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The Scottish Women's Premier League (SWPL) is the highest level of league competition in women's football in Scotland. The league consists of two divisions, SWPL 1 and SWPL 2, each with eight teams and is owned and managed by Scottish Women's Football. The league was formed in 2002 when the Premier Division of the Scottish Women's Football League (SWFL) broke away to form the SWPL. Initially operating as a single division of twelve teams, the current format was introduced in 2015 with the creation of SWPL 2.

Scottish Women's Premier League
Founded1893
CountryScotland
ConfederationUEFA
Divisions2
Number of teams57 (8 in each division)
Level on pyramid1–2
Relegation toSWFL 1 North
SWFL 1 South
Domestic cup(s)Scottish Cup
League cup(s)Scottish Premier League Cup
International cup(s)UEFA Champions League
Current championsGlasgow City (13th title)
(2018)
Most championshipsGlasgow City (13 titles)
Websitewww.womenspremierleague.co.uk
2019 Scottish Women's Premier League

The champions and runners-up of SWPL 1 qualify directly for the Round of 32 of the UEFA Women's Champions League.[1] Since 2009 the league has operated a summer season, running from March to November each year.[2]

HistoryEdit

The Scottish Women's Football League (SWFL) was formed in 1999. In 2002, its top division broke away to form the Scottish Women's Premier League (SWPL), with the aim of introducing a more professional attitude and increasing media interest. The twelve founder members of the SWPL were Ayr United, Cove Rangers, Dundee, Giulianos, Glasgow City, Hamilton Academical, Hibernian, Inver-Ross, F.C. Kilmarnock, Lossiemouth, Raith Rovers and Shettleston.[3]

Since 2018 the league has been sponsored by the Scottish Building Society.[4]

FormatEdit

Up until 2011 teams played each other twice.

From season 2012, the 12 teams in the league will play each other once before the league splits into a top 6 and bottom 6 based on the league positions at that stage. The top 6 then play each other home and away for the Premier League title, while the bottom 6 play each other home and away to avoid being relegated. After the season is complete, the teams which finish in positions 11 and 12 were relegated to the Scottish Women's First Division.[5]

In 2016 a new format was established. From then on the Premier League will consist of two levels of eight teams each. They are named SWPL 1 and SWPL 2.[6] Teams will play each other three times, with the bottom placed team being relegated to the SWPL 2 after the season. The split into a championship and relegation group is discontinued.[7] The SWPL 2 uses the same format, however there is one promotion to the SWPL 1 and the two last placed teams are relegated to the SWFL 1 divisions.

2019 teamsEdit

Locations of teams in the 2019 SWPL 1

SWPL 1Edit

Team Location Home ground Capacity 2018 position
Celtic Glasgow K Park Training Academy, East Kilbride 1,000 3rd
Forfar Farmington Forfar Station Park 6,777 5th
Glasgow City Glasgow Petershill Park[8] 1,000 1st
Motherwell Motherwell Dalziel Park 1,000 1st in SWPL 2
Hibernian Edinburgh Ainslie Park 3,000 2nd
Rangers Glasgow New Tinto Park, Govan 2,000 4th
Spartans Edinburgh Ainslie Park 3,000 6th
Stirling University Stirling Gannochy Sports Centre 1,000 7th

SWPL 2Edit

Team Location Home ground Capacity 2018 position
Dundee United Dundee Gussie Park 1,000 1st in SWFL 1 North
Hamilton Academical Hamilton The Hope CBD Stadium 5,510 8th in SWPL 1
Glasgow Girls Glasgow Petershill Park 1,000 6th
Heart of Midlothian Edinburgh Oriam 1,000 3rd
Kilmarnock Ladies Kilmarnock Rugby Park[9] 17,889 2nd
Hutchison Vale Edinburgh Saughton Enclosure 1,000 5th
Partick Thistle Glasgow Petershill Park 1,000 3rd in SWFL 1 South
St Johnstone Perth McDiarmid Park[10] 10,696 4th

ChampionsEdit

In 2009 the season was changed from an autumn-spring format to a summer league. As a result, the 2009 season was shortened to fit after the 2008–09 season. The format was changed a number of times. The format with two groups after the first half of the season that way played since 2012 has ended in 2016 with the new SWPL 1. The former Premier League champions are:[11]

BroadcastingEdit

In September 2018, it was announced that BBC Alba would broadcast four SWPL 1 matches during the remainder of the 2018 season. Scottish Women's Football (SWF) and BBC Alba also announced that this will be a two-year deal for six games per year, including the Scottish Women's Cup final and Scottish Women's Premier League Cup final.[20]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Access List for the UEFA Women's Champions League 2016/17" (PDF). uefa.com. UEFA. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  2. ^ Leighton, Tony (19 December 2010). "England coach Hope Powell calls for women's game to switch to summer". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 August 2011.
  3. ^ "Scottish women's league kicks off". BBC Sport. 9 August 2002. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
  4. ^ "Scottish women's champions to receive prize money for first time". BBC Sport. BBC. 24 August 2017. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  5. ^ "Rules for Senior Leagues & League Cups" (PDF). Scottish FA. 21 April 2010. Retrieved 5 August 2010.
  6. ^ 2015 Competition rules
  7. ^ "New SWPL 1 & SWPL 2 season 2016". scottishfa.co.uk. 27 November 2015. Retrieved 29 November 2015.
  8. ^ http://www.glasgowcityfc.co.uk/latest/2017/9/19/glasgow-city-return-home-to-petershill-park
  9. ^ http://www.womenspremierleague.co.uk/teams/kilmarnock/
  10. ^ http://www.womenspremierleague.co.uk/teams/jeanfield-swifts/
  11. ^ "Scotland (Women) - List of Champions". RSSSF.com. 2010.
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-03-14. Retrieved 2011-03-04.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ http://www.thefreelibrary.com/WOMEN%27S+FOOTBALL%3A+Glory+at+last+for+City+girls.-a0132896752
  14. ^ http://uk.women.soccerway.com/national/scotland/swpl/2009-2010/regular-season/r9376/
  15. ^ "Glasgow City clinch Scottish Women's Premier League". BBC. 2 October 2011. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
  16. ^ "Glasgow City beat Aberdeen as they lift sixth SWPL title". BBC. 28 October 2012. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
  17. ^ "Glasgow City secure their ninth league title in a row". BBC Sport. BBC. 18 October 2015. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  18. ^ "Glasgow City secure 10 in a row with a 3-1 win over Hibernian". glasgowlive.co.uk. 23 October 2016. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  19. ^ "SWPL: Glasgow City beat Spartans to claim 12th title in a row". BBC Sport. 28 October 2018. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  20. ^ "BBC ALBA set to broadcast four Scottish Building Society SWPL games". Scottish Women's Premier League. 4 September 2018. Retrieved 25 October 2018.

External linksEdit