The cricketers were kicking a football around the South Inch, a public park beside the River Tay during the autumn of 1884. Club members leased a piece of land adjacent to the South Inch, known as the Recreation Grounds, in the 1910–11 Scottish Division Two season, Port Glasgow Athletic F. C. finished next to bottom and declined to apply for re-election. They were replaced for the 1911–12 Scottish Division Two season by St Johnstone, St Johnstone were promoted to the old First Division in 1924–25, by winning the Second Division title, and appointed David Taylor as team manager. They remained in the top flight until 1929–30 when they finished bottom of Division One, Two years later, under new manager Tommy Muirhead, the Saints were runners-up in Division Two to gain their second promotion. They performed well in Division One through the 1930s, reaching the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup in 1933–34, in the final season before World War II, St Johnstone played well under manager David Rutherford to finish eighth. The Scottish Football League suspended competition for the duration of the war, St Johnstone were closed for most of the war and lost their top flight status as a result. The Southern Football League continued through the post-war 1945–46 season but with two divisions to incorporate clubs that were restarting, including St Johnstone, the Saints played in the 1945–46 B Division and finished sixth of fourteen clubs. St Johnstone had lost all the ground gained in the 1930s, jimmy Crapnell became the team manager for the 1947–48 season and was succeeded by Johnny Pattillo for 1953–54
Dundee Football Club is a professional football club based in the city of Dundee, Scotland. Founded in 1893, they are nicknamed The Dark Blues or The Dees, the club plays its home matches at Dens Park. Dundee have also won the Scottish Cup once in 1910 and the Scottish League Cup three times. Dundee F. C. was formed in 1893 by the merger of two clubs, East End and Our Boys, with the intention of gaining election to the Scottish Football League. Their application was successful and they played their first League game on 12 August 1893 at West Craigie Park, Dundee struggled during the first 10 years of their existence. Their best league position was fifth which they achieved in seasons 1895–96 and they also reached the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup in 1894–95 and 1897–98, losing to Renton and Kilmarnock respectively. On 26 October 1895 Dundee lost a game by a record score of 0–11 to Celtic in Glasgow. On 1 January 1894 Dundee defeated Newton Heath 2–1 at their then Carolina Port ground in Dundee, Carolina Port also hosted the first international football match held in Dundee on 21 March 1896 when Scotland defeated Wales 4–0. Dundees goalkeeper Frank Barrett, midfielder Sandy Keillor and inside-forward Bill Thomson were all capped for Scotland during this period of the clubs history. Things began to improve for Dundee with the beginning of the new century, in 1899 they moved from Carolina Port to their present ground of Dens Park. In season 1902–03 they finished runners-up in the championship to Hibernian. Dundee were also league runners-up in 1906–07 and 1908–09 finishing behind Celtic on both occasions, in 1908–09 by just 1 point, in the 10 seasons from 1902–03 Dundee lost just 16 league games at Dens Park out of 154 played and were unbeaten at home during season 1909–10. Although ultimate success eluded Dundee in the league the club achieved success in the Scottish Cup, in season 1909–10 Dundee won their first trophy by defeating Clyde in the Scottish Cup Final. The winning goal in the replay was scored by John Sailor Hunter. In season 1910–11 Dundee defeated Rangers 2–1 at Dens Park in the Scottish Cup quarter-final, in 1919 league football recommenced and good home form once again propelled Dundee up the league. They finished 4th in seasons 1919–20, 1920–21 and 1921–22, and were unbeaten at home during season 1921–22, however, they could not make the breakthrough to win the league championship. Dave Halliday had played on the left for his previous clubs, his hometown side Queen of the South, Halliday went then to Dundee in 1921 with the celebrated Alec Troup already playing on the left wing. With Halliday Dundee reached the 1924–25 Scottish Cup final eliminating the holders en route, Halliday scored 103 goals in 147 league and cup appearances for the Dees