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The Scottish Championship
The second tier of football in Scotland is known as the Scottish Championship and has run in this format since its inception in 2013. The Championship came about following the merger between the Scottish Premier League and the Scottish Football League created the Scottish Professional Football League of SPFL.
Despite its relatively short existence, bearing in mind there has been a second tier under different guises over the years, it has played host to some of the most exciting clashes in recent years. The four titles have been claimed by Scottish football heavyweights Dundee, Hearts, Hibernian and Rangers.
The inclusion of the two teams from the capital as well as the country’s most successful club Rangers in the last few years led many to compare the Scottish Championship with the English Championship which is widely regarded as one of, if not the most competitive second tiers in world football.
Scottish Championship Promotion & Relegation
Promotion and relegation form the Championship works in similar ways with the top and bottom teams being promoted and relegated respectively. The second, third and fourth placed teams are then involved in a play-off where third plays fourth. The winner of this tie then plays the second place team with the winner then going on to play the team that finished second bottom in the Scottish Premiership. The winner of this play off final either retains their Premier League Status or is promoted.
It is the same format for relegation from the Scottish Championship with the second bottom team facing the winner of the play-off from the Scottish 1st Division.
Despite being one of the newer leagues in world football there are already records being set that will be difficult to move including the biggest home victory. Hearts 10-0 win against Cowndenbeath in February of 2015 is the kind of record that will stick around for some time. The biggest away victory was recorded in January of 2016 when Rangers defeated Dumbarton 0-6.
Another record that is likely to stand for a considerable period of time will be the highest attendance which is held by Rangers at 50,349. With no other teams in Scottish football apart from Celtic having a stadium capacity this high it would take the relegation of either half of the Old Firm to beat it.
As of the start of April 2017, the leading Championship scorer in the history of the league is Jason Cummings with 52. However with some games remaining he could add to that tally. Hibs promotion means that he won’t be in the league next year and with second placed Derek Lyle of Queen of the South only 7 behind on 45 goals this record could be beaten as early as the 2017/18 season.