Historic Scottish top flight points differentials

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Historic Scottish top flight points differentials

Post by Scottish » Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:31 pm

These figures are the bottom club's ratio of the top club's total. That is, for every point gained by the top club these represent the figure amassed by the bottom club. You can also read them as straightforward percentages by eliminating the zero and placing the decimal point before the last figure. First up, the points ratio under current format 2000-13.

2013 0.380
2012 0.269
2011 0.280
2010 0.356
2009 0.430
2008 0.258 (based on bottom club Gretna’s total BEFORE ten points deduction)
2007 0.381
2006 0.198
2005 0.359
2004 0.265
2003 0.289
2002 0.201
2001 0.301

With a twelve club division with all clubs meeting 4x4. I have used the figures as they would have been had three points for a win applied (up to and including 1993-94 it was two for a win). Otherwise comparisons with the past two decades would be unfair. For instance the 1993-94 figure of 0.463 would be 0.500 under two for a win.

1994 0.463
1993 0.330
1992 0.201
1988 0.184
1987 0.270

Next is for the years when the set-up was ten clubs playing each other four times each. Same as before. Years before 1994 have been converted into three points for a win. This can sometimes change placings. In 1952-53 for example this would have given Hibs 62 to champions Rangers 61. In these (rare) cases I have used the HIGHER of the two figures.

1998 0.401
1997 0.313
1996 0.276
1995 0.522
1991 0.304
1990 0.408
1989 0.244
1986 0.371
1985 0.198
1984 0.232
1983 0.250
1982 0.291
1981 0.293
1980 0.269
1979 0.312
1978 0.316
1977 0.263
1976 0.182

Then with eighteen top flight clubs meeting twice, again as per three for a win.

1975 0.272
1974 0.342
1973 0.241
1972 0.341
1971 0.296
1970 0.262
1969 0.273
1968 0.172
1967 0.122
1966 0.131
1965 0.134
1964 0.213
1963 0.134
1962 0.304
1961 0.365
1960 0.245
1959 0.334
1958 0.143
1957 0.321
1956 0.230
1919 0.214
1918 0.297
1913 0.234
1912 0.413
1911 0.253
1910 0.179
1909 0.135
1908 0.278
1907 0.356

Sixteen clubs

1955 0.110
1954 0.238
1953 0.452
1952 0.301
1951 0.357
1950 0.292
1949 0.167
1948 0.400
1947 0.194
1906 0.260

Twenty clubs

1939 0.381
1938 0.239
1937 0.195
1936 0.367
1935 0.413
1934 0.201
1933 0.273
1932 0.229
1931 0.322
1930 0.284
1929 0.340
1928 0.186
1927 0.367
1926 0.350
1925 0.471
1924 0.417
1923 0.372
1917 0.308
1916 0.323
1915 0.179
1914 0.316

22 clubs

1922 0.277
1921 0.225
1920 0.373

Fourteen clubs

1905 0.333
1904 0.270

Twelve clubs meeting twice

1903 0.208
1892 0.091

Eleven clubs

1901 0.269

Ten clubs meeting twice

1902 0.195
1900 0.128
1899 0.093
1898 0.125
1897 0.098
1896 0.267
1895 0.217
1894 0.116
1893 0.186
1891 0.214

These figures suggest the most competitive seasons in almost the past 90 years were in 1993-94 and 1994-95. In the former there were just four points between the top three clubs but under three points for a win it would have been eight. The bottom two were isolated but there was a dogfight to avoid the third relegation place. St Johnstone went down despite having accumulated the same number of points with exactly the same number of wins, draws and losses as the previous season (and a better goal difference than the previous year) when they were sixth. That shows how tight it was. Two points separated five clubs. It would have been three points under three for a win.

1994-95 looks like the most competitive ever but in reality Rangers won the title by fifteen points. The competitive state of the league comes after that with just thirteen points separating the next eight clubs. This was the first season of three points for a win.

Next closest to 1994-95 is 1924-25. Rangers won the title by three from Airdrie (the same under three for a win) and three clubs finished on the same number of points at the bottom. That figure of 30 was the highest ever for last place in a 38-game season and it was the second highest for second bottom. Nine clubs - from 11th to 20th - were separated by just three points. That rises to seven under three for a win but only five points between the bottom eight. Just about as competitive as you can get.

Looking at other 'close' seasons (those where the bottom club obtained 40% or more of the points gained by the top club) 2009 was due to the unusually high number of points gained by relegated Inverness CT, in 1998 Celtic's winning total was low and 1990 is a statistical anomaly as Rangers were clear at the top by seven (ten under three for a win) and Dundee last by six (eleven under three for a win).

In 1953 there was a title race on a par with 1891, 1905, 1965 & 1986, and with a low number of winning points too. 1948 was one of those years with comparatively low and high points at both ends of the table. The same too in 1912, 1924 & 1935.

Some seasons you might expect to be close turn out not to be, on account of how poorly the bottom club performed. In 1965 a close race at the top was won with a relatively small points total (50). But Third Lanark at the bottom had just seven points. The 1986 title was also won with 50 points but under two for a win there would have been an exact ratio of 0.400. Under three for a win, this drops as the top club gains fourteen points on the bottom (twenty wins as opposed to six). In other small winning totals as in 1979 & 1980 the bottom club had a woeful figure.

wellindarlo
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Re: Historic Scottish top flight points differentials

Post by wellindarlo » Fri Nov 01, 2013 3:37 pm

There is an interesting period between 1963 - 1968 where the ratio is consistently low but covers a period where Scottish league football was arguably it's most competitive.

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Re: Historic Scottish top flight points differentials

Post by Scottish » Fri Nov 01, 2013 7:05 pm

wellindarlo wrote:There is an interesting period between 1963 - 1968 where the ratio is consistently low but covers a period where Scottish league football was arguably it's most competitive.

Image
Highly impressed by the graphs (and in the other thread too) but the years after 1965 are only competitive in an intra-OF way. 1965 is the watershed year of Scottish football. Almost two decades during which Hibs, Hearts, Aberdeen, Dundee and Kilmarnock take eight of nineteen titles on offer come to an end. There isn't another non-OF title win for fifteen years until Aberdeen in 1980 which sparks off a mini-boom in competitiveness over the next five years which sees the Dons win three and Dundee United one. After which, nada, zilch, nothing.

The first two decades post-war also showed remarkable egalitarianism in the knockout trophies. For five successive years in the 1950s there was no Old Firm Scottish Cup winner and for three of those years not even a finalist. In the League Cup the first team to enjoy back to back victories was Dundee and the first to win it three times was East Fife. Indeed it is only in 1964-65 that Rangers become the leading club in terms of League Cup victories with five compared to Hearts four. Today they have 24 and Hearts still have four.

1963-1968 inclusive is also marked (as I have tried to indicate above) by the rank rottenness of the teams at the bottom with the last placed club gaining between only seven and twelve points and although this had happened several times before in the 1940s & 1950s they were still abnormally low. In fact on either side of these years during the eighteen club format there was only one season (1957-58) when the bottom club fell within this points range.

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Re: Historic Scottish top flight points differentials

Post by wellindarlo » Fri Nov 01, 2013 7:37 pm

scottish wrote:1963-1968 inclusive is also marked (as I have tried to indicate above) by the rank rottenness of the teams at the bottom with the last placed club gaining between only seven and twelve points and although this had happened several times before in the 1940s & 1950s they were still abnormally low. In fact on either side of these years during the eighteen club format there was only one season (1957-58) when the bottom club fell within this points range.
That would explain the low ratio, what happened from the turn of the decade into the 1970's and into early 1980's, the data there is less variable than most of the rest. Less teams in the league from 1976 perhaps?

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Re: Historic Scottish top flight points differentials

Post by Scottish » Sat Nov 02, 2013 1:09 pm

Fewer teams with the likelihood of even those stranded at the bottom having more points than previously. But also fewer points at the top - certainly until the OF started powering ahead of the rest. If you take Celtic as current champions as your base then six games which previously might have been against Arbroath, Dumbarton & East Fife became matches against Aberdeen, Dundee United & Rangers.

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