Scottish Football League Second Division
|Number of teams||10|
|Levels on pyramid||3|
|Promotion to||Scottish First Division|
|Relegation to||Scottish Third Division|
|Domestic cup(s)||Scottish Cup
|Last champions||Queen of the South
|2013–14 Scottish Second Division|
The Scottish Football League Second Division was the second highest division of the Scottish Football League and the third highest overall in the Scottish football league system. In July 2013, the Scottish Football League Second Division was replaced by Scottish League One.
The division consisted ten teams and each year the top team is promoted to the First Division, while the clubs in 2nd through 4th places enter an end of season play-off with the 9th placed side in the First Division. The bottom club is automatically relegated and the 9th placed club goes into an end of season play-off with the second, third and fourth placed clubs from the Third Division.
The teams played each other four times with three points for a victory and one point each for a drawn game.
Before 1975 the Second Division (sometimes also called Division B) was the second highest level in the Scottish system. The division was founded in 1893 but its champions were not automatically promoted, as promotion depended on a system of ballots (election) by all League clubs. The first champions, Hibernian, were bypassed in favour of third-place finishers Clyde. Sometimes poor-performing First Division teams would not be voted out (relegated) at all; the most notorious was Queen's Park, in whose favour the rules may have been most likely devised. Automatic promotion was finally introduced when the Second Division was restarted in 1922 after a hiatus provoked by World War I, and ironically, its first victims were Queen's Park.
In 1975, to minimise the number of clubs per division, the old First and Second divisions were recombined into the new Premier, First, and new Second divisions. Accordingly, the last second-tier Second Division champions, Falkirk, were not promoted to the top flight but made up the new second tier along with bottom clubs from the old First Division and other top clubs from the old Second.
Today's Second Division contains ten teams, as does the First Division and the Third Division. Most players are part-time professionals. The teams play each other four times with three points for a victory and one point each for a drawn game. In the event of two teams finishing with the same number of points, the respective teams' position is decided on goal difference. If goal difference is equal too, the team who has scored the most goals is placed higher. No other league in Scotland or the UK is as `dynamic' - with one automatic promotion and relegation place to contend for plus 3 promotion playoff places and one relegation playoff place, it means that 6 of the 10 teams are always drawn into contention. In theory, 4 of the 10 teams can change each season.
Introduction of Play-Offs
Prior to season 2005–06, the top two teams were promoted to Division One and the bottom two were relegated to Division Three. From 2005–06, there is automatic promotion only for the top team and automatic relegation for the bottom placed team. The teams which are placed 2nd, 3rd and 4th enter into a play-off with the team which is 9th in the First Division, and the team which is placed 9th enters into a similar play-off with the teams which are placed 2nd, 3rd and 4th in the Third Division.
On 20 July 2007, it was announced that Scottish Football League would be sponsored by Scottish soft drink company Irn-Bru for the next three seasons. Irn-Bru extended sponsorship of the SFL for another three seasons from 2010/2011 onwards.
Winners of the Second Division
b.^ Team failed to gain promotion via play-offs
- 1. ^ Airdrie United lost in the play-offs, but were promoted due to Gretna's demotion to the Third Division, and subsequent resignation from the Scottish Football League.
- "Who's for the Chop? Doomsday looms if TV tap is turned off". News of the World. 13 June 2009. Retrieved 31 July 2010.
- "SFL ends search for new sponsor" article from BBC Sport
- "SFL secures sponsorship extension with Irn-Bru" article from BBC Sport