Scottish Women's Premier League

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
Founded2002
CountryScotland
ConfederationUEFA
Divisions2
Number of teams18:
eight in SWPL1
10 in SWPL2
Level on pyramid1–2
Relegation toChampionship North
Championship South
Domestic cup(s)Scottish Cup
League cup(s)Scottish Premier League Cup
International cup(s)UEFA Champions League
Current championsGlasgow City (15th title)
Most championshipsGlasgow City (15 titles)
Websitewww.womenspremierleague.co.uk
Current: 2020–21 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] From 2009 to 2020 the league operated a summer season, running from March to November each year.[2] After the coronavirus pandemic forced the 2020 season to be curtailed, the league reverted to a winter format in 2020–21.

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.

2020–21 teamsEdit

Locations of teams in the 2020 SWPL 1

SWPL 1Edit

Team Location Home ground Capacity 2019 position
Celtic East Kilbride K Park Training Academy, East Kilbride 1,000 3rd
Forfar Farmington Forfar Station Park 6,777 7th
Glasgow City Glasgow Petershill Park[8] 1,000 1st
Heart of Midlothian Edinburgh Oriam 1,000 1st in SWPL 2
Hibernian Edinburgh Ainslie Park 3,000 2nd
Motherwell Motherwell Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility 1,000 6th
Rangers Glasgow Rangers Training Centre, Govan 500 4th
Spartans Edinburgh Ainslie Park 3,000 5th

SWPL 2Edit

Team Location Home ground Capacity 2019 position
Aberdeen Aberdeen Aberdeen Sports Village 1,000 1st in SWFL 1 North
Boroughmuir Thistle Edinburgh Meggetland Sports Complex 1,000 5th in SWFL 1 South
Dundee United Dundee GA Engineering Arena 1,000 3rd
Glasgow Women Glasgow Petershill Park 1,000 6th
Hamilton Academical Hamilton The Hope CBD Stadium 6,018 2nd
Kilmarnock Kilmarnock Rugby Park[9] 17,889 4th
Partick Thistle Glasgow Petershill Park 1,000 5th
Queen's Park Glasgow Lesser Hampden 1,000 4th in SWFL 1 South
St Johnstone Perth McDiarmid Park[10] 10,696 7th
Stirling University Stirling Gannochy Sports Centre 1,000 8th in SWPL 1

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] Due to the coronavirus pandemic the 2020 season was declared null and void, and the league reverted to a winter format in 2020–21.[12]

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.[21]

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[bare URL]
  9. ^ http://www.womenspremierleague.co.uk/teams/kilmarnock/[bare URL]
  10. ^ http://www.womenspremierleague.co.uk/teams/jeanfield-swifts/[bare URL]
  11. ^ "Scotland (Women) - List of Champions". RSSSF.com. 2010.
  12. ^ Lewis, Jane (29 July 2020). "SWPL season declared null and void after one round of games". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-03-14. Retrieved 2011-03-04.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ http://www.thefreelibrary.com/WOMEN%27S+FOOTBALL%3A+Glory+at+last+for+City+girls.-a0132896752[bare URL]
  15. ^ http://uk.women.soccerway.com/national/scotland/swpl/2009-2010/regular-season/r9376/[bare URL]
  16. ^ "Glasgow City clinch Scottish Women's Premier League". BBC. 2 October 2011. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
  17. ^ "Glasgow City beat Aberdeen as they lift sixth SWPL title". BBC. 28 October 2012. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
  18. ^ "Glasgow City secure their ninth league title in a row". BBC Sport. BBC. 18 October 2015. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  19. ^ "Glasgow City secure 10 in a row with a 3-1 win over Hibernian". glasgowlive.co.uk. 23 October 2016. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  20. ^ "SWPL: Glasgow City beat Spartans to claim 12th title in a row". BBC Sport. 28 October 2018. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  21. ^ "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