Wednesday, June 03, 2009

By the numbers - the 2008/09 Scottish Football season

The Scottish football season finally came to a halt as Rangers win the Scottish Cup following their 1-0 victory over Falkirk last Saturday.
The promotion and relegation fixtures have been played; St Johnstone, Raith Rovers, Ayr United, Stenhousemuir and Dumbarton are all preparing for life in a higher division following their promotions, while for Inverness Caley Thistle, Clyde, Airdrie United, Queens Park and Stranraer next season will mean having to adjust to life in a lower league.

So what better time to conclude the 2008/09 season in Scotland than with some tasty statistics, lovingly hand-compiled and fact-checked, sort of.


is the number of seasons in the SPL since its inception in 1998. Celtic lead the winners table, with 6 wins. This years champions Rangers trail the Parkhead with 5 wins.
27 is the number of goals scored by Scotland's top scorer, Rangers' Kris Boyd. He´s scored 11 more than Scott McDonald of Celtic, his nearest rival for the Tartan Boot (if such a thing exists). Boyd also leads the table for number of hattricks scored this season, 2.

52 is the total number of domestic league wins for this years champions Rangers. In winning the league for the 52nd time since 1891 following their 3-0 win at Tannadice on the final day of the season, Rangers continue to hold the world record for the number of domestic league honours. Having also won the Scottish Cup last weekend, they will need only one more win to equal Celtic's total number of wins in the worlds second oldest Cup competition; the Hoops have won it 33 times.
15 stands for the number of managers who lost their job one way or the other over the course of the year. It began with John McCormack's resignation from Albion Rovers in July and ended with Mixu Paateleinen’s resignation from Hibs on the 28th May of this year. Other high profile departures included Jimmy Calderwood (Aberdeen, pictured left), Gordon Strachan (Celtic), Craig Brewster (Inverness Caley) and Roberto Landi (Livingston).

548 represents the number of goals scored this season in the SPL, down 62 from last season. The most goals scored in one game are the 8 racked up in the fixture between Rangers and Hamilton on the 6th December which the Ibrox side won 7-1. Across the other three senior leagues in Scotland, the most goals outside of the SPL where scored in the Third Division (497) and the lowest, 443, in the First Division. However, these totals are dwarfed by the total number of goals scored in the Highland League - a stunning 789!
Oh, and speaking of Highland League...

Zero is the number of games won by Highland League side Fort William this season. The Fort outdid themselves, scoring the same amount of goals (16) and conceding fewer (121), but last season they managed to win a game. Their one solitary point during the 2008/09 campaign came thanks to a 1-1 draw against Wick Academy.

23 is the number of points between second placed Celtic and third placed Hearts. Not so much a gulf as an ocean of difference when you consider that this gap is five more than the combined points gap between the second and third placed teams across Divisions One, Two and Three.

14 is for Manuel Pascali of Kilmarnock, who leads the yellow-card table having seen it produced 14 times this season, but somehow managing not to get sent off all year. In contrast, Marius Zaliukas (right) of Hearts received the most red cards this season - four.
Interestingly, had the Fair Play League not been restricted to the SPL it would be Brechin City, not Motherwell playing in the Europa League. The Angus side picked up only 37 yellow cards and 1 red card all season, which is a whopping 13 fewer than the team that finished top of the Fair Play league, Celtic.

7 is the number of times Perth-based St. Johnstone have won the First division title; they secured their latest promotion when they beat Morton 3-1 at McDiarmid Park on May 29th, putting the Saints back in the top flight for the first time since 1997 when they where founder members of the SPL the following year.

212 is the number of goals you would have missed if you left every Scottish Football League game 10 minutes early.

1286 represents the average attendance across the First, Second and Third divisions. This total is down 23 from last season, suggesting perhaps that football is as popular as ever (or not) despite the credit crunch. The best supported team this year outside the SPL was Dundee. Troubled Stranraer, relegated back to the Third Division and facing an uncertain future had the lowest average attendance, with only 303 paying punters coming through the turnstiles every week.

Right, that just about wraps it up for another year in Scottish football. We hope you enjoyed our coverage so far - we´ll be back over the summer with the latest transfer news, gossip and scandal. Until then, see ye efter!

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