Lowland Football League

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Lowland League
Lowland League Logo.png
Country Scotland
Confederation UEFA
Founded 2013
Number of teams 16
Level on pyramid 5
Promotion to Scottish League Two
Relegation to East of Scotland Football League
South of Scotland Football League
Domestic cup(s) Scottish Cup
SFA South Regional Challenge Cup
League cup(s) Lowland League Cup
Current champions East Kilbride
Most championships Edinburgh City (2 titles)
Website slfl.co.uk
Current season

The Scottish Lowland Football League (commonly known as the Lowland League) is a football league operating in southern and central Scotland. 16 teams currently compete in the league with teams drawn from the Scottish Lowlands area of Scotland. Since 2015 it has been known as the Ferrari Packaging Lowland League for sponsorship reasons.

Starting with the 2014–15 season, promotion to the Scottish Professional Football League is via an annual play-off with the champions of the Highland Football League, the winners playing-off with the bottom club in League Two.[1] Additionally, the bottom placed club will face relegation to the 2015–16 East of Scotland Football League or South of Scotland Football League depending on their geographical location. Consequently, it now stands at a new Level 5 on the Scottish football pyramid, on a par with the Highland League and above the Lowlands-based regional leagues.

As a creation of the Scottish Football Association, the Lowland League is a full member of the same organisation.

History[edit]

The Lowland League was founded by a unanimous vote of members of the Scottish Football Association (SFA) on 11 June 2013,[1] who had for some time intended on instituting a football pyramid including promotion and relegation from Scottish football's senior divisions down to its junior and amateur levels.[2] The league would be composed of teams drawn from the South of Scotland, East of Scotland and junior leagues, who met on 17 June 2013 to elect between them the founder-members of the new league.[3]

While most clubs were invited to submit bids to join, Preston Athletic, Spartans and Threave Rovers were offered automatic entry as they were already fully licensed by the SFA.[3] While 27 clubs had registered their interest, the Lowland League received 17 applications to join.[4] After the meeting on 17 June, it was announced there would be 12 teams in the league, and that they would be Dalbeattie Star, East Kilbride, Edinburgh City, Gala Fairydean Rovers, Gretna 2008, Preston Athletic, Selkirk, Spartans, Stirling University, Threave Rovers, Vale of Leithen & Whitehill Welfare.[5]

Subsequent seasons have seen the number of participating clubs increase. Two clubs, Edinburgh University and BSC Glasgow, were admitted to the league for the 2014–15 season.[6] They were joined the following season by Cumbernauld Colts.[7] Civil Service Strollers and Hawick Royal Albert joined the league in June 2016.

The 2016-17 season was the first time that founding members left the league. Edinburgh City became the first club to be promoted to the Scottish League, while Threave Rovers declined the opportunity to re-apply to the league after finishing bottom and rejoined the South of Scotland Football League.[8] The same season also saw the first team relegated into the league from Scottish League Two – East Stirlingshire.

Member clubs[edit]

Team Location Stadium Capacity Seats Floodlit
BSC Glasgow Alloa Recreation Park 3,100 919 Yes
Civil Service Strollers Edinburgh Christie Gillies Park 1,569 100 No
Cumbernauld Colts Cumbernauld Broadwood Stadium 7,936 7,936 Yes
Dalbeattie Star Dalbeattie Islecroft Stadium 4,000 250 Yes
East Kilbride East Kilbride K Park 660 400 Yes
East Stirlingshire Stenhousemuir Ochilview Park 3,746 626 Yes
Edinburgh University Edinburgh New Peffermill Stadium 1,100 100 Yes
Gala Fairydean Rovers Galashiels 3G Arena, Netherdale 5,500 495 Yes
Gretna 2008 Gretna Raydale Park 3,000 1,318 Yes
Hawick Royal Albert Hawick Albert Park 1,000 500 Yes
Preston Athletic Prestonpans Pennypit Park 4,000 313 Yes
Selkirk Selkirk Yarrow Park 1,000 100 to be
Spartans Edinburgh Ainslie Park 3,000 504 Yes
Stirling University Falkirk Falkirk Stadium 7,937 7,937 Yes
Vale of Leithen Innerleithen Victoria Park 1,500 0 No
Whitehill Welfare Rosewell Ferguson Park 4,000 150 No

Champions[edit]

Season Winner Runner-up
2013–14 Spartans Stirling University
2014–15 Edinburgh City East Kilbride
2015–16 Edinburgh City* Spartans
2016–17 East Kilbride East Stirlingshire
* Team promoted to Scottish League Two.

Lowland League Cup[edit]

Season Winner Score Runners–up
2013–14 Stirling University 5–2 Preston Athletic *
2014–15 East Kilbride 3–1[9] Gretna 2008
2015–16 East Kilbride 0–0
4–2 pens.
Gretna 2008 *

Sponsorship[edit]

On 24 September 2013, the Scottish Sun newspaper was revealed to be the first sponsor of the league.[10] Since 2015, the league has been sponsored by Ferrari Packaging on a two-year agreement.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Scottish FA approves Lowland League for next season". BBC Sport. 11 June 2013. 
  2. ^ "George Peat's Scottish football pyramid plan quickly bogged down in political sands". The Telegraph. 11 December 2008. Retrieved 11 June 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Scottish clubs approve creation of Lowland League as part of pyramid". STV. 11 June 2013. 
  4. ^ "Dozen clubs to play in Scottish Lowland Football League announced". STV. 17 June 2013. Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "Scottish Lowland Football League clubs selected". Scottish FA. 17 June 2013. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  6. ^ "Lowland League announces new members for next season". BBC Sport. BBC. 28 April 2014. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  7. ^ "Cumbernauld Colts admitted to Lowland League". Lowland Football League. Lowland League. 3 June 2015. Retrieved 5 June 2015. 
  8. ^ Gillespie, Stuart (5 June 2016). "Threave Rovers' South of Scotland League return confirmed after three years in the Lowland League". Daily Record. Retrieved 10 August 2016. 
  9. ^ http://gretnafc2008.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/gretna-fc-2008-1-east-kilbride-3.html?spref=tw
  10. ^ "We're league leaders". Scottish Sun. 24 September 2013. Retrieved 21 October 2013. 
  11. ^ Thomson, Paul (30 July 2015). "East Kilbride packaging firm wrap up sponsorship deal with Lowland League". Daily Record. Glasgow. Retrieved 27 May 2016. 

External links[edit]