Friday, May 24, 2024

Kickstart Your Season: The Complete Scottish Premiership Guide

The Scottish Premiership stands out as an intriguing yet sometimes overlooked treasure within the European football leagues. This league is home to some of the best supporters in the sport, world-class players, and historic clubs. 

Despite its charm, the Scottish Premiership alludes many people to have never engaged with the league. The unique league structure and rules further exemplify this. In this guide, we look to dispel this mystery and provide you with all of the tools you need to follow this league and enjoy incredible football. 

What is The Scottish Premiership

The Scottish Premiership is the highest level of Scottish football and is under the jurisdiction of the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL). Established in its current form in 1998, the league initially comprised 10 teams, a number that has since risen to 12. Over its history, the Scottish Premiership has undergone various changes, including shifts in sponsorship. Notably, the league was most recently sponsored by Cinch. 

When Does a Scottish Premiership Season Run From

The Scottish Premiership season typically runs from August to May, aligning with the traditional European football calendar. This timeframe allows for a series of league matches, cup competitions, and international breaks throughout the season.

How Does The Scottish Premiership Work

In the Scottish Premiership, there are 12 teams which play each other 3 times in a round-robin style tournament. This results in each team playing 33 games. Throughout the season, teams are ordered from 1st to 12th, and at the end of the 33 games, the league will split in half, with the top 6 entering a championship table and the bottom 6 entering a relegation table. Once at their table, each team will play every other team in their new league, resulting in 38 games being played for each team at the end of the season. 

The bottom-placed team in the Scottish Premiership at the end of the season will be relegated and swap places with the winner of the Scottish Championship. The club in 11th place plays the Championship play-off winners over two legs, with the winner earning the right to compete in the Scottish Premiership. 

The team that finishes 1st in the Scottish Premiership will win the title and gain access to the UEFA Champions League, while 2nd place will be entered into the Champions League qualifiers. 3rd and 4th place clubs will enter the UEFA Europa and Conference League, respectively. 

Once the table has been separated, no team in the relegation table can finish higher than 7th, and no team in the championship table can finish any lower than 6th even if their points tallies do not appear to reflect their positions accurately.  

Teams in the Scottish Premiership

The Scottish Premiership is home to many brilliant football teams, each with their own passionate fan base and rich history. The Scottish Premiership is unique to other leagues due to the unbelievable dominance of only 2 clubs. These 2 clubs are Rangers and Celtic, who have won 108 of the 125 league titles between them. Rangers currently lead with 55 titles, whereas Celtics are just behind with 53 league titles. These 2 teams have been neck and neck with one another for over a hundred years, with their reign only being briefly stopped by other clubs such as Aberdeen, Hearts, and Hibernian. 

These 3 teams are the other most successful clubs in Scotland, with each having won 4 Scottish Premiership titles. Here is a list of every club currently in the Scottish Premiership:

  • Aberdeen
  • Celtic
  • Dundee
  • Heart of Midlothian
  • Hibernian
  • Kilmarnock
  • Livingston
  • Motherwell
  • Rangers
  • Ross County
  • St Johnstone
  • St Mirren

When it comes to European football, Scottish clubs have been somewhat successful. In the Champions League, Celtics are the only team that has made an impression. They won the Champions League once in 1967 and finished runners-up in 1970. When it comes to the Europa League/ UEFA Cup, the Rangers have finished runners-up twice, while the Celtics and Dundees have also finished runners-up twice. Although no Scottish team has won this competition, these fixtures still go down in European football history. 

Rangers and Aberdeen were also able to win the UEFA Cup Winners Cup in 1972 and 1982, respectively. Aberdeen’s journey to this final is by far the most impressive as Alex Ferguson not only led his underdog side to win the title instead of the 2 Scottish Giants but was also able to beat the colossal Real Madrid in order to win the competition.

Notable Players in the Scottish Premiership

The Scottish Premiership has attracted and nurtured a plethora of notable players over the years, contributing to its rich footballing legacy. Among them are figures like Henrik Larsson, a Swedish striker who left an indelible mark during his time with Celtic, showcasing remarkable skill and goal-scoring prowess.

Another notable player is Alfredo Morelos, a Colombian forward who made waves at Rangers with his sharp instincts and goal-scoring prowess. Similarly, Virgil van Dijk, a Dutch defender, honed his craft at Celtic before ascending to global prominence with his commanding presence and defensive mastery at top clubs like Liverpool.

The Scottish Premiership and Sports Betting

The Scottish Premiership offers a brilliant platform for sports betting enthusiasts, with its unpredictable matches and passionate rivalries. From the fierce contests between Celtic and Rangers to the battles for European qualification, the league provides ample opportunities for wagering. Utilising tools like a matched betting calculator, savvy bettors can take advantage of promotional offers and arbitrage opportunities. By leveraging these strategies, punters can navigate the dynamic landscape of Scottish Premiership betting with precision and intelligence, enhancing their enjoyment of the beautiful game.

Claire James
Claire James
Claire is an accounts manager at Fire Digital UK, an online publishing and content marketing company based in the North West.

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