A New Structure for Scottish Football

The recent plans for reconstruction of the Scottish league have been… interesting. Groups of 12-12-18 then splitting into 8-8-8-18 towards the end of the season. Yeah, okay.

Here’s an alternative plan I’ve been mucking around with. It’s not ideal and I’ve no clue about the money situation but I think it’d make things more interesting. Feel free to chip in with comments.

3 League Tiers

Ditch the 3rd division and restructure to 3 tiers of 14.

With the teams as they stand now, this would give:

Premier League First Division Second Division
 Celtic  Falkirk  Ayr Utd.
 Motherwell  Livingston  Stranraer
 Inverness CT  Hamilton  East Fife
 St Johnstone  Raith Rovers  Albion
 Ross County  Dumbarton  Rangers
 Dundee Utd.  Cowdenbeath  Peterhead
 Aberdeen  Dunfermline  Queen’s Park
 Hearts  Airdrie Utd.  Berwick
 Kilmarnock  Queen of the South  Elgin
 Hibernian  Alloa  Montrose
 St Mirren  Brechin  Stirling
 Dundee  Forfar  Annan Athletic
 Partick Thistle  Abroath  Clyde
 Morton  Stenhousemuir  East Stirling

Each team would play each other twice, home and away, to give 26 league games in a season. This is a bit short of what we have at the moment, so how do we make up the difference?

Cup Competition

League Cup – gone. We don’t need it any more.

Scottish Cup – restructure to Champions League style.

The New Scottish Cup

8 groups of 6 teams, drawn freely from all divisions plus 6 from the non-league qualifying teams. I suppose it could be seeded if that was preferred.

Play each other twice, home and away. This gives every team 10 cup matches taking their total guaranteed games for the season up to 36 (26 league + 10 cup).

The top two from each group (16 in total) would progress through to a knockout stage the same as we have now.

Benefits of the New System

This is what I like about this structure:


You’re not watching your team play the same teams again and again. In your league, you’ll play 13 different teams. With cup matches, that could extend to 18 different teams even if you don’t progress.

An Exciting Cup Competition

For the teams in the lower divisions, it gives a good chance to get a cup run and play against teams in higher divisions rather than just have the one game and get eliminated.

Also, with the early stages incorporated into the league schedule, you avoid having mid-week journeys all over the country for evening games.

No League Splitting

Does anyone actually want the yearly split?

Over to You

Anyway, as I said, this gives no consideration to money issues. If you’ve got any ideas for changes, feel free to chip in below.

I’ve not really given any thought to promotion/relegation either as that doesn’t really affect the structure. Again, let me know what you think would work best.

Kevin Wilson

.NET developer, JavaScript enthusiast, Android user, Pebble wearer, sometime musician and occasional cook.

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