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Football is the most popular sport in Scotland. There is some debate about who actually brought the game to the British Isles first. The English are credited historically for its discovery but the more modern game seems to have its roots in Scotland. Despite the historical debate behind who discovered what, the sport remains the most popular in Scotland drawing crowds to stadiums, pubs and televisions.

The Scottish football association was formed in 1873, which eventually gave rise to the Scottish Premier League. It is the second oldest football association in Europe, second only to the English Football association. It acts as the governing body for all of Scotland’s football teams and clubs. The Scottish football association is full member of FIFA and UEFA allowing Scottish team’s access to the world’s most prestigious football tournaments.

League football in Scotland is split. There are the Scottish football leagues and the Scottish Premier league. The Scottish Premier League is the top league in Scotland and consists of one division of 12 teams. The Scottish premier league was formed in 1998. It was an attempt to allow the top teams in Scotland to keep more of the revenue from the games similar to the setup of the English Premier League. Previously all revenues were split among all of the league teams in Scotland. The top producing Scottish Premier League teams felt this was slightly unfair and so the Scottish Premier League was formed.

The Scottish league originally consisted of 10 teams but was increased to 12 on the 2000-2001 football seasons. The Scottish Premier League also has a system of relegation similar to the English Football Association. Provided, the local area can support crowd numbers safely, the top Scottish league team is promoted up into the Scottish Premier League for the next season.

There are plans underway for a second Scottish Premier League known as SPL2. However, this decision has proven extremely unpopular. Plans are for this new league to start in the 2008/2009 season, and be formed with the top Scottish league teams. The decision however, has been met with mush hostility and there are questions as to whether this will occur. The Scottish Premier League has other problems to contend with as well. The Bank of Scotland, what is the Scottish Premier Leagues main sponsor is discontinuing their arrangement after the 2006/2007 season.

Despite the problems and controversy around new leagues forming and sponsorship, football remains the most popular sport in Scotland. Loyal fans flock to see their team and draw crowds by the thousands. Despite difficulty it looks as if the Scottish Premier League will be with us for years to come. Watch Live Scottish Premier League with Live Sport Network.

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