About the S.C.S.L.

History of the S.C.S.L.

The S.C.S.L. is my alternative to the real (and boring) Scottish Football League. It stands for the "Scottish Chart Soccer League" and has its origins in the mid 1970's, at which stage I was beginning to show an interest in the simulation of football leagues and cups using dice.

Around 1974 I heard that there had been a plan (so far unsubstantiated) that the imminent Scottish Premier League of 10 clubs was to eventually be merged with 10 clubs from the English League, to form a kind of Super League. This obviously never materialised but I experimented with an imaginary league of my own along these lines, using dice to simulate the results. No records of this league survive, unfortunately and I'm not even sure how far I got with it.

In the beginning: The Albion Cup

In late 1976 I had a plan to simulate a British Cup competition, called the Albion Cup. This would have 2 areas, North and South, corresponding to Scotland and England. The results were simulated using two dice (from a game of Monopoly), one representing the home team's score, and the other the away team's score. Obviously the actual values on the dice could not be used as the scores, there is no "nil" for a start. To have some kind of "form" I had a sliding scale of equivalent values depending on the clubs' relative positions in the league (ratings). The higher a club's position relative to the other, the higher their possible score. The home scale was slightly better than the away one as well, to reflect home advantage.

I played the first Scottish area Albion Cup using the final 1975-76 Scottish League placings as "ratings". The final was contested between Aberdeen and Kilmarnock, and was won by Aberdeen with a score of 3—0. An English Cup was also played, with the intention of having a final between the two winners to decide the overall Albion Cup champions. There are no records of the English version remaining nor whether any play-off final ever took place and there was no further English participation in the competition after this first season.

The competition continued in Scotland, however, becoming known purely as the Albion Cup. The only surviving records of the early seasons of the cup is the participants in the finals and the scores.

The League Championship

In the 55th season of the Albion Cup the League championship began and there are also no surviving details of these competitions apart from the league positions in the first two seasons. The final Premier Division positions for Season 55 were:

  1. Celtic 124 pts
  2. Dundee Utd 109 pts
  3. Rangers
  4. Aberdeen
  5. Partick Thistle
  6. Motherwell
  7. Hearts
  8. Hibernian
  9. Kilmarnock
  10. Ayr Utd

In Season 56 the Premier Division was increased to 12 teams and the positions were as follows:

  1. Rangers 74 pts
  2. Celtic 72 pts
  3. Hearts
  4. Motherwell
  5. Dundee Utd
  6. Aberdeen
  7. Kilmarnock
  8. Ayr Utd
  9. St Mirren
  10. Partick Thistle
  11. Clydebank
  12. Hibernian

The league now had 40 teams with the addition of Third Lanark and Inverness Utd and, in Season 72, these clubs were reorganised into two divisions of 20, with three up and three down promotion and relegation between them. Apart from the tables above, the records that survive from Season 57 onwards are limited to the top two in the league, until Season 74, when some records survive. The records available between Seasons 74 and 86 cover all teams up to Motherwell in alphabetical order and, therefore, unless a club finished in the top three of Division 1, the records for all subsequent clubs are not known. However, it has been possible to surmise the positions of some of the clubs and these tables have been included in the League Tables 74-88.

The "Hibernation"

All of this occurred between late 1976 and mid 1977. In late 1977 I obtained a piece of kit called "LOGacta Chart Soccer", which comprised specially set up books for arranging imaginary leagues and cups, and seven special, colour-coded dice with different ranges of possible scores on them. This in itself was a major improvement on using Monopoly dice. The books were ingeniously laid out so as to arrange a 16-team league championship using teams of one's own choice, the results being filled in on a numbered grid to simulate a fixture schedule. I experimented with English, Scottish and British leagues, but none of them took off in any way.

With respect to Scottish Leagues, I did not continue with the S.C.S.L. at this time as I had lost most of the records and it seemed logical to start afresh, however none of these leagues using LOGacta were successful due to a perceived lack of "realism", despite the fact that the original S.C.S.L. was not that realistic at times, e.g. Clydebank winning the League Championship. In 1979 I began the Football Federation for English clubs, which really took off and took up most of my hobby time, and the Scottish Leagues therefore took a back seat. (See A.F.L. site for history of Football Federation).

The "Revival"

In 1987, I decided to try a reconstruct some of the old league tables, using the partial records of seasons 74-93 mentioned above, just out of interest. These proved much easier to compile than I thought they would and proved very interesting to see in full. I then thought to myself, that the "realism" I was looking for was probably not attainable, without being as boring as the real life league, whereas a bit of "history" might help to establish it if I revived the original league. In addition to the reconstructed league tables I was amazed to find that I still had lists of the all of the Albion Cup final scores from the beginning as well as the top three in the league for all seasons, and therefore despite a lot of the records being missing, there was still a surprising amount of details still extant. I therefore hit upon the idea of continuing from where I left off in 1977.

Originally, after season 85 the number of clubs had been reduced to the 38 clubs in the league at that time. Then,in season 88 I had re-organised the divisions on a 14-14-10 basis, but I had decided that I now wanted to continue with the 18-20 setup that had been used in seasons 86 and 87. I therefore decided to wipe the original seasons 88-93, and restart with a new season 88 with 18 teams in Division 1 and 20 in Division 2.

In this 'replay' of season 88, the coincidence of all time took place in the Albion Cup, which had originally been won by Hearts over Dundee by a score of 5—3 in a replay. This was the first of the "wiped" seasons, and I had some heartache at scrubbing these records. However, in the replayed season 88, Hearts and Dundee, amazingly, both reached the final and, again, it went to a replay, which was won by Hearts. The score was not 5—3 but, in order to provide a kind of link between the old and the new, I decided that the records would show 5—3. This provided a nice link between the old seasons and the new, and I feel that it was a good omen, as the revived league was very successful and is, of course, still being played today.

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