Scottish Football Historical Archive

 

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Reserve leagues

The first  mention of a League Reserve Championship was in 1896 and featured the 2nd XIs of several Scottish league clubs plus Queen's Park Strollers.

 

By 1909 a new Scottish Reserve League was established, although one aspect of it was having at least one non-reserve side in each of its seasons. It was generally regarded as a strong league and when Dumbarton Harp left the Scottish Union for it in 1912, it was regarded as a step up for them.

 

Listed here are the major competitions which featured clubs' second elevens.

 

Central League

Dundee A                        

Falkirk A                           

Heart of Midlothian A 

 

Highland League                             

Aberdeen A                    

 

Scottish Alliance                             

Clyde A                             

Third Lanark A                

Heart of Midlothian A 

Rangers A                        

St Mirren A                     

 

Scottish Union                 

Falkirk A                           

Heart of Midlothian A 

Kilmarnock A                  

Queens Park Victoria XI               

Rangers A                        

St Mirren A                     

 

1897-98, 1912-1915

1912-13

1910-11

 

                               

1912-1915

 

                               

1896-97

1896-97

1905-06

1905-06

1905-06

 

                               

1907-1909

1906-07

1906-1909

1911-1915

1906-1908

1906-1909

Eastern League

Cowdenbeath A                           

Heart of Midlothian A 

Raith Rovers A                               

 

Midland League              

Falkirk A

 

Northern League                            

Aberdeen A                    

Dundee A                        

Dundee Hibernian A   

 

 

 

Scottish Combination   

Celtic A                             

Cowdenbeath A                           

Heart of Midlothian A 

Morton A                         

Queens Park Strollers  

Queens Park Victoria XI               

Rangers A                        

St Mirren A                     

 

1905-06

1904-1906

1909-1915

 

               

1908-09

 

                               

1904-1912, 1913-15

1900-1915

1910-1912, 1913-1915

 

 

 

               

1896-97

1906-07

1896-97, 1898-99

1903-1905

1896-1902, 1903-1909

1909-1911

1896-1899

1899-1904

 

 

Although the Scottish Reserve League disbanded in 1915, it was virtually re-established in 1919 as the Scottish Alliance. Like its immediate predecessor it also contained a small number of a number of non-League sides within its membership. However their involvement ended at the Alliances AGM in 1938. A motion by Hamilton Academical to remove the two remaining non-League sides Beith and Galston for financial reasons was approved by 15 votes to 5. The Alliance was then effectively reformed as the Scottish Reserve League, and was to be an exclusively First Division reserve body.

 

After World War Two, the Scottish Reserve League restarted, again it was a mirror of the sixteen club First, now renamed A, Division. Throughout its four year existence, the leagues membership changed to resemble the A Divisions so that although Rangers A finished bottom in 1947-48, they were saved by the fact that the 1st XI were runners-up in the Scottish League. This version of the league lasted for four seasons before it was merged with the C Division to create a two section third tier of the Scottish League.

 

The C Division was formally abolished at a SGM of the Scottish League on 19 June 1955 after a number of prominent clubs pulled their reserve sides out. They subsequently set up the Scottish (Reserve) League, the brackets distinguishing it from the 1938-1949 versions. Again it was to be a mirror of the First Division although there were a number of seasons when not all of those clubs took part.

 

The reorganization of the Scottish League into Premier-First-Second Divisions in 1975 saw a restructured reserve set-up. The Premier clubs were place into the Premier Reserve League, which mirrored the Premier Division membership, while the lower league clubs used varying set-ups such as East-West sections and midweek competitions. Because of the costs of running a reserve side, these latter competitions didnt feature every club, and saw a wide variation in their memberships. After the formation of the Scottish Premier League in 1998, an under 21 league, with some overage players, replaced the Premier Reserve League, but this lasted only until 2004 when it reverted to a wholly reserve competition. The Reserve League (East) was abandoned after 2004 simply because of a lack of entries and while the West section continued its size diminished until in 2006-07 there were only four clubs competing. In 2007, the Scottish League decided to scrap the Reserve League completely and to replace it with U21 and U19 leagues although it did return a few seasons later.

In 1977-78, 1981-82, 1984-85 & 2001-02 seasons, the West and East sections combined to form a single division.

This list gives those leagues that were predominantly made up of reserve sides, for those leagues that contained some reserve sides, refer to the Other Leagues page.

Central Reserve League 1975-76 Competition for Second Division clubs.

Combined Reserve League 1958-1976 Competition for Second Division clubs.

Dundee City League 1892-93 Open to the 2nd XIs of the main city clubs.

Glasgow and District Reserve League 1942-1945 War-time competiton that also included Kilmarnock's first XI in its final season.

North of Scotland 2nd XI League This became the North Caledonian League in 1984.

Scottish Alliance 1919-1938 Although this was mainly reserve content, it did have several non-league clubs as members. In 1926-27 it also contained most of the ex-Third Division clubs after that body's collapse the previous season.

Scottish Alliance 1956-57 For Second Division clubs.

Scottish Federation 1898-99 Formed to give regular matches for a few Scottish League reserves, also contained non-league clubs.

Scottish League C Division 1949-1955 Not a seperate league, this was an integral part of the SFL although the vast majority of its membership were reserves. Also includes the associated competitions, the League Cup and Supplementary League.

Reserve Scottish League 1895-96 Competition that would become the Scottish Combination in 1896.

Scottish Reserve League 1909-1915 Like the Scottish Alliance, this also had non-league clubs as members.

Scottish Reserve League 1938-1940 Formed after the Scottish Alliance was forced to disband after that body's reserve members wanted a wholly reserve league. The second season in 1939-40 was abandoned in September 1939 due to the Second World War.

Scottish Reserve League 1945-1949 This was an exact mirror of the Scottish League A Division. Also includes the Reserve League Cup.

Scottish (Reserve) League 1955-1975 With one or two exceptions, this league was a mirror of the First Division. Complete results and final tables, including the Reserve League Cup can be accessed via these links 1955-1960  1960-1965  1965-1970  1970-1975

Scottish Reserve League 1975-date Various set-ups were in use after the formation of the Premier Division. Also includes the Reserve League Cup.