1890–91 Scottish Football League

The 1890–91 Scottish Football League was the first season of the Scottish Football League. It began on 16 August 1890 and concluded on 12 May 1891. The league was won jointly by Dumbarton and Rangers who ended the season with an equal number of points.

Scottish Football League
Season1890–91
Dates16 August 1890 – 12 May 1891
ChampionsDumbarton and Rangers
(both 1st title)
RelegatedCowlairs
(not re-elected)
Matches played90
Goals scored409 (4.54 per match)
Top goalscorerJack Bell (20 goals)
Biggest home winCeltic 9–1 Vale of Leven
(5 May 1891)
Biggest away winHeart of Midlothian 0–5 Celtic
(23 August 1890)
Cowlairs 1–6 Dumbarton
(25 October 1890)
Cowlairs 0–5 Celtic
(29 April 1891)
Highest scoringCowlairs 7–5 Abercorn
(28 February 1891)
Longest winning run8 games:
Dumbarton
Longest unbeaten run14 games:
Dumbarton
Longest winless run8 games:
St Mirren
Longest losing run7 games:
Abercorn

Season overviewEdit

Dumbarton and Rangers ended the league season with an equal number of points so a play-off match was organised at Cathkin Park in Glasgow on 21 May 1891 to determine the winner.[1] The game ended in a 2–2 draw so both clubs were declared champions.

On 30 September 1890 after playing four games in the league, Renton was suspended by the Scottish Football Association for professionalism, and the club was subsequently expelled from the league with their record expunged.[2] Celtic, 3rd LRV and Cowlairs were docked four points each for fielding ineligible players.[3] At the end of the season, the bottom three teams had to submit applications to rejoin the league for the next season along with other non-league clubs. St Mirren, Vale of Leven and Cowlairs submitted applications along with non-league club Leith Athletic. In the election, Cowlairs lost their league position to Leith Athletic, with St Mirren and Vale of Leven being re-elected.[4]

ClubsEdit

The inaugural season of the Scottish Football League was contested by 11 clubs. This was reduced to 10 clubs after four games when Renton was expelled from the league for professionalism.

Locations of teams in the 1890–91 Scottish Football League
Team Home town/city Home ground
3rd LRV Glasgow Cathkin Park
Abercorn Paisley Underwood Park
Cambuslang Cambuslang Whitefield Park
Celtic Glasgow Celtic Park
Cowlairs Glasgow Springvale Park
Dumbarton Dumbarton Boghead Park
Heart of Midlothian Edinburgh Tynecastle
Rangers Glasgow Ibrox Park
Renton Renton Tontine Park
St Mirren Paisley Westmarch
Vale of Leven Alexandria Millburn Park

TableEdit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification or relegation
1 Dumbarton[a] (C) 18 13 3 2 61 21 +40 29 Joint Champions
1 Rangers[a] (C) 18 13 3 2 58 25 +33 29
3 Celtic 18 11 3 4 48 21 +27 21[b]
4 Cambuslang 18 8 4 6 47 42 +5 20
5 3rd LRV 18 8 3 7 38 39 −1 15[b]
6 Heart of Midlothian 18 6 2 10 31 37 −6 14
7 Abercorn 18 5 2 11 36 47 −11 12
8 St Mirren 18 5 1 12 39 62 −23 11 Re-elected
8 Vale of Leven 18 5 1 12 27 65 −38 11
10 Cowlairs[c] (R) 18 3 4 11 24 50 −26 6[b] Not re-elected
11 Renton[d] 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Expelled, record expunged
Source: [5]
Rules for classification: 1) Points;
(C) Champion; (R) Relegated
Notes:
  1. ^ a b Dumbarton and Rangers finished equal on points, and a play-off to determine the winner ended in a 2−2 draw so both teams were declared joint champions.
  2. ^ a b c Celtic, 3rd LRV and Cowlairs were deducted four points each for fielding ineligible players.
  3. ^ Cowlairs failed re-election to compete in the league for the next season.
  4. ^ Renton were expelled from the league in September 1890 for professionalism and their record was expunged.

ResultsEdit

Home \ Away ABC CAM CEL COW DUM HOM RAN STM VOL 3RD
Abercorn 2–5 1–5 1–0 1–2 1–0 1–1 5–1 6–0 2–4
Cambuslang 4–5 3–1 4–0 2–2 2–0 2–6 3–2 8–2 2–2
Celtic 2–0 5–2 2–0 1–0 1–0 2–2 3–2 9–1 1–1
Cowlairs 7–5 1–1 0–5 1–6 1–2 0–2 4–2 3–2 2–2
Dumbarton 5–1 5–0 2–2 1–1 3–1 5–1 5–1 4–0 5–1
Heart of Midlothian 1–1 2–2 0–5 4–0 0–4 0–1 1–0 8–1 4–1
Rangers 2–0 2–1 1–2 1–1 4–2 5–2 8–2 4–0 4–1
St Mirren 4–2 2–3 1–0 5–2 2–4 3–2 3–7 1–1 3–2
Vale of Leven 2–1 2–1 3–1 2–1 1–3 2–4 1–3 5–2 1–2
3rd Lanark RV 2–1 1–2 2–1 3–0 1–3 4–0 0–4 5–3 4–1
Source: [6]
Legend: Blue = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.

Championship Play-offEdit

Rangers defeated 3rd Lanark RV 4–1 in their final league match on 9 May 1891[7] to move level with Dumbarton on 29 points, and a play-off was organised to determine which team would be crowned champions. However, the match finished as a draw and, with no more dates available for a further replay before the end of the season, it was decided that Dumbarton and Rangers would be declared joint champions.[8][9][10]

Dumbarton2–2Rangers
[1]
Attendance: 10,000[11][12]
Referee: J. Marshall
Dumbarton:
GK John McLeod
RB Daniel Watson
LB Alex Miller
RH Tom McMillan
CH Dickie Boyle
LH Leitch Keir
OR Jack Taylor
IR James Galbraith
CF John Miller
IL James McNaught
OL Jack Bell
Rangers:
GK David Reid
RB Donald Gow
LB William Hodge
RH Robert Marshall
CH Andrew McCreadie
LH David Mitchell
OR David Hislop
IR James Henderson
CF Neil Kerr
IL John McPherson
OL John Allan[a]
  1. ^ Some sources credit an appearance to Hugh McCreadie rather than John Allan, but contemporary reports contradict this; consequently the goal by 'McCreadie' must have been scored by Andrew.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Scottish Football League & Scottish Premier League - Play-offs and Test Matches 1891-date". Scottish Football Historical Archive. Archived from the original on 4 November 2013. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  2. ^ "Scottish Football League Expulsions 1890-1953". Scottish Football Historical Archive. Archived from the original on 14 April 2015. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  3. ^ "Scottish Football League & Scottish Premier League - League point deductions and awards 1890-date". Scottish Football Historical Archive. Archived from the original on 14 April 2015. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  4. ^ "Scottish Football League - Re-elections 1891-1951". Scottish Football Historical Archive. Archived from the original on 14 April 2015. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  5. ^ "1890-1891 SFL". SPFL. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  6. ^ Graham, Alexander (2005). Football in Scotland: A Statistical Record 1873–2005. Cleethorpes: Soccer Books. p. 9. ISBN 1-86223-123-0.
  7. ^ "Rangers 4 - 1 Third Lanark, Scottish League (09/05/1891)". Fitbastats.com. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  8. ^ On This Day In Football History: 21st May 1891, Russell MdFadyen, The North Section, 21 May 2019
  9. ^ Thursday, 21st May 1891, Scottish League History
  10. ^ Football. | League Championship–Rangers v. Dumbarton. The Glasgow Herald, 22 May 1891
  11. ^ "Rangers 2 - 2 Dumbarton, Division One (old) Play-offs (21/05/1891)". Fitbastats.com. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  12. ^ "Dumbarton 2-2 Rangers, Thursday, May 21st, 1891". The Sons Archive. Archived from the original on 3 June 2019. Retrieved 27 July 2019.