2008–09 Scottish Third Division
|Goals scored||497 (2.76 per match)|
|Top goalscorer||Scott Dalziel (15)
Mike Jack (15)
|Biggest home win||Annan Athletic 6–0 Elgin City
(7 March 2009)
Dumbarton 6–0 Elgin City
(2 May 2009)
|Biggest away win||Elgin City 1–6 Albion Rovers
(20 September 2008)
|Highest scoring||Forfar Athletic 5–4 Berwick Rangers
(28 February 2009)
|Longest winning run||5 games
|Longest unbeaten run||10 games
|Longest winless run||13 games
|Longest losing run||7 games
The 2008–09 Scottish Football League Third Division (also known as the 2008–09 Irn Bru Scottish Football League Third Division for sponsorship reasons) was the 14th season in the format of ten teams in the fourth-tier of Scottish football. The season started on 2 August 2008 and ended on 9 May 2009. Dumbarton F.C. finished top and were promoted alongside Stenhousemuir F.C. as play-off winners. Cowdenbeath F.C. were also promoted due to Livingston being demoted to the Third Division.
Teams for 2008–09
East Fife as champions of the 2007–08 season were directly promoted to the 2008–09 Scottish Second Division. They were replaced by Berwick Rangers who finished bottom of the 2007–08 Scottish Second Division.
A second promotion place was available via a play-off tournament between the ninth-placed team of the 2007–08 Scottish Second Division, Cowdenbeath, and the sides ranked second, third and fourth in the 2007–08 Scottish Third Division, Stranraer, Montrose and Arbroath respectively. The play off was won by Arbroath who defeated Stranraer in the final. Cowdenbeath were therefore relegated. However, due to Gretna's expulsion from the Football League, an extra promotion place was awarded, thus Stranraer as losing play-off finalists were also promoted.
Annan Athletic, formerly of the East of Scotland League, were admitted to the SFL to replace Gretna, who resigned their league status on 3 June.) The SFL voted on the matter on 3 July, with 5 clubs having put forward applications. Annan, who like Gretna are from the Dumfries and Galloway region, were chosen above other applicants Cove Rangers, Edinburgh City, Preston Athletic and Spartans.
- East Fife
- Arbroath (via play-offs)
- Stranraer (losing play-off finalists, promoted due to Gretna's demotion to Third Division)
Newly admitted into SFL
Stadia and attendances
|Annan Athletic||Galabank Stadium||3,500||1,343||422||734|
|Dumbarton||Strathclyde Homes Stadium||2,025||1,398||462||716|
|Forfar Athletic||Station Park||5,177||621||362||460|
|East Stirlingshire||Ochilview Park[A]||2,624||812||343||450|
|Berwick Rangers||Shielfield Park||4,131||570||288||414|
|Elgin City||Borough Briggs||3,927||537||276||392|
|Team||Outgoing manager||Manner of departure||Date of vacancy||Replaced by||Date of appointment||Table position|
|Albion Rovers||John McCormack||Resigned||28 June||Paul Martin||9 July||pre-season|
|Montrose||Jim Weir||Sacked||19 October||Steven Tweed||15 January 2009||4|
|Berwick Rangers||Alan McGonigal||Resigned||13 November||Jimmy Crease||26 December||9|
|Elgin City||Robbie Williamson||Resigned||20 December 2008||Ross Jack||23 January||10|
||Qualification or relegation
|1||Dumbarton (C) (P)||36||19||10||7||65||36||+29||67||Second Division|
|2||Cowdenbeath (P)||36||18||9||9||48||34||+14||63*||Second Division Play-offs|
|4||Stenhousemuir (O) (P)||36||16||8||12||55||46||+9||56|
Source: BBC Sport
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored
Second Division Play-offs:The 2nd, 3rd and 4th placed teams will be entered into a play-off with the Second Division's 4th placed team. The winning team will be awarded a place in the 2009–10 Second Division.
*Cowdenbeath were promoted due to Livingston's demotion from the First Division to the Third.
(C) = Champion; (R) = Relegated; (P) = Promoted; (E) = Eliminated; (O) = Play-off winner; (A) = Advances to a further round.
Only applicable when the season is not finished:
(Q) = Qualified to the phase of tournament indicated; (TQ) = Qualified to tournament, but not yet to the particular phase indicated; (RQ) = Qualified to the relegation tournament indicated; (DQ) = Disqualified from tournament.
Teams play each other four times in this league. In the first half of the season each team plays every other team twice (home and away) and then do the same in the second half of the season.
First half of season
|Home ╲ Away||ALB||ANN||BER||COW||DUM||EST||ELG||FOR||MON||STE|
Second half of season
|Home ╲ Away||ALB||ANN||BER||COW||DUM||EST||ELG||FOR||MON||STE|
|1||Mike Jack||Annan Athletic||15|
|3||Darren Gribben||Berwick Rangers||14|
|Andrew Rodgers||East Stirlingshire|
|Brian Graham||East Stirlingshire|
|7||Ross Campbell||Forfar Athletic||13|
|10||Robert Barr||Albion Rovers||11|
Source: The League Insider
- 3 July – Annan Athletic, formerly of the East of Scotland League were admitted to the SFL, beating Cove Rangers, Edinburgh City, Preston Athletic and Spartans. They replaced Gretna, who resigned their league status on 3 June.
- 13 November – A consortium led by Berwick Rangers Supporters Club agreed a deal to take over the club. Following a poor run of form, manager Allan McGonigal resigned at the same time saying "I made up my mind that when the current directors left I would move on."
|Month||First Division manager||SFL Player||SFL Young player|
|August||Roberto Landi||Livingston||Stephen Robertson||Airdrie United||Leigh Griffiths||Livingston|
|September||Jim McIntyre||Dunfermline Athletic||Paul McManus||East Fife||Calum Elliot||Livingston|
|October||Derek McInnes||St Johnstone||Steven Milne||St Johnstone||Dominic Shimmin||Greenock Morton|
|November||Jocky Scott||Dundee||Bryan Prunty||Ayr United||Kyle Benedictus||Dundee|
|December||John Brown||Clyde||Alan Main||St Johnstone||Chris McMenamin||Berwick Rangers|
|January||Ian McCall||Partick Thistle||Willie McLaren||Clyde||Bobby Barr||Albion Rovers|
|February||Jocky Scott||Dundee||Gary Harkins||Partick Thistle||Fraser McLaren||Berwick Rangers|
|March||Paul Hegarty||Livingston||Kevin Rutkiewicz||St Johnstone||Leigh Griffiths||Livingston|
|April||Gordon Chisholm||Queen of the South||Stephen Dobbie||Queen of the South||Kevin Moon||St Johnstone|
- "Gretna relinquish league status". BBC Sport. 3 June 2008. Retrieved 3 June 2008.
- "Annan voted into Scottish league". BBC Sport. 3 July 2008. Retrieved 3 July 2008.
- "Who's next for Division Three?". BBC Sport. 15 June 2008. Retrieved 30 June 2008.
- "Berwick Rangers 2-2 Peterhead". BBC Sport. 28 March 2008. Retrieved 20 September 2008.
- "Cowdenbeath 1-2 Arbroath (2-3)". BBC Sport. 3 May 2008. Retrieved 20 September 2008.
- "East Stirlingshire 0-3 East Fife". BBC Sport. 1 June 2007. Retrieved 20 September 2008.
- "Stranraer 1-0 Arbroath (1-2)". BBC Sport. 10 May 2008. Retrieved 20 September 2008.
- "Gretna demoted to Division Three". BBC Sport. 29 May 2008. Retrieved 20 September 2008.
- Shows position in table at time when manager departed.
- "McCormack new Accies assistant". BBC Sport. 28 June 2008. Retrieved 9 July 2008.
- "Martin is new Albion Rovers boss". BBC Sport. 9 July 2008. Retrieved 9 July 2008.
- "Montrose job interests Donachie". BBC Sport. 8 October 2008. Retrieved 24 October 2008.
- "Montrose FC Latest News - October 2008". Montrose F.C. 19 October 2008. Retrieved 24 October 2008.
- "Tweed takes charge at Links Park". BBC Sport. 15 January 2009. Retrieved 17 January 2009.
- "Supporters head Berwick takeover". BBC Sport. 13 November 2008. Retrieved 15 November 2008.
- "Crease named new Berwick manager". BBC Sport. 26 December 2008.
- "Elgin manager quits before match". BBC Sport. 20 December 2008. Retrieved 20 December 2008.
- "New Elgin boss has heady ambition". BBC Sport. 23 January 2009. Retrieved 23 January 2009.
- "Supporters head Berwick takeover". BBC Sport. 10 December 2008. Retrieved 10 December 2008.
- "The IRN-BRU SFL Manager and Player of the Month Awards August, 2008". Scottish Football League. 9 September 2008. Retrieved 9 September 2008.
- "The IRN-BRU SFL Manager and Player of the Month Awards September, 2008". Scottish Football League. 15 October 2008. Retrieved 17 October 2008.
- "THE IRN-BRU SFL Manager and Player of the Month Awards October, 2008". Scottish Football League. 11 November 2008. Retrieved 4 December 2008.
- "The IRN-BRU SFL Manager and Player of the Month Awards November, 2008". Scottish Football League. 11 December 2008. Retrieved 13 December 2008.
- "The IRN-BRU SFL Manager and Player of the Month Awards December, 2008". Scottish Football League. 12 January 2009. Retrieved 12 January 2009.
- "The IRN-BRU SFL Manager and Player of the Month Awards January, 2009". Scottish Football League. 9 February 2009. Retrieved 9 February 2009.
- "The IRN-BRU SFL Manager and Player of the Month Awards February, 2009". Scottish Football League. 19 March 2009. Retrieved 18 March 2009.
- "The IRN-BRU SFL Manager and Player of the Month Awards March, 2009". Scottish Football League. 14 April 2009. Retrieved 17 April 2009.
- "IThe IRN-BRU SFL Phenomenal Manager and Player of the Month Awards April, 2009". Scottish Football league. 26 May 2009. Retrieved 13 June 2009.