Celtic lifting the Scottish Premiership
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Why The Scottish Premiership Is One Of The Most Exciting Leagues In Europe

Yes, it’s obvious that the Scottish Premiership has nowhere near the same gulf of quality that exists in the EFL. However, the general standard is a lot higher than most think and it is getting better over time.

Teams that are consistently near the top of the table—Heart of Midlothian, Hibernian, and Aberdeen, for example—can all show and play a good standard of football. They also tend to get a large number of supporters home and away to watch their team play.

It’s also clear to see the amount of talent that comes through the ranks at these Scottish teams. The likes of John McGinn, a youngster at St Mirren and later a Hibernian player, is set to play Champions League football with Aston Villa next season.

There are also many other players, of course. The likes of Andy Robertson, who was a youth at Scottish Championship side Queens Park and has now gone on to be one of Liverpool’s best ever left-backs. Even Lewis Ferguson, who came through at Hamilton Academical and later Aberdeen, is now getting prepared for a ride in the Champions League with Bologna.

The fact is, a lot of good players have come out of Scotland to have major impacts down south or by going abroad. There is reason to believe, as many do, that there should be many more eyes on the Scottish Premiership and Scottish football in general. Here are a few reasons why.

Fixture Lure of the Scottish Premiership

The Old Firm

The Old Firm Derby is described as one of the most fierce rivalries in world football. An entire city split. The only question that matters in Glasgow is: Celtic or Rangers? It is one of the most covered rivalries in the history of football, and dates back to the late 19th century.

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The encounters have shaped history, passion, and the general culture within the city of Glasgow. The rivalry began on May 28, 1888, when the two sides faced off against each other in a friendly match. And since then, it has become one of the most historical contests between two teams in the world of football.

It is a rivalry that unfortunately runs deeper than football, with supporters of both clubs having different religious beliefs. Celtic are seen as a club associated with a Catholic culture and intertwined with Irish nationalism, while Rangers are historically seen as a club associated with Protestant beliefs and unionism.

This adds further fire to the fixture, along with having the bragging rights of the city. The Old Firm Derby has thrown up many memorable moments over a large number of fixtures being played between the two clubs, from last-minute winners to stunning goals scored. Many memories have been provided for both sets of supporters. A game that has remained in the heads of many supporters is the famous ‘Shame Game’ that took place in 1999. Rangers won 3-0, but there were numerous red cards and fights on the field, which highlighted the animosity between the two clubs.

The Old Firm
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – MAY 25: Todd Cantwell of Rangers is challenged by Greg Taylor of Celtic during the Scottish Cup Final between Rangers and Celtic at Hampden Park on May 25, 2024 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

In recent years, the Old Firm has remained the pinnacle of the fixtures on the calendar of the SPFL. With it being a popular game watched abroad, there is no doubt that it has grown into a massive game globally. Both sides have dominated the Scottish game over recent years and it seems impossible that one of the sides would lose out on the league title. It is a title race that is a two-horse race through the entire season.

The Old Firm Derby encapsulates what a football rivalry is in not only Scotland but from all over the world. There is no doubt it is one of the most compelling spectacles in football and it brings a good look to the Scottish game in general.

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The Edinburgh Derby

The Edinburgh Derby is a fiercely contested football match between the two major clubs in Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh: Heart of Midlothian (Hearts) and Hibernian (Hibs). This rivalry is one of the oldest and most intense in Scottish football, with the first recorded match dating back to Christmas Day in 1875. Hearts, founded in 1874, and Hibs, established in 1875, have long represented different aspects of Edinburgh’s community.

Hearts, traditionally associated with the city’s western and northern areas, have a broad base of supporters across the city. Hibs, rooted in the Leith district, originally represented the Irish immigrant community but have since grown to have a wide and diverse following. The derby is more than just a game; it’s a cultural event that encapsulates the passion and pride of Edinburgh’s football fans.

High-intensity play, energy, and a noticeable sense of community pride characterise these matches. The atmosphere in the stands is electric, with fans of both sides creating a cacophony of chants and songs, each aiming to outdo the other. Over the years, both clubs have enjoyed periods of dominance. Hearts have historically had the upper hand in terms of league success and head-to-head victories, while Hibs have had their share of memorable triumphs, including significant cup victories.

Each match brings a fresh chapter to this storied rivalry, with local bragging rights and historical pride at stake. The Edinburgh Derby is not just about football; it’s a celebration of community, history, and the enduring spirit of competition. Whether played at Hearts Tynecastle Park or Hibs Easter Road, the derby remains one of the most anticipated fixtures in Scottish football, showcasing the unique flavour and tradition of Edinburgh’s sporting culture.

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More Accessible To Watch

The SPFL has announced a new deal with Premier Sports to show a batch of 20 Scottish Premiership matches this forthcoming season, starting in the summer. This news intertwines with the extension of the contract with Sky Sports, which can provide footage for up to 60 live Premiership matches in the next two seasons. The new agreement with Premier Sports will air significant games that Sky misses.

The Dundee Derby is an example of this, which is great for all parties, as fans will be able to see more of their teams if they cannot attend the stadium by paying a monthly fee instead of paying a large pay-per-view price. The new premier sports deal has brought joy to fans as they feel Sky Sports is biassed towards the old firm and nine times out of ten, the match being featured includes one of the teams.

Competitive Balance

The general perception of the Scottish Premiership is that Celtic and Rangers completely control it. It isn’t a bold statement to agree with and many would say the Old Firm clubs predominate the league. It is almost a given that the Old Firm teams already hold the top two spots in the league, especially these days.

But what most don’t see is the competitiveness between the other clubs in the league, battling out for potential European football or fighting to stay away from the relegation zone. It can be seen as an ‘anyone can beat anyone’ mentality in the league, which makes it so exciting to watch.

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