My personal blog on Scottish Women's Football
Women’s Football in Scotland has adopted a summer season, running from March to November – with the 2015 season beginning on the 15th March 2015 from the Premier League, and the 8th March 2015 for the First and Second Divisions. The games are played on Sundays.
There are three tiers of Women’s Leagues in Scotland:
The top flight consists of twelve sides, and each side plays 21 matches over the season. The league implements a split after eleven matches, after each side has played each other once. These fixtures are scheduled to finish by the end of June. This is the only division that implements a split.
Then, the bottom six sides will play each other both home and away, and the same is replicated with the top six sides. The bottom two sides of the Premier League are relegated to the First Division.
The Champions of the League qualify for the UEFA Women’s Champions League Qualifying Round.
Now the side that has dominated Women’s Football in Scotland is a Glasgow side, not one of the Old Firm teams – but Glasgow City. Since 2009, they had won the Premier League nine times, and since 2000, they have won the Scottish Women’s Cup seven times. Since they were only formed in 1998, their history is remarkable.
Glasgow City’s domestic domination is so great that they nearly went six years without a league defeat. This remarkable defeat came to an end when Spartans won 1-0 on the 21st September 2014. In 2012, 2013 and 2014 they have also achieved the domestic treble.
But they have hit the national headlines mainly due to their European exploits. In November 2014, after beating Zurich 5-4 on aggregate in the Round of 16, they became the first Scottish side to reach the UEFA Women’s Champions League Quarter-Final – where they play Paris, with the First Leg on the 22nd March 2015.
Below is the 2014 Scottish Women’s Premier League Table:
The second tier consists of twelve teams and is the highest tier where you can find reserve teams competing – such as the Celtic U20s. Although the top two clubs are promoted to the top flight, if one of those teams are a reserve side of a Premiership club – they can not be promoted, and the 3rd side will get promoted.
Before the 2014 season, the side Kilwinning withdrew so each side only played 20 games, instead of the normal 22. Unlike in the Premier League, there is no split involved.
The 2014 Champions were Falkirk Ladies, who have since become Stirling University – after they entered into a partnership with the University. This marked an immediate return to the top flight after being relegated the previous season. The runners-up were Celtic U20s, therefore it was the third placed Hearts who were also promoted.
The bottom three clubs are relegated to the Scottish Women’s Football League Second Division Regional Leagues. After the 2014 season, Cowdenbeath Ladies closed as a club.
Below is the final First Division Table for the 2014 season:
The third and final tier of Scottish Women’s football has 45 clubs split into four regional leagues:
The four champions enter a promotion play-off, although as what happened in 2014, it is possible for the champions to refuse promotion. Dee Vale, who had won the North Division, refused promotion – so the best second placed team, Hearts Development, entered the play-offs. This was decided on their points/match ratio – 2.667 points/match. Hearts had only been denied the South East title by an inferior goal difference.
The 2014 Second Division Play-Offs were played at Alloa Athletic’s Recreation Park, and only consisted of one match:
Hearts Development 1-1 East Fife Ladies (East Fife Ladies won 8-7 on penalties)
Mill United 3-5 Boroughmuir Thistle
The winners of the First Round (East Fife Ladies and Boroughmuir Thistle) achieved promotion to the First Division – they then play each other in another play-off to determine the overall Second Division Champions.
The losers (Hearts Development and Mill United) have a second chance, and play each other is a second play-off to determine the third promoted team.
Hearts Development 1-4 Mill United
East Fife Ladies 0-5 Boroughmuir Thistle
Due to the regional aspects of the leagues, once promotion and relegation to/from the First Division has been decided, clubs sometimes swap between the four Second Divisions.
Below are the final four 2014 Scottish Women’s Football League Second League Tables:
Second Division East/Central Second Division North
Second Division South-East Second Division West
Next in the series, I will look at the Women’s Domestic Cup competitions.