1890–91 Scottish Football League
|Champions||Dumbarton and Rangers (both 1st title)|
|Relegated||Cowlairs (not re-elected)|
|Goals scored||409 (4.54 per match)|
|Top goalscorer||Jack Bell (20)|
|Biggest home win||Celtic 9–1 Vale of Leven (5 May 1891)|
|Biggest away win||Heart of Midlothian 0–5 Celtic (23 August 1890)
Cowlairs 1–6 Dumbarton (25 October 1890)
Cowlairs 0–5 Celtic (29 April 1891)
|Highest scoring||Cowlairs 7–5 Abercorn (28 February 1891)|
|Longest winning run||8 games by Dumbarton|
|Longest unbeaten run||14 games by Dumbarton|
|Longest winless run||8 games by St Mirren|
|Longest losing run||7 games by Abercorn|
The 1890–91 Scottish Football League was the first season of the Scottish Football League. It began on 16 August 1890 and concluded on 12 May 1891. The league was won by Dumbarton and Rangers who ended the season with an equal number of points.
Dumbarton and Rangers ended the league season with an equal number of points so a play-off match was organised at Cathkin Park in Glasgow on 21 May 1891 to determine the winner. The game ended in a 2–2 draw so both clubs were declared champions.
On 30 September 1890 after playing four games in the league, Renton was suspended by the Scottish Football Association for professionalism, and the club was subsequently expelled from the league with their record expunged. Celtic, 3rd LRV and Cowlairs were docked four points each for fielding ineligible players. At the end of the season, the bottom three teams had to submit applications to rejoin the league for the next season along with other non-league clubs. St Mirren, Vale of Leven and Cowlairs submitted applications along with non-league club Leith Athletic. In the election, Cowlairs lost their league position to Leith Athletic, with St Mirren and Vale of Leven being re-elected.
The inaugural season of the Scottish Football League was contested by 11 clubs. This was reduced to 10 clubs after four games when Renton was expelled from the league for professionalism.
||Qualification or relegation
|1||Dumbarton (C)||18||13||3||2||61||21||+40||29||Joint champions †|
|6||Heart of Midlothian||18||6||2||10||31||37||−6||14|
|8||Vale of Leven||18||5||1||12||27||65||−38||11|
|10||Cowlairs||18||3||4||11||24||50||−26||6*||Not re-elected ‡|
Source: statto.com, SFHA
Rules for classification: Teams finish equal if level on points. Points system: 2 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, 0 points for a loss.
† Dumbarton and Rangers finished equal on points, and a play-off to determine the winner ended in a 2−2 draw so both teams were declared champions.
* Celtic, 3rd LRV and Cowlairs were deducted four points each for fielding ineligible players.
‡ Cowlairs failed re-election to compete in the league for the next season. Leith Athletic elected in their place.
(C) = Champion; (R) = Relegated; (P) = Promoted; (E) = Eliminated; (O) = Play-off winner; (A) = Advances to a further round.
|Home ╲ Away||3RD||ABC||CAM||CEL||COW||DUM||HOM||RAN||STM||VOL|
|Heart of Midlothian||4–1||1–1||2–2||0–5||4–0||0–4||0–1||1–0||8–1|
|Vale of Leven||1–2||2–1||2–1||3–1||2–1||1–3||2–4||1–3||5–2|
- Scottish Football League & Scottish Premier League - Play-offs and Test Matches 1891-date, scottish-football-historical-archive.com. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
- Scottish Football League Expulsions 1890-1953, scottish-football-historical-archive.com. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
- Scottish Football League & Scottish Premier League - League point deductions and awards 1890-date, scottish-football-historical-archive.com. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
- Scottish Football League - Re-elections 1891-1951, scottish-football-historical-archive.com. Retrieved 18 February 2015.