kids encyclopedia robot

Scottish Premiership facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Scottish Premiership
William Hill Premiership.png
Founded 2013; 11 years ago (2013)
Country Scotland
Confederation UEFA
Number of teams 12
Level on pyramid 1
Relegation to Scottish Championship
Domestic cup(s) Scottish Cup
League cup(s) Scottish League Cup
International cup(s) UEFA Champions League
UEFA Europa League
UEFA Conference League
Current champions Celtic (10th title)
Most championships Celtic (10 titles)
TV partners Sky Sports
BBC Alba
BBC Scotland
List of international broadcasters

The Scottish Premiership (Scots Gaelic: Prìomh Lìog na h-Alba) known as the William Hill Premiership for sponsorship reasons, is the top division of the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL), the league competition for men's professional football clubs in Scotland. The Scottish Premiership was established in July 2013, after the SPFL was formed by a merger of the Scottish Premier League and Scottish Football League. There are 12 teams in this division, with each team playing 38 matches per season. Sixteen clubs have played in the Scottish Premiership since its creation in the 2013–14 season. Celtic are the current league champions, having won the 2023–24 Scottish Premiership.

Competition format

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 the points, goal difference, goals scored, and head-to-head results between teams are equal, a play-off game held at a neutral venue shall be played to determine the final placings. The play-off will only occur when the position of the teams affects the outcome of the title, European qualification, relegation, or second stage group allocation and shall not occur otherwise.


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 Scottish Premier League, and now the Scottish Premiership, has operated a "split" format, that is, split in two phases as is explained below. This is used 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 in the mid-1980s and early 1990s, but it is now 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 two halves – a "top six" section and a "bottom six" section. Each club plays a further five matches, one against each of 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 half 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 the previous season. If the clubs do not finish in the half where they are predicted to finish, then anomalies can be created in the fixture list. Clubs sometimes play another three times at home and once away (or vice versa), or a club can end up playing 20 home (or away) games in a season.

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 play-offs involving the top flight were introduced for the first time in seventeen years. The Premiership club in eleventh place plays the Championship play-off winners over two legs, with the winner earning the right to play in the Scottish Premiership the following season. This enables two clubs to be relegated from the Premiership each season, with two being promoted. Prior to the creation of the Scottish Premiership, only a single club could be relegated each season - with only the second tier champions being promoted. The Scottish Football League had used play-offs amongst its three divisions since 2007.

European qualification

UEFA country coefficient 2017–22
Rank Association Coefficient
0 7 Netherlands Netherlands 49.300
2 8 Austria Austria 38.850
2 9 Scotland Scotland 36.900
-2 10 Russia Russia 34.482
5 11 Serbia Serbia 33.375

UEFA grants European places to the Scottish Football Association, determined by Scotland's position in the UEFA country coefficient rankings. The Scottish Football Association in turn allocates a number of these European places to final Scottish Premiership positions. At the end of the 2020–21 season, Scotland was ranked 11th in Europe—granting them two teams in the UEFA Champions League, one team in the UEFA Europa League, and two teams in the UEFA Europa Conference League.

At the end of the 2022–23 season, the Scottish Premiership winners (Celtic FC) gained qualification to the UEFA Champions League group stage, whilst the second placed team (Rangers FC) entered at the third qualifying round. The third placed team (Aberdeen FC) entered the Europa League in the playoff round, while the fourth place (Heart Of Midlothian FC) got UEFA Europa Conference League 3rd Qualifying Round and fifth place (Hibernian FC) got UEFA Europa Conference League 2nd Qualifying Round.

Scotland's place in the Europa League is awarded to the winners of the Scottish Cup. Should the winners of that competition have already qualified for European competition, then the fifth placed team also enters the Europa Conference League second qualifying round, while third placed team (unless they are cup winners themselves) are promoted from Europa Conference League to the Europa League third qualifying round.

Financial disparity

The 2017 'Global Sports Salaries Survey' report found a large variation between the wages offered by teams in the Scottish Premiership, with champions Celtic paying an average annual salary of £735,040, per player, whilst traditional rivals Rangers could only pay £329,600 and league runners-up Aberdeen offered £136,382. The lowest salary offered by any of the twelve member clubs was Hamilton's £41,488—one seventeenth that of Celtic, whose wages were close to the sum of the other eleven clubs combined.

The report stated that this disparity was the third-greatest from the 18 leagues surveyed, and that the Scottish Premiership offered the third-lowest salaries of those leagues; by contrast, Celtic's opponents in the Champions League that year paid average wages of £6.5m (Paris Saint-Germain) and £5.2m (Bayern Munich), seven times higher than the Scottish club.


The 12 clubs listed below will compete in the Scottish Premiership during the 2024–25 season.

Club Location Position in 2023–24 First season in
top division
No. of seasons in top division First season of current
spell in top division
No. of seasons of current spell National titles Last title
Aberdeen Aberdeen &100000000000000070000007th, Scottish Premiership 1905–06 113 1905–06 113 4 1984–85
Celtic Glasgow &100000000000000010000001st, Scottish Premiership (champions) 1890–91 128 1890–91 128 54 2023–24
Dundee Dundee &100000000000000060000006th, Scottish Premiership 1893–94 100 2023–24 2 1 1961–62
Dundee United Dundee &100000000000000130000001st, Scottish Championship (promoted) 1925–26 63 2024–25 1 1 1982–83
Heart of Midlothian Edinburgh &100000000000000030000003rd, Scottish Premiership 1890–91 122 2021–22 4 4 1959–60
Hibernian Edinburgh &100000000000000080000008th, Scottish Premiership 1895–96 118 2017–18 8 4 1951–52
Kilmarnock Kilmarnock &100000000000000040000004th, Scottish Premiership 1899–1900 95 2022–23 3 1 1964–65
Motherwell Motherwell &100000000000000090000009th, Scottish Premiership 1903–04 109 1985–86 40 1 1931–32
Rangers Glasgow &100000000000000020000002nd, Scottish Premiership 1890–91 124 2016–17 9 55 2020–21
Ross County Dingwall &1000000000000001100000011th, Scottish Premiership 2012–13 12 2019–20 6  —  —
St Johnstone Perth &1000000000000001000000010th, Scottish Premiership 1924–25 61 2009–10 16  —  —
St Mirren Paisley &100000000000000050000005th, Scottish Premiership 1890–91 114 2018–19 7  —  —
Aberdeen Celtic Dundee Dundee United Heart of Midlothian Hibernian
Pittodrie Stadium Celtic Park Dens Park Tannadice Park Tynecastle Park Easter Road
Capacity: 20,866 Capacity: 60,411 Capacity: 11,506 Capacity: 14,223 Capacity: 17,480 Capacity: 20,421
Pittodrie from Block Y, May 2015.jpg Celtic Park3.jpg Dens stand.jpg East Stand Tannadice.jpg Tynecastle Park, January 2018.jpg Easter Road - West Stand.jpg
Kilmarnock Motherwell Rangers Ross County St Johnstone St Mirren
Rugby Park Fir Park Ibrox Stadium Victoria Park McDiarmid Park St Mirren Park
Capacity: 17,889 Capacity: 13,677 Capacity: 50,817 Capacity: 6,541 Capacity: 10,696 Capacity: 8,023
Rugby Park, Kilmarnock.jpg Firpark.jpg Ibrox Inside.jpg Home of the Staggies - - 922193.jpg McDiarmid Park.jpg StMirren(2).jpg
Club ranking

UEFA 5-year Club Ranking after 2021/22 season:



Season Winners Runners-up Third place Tartan Boot Players' Player of the Year Writers' Player of the Year SPFL Premiership Player of the Year
2013–14 Celtic Motherwell Aberdeen Kris Commons, 27 (Celtic) Kris Commons (Celtic) Kris Commons (Celtic) Not awarded
2014–15 Celtic Aberdeen Inverness CT Adam Rooney, 20 (Aberdeen) Stefan Johansen (Celtic) Craig Gordon (Celtic) Not awarded
2015–16 Celtic Aberdeen Heart of Midlothian Leigh Griffiths, 31 (Celtic) Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) Leigh Griffiths (Celtic)
2016–17 Celtic Aberdeen Rangers Liam Boyce, 23 (Ross County) Scott Sinclair (Celtic) Scott Sinclair (Celtic) Scott Brown (Celtic)
2017–18 Celtic Aberdeen Rangers Kris Boyd, 18 (Kilmarnock) Scott Brown (Celtic) Scott Brown (Celtic) Scott Brown (Celtic)
2018–19 Celtic Rangers Kilmarnock Alfredo Morelos, 18 (Rangers) James Forrest (Celtic) James Forrest (Celtic) James Forrest (Celtic)
2019–20 Celtic Rangers Motherwell Odsonne Édouard, 22 (Celtic) Not awarded Odsonne Édouard (Celtic) Not


2020–21 Rangers Celtic Hibernian Odsonne Édouard, 18 (Celtic) James Tavernier (Rangers) Steven Davis (Rangers) Allan McGregor (Rangers)
2021–22 Celtic Rangers Heart of Midlothian Regan Charles-Cook 13 (Ross County)
Giorgos Giakoumakis 13 (Celtic)
Callum McGregor (Celtic) Craig Gordon (Heart of Midlothian) Craig Gordon (Heart of Midlothian)
2022–23 Celtic Rangers Aberdeen Kyogo Furuhashi 27 (Celtic) Kyogo Furuhashi (Celtic) Kyogo Furuhashi (Celtic) Kyogo Furuhashi (Celtic)
2023–24 Celtic Rangers Heart of Midlothian Lawrence Shankland 24 (Heart of Midlothian) Lawrence Shankland (Heart of Midlothian) Lawrence Shankland (Heart of Midlothian)

As of 2024, Scotland's top-flight league championship has been won 55 times by Rangers, 54 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 in 1984–85, by Aberdeen.

Records and awards

Biggest home win
Rangers 8–0 Hamilton Academical, 8 November 2020
Biggest away win
Dundee United 0–9 Celtic, 28 August 2022
Most goals in a game
Hibernian 5–5 Rangers, 13 May 2018
Most points in a season
106; Celtic, 2016–17
Fewest points in a season
21; Dundee, 2018–19
Most wins in a season
34; Celtic, 2016–17
Fewest wins in a season
5; Dundee, 2018–19; Livingston, 2023–24
Most draws in a season
15; Dundee, 2015–16
Fewest draws in a season
3; St Mirren, 2014–15; Celtic, 2022–23; Aberdeen, 2022–23
Most defeats in a season
27; Dundee, 2018–19
Fewest defeats in a season
0; Celtic, 2016–17; Rangers, 2020–21
Most goals scored in a season
114; Celtic, 2022–23
Fewest goals scored in a season
24; St Johnstone, 2021–22
Most goals conceded in a season
78; Dundee, 2018–19
Fewest goals conceded in a season
13; Rangers, 2020–21
Fastest goal
Kris Boyd, for Kilmarnock against Ross County, 10 seconds, 28 January 2017
Highest transfer fee paid
Odsonne Édouard, from Paris Saint-Germain to Celtic, £9 million, 15 June 2018
Highest transfer fee received
Kieran Tierney, from Celtic to Arsenal, £25 million, 8 August 2019
Most hat-tricks
Liam Boyce and Leigh Griffiths, 4 each
Youngest player
Dylan Reid, for St Mirren v Rangers, 16 years and 5 days, 6 March 2021
Youngest goalscorer
Jack Aitchison, for Celtic v Motherwell, 16 years and 71 days

Top scorers

20170701 SK Rapid Wien vs Celtic FC 1570
Leigh Griffiths, the Scottish Premiership's all-time top goalscorer
  • Bold shows players still playing in the Scottish Premiership.
  • Italics show players still playing professional football in other leagues.
Rank Player Goals Apps Ratio First Last Club(s) (goals/apps) Notes
1 Scotland Leigh Griffiths 92 188 0.49 2014 2022 Celtic (90/173), Dundee (2/15)
2 England James Tavernier 80 278 0.29 2016 2024 Rangers
3 Colombia Alfredo Morelos 78 178 0.44 2017 2023 Rangers
4 France Odsonne Édouard 66 116 0.57 2017 2021 Celtic
Republic of Ireland Adam Rooney 66 151 0.44 2014 2018 Aberdeen
6 Northern Ireland Liam Boyce 62 155 0.4 2014 2023 Ross County (48/99), Heart of Midlothian (14/56)
7 Northern Ireland Billy Mckay 59 185 0.32 2013 2021 Inverness Caledonian Thistle (32/78), Dundee United (12/29), Ross County (15/78)
8 Scotland James Forrest 58 248 0.23 2013 2024 Celtic
9 Scotland Lawrence Shankland 56 124 0.45 2013 2024 Aberdeen (0/17), Dundee United (8/33), Heart of Midlothian (47/73)
10 Scotland Kris Boyd 55 145 0.38 2013 2019 Kilmarnock

Broadcasting rights

The SPFL's domestic TV broadcast deal currently ranks 16th in Europe among European Leagues.

Country/region Broadcaster Language Summary
 United Kingdom Sky Sports English Up to 60 live Premiership matches per season from 2024 to 2029 and the play-off final, Saturday-night goal highlights on Sky Sports News.
Premier Sports 20 live Premiership matches per season from 2024 to 2029. This is in addition to live Scottish Cup, Scottish League Cup, and Scotland Men's National Team matches.
BBC Sport Scotland Saturday-night Scottish Premiership Highlights of matches from that day. Extended Sunday-night Scottish Premiership Highlights with full weekend review, 20 live Friday-night Scottish Championship matches & the Scottish Premiership Play-Off Quarter-Final & Semi-Final. Friday night magazine programme A View from the Terrace. Online and Social Media Highlights also.
STV Goal Clips during the Sports section of their STV News at Six programme.
BBC Alba Gaelic 38 delayed matches on Saturday evenings and live Championship and League One Playoff Matches.
Worldwide YouTube English (N/A) 6-10 minute highlights of all Premiership Matches as well as Championship, Leagues One and Two goals available without commentary/narration via the SPFL Youtube Channel.


Country/region Broadcaster
 Albania Tring Sport
 Australia beIN Sports
 Hong Kong
 New Zealand
 Armenia Setanta Sports
Flag of Moldova.svg Moldova
 Austria Sport1
 Bangladesh T Sports
 Belgium Eleven Sports
 Bosnia and Herzegovina Arena Sport
 North Macedonia
 Brazil ESPN
 Canada OneFootball
  Caribbean ESPN
 Czech Republic Premier Sport
 Denmark Viaplay
 Germany Sport1
 Greece Cosmote Sport
 Hungary Arena4
  Indian subcontinent Voot
 Ireland Sky Sports
 Israel Sport 5
 Italy OneFootball
 Japan DAZN
  Latin America ESPN
 Liechtenstein Sport1
 Luxembourg Eleven Sports, Sport1
 Netherlands Ziggo Sport
 Philippines Premier Football
 Poland Polsat Sport
 Portugal Eleven Sports
 Romania Digi Sport
 Russia Match TV
  Sub-Saharan Africa ESPN
 Switzerland OneFootball, Sport1
 Taiwan ELTA
 Turkey beIN Sports
 United States CBS Sports Network / Paramount+
 Puerto Rico

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Scottish Premiership para niños

kids search engine
Scottish Premiership Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.