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Key Developments in the Scottish Professional Football League

In 1998, inspired by similar events in England and the creation of The English Premiership, several teams decided to split from The Scottish Football League and form their own league – The Scottish Premier League. Since then, more than 18 teams have played in The Scottish Premier League, but only two teams (Old Firm and Rangers) have won it, splitting it between the two teams with 7 wins each. In 2013, the Scottish Premier league and the Scottish Football League merged into a new unified governing body named SPFL. This new organisation oversees the following Scottish leagues:

  • The Scottish Premiership.
  • The Scottish Championship
  • The Scottish League One
  • The Scottish League Two

It Scotland, the Scottish Premiership is very popular and is more popular than watching any of the other leagues in Europe. The league is currently placed by the UEFA ranking as number 15. UEFA base these rankings on how the performance of the clubs in all of the European competitions. For readers who want to place bets on the Scottish Premier League and wager on their favourite team, we recommend them to use this promo code for coral and get free bets.

There are no restrictions for clubs when signing players. The only rule is that it must follow the Scottish employment law. This means that there is no cap on the salaries or age restrictions and that there are no rules regarding the playing squad and international players etc. Teams must, however, name at least 3 players younger than 21 years of age to their match day squad, although they do not need to play.

Competition format

Originally there were 10 teams playing in the league. In the 2000-2001 seasons this was increased to 12. It is run based on a league format where teams gain points by playing other teams within the league. Teams are awarded 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw and 0 points for a loss. The team with the most points at the end of the season wins the SPL trophy. If there is a tie situation, the difference between goals scored and coals against is the deciding factor. The league runs from August to May each year.

Each team has to play each other at least three times. After this, the table is split in half and each team then plays five more games against teams in their bracket. In total every team plays 38 games during a season. Some are not too fond of this split as it is not possible to move up from the bracket and a team placed as the 7th team in the league could as such have more points than a team placed as the 6th. For this split rule to be changed, it requires the acceptance of 11 out of the 12 teams. 8 teams were asked and five were in favour of keeping the split rule.

European qualification

Four Scottish clubs in total are eligible to qualify for the European competitions:

  • The team who won the Scottish Premier League and the runner-up both qualify for the UEFA Champions League.
  • The third placed team in the Scottish Premier League and the winner of the Scottish Cup both qualify for the UEFA Cup.


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