|Number of teams||12|
|Levels on pyramid||1|
|Relegation to||Scottish Championship|
|Domestic cup(s)||Scottish Cup|
|League cup(s)||Scottish League Cup|
|International cup(s)||Champions League, Europa League|
|Most championships||Celtic (1)|
|TV partners||Sky Sports, BT Sport, BBC Scotland|
|2014–15 Scottish Premiership|
The Scottish Premiership is the top division of the Scottish Professional Football League, the league competition for professional football clubs in Scotland. The Scottish Premiership was established in July 2013, after the Scottish Professional Football League was formed by a merger of the Scottish Premier League and Scottish Football 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 league champion. If points are equal, the goal difference and then goals scored determine the winner.
The top flight of Scottish football has contained 12 clubs since the 2000–01 season, the longest period without change in the history of the Scottish football league system. During this period the SPL and now the SPFL have operated a "split" format. This is done to prevent the need for a 44-game schedule, based on playing each other four times. That format was used in the Scottish Premier Division, but is now considered to be too high a number of games in a league season.
A season, which runs from August until May, is divided into two phases. During the first phase, each club plays three games against every other team, either once at home and twice away or vice-versa. After this first phase of matches, by which time all clubs 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 compete only within their own sections during the second phase. After the first phase is completed, clubs cannot move out of 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 SPFL 'predicts' the likely positions of each club in order to produce a fixture schedule that ensures the best possible chance of all clubs playing each other twice at home and twice away. This is known as the league seeding and is based on clubs' performance in previous years. If a club does not finish in the half where it is predicted to finish, it faces the possibility of playing an unequal number of home and away games. For example, one club sometimes plays another three times at home and once away.
Promotion and relegation
The bottom placed Premiership club at the end of the season is relegated, and swaps places with the winner of the Scottish Championship, provided that the winner satisfies Premiership entry criteria. With the creation of the SPFL, promotion and relegation playoffs involving the top flight were introduced for the first time in 17 years. That now means the Premiership club in 11th place face the Championship play-off winners over two legs. The winner of those play-offs will earn the right to play in the Scottish Premiership the following season along with the winners of the Scottish Championship. The Scottish Football League had used playoffs between its three divisions since 2007.
Clubs finishing in the top positions of the Premiership will gain qualification to compete in one of UEFA's European competitions. UEFA award European places to the Scottish Football Association, determined by the Scotland's position in the UEFA coefficients ranking system. The Scottish Football Association in turn allocate a number of these European places to final Scottish Premiership positions.
Currently, the top placed team in the Scottish Premiership gains qualification to the UEFA Champions League qualifying round 2, whilst the second and third placed teams gain qualification to the UEFA Europa League at qualifying round 2 and qualifying round 1, respectively.
The clubs listed below have competed in the Scottish Premiership.
|Club||Position in 2013–14||First season in
|First season of current
spell in top division
|Aberdeen||3rd, Scottish Premiership||1905–06||1905–06||1984–85|
|Celtic||1st (champions), Scottish Premiership||1890–91||1890–91||2013–14|
|Dundee||Scottish Championship (promoted)1st,||1893–94||2014–15||1961–62|
|Dundee United||4th, Scottish Premiership||1925–26||1996–97||1982–83|
|Hamilton Academical||Scottish Championship (promoted)2nd,||1906–07||2014–15||—|
|Heart of Midlothian||12th, Scottish Premiership (relegated)||1890–91||—||1959–60|
|Hibernian||11th, Scottish Premiership (relegated)||1895–96||—||1951–52|
|Inverness Caledonian Thistle||5th, Scottish Premiership||2004–05||2010–11||—|
|Kilmarnock||9th, Scottish Premiership||1899–1900||1992–93||1964–65|
|Motherwell||2nd, Scottish Premiership||1903–04||1985–86||1931–32|
|Partick Thistle||10th, Scottish Premiership||1897–98||2013–14||—|
|Ross County||7th, Scottish Premiership||2012–13||2012–13||—|
|St. Johnstone||6th, Scottish Premiership||1924–25||2009–10||—|
|St. Mirren||8th, Scottish Premiership||1890–91||2006–07||—|
|Dundee United||Dundee||Tannadice Park||14,229|||
|Hamilton Academical||Hamilton||New Douglas Park||6,078|||
|Inverness Caledonian Thistle||Inverness||Caledonian Stadium||7,800|||
|Partick Thistle||Glasgow||Firhill Stadium||10,102|||
|Ross County||Dingwall||Global Energy Stadium||6,541|||
|St. Johnstone||Perth||McDiarmid Park||10,696|||
|St. Mirren||Paisley||St. Mirren Park||8,023|||
|Season||Winner||Runner-up||Third||Top scorer||Players' Player of the Year||Writers' Player of the Year|
|2013–14||Celtic||Motherwell||Aberdeen||Kris Commons 27 (Celtic)||Kris Commons (Celtic)||Kris Commons (Celtic)|
As of 2014[update], Scotland's top-flight league championship has been won 54 times by Rangers and 45 times by Celtic. Nine other clubs have won the remaining 19 championships, with three clubs tied for third place with 4 apiece. The last time the championship was won by a club other than Rangers or Celtic was 1984–85, by Aberdeen.
Records and awards
- Highest transfer fee received
- Victor Wanyama, from Celtic to Southampton, £12.5 million, 11 July 2013
- "SPFL: New Scottish league brands unveiled". BBC Sport. BBC. 24 July 2013. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
- Anderson, Craig (24 July 2013). "The Scottish Premiership 2013/14 in numbers". The Scotsman (Johnston Publishing). Retrieved 11 December 2013.
- Grant, Michael (8 August 1999). "SPL stand by their split decision". Sunday Herald (Herald & Times Group). Retrieved 11 December 2013.
- McLaughlin, Chris (28 June 2013). "The new Scottish Professional Football League survives hitch". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
- McGuiness, Nathan. "The Scottish Professional Football League". Retrieved 6 April 2014.
- Campbell, Andy (30 April 2013). "Scottish Premier League considers play-off introduction". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
- "SPFL European qualification".
- "Aberdeen Football Club". Scottish Professional Football League. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
- "Celtic Football Club". Scottish Professional Football League. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
- "Dundee Football Club". Scottish Professional Football League. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
- "Dundee United Football Club". Scottish Professional Football League. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
- "Hamilton Academical Football Club". Scottish Professional Football League. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
- "Inverness Caledonian Thistle Football Club". Scottish Professional Football League. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
- "Kilmarnock Football Club". Scottish Professional Football League. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
- "Motherwell Football Club". Scottish Professional Football League. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
- "Partick Thistle Football Club". Scottish Professional Football League. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
- "Ross County Football Club". Scottish Professional Football League. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
- "St. Johnstone Football Club". Scottish Professional Football League. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
- "St. Mirren Football Club". Scottish Professional Football League. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
- "Victor Wanyama: Southampton sign Celtic midfielder for £12.5m". BBC Sport. 11 July 2013. Retrieved 15 January 2014.