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The 2008–09 Scottish Premier League season was the eleventh season of the Scottish Premier League and the second season under the sponsorship of the Clydesdale Bank. It began on 9 August 2008 with a game between Falkirk and Rangers.[1] After the 33rd round of matches, the league split in half and each team played a further five matches against the teams in their half of the league.

Scottish Premier League
Season2008–09
Dates9 August 2008 – 25 May 2009
ChampionsRangers
RelegatedInverness Caledonian Thistle
Champions LeagueRangers
Celtic
Europa LeagueHeart of Midlothian
Falkirk
Aberdeen
Motherwell
Goals scored548
Average goals/game2.40
Top goalscorerKris Boyd (27)
Biggest home winCeltic 7–0 St Mirren (28 February)
Biggest away winKilmarnock 0–4 Rangers (9 November)
Dundee United 0–4 Motherwell (18 January)
Highest scoringRangers 7–1 Hamilton Academical (6 December)

Champions Rangers qualified directly for the Champions League, while second-placed Celtic qualified for the qualifying rounds. Four teams qualified for the new Europa League: Hearts and Aberdeen via league position, Falkirk via the Scottish Cup, and Motherwell by the Fair Play initiative. Inverness were relegated after their fifth season in the SPL and were replaced by St Johnstone for the following season's competition.

The championship was determined on the final day of the season. Leaders Rangers travelled to Tannadice to play Dundee United knowing that a win would secure the title. They achieved this comfortably, courtesy of a 3–0 victory. The goals were scored by Kyle Lafferty, Pedro Mendes and the league's top goalscorer, Kris Boyd.[2] Celtic needed to win their final match of the season against Hearts and hope that Rangers failed to win, but their goalless draw was rendered meaningless. It was also Rangers first title in 4 years.[3]

Contents

ClubsEdit

Promotion and relegation from 2007–08Edit

Promoted from First Division to Premier League

Relegated from Premier League

Stadia and locationsEdit

Aberdeen Celtic Dundee United Falkirk
Pittodrie Stadium Celtic Park Tannadice Park Falkirk Stadium
Capacity: 20,866[4] Capacity: 60,411[5] Capacity: 14,223[6] Capacity: 7,937[7]
       
Hamilton Academical Heart of Midlothian
New Douglas Park Tynecastle Park
Capacity: 5,510[8] Capacity: 17,420[9]
   
Hibernian Inverness Caledonian Thistle
Easter Road Caledonian Stadium
Capacity: 16,531[10] Capacity: 7,500[11]
   
Kilmarnock Motherwell Rangers St Mirren
Rugby Park Fir Park Ibrox Stadium Love Street (until 3 January)
St Mirren Park (from 31 January)
Capacity: 17,889[12] Capacity: 13,677[13] Capacity: 50,817[14] Capacity: 8,023[15]
       

Personnel and kitsEdit

Team Manager Kit manufacturer Kit sponsor
Aberdeen   Jimmy Calderwood Nike Team Recruitment
Celtic   Gordon Strachan Nike Carling
Dundee United   Craig Levein hummel Carbrini
Falkirk   John Hughes Puma Central Demolition
Hamilton Academical   Billy Reid Nike Morris Furniture (H) /
UPVC Window & Door Company (A)
Heart of Midlothian   Csaba László Umbro Ukio Bankas
Hibernian   Mixu Paatelainen Le Coq Sportif Whyte and Mackay
Inverness Caledonian Thistle   Terry Butcher Erreà Flybe
Kilmarnock   Jim Jefferies 1869 Smallworld
Motherwell   Mark McGhee Bukta JAXX
Rangers   Walter Smith Umbro Carling
St Mirren   Gus MacPherson hummel Braehead Shopping Centre

Managerial changesEdit

Team Outgoing manager Date of vacancy Manner of departure Position in table Incoming manager Date of appointment
Heart of Midlothian   Stephen Frail 9 July 2008[16] Caretaker spell ended Pre-season   Csaba László 11 July 2008[17]
Inverness Caledonian Thistle   Craig Brewster 19 January 2009[18] Sacked 12th   Terry Butcher 27 January 2009[19]

EventsEdit

League tableEdit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification or relegation[a]
1 Rangers 38 26 8 4 77 28 +49 86 Qualification for the Champions League group stage
2 Celtic 38 24 10 4 80 33 +47 82 Qualification for the Champions League third qualifying round
3 Heart of Midlothian 38 16 11 11 40 37 +3 59 Qualification for the Europa League play-off round
4 Aberdeen 38 14 11 13 41 40 +1 53 Qualification for the Europa League third qualifying round
5 Dundee United 38 13 14 11 47 50 −3 53
6 Hibernian 38 11 14 13 42 46 −4 47
7 Motherwell 38 13 9 16 46 51 −5 48 Qualification for the Europa League first qualifying round[b]
8 Kilmarnock 38 12 8 18 38 48 −10 44
9 Hamilton Academical 38 12 5 21 30 53 −23 41
10 Falkirk 38 9 11 18 37 52 −15 38 Qualification for the Europa League second qualifying round[c]
11 St Mirren 38 9 10 19 33 52 −19 37
12 Inverness Caledonian Thistle 38 10 7 21 37 58 −21 37 Relegation to the First Division
Source: Scottish Professional Football League
Rules for classification: 1) Points; 2) Goal difference; 3) Goals scored
Notes:
  1. ^ Teams played each other three times (33 matches), before the league split into two groups (the top six and the bottom six) for the last five matches.
  2. ^ Scotland were awarded an additional Europa League place as the association finished in third place of the UEFA Fair Play ranking. Motherwell earned this place as winners of the Scottish Fair Play ranking.
  3. ^ Since Rangers, the winners of the Scottish Cup, already qualified for the Champions League via their league position, Falkirk, the losing finalist, earned a spot in the Europa League.

ResultsEdit

Matches 1–22Edit

During their first 22 matches, each team played every other team home and away.

Home \ Away ABE CEL DUN FAL HAM HOM HIB INV KIL MOT RAN STM
Aberdeen 4–2 0–1 2–1 1–2 1–0 1–2 0–2 1–0 2–0 1–1 2–0
Celtic 3–2 2–2 3–0 4–0 1–1 4–2 1–0 3–0 2–0 2–4 1–0
Dundee United 2–1 1–1 1–0 1–1 3–0 2–0 2–1 0–2 0–4 2–2 2–0
Falkirk 0–1 0–3 0–0 4–1 2–1 1–1 1–2 1–1 1–0 0–1 1–2
Hamilton Academical 2–0 1–2 3–1 1–1 1–2 0–1 1–0 1–0 2–0 1–3 1–2
Heart of Midlothian 1–1 0–2 0–0 2–1 1–0 0–0 1–0 1–2 3–2 2–1 2–1
Hibernian 2–2 2–0 2–1 3–2 2–0 1–1 1–2 2–4 0–1 0–3 2–0
Inverness Caledonian Thistle 0–3 1–2 1–3 1–1 0–1 0–1 1–1 3–1 1–2 0–3 1–2
Kilmarnock 1–2 1–3 2–0 1–2 1–0 0–2 1–0 1–2 1–0 0–4 0–1
Motherwell 0–1 2–4 1–1 3–2 2–0 1–0 1–4 3–2 0–2 0–0 2–1
Rangers 2–0 0–1 3–3 3–1 7–1 2–0 1–0 5–0 2–1 2–1 2–1
St Mirren 0–1 1–3 0–2 1–1 1–0 0–1 0–0 2–0 0–0 0–0 1–0
Source: BBC Sport
Colours: Blue = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.

Matches 23–33Edit

During matches 23–33 each team played every other team once (either at home or away).

Home \ Away ABE CEL DUN FAL HAM HOM HIB INV KIL MOT RAN STM
Aberdeen 2–2 1–0 1–0 0–0 0–0
Celtic 2–0 4–0 4–0 3–1 0–0 7–0
Dundee United 2–2 0–1 2–2 1–1 0–0 3–2
Falkirk 1–0 0–1 1–2 0–0 4–0 0–1
Hamilton Academical 0–1 2–0 0–1 0–1 0–0
Heart of Midlothian 2–1 1–1 3–2 3–1 2–1 1–1
Hibernian 0–0 0–0 1–0 1–1 2–3
Inverness Caledonian Thistle 0–0 1–1 2–0 2–1 1–2 2–1
Kilmarnock 1–2 3–0 0–1 1–1 0–0
Motherwell 1–1 1–1 2–1 1–1 1–0 0–2
Rangers 2–0 2–2 0–1 3–1 3–1
St Mirren 1–1 2–2 1–1 1–1 1–2
Source: BBC Sport
Colours: Blue = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.

Matches 34–38Edit

During matches 34–38 each team play every other team in their half of the table once.

GoalsEdit

AttendancesEdit

Team Stadium Capacity Highest Lowest Average
Celtic Celtic Park 60,355 59,685[25] 55,117[26] 57,761[27]
Rangers Ibrox Stadium 51,082 50,403[28] 48,129[29] 49,534[27]
Heart of Midlothian Tynecastle Stadium 17,420 17,244[30] 12,030[31] 14,398[27]
Aberdeen Pittodrie Stadium 22,199 20,441[32] 8,909[33] 12,929[27]
Hibernian Easter Road 17,500 17,223[34] 10,317[35] 12,684[27]
Dundee United Tannadice Park 14,209 14,077[36] 5,926[37] 8,654[27]
Kilmarnock Rugby Park 18,128 10,153[38] 4,267[39] 5,727[27]
Falkirk Falkirk Stadium 6,935 6,853[40] 4,385[41] 5,640[27]
Motherwell Fir Park 13,742 9,600[42] 2,818[43] 5,522[27]
St Mirren Love Street[44] 10,800 10,189[45] 3,364[46] 5,411[27]
New St Mirren Park 8,000
Inverness Caledonian Thistle Caledonian Stadium 7,500 7,143[47] 2,578[48] 4,457[27]
Hamilton Academical New Douglas Park 6,000 5,895[49] 2,600[50] 3,823[27]

AwardsEdit

Monthly awardsEdit

Month Manager of the Month Player of the Month Young Player of the Month
Manager Club Player Club Player Club
August   Jim Jefferies[51] Kilmarnock   Pedro Mendes[52] Rangers   James McArthur[53] Hamilton Academical
September   Gordon Strachan[54] Celtic   Georgios Samaras[54] Celtic   Scott Arfield[55] Falkirk
October   Gus MacPherson[56] St Mirren   Scott Brown[57] Celtic   Steven Fletcher[58] Hibernian
November   Gordon Strachan[59] Celtic   Bruno Aguiar[60] Heart of Midlothian   Sone Aluko[61] Aberdeen
December   Gus MacPherson[62] St Mirren   Lee Miller[63] Aberdeen   James McCarthy[64] Hamilton Academical
January   Billy Reid[65] Hamilton Academical   Tomas Cerny[65] Hamilton Academical   James McCarthy[65] Hamilton Academical
February   Mark McGhee[66] Motherwell   Andy Dorman[67] St Mirren   Lee Wallace[68] Heart of Midlothian
March   Mixu Paatelainen[69] Hibernian   Scott McDonald[70] Celtic   Steven Fletcher[71] Hibernian
April   Walter Smith[72] Rangers   Andy Dorman[73] St Mirren   Calum Elliot[74] Heart of Midlothian

Clydesdale Bank Premier League Awards[75]Edit

Award Recipient
Player of the Season   Gary Caldwell (Celtic)
Manager of the Season   Csaba László (Heart of Midlothian)
Young Player of the Season   Steven Fletcher (Hibernian)
Goal of the Season   Marc Crosas (Celtic v St Mirren)
Save of the Season   Graeme Smith (Motherwell v St Mirren)
Under-19 League Player of the Season   Sean Welsh (Hibernian)
Best Club Media Relations Motherwell
Best Fan Marketing Initiative Rangers
Best Matchday Hospitality Rangers
Best Community Initiative Falkirk
Best Away Ground Tynecastle (Heart of Midlothian)

ReferencesEdit

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