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The Scottish Premier League (SPL, currently known as the Clydesdale Bank Premier League for sponsorship reasons) is a professional league competition for football clubs located at the top level of the Scottish football league system — above the Scottish Football League.

Per capita, more people in Scotlandmarker watch their domestic top level league than any other nation in Europe. The Scottish Premier League is currently ranked 13th in the UEFA rankings of European leagues, which are based on the performances of member clubs in European competitions. A total of 18 clubs have competed in the SPL since its inauguration in 1998–99, but only two have won the title: Celtic (six) and Rangers (five).

Prior to 1998–99

Previously, the Scottish Football League had a two divisional structure (Divisions One and Two) between which clubs were promoted and relegated at the end of each season. However, by the mid 1970s, this organisation was perceived to be stagnant, and it was decided to split into a three divisional structure: Premier Division (formerly Division One), First Division (formerly Division Two) and a newly added Second Division. This system came into force for the 1975–76 season.

This setup continued until the 1994–95 season, when a four divisional structure was introduced, along with a new Third Division, with all divisions comprising ten clubs.

Formation of the SPL

On 8 September 1997, the football clubs in the Premier Division decided to split from the Scottish Football League and form the Scottish Premier League, following an earlier 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, this was no longer the case.

Originally the SPL contained 10 clubs, but it subsequently enlarged to 12 for the 2000–01 season onwards. The increase from 10 clubs to 12 was part of the deal offered to obtain approval from SFL member clubs. Since then, the SPL has operated a "split league format" to prevent the need for a 44-game schedule, which was once used in the Scottish Premier Division, but is now considered to be too high a number of games in a league season. Under this system, after 33 games (i.e., when every club has played every other club three times, either twice away and once at home, or vice-versa), the division is split into two halves, and clubs play a further five matches, against the teams in their half of the division, taking their total to 38 games.

This can (and often does) result in the team placed seventh having a higher points total than the team placed sixth, because their final five games are considerably easier. In the 2005–06 season, the seventh placed club, Inverness Caledonian Thistle, gained more points than the fourth placed club Hibernian.

Promotion and relegation

Providing they meet certain criteria regarding their stadium, the top club from the Scottish First Division is promoted to the SPL, with the 12th-placed SPL club relegated.

In 2003, the league's promotion criteria caused controversy as the chairmen of the member clubs voted against Falkirk's proposed ground share with Airdrie United and stopped the club from having the 10,000 fan stadium capacity it required, thus saving Motherwell from relegation.

The same situation nearly materialised in 2004, but after several votes and discussion, including threats of court cases from Partick Thistle, the team then threatened with prospect of relegation, Inverness Caledonian Thistle were finally allowed promotion provided that they groundshared with north rivals Aberdeen at Pittodriemarker, a ground over 100 miles (160 km) away. In 2005, the stadium size criterion for entry to the SPL was reduced to 6,000, thereby allowing Inverness Caledonian Thistle to return to their home stadium during the 2005–06 season.

Sponsorship

The Bank of Scotland, who had sponsored the league since March 1999 (The League was unsponsored for most of the inaugural season), did not renew their sponsorship at the end of the 2006–07 season. Talks began with Clydesdale Bank, and a deal was confirmed shortly afterwards. A four-year deal for £8m came into effect from July 2007.

Competition format

Competition

There are currently twelve clubs in the Scottish Premier League. Teams receive three points for a win and one point for a draw. No points are awarded for a loss. Teams are ranked by total points, then goal difference, and then goals scored. At the end of each season, the club with the most points is crowned champion. If points are equal, the goal difference and then goals scored determine the winner.

During the course of a season, which runs from August until May, each club plays the others at least three times, either once at home and twice away or vice-versa. After this first phase of matches, by which time all clubs will have played 33 games, the league splits into a 'top six' and a 'bottom six'. Each club then plays a further five matches against the other five teams in their own section. Points achieved during the first phase of 33 matches are carried forward to the second phase, but the teams will compete only within their own sections during the second phase. After the first phase has been completed, clubs cannot move outwith their own section in the league, even if they achieve more or fewer points than a higher or lower ranked team, respectively.

At the beginning of each season, the Scottish Premier League 'predicts' the likely positions of each club in order to produce a fixture schedule that will ensure the best possible chance of all clubs playing each other twice at home and twice away. These are known as the league seedings and are based on clubs' performance in previous years. However, should a club predicted to finish in the top six finish in the bottom six, it faces the possibility of playing more games away from home than at home or vice-versa. This, in turn, has a knock-on effect on the top-six with an imbalance of fixtures resulting; for example, one club may play one team three times at home and once away.

The bottom placed SPL club at the end of the season is relegated, and swaps places with the winner of the Scottish First Division, provided that the winner satisfies the league's entry criteria.

European qualification

The Scottish Premier League is currently thirteenth in UEFA's co-efficient ranking, meaning that two SPL clubs currently qualify for the UEFA Champions League (the SPL champions, who progress directly to the group stage, and the runner-up, who enter the third qualifying round) as well as two qualifying for the UEFA Europa League (the third and fourth placed clubs). The winners of the Scottish Cup also qualify for the UEFA Europa League.

If the Scottish Cup winners have qualified for the UEFA Champions League, the final UEFA Europa League place is given to the runner-up. Clubs also had the opportunity to apply for qualification to the UEFA Intertoto Cup before it was folded into the Europa League; qualification for that event was given to the highest placed applicant, although only two clubs chose to play in the tournament since the SPL's inception in 1998–99 (Dundee in 2001 and Hibernian in 2004, 2006 and 2008). Clubs may also qualify for Europe via the UEFA Fair Play ranking.

Since the SPL's inception, Scotland's UEFA co-efficient has improved significantly, having been ranked 26th in 1998–99. In 2003 Celtic became the first Scottish club since 1987 to reach a European final, eventually losing 3–2 to FC Porto after extra-time in the UEFA Cup final. In 2003–04, two Scottish clubs (Celtic and Rangers) qualified for the UEFA Champions League for the first time. In 2005–06, Rangers became the first Scottish club to reach the knockout stage of the Champions League, a feat which was repeated by Celtic the following two seasons. In the 2007–08 season, three Scottish clubs were competing in Europe after Christmas for the first time since 1970, while in the same season Rangers reached their first European final since their UEFA Cup Winners' Cup triumph of 1972, which they lost 2–0 to Russianmarker club Zenit St. Petersburg in the UEFA Cup Final. During the season Scotland's European representatives collected the most co-efficient points since the 1982/83 season.

Criticisms

League format

There has been criticism regarding the current format of the Scottish Premier League from several quarters, mostly focused on the controversial 'split' format. In April 2007, current Dundee United manager Craig Levein labelled the format as "rubbish" and a "nonsense", claiming that it resulted in lost revenue for clubs and put more pressure on managers. While Rangers manager Walter Smith branded the format as "unfair" and called for an 18-team league to be considered. The SPL has defended the split format, however, and dismissed the possibility of expanding the league due to a lack of strong enough clubs within the Scottish Football League.

In March 2008 Kilmarnock manager Jim Jefferies was the latest to call for a league revamp, claiming that the potential for four matches per season against the same opponent is too many.

However, all the alternative options are themselves difficult to conceive. A 14-team league, playing all opponents thrice, would fit into the schedule (increase from 38 games to 39) - but could be unfair as, for example, Hibernian and Hearts would play twice at one of their grounds, and once at the other.

A 16-team league, playing all opponents twice, would result in a reduction from 38 to 30 matches. It would also replace many high-profile derbies and clashes between bigger clubs, with smaller teams. As a result, clubs could experience financial losses which might make a 16-team format unviable.

Leagues of 18 teams (34 matches) or 20 teams (38 matches, as currently) would not face the massive fall in fixture numbers of the 16 team league. However, the increase in matches versus smaller clubs and the increase in mid-table games, might still impact attendances and finance.

Old Firm dominance

One of the main criticisms of the SPL is the dominance of the two Old Firm clubs, Celtic and Rangers. No team outside the Old Firm has won the SPL since it was formed in 1998 and there has only been one season (2005–06) where both clubs failed to occupy first and second positions, with Hearts finishing second behind Celtic. Whilst this is similar to other European leagues which also have the same clubs dominate the top positions, this problem predates the SPL itself, almost since the beginning of Scottish league football (with a few exceptional periods). Both clubs' average home attendances are significantly higher than the other 10 clubs, resulting in the Old Firm having far greater revenues and therefore more money to spend on players. Both clubs also receive significant revenue from regular participation in the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League.

However, despite having more resources than other Scottish clubs, the Old Firm still experience difficulty in competing with big clubs from other leagues in terms of transfer fees and player wages due to the SPL's relatively low television revenue. A recurring theme in recent years has been the prospect of the two clubs leaving the Scottish football set-up to join either the English set-up, or an Atlantic League with clubs from countries such as the Netherlands, Belgium and Portugal. While some feel that the departure of the Old Firm from the Scottish football setup would be detrimental to Scottish football as a whole, others, such as Craig Levein, believe it would benefit Scottish football due to increased competition among the remaining clubs for the SPL title. World football's governing body FIFAmarker, however, has ruled out the prospect of any move to the English set-up.

Winter break

A further issue of controversy was the SPL's decision to scrap the 'winter break' after the 2000–01 season, thereby forcing clubs to play throughout January and often resulting in postponement of matches and significant damage to clubs' pitches due to adverse weather conditions, as well as player fatigue. Former Celtic manager Martin O'Neill, former Dundee manager Jim Duffy and current Rangers manager Walter Smith are among those who have called for the winter break to be reinstated. Former Rangers manager Alex McLeish accused the SPL of taking Scottish football "back to the Dark Ages" after its decision to scrap the mid-season hiatus.

However, the SPL has consistently pointed out that a Winter Break can never alleviate weather issues. Games are called off in Scotland any time from November to April - a short December break would not assist this, in fact it would result in more games (that would have been played during the break) being scheduled for later in the season. These would also be on midweeks, potentially reducing crowds. The SPL has stated that giving players rest and recuperation time may be reason for a break.

Fans at SPL Games

Although generally well behaved, there is some evidence of inappropriate behaviour by fans in Scotland during SPL games. For example, a racist chant called the Famine Song has been directed towards James McCarthy and Aiden McGeady, who were born in Scotland but decided to represent the Republic of Ireland instead. The Herald journalist Doug Gillon suggested "the sectarian intolerance which divides Scottish society [...] is rooted in anti-Irish racism." Graham Spiers, writing in the Scottish edition of The Times, has accused Rangers fans of continuing to sing sectarian songs.

There was serious fan disorder during an Old Firm match played in May 1999 at Celtic Park. A missile was thrown from a Celtic section of the ground and struck referee Hugh Dallas, forcing the game to be stopped while he received medical treatment. At least four Celtic fans invaded the field of play to confront Dallas during the game, and more missiles were thrown at players on the pitch after the game. According to an SPL Commission of Inquiry, during the same game Rangers players mocked Celtic's huddle in an inflammatory manner.

There has been criticism regarding respectful silences before SPL games. For example a minutes silence for the victims of the September 11th terrorist attacks was marred by Celtic fans singing IRA chants. Also a minutes silence for the passing of the queen mother in 2002 and a minutes silence on remembrance Sunday 2009 were both marred by booing and singing from Celtic fans.

Players

Scottish Premier League clubs have almost complete freedom to sign whatever number and category of players they wish. There is no team or individual salary cap, no squad size limit, no age restrictions other than those applied by general employment law, no restrictions on the overall number of foreign players, and few restrictions on individual foreign players — all players with EU nationality, including those able to claim an EU passport through a parent or grandparent, are eligible to play, and top players from outside the EU are able to obtain UK work permits.

The only restriction on selection is the "Under-21 rule". This rule states that each club must include three players under the age of 21 in their matchday squad. Opinions on this rule appear to be divided among SPL managers. Walter Smith, Gus MacPherson and Jim Jefferies have expressed their disapproval of the policy. John Collins, meanwhile, expressed approval of the ruling, claiming that it is healthy for Scottish football and encouraged the development of young players.

Recent decline in television revenue has resulted in relatively little spending among SPL clubs in recent seasons, with major transfer spending mostly limited to the Old Firm clubs. As a result, many clubs are now more reliant on developing their own young players and selling them on for profit. This has also resulted in a large proportion of SPL clubs' squads being made up of Scottish players (73% in 2004–05).

SPL transfer records



  • Highest transfer fee received:


Craig Gordon, from Heart of Midlothian to Sunderland, £9m, 8 August 2007


Alan Hutton, from Rangers to Tottenham Hotspur, £9m, 30 January 2008


  • Highest transfer fee between two SPL clubs: Scott Brown, from Hibernian to Celtic, £4.4m, 1 June 2007


Finances

Financial crisis

Since the SPL began, four of its member clubs have entered administration. Serious financial difficulties first arose in 2002 when broadcaster Sky Sports withdrew their interest in the League’s television rights when the SPL rejected their offer of £45m, hoping that a better deal would arise from another broadcaster. A better deal failed to arise, however, adding to the clubs’ already delicate financial position. By season 2001/02, combined debt among SPL clubs was estimated to be around £132m, having been barely into double figures two years previously. Motherwell became the first SPL club to enter administration in April 2002, with debts of £11m and a wage bill totaling 97% of their annual turnover. Dundee were next to follow, when in November 2003 they sacked 25 staff after debts of £20m. The severity of the SPL's financial problems were revealed in September 2003 when combined losses for SPL clubs during 2001/02 was estimated to have been £60m.

Livingston became the third SPL club to enter administration in February 2004, with debts of £3.5m. Dunfermline Athletic's financial position also looked bleak, with several players asked to take wage-cuts, while Rangers Chairman David Murray announced in September 2004 a plan to raise £57m via a rights issue in an attempt to wipe-out a large proportion of the club's debts. A report by PricewaterhouseCoopersmarker in 2003 described five SPL clubs - Dundee, Dunfermline Athletic, Hearts, Hibernian and Livingston - as "technically insolvent".

Financial recovery

After widespread cost-cutting measures, SPL clubs' finances began to show signs of improvement. Both Motherwell and Dundee came out of administration in April and August 2004, respectively, while Livingston ended their fifteen month spell in administration in May 2005. PricewaterhouseCoopers' 2006 report on SPL finances revealed operating profits of £2.8m among SPL clubs - the first collective operating profit made by Scotland's top-flight clubs in over a decade. Seven of the SPL's 12 clubs had a wage turnover ratio of less than 60%.

PricewaterhouseCoopers' 2007 report revealed a collective loss of £9m for 2005–06, however six clubs - Falkirk, Hibernian, Inverness CT, Kilmarnock, Motherwell and Rangers - all made a profit. The report highlighted the increasingly precarious financial position of Hearts, describing their current finances as "unsustainable" with debt rising by £7m to £28m and a wage bill which represents 97% of their turnover. The figures for 2006–07 showed a collective profit of £3m, with eight clubs making a profit.

Despite recent improvements in the financial position of SPL clubs, Gretna became the fourth SPL club to enter administration in March 2008 after their main benefactor Brooks Mileson withdrew his financial support after ill-health.

Financial crises 2007-09

With the financial crises and the UK economic recession, SPL clubs are expected to be badly affected. A reduction in revenue from ticket sales for SPL games and club merchandise will impact negatively on club expenditure. Players may be expected to take wage cuts and team squads will be reduced. Indeed some clubs may reduced the number of non-playing staff., In March 2009, it was reported that Rangers in particular are having difficulties with their Bank who wished to reduce the size of the club's debt. In October 2009, it was acknowledge that Lloyds Banking Group was running Rangers' finances. which the bank then denied. Donald Muir from Lloyds Banking group was also appointed to the Rangers Board, to the dissatisfaction of some Rangers supporters in November 2009.

Media coverage

Television

Between season 1998–99 and season 2001–02, exclusive television rights for live Scottish Premier League matches were held by Sky Sports, with a highlights package held by STV's Scotsport. After Sky Sports withdrew their interest in the SPL when their offer for £45m to continue ownership of the live TV rights were declined by the SPL on the grounds of not being substantial enough, discussions began in 2002 for a new pay-per-view satellite television channel, dubbed "SPL TV". Discussions broke down in April 2002, however, when the Old Firm clubs, Rangers and Celtic, utilised the 11-1 voting system to veto the proposals. This caused discontent among the remaining 10 SPL clubs who subsequently announced their intention to resign from the league.

Despite a two-year television deal being agreed with BBC Scotland in July 2002 (for a significant amount less than the money previously offered by Sky Sports), the 10 non-Old Firm clubs confirmed their resignation from the SPL in August 2002, citing discontent with the league's 11-1 voting procedure which effectively gave the Old Firm clubs a veto over attempts to change SPL rules. The ten clubs withdrew their resignations in January 2003 after an agreement was reached to change the voting procedures and to change the distribution of TV revenue.

With BBC Scotland's television contract due to expire after the 2003–04 season, the SPL agreed a new television deal with Irish broadcaster Setanta Sports in February 2004 in a four-year deal worth £54m. In June 2008, it was announced that a further four-year deal would commence for the 2010/11 season, with the deal worth £125m.

BBC Scotland's Sportscene currently own the rights to broadcast highlights of each game first on terrestrial TV. The BBC also hold the rights to show on-line internet highlights to UK users for one week after each game.

BBC Alba, launched in September 2008, show one full SPL game every Saturday evening for two seasons. The games are broadcast three hours after the game has ended. The game shown is a selected one not covered by either live Setanta Sports or on an on-demand basis by BT Vision.

In Australia the Scottish Premier League is broadcast by Setanta Sports. In the USAmarker the SPL is currently available on Setanta Sports North America.

On 23 June 2009 Setanta lost the rights to show live SPL games in the United Kingdom as they were unable to pay the £3 Million they owed to the SPL. Setanta went into administration and ceased broadcasting in the UK.

The SPL replaced Setanta with ESPN and BSkyB in a deal thought to be around £13 million per season to the clubs. This is comparable to the deal which Setanta had in place although around half of the amount that Setanta would have been paying from 2010.

Radio

Radio broadcasting rights are currently held by BBC Radio Scotland, who have held the rights since the SPL's inception in 1998. BBC Radio Scotland also provide internet webcasts to all Scottish Premier League matches, having became the first broadcaster to introduce such a service in June 2000. However Old Firm games are broadcast when available on BBC Radio 5 Live and also on 102.5 Clyde 1.

SPL clubs

SPL members for 2009–10

Locations of the current SPL teams in Scotland


Aberdeen


Celtic


Dundee United


Falkirk


Hamilton


Hearts


Hibernian


Kilmarnock


Motherwell


Rangers


St. Johnstone


St. Mirren


The following twelve clubs compete in the Scottish Premier League during the 2009–10 season:

Club

Position

in 2008–09
First season in

/>top division
First season of

current spell in

top division
Last title
Aberdeena,b 4th 1905–06 1905–06 1984–85
Celtica,b 2nd 1890–91 1890–91 2007–08
Dundee Uniteda,b 5th 1925–26 1996–97 1982–83
Falkirk 10th 1905–06 2005–06
Hamilton Academical 9th 1906–07 2008–09
Heart of Midlothiana,b 3rd 1890–91 1983–84 1959–60
Hibernian 6th 1895–96 1999–2000 1951–52
Kilmarnocka,b 8th 1899–1900 1992–93 1964–65
Motherwella,b 7th 1903–04 1985–86 1931–32
Rangersa,b 1st (Champions) 1890–91 1890–91 2008–09
St. Johnstonea 1st (First Division) 1924–25 2009–10
St. Mirren 11th 1890–91 2006–07
a = Founding member of the Scottish Premier League

b = Played in every Scottish Premier League season


Former SPL members

These are previous members of the SPL in reverse order of them losing membership.

Club

Position

in 2008–09
First season

/>in top division
Last season in

top division
Last title
Inverness CT 12th, SPL 2004–05 2008–09
Gretna N/A 2007–08 2007–08
Dunfermline Athletica, 3rd, First Division 1926–27 2006–07
Livingston 7th, First Division 2001–02 2005–06
Dundeea, 4th, First Division 1893–94 2004–05 1961–62
Partick Thistle 2nd, First Division 1897–98 2003–04
a = Founding member of the Scottish Premier League


St. Mirren are the only club to have been promoted into the SPL twice. Dunfermline Athletic are the only club to have been relegated from the SPL twice.

Stadia

Stadium Capacity Club Notes
Celtic Parkmarker 60,832 Celtic Biggest club stadium in Scotland
Ibrox Stadiummarker 51,444 Rangers One of three UEFA Elite stadia in Scotland and one of 2 UEFA 5 star stadiums
Pittodrie Stadiummarker 22,199 Aberdeen The first stadium in the UK to be all covered and all seated. It also was the first stadium in the world to have dugouts
Rugby Parkmarker 18,128 Kilmarnock
Easter Roadmarker 17,500 Hibernian First British Stadium to have floodlights
Tynecastle Stadiummarker 17,420 Heart of Midlothian Hearts have played some European games at Murrayfield Stadiummarker
Tannadice Parkmarker 14,209 Dundee United
Fir Parkmarker 13,742 Motherwell Main stand part completed due to a restriction of natural light to surrounding houses
McDiarmid Parkmarker 10,673 St. Johnstone First Purpose Built All Seater Stadium in the UK
Falkirk Stadiummarker 9,706 Falkirk The temporary (east)stand opposite the main stand increased capacity
St. Mirren Parkmarker 8,016 St. Mirren St. Mirren left their previous stadium Love Streetmarker on 3 January 2009
New Douglas Parkmarker 6,000 Hamilton Academical Half-finished. Temporary stands allow SPL capacity


All-time SPL table

The All-Time SPL Table is a cumulative record of all SPL matches played since the inception of the SPL, in 1998. The table is accurate from the 1998–99 season to the end of the 2008–09 season, inclusive.
P

Club

Ssn

Pld

W

D

L

F

A

GD

Pts

PPG

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

1 Celtic 11 414 304 61 49 1099 336 +632 973 2.35 6 5
2 Rangers 11 414 282 76 56 876 333 +543 922 2.22 5 5 1
3 Hearts 11 414 172 103 139 560 487 +73 619 1.49 1 4 1
4 Aberdeen 11 414 147 98 169 499 587 -88 539 1.30 1 4
5 Kilmarnock 11 414 146 100 168 507 591 -84 538 1.29 3
6 Hibernian 10 378 137 97 144 526 526 0 508 1.34 2 1
7 Motherwell 11 414 133 94 187 500 630 −130 493 1.19 1 1
8 Dundee United 11 414 112 115 187 451 636 −185 451 1.08
9 Dunfermline 8 302 78 79 145 295 483 −188 313 1.04 1
10 Dundee 7 262 80 61 121 308 412 −104 301 1.14
11 Inverness CT 5 190 60 48 82 222 253 −31 228 1.20
12 Livingston 5 190 48 46 97 205 306 −101 190 1.0 1
13 Falkirk 4 152 45 35 72 166 220 −54 170 1.12
14 St. Johnstone 4 148 39 43 66 139 200 −61 160 1.08 1
15 St. Mirren 4 152 35 39 78 122 229 −107 144 0.95
16 Partick Thistle 2 76 14 19 43 76 125 −49 61 0.80
17 Hamilton Academical 1 38 12 5 21 30 53 −23 41 1.08
18 Gretna 1 38 5 8 25 32 83 −51 131 0.34


1 Gretna were deducted 10 points for going into administration in the 2007–08 season.

P = Position; Ssn = Number of seasons; Pld = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; GF = Goals for; GA = Goals against; GD = Goal difference; Pts = Points; Ppg = Points per game

Source: SPL official website

Top scorers

Fourteen players have scored 50 or more goals SPL goals. Former Celtic player Henrik Larsson has scored the most goals in the SPL since the inaugural 1998–99 season, with 158 goals. Rangers striker Kris Boyd has the most goals of any currently active Premier League player.

Rank Player Club(s) Goals
1 Henrik Larsson Celtic (1998–2004) 158
2 Kris Boyd Kilmarnock (2000–2006)

Rangers (2006–present)
150
3 Scott McDonald Motherwell (2004–2007)

Celtic (2007–present)
90
4 John Hartson Celtic (2001–2006) 88
5 Derek Riordan Hibernian (2001–2006)

Celtic (2006–2008)

Hibernian (2008–present)
77
6 Nacho Novo Dundee (2002–2004)

Rangers (2004–present)
67
7 Stephen Crawford Hibernian (1998–2000)

Dunfermline Athletic (1999–2004)

Dundee United (2005)

Aberdeen (2005–2006)

Dunfermline Athletic (2006–2008)
65
Billy Dodds Aberdeen (1994–1998)

Dundee United (1998–1999)

Rangers (1999–2003)

Dundee United (2003–2006)
Chris Sutton Celtic (2000–2006)
10 Steve Lovell Dundee (2002–2005)

Aberdeen (2005–2008)

Falkirk (2008–2009)
56
11 Stilian Petrov Celtic (1999–2006) 55
12 Colin Nish Kilmarnock (2004–2008)

Hibernian (2008–present)
54
13 Darren Mackie Aberdeen (1998–present) 52
14 Craig Dargo Kilmarnock (2000–2005)
Inverness CT (2005–2007)
St. Mirren (2007–present)

51


SPL managers

The following is a list of the current managers in the SPL. The list is arranged chronologically by appointment.

Manager Club Appointed
Jim Jefferies Kilmarnock 28 February 2002
Gus MacPherson* St. Mirren 18 December 2003
Billy Reid* Hamilton Academical 2 June 2005
Craig Levein Dundee United 30 October 2006
Derek McInnes* St. Johnstone 1 January 2007
Walter Smith Rangers 10 January 2007
Csaba László Heart of Midlothian 11 July 2008
John Hughes Hibernian 8 June 2009
Mark McGhee Aberdeen 12 June 2009
Tony Mowbray Celtic 16 June 2009
Eddie May Falkirk 23 June 2009
Jim Gannon Motherwell 29 June 2009




Championships

Season Winner Runner-up Relegated Top Scorer Players' Player of the Year Writers' Player of the Year
2008–09 Rangers Celtic Inverness CT Kris Boyd 27 ( Rangers) Scott Brown (Celtic) Gary Caldwell (Celtic)
2007–08 Celtic Rangers Gretna Scott McDonald 25 (Celtic) Aiden McGeady (Celtic) Carlos Cuellar (Rangers)
2006–07 Celtic Rangers Dunfermline Athletic Kris Boyd 20 (Rangers) Shunsuke Nakamura (Celtic) Shunsuke Nakamura (Celtic)
2005–06 Celtic Heart of Midlothian Livingston Kris Boyd 32 (15 - Kilmarnock, 17 - Rangers) Shaun Maloney (Celtic) Craig Gordon (Hearts)
2004–05 Rangers Celtic Dundee John Hartson 25 (Celtic) John Hartson (Celtic) /

Fernando Ricksen (Rangers)
John Hartson (Celtic)
2003–04 Celtic Rangers Partick Thistle Henrik Larsson 30 (Celtic) Chris Sutton (Celtic) Jackie McNamara (Celtic)
2002–03 Rangers Celtic No Relegation Henrik Larsson 28 (Celtic) Barry Ferguson (Rangers) Barry Ferguson (Rangers)
2001–02 Celtic Rangers St. Johnstone Henrik Larsson 29 (Celtic) Lorenzo Amoruso (Rangers) Paul Lambert (Celtic)
2000–01 Celtic Rangers St. Mirren Henrik Larsson 35 (Celtic) Henrik Larsson (Celtic) Henrik Larsson (Celtic)
1999–00 Rangers Celtic No Relegation Mark Viduka 25 (Celtic) Mark Viduka (Celtic) Barry Ferguson (Rangers)
1998–99 Rangers Celtic Dunfermline Athletic Henrik Larsson 29 (Celtic) Henrik Larsson (Celtic) Henrik Larsson (Celtic)


SPL records

Most goals in a season: Celtic, 105 goals, 2003–04
Fewest goals in a season: St. Johnstone, 24 goals, 2001–02
Most points in one season: Celtic, 103 points, 2001–02
Fewest points in a season: Gretna, 13 points, 2007–08
Fewest goals conceded in one season: Celtic, 18 goals, 2001–02
Most goals conceded in a season: Aberdeen, 83 goals, 1999–00 & Gretna, 83 goals, 2007–08
Biggest goal difference in a season: Celtic, 80, 2003–04
Biggest home win: Celtic 7-0 Aberdeen (1999–00 and 2002–03); Hibernian 7-0 Livingston (2005–06); Celtic 7-0 St Mirren (2008–09);
Biggest away win: St. Johnstone 0-7 Rangers (1998–99); Dunfermline Athletic 1-8 Celtic (2005–06)
Highest scoring match: Motherwell 5-6 Aberdeen (1999–2000)
Most away wins in a season: Celtic, 13, 2000–01
Fewest away wins in a season: Dunfermline, 0, 1998–99
Most away defeats in a season: Livingston, 16, 2005–06
Fewest home defeats in a season: Celtic, 0, 2001–02, 2002–03,
Top goalscorer in a single season: Henrik Larsson, 35 goals, 2000–01 Celtic
Player with most hat-tricks: Henrik Larsson, 12, 1998–2004
Top goalscorer in any one game: Kenny Miller, 5, 4 November 2000, Rangers v St. Mirren; Kris Boyd, 5, 25 September 2004, Kilmarnock v Dundee United
Oldest player: Andy Millen, for St. Mirren vs Hearts, 42 years 279 days, 15 March 2008
Youngest player: Scott Robinson, for Hearts vs Inverness CT,
Youngest goalscorer: David Goodwillie, for Dundee United vs Hibernian,
Most consecutive clean-sheets: Robert Douglas, Celtic, 7 games, 16 December 2000 - 21 February 2001
Most SPL appearances: Steven Pressley, 306 (correct to the end of the 2008–09 season)
Highest attendance: 60,440, Celtic v St. Mirren, 7 April 2001
Lowest attendance: 431, Gretna v Inverness CT, 5 April 2008
Highest average attendance: 59,369, Celtic, 2000–01
Lowest average attendance: 2,283, Gretna, 2007–08


Awards

Programme of the Year

The following clubs have won Programme of the Year:

See also



References

  1. Famine chants shame United, The Courier.
  2. Motherwell 2 Hamilton 0: Racism gets red card and a helping hand, Scotland on Sunday.
  3. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/scotland/article5019831.ece
  4. Friendly timing could not be worse as Spain try to cast off racism shame, The Herald.
  5. [1], The Times, 11 May 2009.
  6. [2]
  7. [3]
  8. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/2264181.stm
  9. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-84481876.html
  10. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/2009/11/09/we-muted-sound-of-celtic-fans-chanting-during-minute-s-silence-admit-sky-86908-21808124/
  11. Slash and burn
  12. Rangers offer redundancy packages BBC News, 7 March 2009
  13. [4]
  14. [5]
  15. Scottish Premier League
  16. Gretna F.C. went out of business following the 2007–08 season. A new club called Gretna 2008 was set up in its place and entered the East of Scotland Football League.
  17. SPL All time records ScotPrem.co.uk, 22 March 2008
  18. Statistics obtained from Soccerbase.com
  19. Clubs only include those where players scored goals
  20. The player is still an active player in a SPL squad.
  21. Will you see history be made today?


External links




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