Scottish Premier LeagueScottish association football. It is also known as the Bank of Scotland Premierleague after its main sponsor, the Bank of Scotland.
Previously the Scottish Football League had a two divisional structure (Divisions One and Two) between which clubs were promoted and relegated at the end of each season. However, by the mid 1970s this organisation had become a bit stagnant and it was decided to split into a three divisional structure (Premier Division, First Division and Second Division).
This set up continued till the mid 1990s when it was decided to split into a four divisional structure with the addition of a Third Division.
In 1998 the football clubs in the Premier Division decided to split from the Scottish Football League and form the Scottish Premierleague. This decision was fuelled by a desire by the top clubs in Scotland wanting to retain more of the revenue generated by the game.
Providing they meet certain criteria to do with their stadium it is still possible for clubs to be promoted from the Scottish Football League, First Division to the SPL.
Originally the SPL contained 10 clubs, but it subsequently decided to enlarge itself to a membership of 12.
In 2003, the league's promotion criteria caused controversy as the chairmen of the member clubs voted against Falkirk's proposed ground share with Airdrie United and stopped the club from having the 10,000 fan stadium capacity it required, thus saving Motherwell from relegation.
Winners of the SPL title (so far):
- Also see: List of Scottish Football Clubs