Old League Cup criteria

Scottish Football Answers to Questions

Old League Cup criteria

Postby Partick Thistle » Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:30 pm

For a number of years from the 1950s to 1970s, the winner of the "outsider" 9th section of the League Cup groups played in a supplementary round with one of the 8 "primary" group winners. I've noticed two things; none of the big guns were ever involved in this supplementary round, suggesting some sort of seeding was involved, and it wasn't decided on pts, goal average or goal difference. How then, was the "primary" supplementary round participant decided upon?
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Re: Old League Cup criteria

Postby Gordon Baird » Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:20 pm

The only mention I've come across is in "The First 100 Years" by Bob Crampsey, who wrote that from 1955 (when the league increased to 37 clubs) the winner of section nine had to play a decider against one of the other Second Division clubs.

It looks like sections 1-4 were the domain of the top sixteen First Division clubs from the season before. Both the relegated and promoted pairs were included amongst the Second Division clubs, but only in sections 5-8 as section 9 seems to have been reserved for the bottom five of the previous season.

In 1963/64 the winner of section 9, Berwick Rangers, did play a First Division club in the decider as St. Johnstone had won the Second Division title the season before.
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Re: Old League Cup criteria

Postby Gordon Baird » Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:31 pm

Sorry, forgot to add the following.
It looks like the winners of sections 5-8 were entered into a draw to see who would play the winners of section nine. In 1955 & 1956 the section winner with the lowest points did indeed play the section nine winners but not the following year - Montrose played Hamilton (10 points) and not Brechin (7 points).
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Re: Old League Cup criteria

Postby Partick Thistle » Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:46 pm

Thanks Gordon.

A wee bit mair 'meat on the bone' as Tam Cowan would say...

The Southern League Cup of 1945-46 was first to introduce the counter-intuitive form of seeding, with Scotland's Top 16 in the top half of the draw being pitted against each other, and the bottom half similarly competing among themselves. The League Cup adopted the idea in the following season and largely stuck with it all the way through to the 1980s, excepting 3 experimental seasons (1972-73, 1973-74 and 1982-83) when a more conventional form of group seeding took place. In all that time, the 'top half' were exempt from any supplementary play-off rounds; any such play-offs were limited to the 'bottom half' when 5 group winners had to be turned into 4.
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Re: Old League Cup criteria

Postby HibeeJibee » Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:38 pm

There was a good article in Scottish Football Historian (quite early in the run I think) all about the technical details of the League Cup down the years - including seeding and format, the adding and removing of 2nd legs in ties, and all that sort of stuff. From the mid-1950s to mid-1970s did Group E always feature the promoted + relegated clubs? It was something like that, anyway.

It was a format which made it 'easier' for small clubs to achieve what now seems improbable i.e. reaching Semi-Finals and Finals, as for a long spell there was no seeding in the knockout rounds. So you could qualify by winning a B Division section - which I suppose may by chance have included lower end sides - and draw another B division section winner in QFs, meaning someone would reach SFs without ever having been able to face a club from the top division... Berwick made SFs in 1963-64 after topping Section 9 for "worst 5 clubs", beating St Johnstone of Section 7 in playoff, then beating Stirling of Section 5 in QF.


EDIT: On a separate note, having seen mention of the Southern League Cup: was its first season in 1940-41 done by placing the teams in sections as opposed to drawing? I noticed some time ago that all clubs seemed to be paired up... Section A had Celtic + Partick (Glasgow) and Motherwell + Airdrie (Lanarkshire); Section B had St Mirren + Morton (Renfrewshire) and Hamilton + Airdrie (Lanarkshire); Section C had Rangers + Third Lanark (Glasgow) and Falkirk + Dumbarton (Stirlingshire); Section D had Hearts + Hibs (Edinburgh) and Clyde + Queen's Park (Glasgow). It might just be chance but it seems very exact. Possibly they were paired-up and those pairs drawn into sections?
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Re: Old League Cup criteria

Postby bluedragon » Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:24 pm

Here is an extract from the contents of the Scottish Football Historian. It looks as if Issue 27 is the one you recall.

SCOTTISH LEAGUE CUP - final highlights 13p21, 14p20 ; variations (structure) of competition 27p24 ; (see also Scottish Southern League Cup, Skol Cup) ; when did it start ? 94p21, 96p16 ; perfect records 104p18 ; origins of 117p14

There are also a couple of articles on the Southern League Cup.

SCOTTISH SOUTHERN LEAGUE CUP - 1940-41 15p24 ; 1945-46 31p3-6
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Re: Old League Cup criteria

Postby BMCCOLL » Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:48 pm

From memory Tom Cockburn wrote this as well as the Scottish Cup Variations articles. He also did excellent pieces on the 'Alphabet' divisions and Reserve league football.

I was just thinking about the SFH the other day and it's incredible that it has been going since 1982. I got my first copy of it in 1984 after I wrote to the AFS regarding some of their booklets and they put me in touch with John Litster. All done by letter with prompt responses. Nowadays you can't get the AFS to reply to an email!
http://scottish-football-historical-archive.co.nf
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