Scottish Cup

Scottish Cup

infobox football tournament
current = Scottish Cup 2008-09

founded = 1874
region = )
current champions = Rangers

The Scottish Football Association Challenge Cup, [ [ SFA Handbook 2006-07 "Cup Competition Rules"] ] usually known as the Scottish Cup, is the national football cup competition of Scotland. The trophy awarded to the winners has the distinction of being the oldest national trophy in the world.


The Scottish Cup started in the 1873-74 season, and was contested by 16 teams. The trophy was first awarded to Queen's Park when they beat Clydesdale 2–0 in the final in front of a crowd of 3,000 people. While the FA Cup is the oldest cup competition in the world, the trophy awarded to the Scottish Cup winners is the oldest trophy, being minted in 1885. [ [ Official Site of the Tennent's Scottish Cup "Scottish Football Museum Experience"] ]

The Scottish War Emergency Cup was a temporary competition held at the start of the World War II, due to the suspension of the Scottish Cup by the SFA. It was held between February and May in 1940, the competition involved all sixteen League clubs still operating, Cowdenbeath later withdrew which meant Dunfermline Athletic received a bye in the first round. Rangers beat Dundee United 1–0 in the Final.cite web|url=|title=Scottish Football History: Scottish War Emergency Cup|last=McColl|first=Brian|accessdate=2008-04-14]

Old Firm dominance

The Old Firm (Celtic and Rangers, both of Glasgow) are the dominant force in Scottish football. They are the only two clubs to have won the Scottish Premier League since its inception in 1998, and their authority also extends over the Scottish Cup.

The 2006 final was played on 13 May 2006 at Hampden Park and was contested by Hearts and Gretna. This was the first final in nine years that an Old Firm side had not been involved in, and the first ever to feature a team from the third tier of the Scottish League system.

Cup shocks

The Scottish Cup produces occasional "giant-killings" where a team from a low division defeats a team from a higher division. Some famous cup shocks include 1938, when Second Division East Fife were the victors in the final against Kilmarnock and thus won the cup. Another instance was in 1967, when Berwick Rangers defeated Rangers 1–0.

In 2000 First Division Inverness Caledonian Thistle beat Celtic 3–1 at Celtic Park. "The Sun" recorded it thus:

Celtic, with a debutante Roy Keane in tow, also fell victim to Clyde, a side whose average age was 21, when they were beaten 2-1 at Broadwood Stadium in January 2006.

In 2008, First Division Queen of the South beat Aberdeen 4–3 at Hampden Park in a semi-final where Queen of the South took the lead three times and Aberdeen equalised three times before Queen of the South scored the winner to send them to their first ever Scottish Cup final.cite web|url=|title=Queen of the South 4-3 Aberdeen|accessdate=2008-04-15]


The competition format is that of a single elimination knockout. Teams are drawn against each other randomly. The team who is drawn first from each tie is the home team. If the first match finishes in a draw, a replay is played at the stadium of the second team drawn. In the replay, if the scores are still level at full time, extra time is played and (if necessary) penalties are used to decide the winner of the tie.

The semi-final matches are played at neutral stadiums, usually the national stadium Hampden Park. and the final itself is traditionally played at Hampden. Celtic Park staged the finals in 1993 and 1998 and Ibrox staged the final in 1997 while Hampden was being redeveloped. The final and semi-final do not have replays and are played to a finish. Extra time is played and penalties are used if necessary. Two finals (1990 and 2006) have been decided by penalties.

Entry criteria

Previously clubs in the Third and Second Divisions qualified automatically for the first round, along with four non-league teams each from the Scottish Qualifying Cup (North) and (South) competitions. Clubs in the First Division and the Scottish Premier League had automatic byes to the third round. However, from the 2007–08 season a new criteria was introduced for entry into the Scottish Cup. [ [ Scottish Football Association "The Scottish Cup 2007/08"] ] The Scottish Qualifying Cup competitions were scrapped and the 36 SFA member clubs outwith the SPL and SFL were given direct entry to the 1st Round of the cup. Additionally, the league winners of the East of Scotland and South of Scotland Leagues, both of which contain some clubs that are not full members of the SFA and hence could not previously enter the Scottish Cup, were given a place in the draw.

Clubs from Scottish Junior football (all but one of whom are not members of the SFA as they belong to the Scottish Junior FA) were admitted for the first time in the 2007–08 competition. Up to four Junior clubs are allowed to enter, these being the winners of the previous season's North Premier League, West Premier League and East Superleague, and the winner of the Scottish Junior Cup if they have not also won one of the three regional league titles. [ [ Junior clubs enter Scottish Cup] ] The first three Junior clubs to qualify for the tournament were Culter, Pollok and Linlithgow Rose. During Season 2008–09, Junior sides Bathgate Thistle, Pollok, Banks o' Dee and Lochee United will compete in the tournament.

European qualification

As with all domestic cup competitions in UEFA countries, the winners of the Scottish Cup qualify for the following season's UEFA Cup (and previously the Cup Winners Cup). If the winners have already qualified for a higher-ranked tournament, usually by winning the League, the runners-up are generally awarded the place in Europe. This has been quite a regular occurrence in Scotland, with either Rangers or Celtic often winning 'The Double' (Aberdeen also achieved the feat in 1984).

In 2008, however, the SFA announced that in such a situation the place would in future be awarded to the highest-placed club in the SPL who had not otherwise qualified for Europe. This followed some disappointing performances by middle-ranking Scottish teams including Gretna, Dunfermline Athletic and Queen of the South whose respective exits at the first hurdle damaged the nation's coefficient (used to calculate the number of places allocated and the stage at which the teams enter the European tournaments). The rule change is scheduled to come into effect in season 2009/10 when the UEFA Cup will be rebranded as the UEFA Europa League. []


The cup holds the record for the biggest victory in World senior football, when on September 12 1885 Arbroath beat Bon Accord 36–0.cite web | coauthors = Will Springer | year = 2005 | url = | title = A day when Scottish football scorched the record books | format = HTML | work = Scotsman | publisher = | accessmonthday = 9 December | accessyear = 2005] cite web | coauthors = Fraser Clyne | year = 2003 | url = | title = The 36-0 team | format = HTML | work = Fraser Clyne]

The record attendance for a final is 147,365 in the 1937 final between Celtic and Aberdeen. The first final to be decided on penalties was in 1990 when Aberdeen beat Celtic 9–8 on penalties after a 0–0 draw.

The current holders are Rangers.

Previous winners

a.e.t = score after Extra time; pen. = decision by Penalty shootout; rep. = Replay, match replayed after a draw.

* 1900 Celtic 4-3 Queen's Park
* 1899 Celtic 2-0 Rangers
* 1898 Rangers 2-0 Kilmarnock
* 1897 Rangers 5-1 Dumbarton
* 1896 Heart of Midlothian 3-1 Hibernian
* 1895 St. Bernard's 2-1 Renton
* 1894 Rangers 3-1 Celtic
* 1893 Queen's Park 2-1 Celtic (Replay)
* 1892 Celtic 5-1 Queen's Park (Replay)
* 1891 Heart of Midlothian 1-0 Dumbarton
* 1890 Queen's Park 2-1 Vale of Leven
* 1889 Third Lanark 2-1 Celtic (Replay)
* 1888 Renton 6-1 Cambuslang
* 1887 Hibernian 2-1 Dumbarton
* 1886 Queen's Park 3-1 Renton
* 1885 Renton 3-1 Vale of Leven (Replay)
* 1884 Queen's Park awarded cup after Vale of Leven fail to appear at final
* 1883 Dumbarton 2-1 Vale of Leven (Replay)
* 1882 Queen's Park 4-1 Dumbarton (Replay)
* 1881 Queen's Park 3-1 Dumbarton (Replay)
* 1880 Queen's Park 3-0 Thornliebank
* 1879 Vale of Leven 1-1 Rangers (Vale of Leven awarded cup after Rangers failed to appear at the replay)
* 1878 Vale of Leven 1-0 Third Lanark
* 1877 Vale of Leven 3-2 Rangers (2nd Replay)
* 1876 Queen's Park 2-0 Third Lanark (Replay)
* 1875 Queen's Park 3-0 Renton
* 1874 Queen's Park 2-0 Clydesdale

Performance by club

Media coverage

Sky Sports and BBC Scotland currently hold the rights to broadcast live television coverage of Scottish Cup matches. Sky Sports generally broadcast one live match per round from the third round onwards. BBC Scotland broadcast two live matches prior to the Final and show highlights from the third round onwards, both live matches and highlights are shown on Sportscene. Both broadcasters show the final live.

Radio broadcasting rights are currently held by BBC Radio Scotland.

In Australia the Scottish Cup is broadcast by Setanta Sports Australia.


External links

* [ Tournament home page]
* [ Table of winners]

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