Promotion and Relegation Scenarios (1st-2nd May)

Premiership Title

The Premiership champions will enter the 2nd Qualifying Round of the Champions League.  Only Celtic and Aberdeen are still able to win the title.

Celtic will be champions if:

  • Celtic beat Dundee AND Aberdeen fail to beat Dundee Utd.

 

Europa League

The teams finishing in 2nd and 3rd in the Scottish Premiership will qualify for the Europa League, along with the Scottish Cup winners.  If Inverness beat Falkirk in the Scottish Cup final and have also qualify for Europe via the league, then the team finishing in 4th in the Scottish Premiership will also qualify for Europe.  Celtic and Aberdeen are already guaranteed a place in at least the Europa League.

It is currently possible that any of Inverness, Dundee Utd, St Johnstone or Dundee could finish in the remaining European place(s).

Dundee will be out of contention for 3rd place (and a guaranteed Europa League place) if any of the following occur:

  • Dundee fail to beat Celtic.
  • Inverness beat St Johnstone.

Dundee will be out of contention for 4th place (and a chance of a Europa League place) if any of the following occur:

  • Dundee lose to Celtic AND St Johnstone beat Inverness.
  • Dundee draw with Celtic AND St Johnstone beat Inverness AND Aberdeen beat Dundee Utd.

 

Premiership Relegation Play-off

The team finishing 11th in the Premiership will enter the relegation play-offs.  It is still possible for Partick Thistle, Kilmarnock, Ross County, Motherwell or St Mirren to finish in this spot.

Partick Thistle will be safe from relegation if any of the following occur:

  • Partick Thistle beat St Mirren.
  • Motherwell lose to Ross County.
  • Partick Thistle draw with St Mirren AND Motherwell draw with Ross County.

Kilmarnock will be safe from relegation if:

  • Kilmarnock beat Hamilton AND Motherwell lose to Ross County.

 

Premiership Automatic Relegation

The team finishing 12th in the Premiership will be relegated to the Championship automatically.  Only St Mirren or Motherwell can still finish in this spot.

St Mirren will be relegated if:

  • Motherwell beat Ross County AND St Mirren lose to Partick Thistle.

 

Championship Title

Heart of Midlothian have already been crowned as champions and will play in next season’s Premiership.

 

Championship Promotion Play-offs

The teams finishing 2nd, 3rd and 4th will enter the promotion play-offs along with the side finishing 11th in the Premiership.  The format is as follows:

Quarter-Final: 3rd v 4th
Semi-Final: 2nd v QF Winner
Final: 11th v SF Winner

All ties are played over 2 legs, and the winners will play in next season’s Premiership.  It is advantageous to finish as high as possible within the play-off positions.  The side finishing in 2nd gets a bye to the semi-final, while the side finishing in 3rd gets home advantage in the second leg of the quarter-final.

Hibernian, Rangers and Queen of the South have all qualified for the play-offs.  Hibernian and Rangers will battle it out for 2nd place, while Queen of the South will finish 4th.

Hibernian are currently a point ahead of Rangers.  Note that the tie-breakers for teams level on points are: goal difference then goals scored then head-to-head record.  Hibernian have the head-to-head advantage over Rangers.

Hibernian will finish 2nd (and gain a bye to the semi-final) if any of the following occur:

  • Hibernian beat Falkirk.
  • Rangers lose to Heart of Midlothian.
  • Hibernian draw with Falkirk AND Rangers draw with Heart of Midlothian.
  • Hibernian lose to Falkirk by a margin of 4 goals or fewer AND Rangers draw with Heart of Midlothian.
  • Hibernian lose to Falkirk by a margin of 5 goals AND Rangers draw with Heart of Midlothian AND Hibernian score at least the same number of goals as Rangers.

Rangers will finish 2nd (and gain a bye to the semi-final) if any of the following occur:

  • Rangers beat Heart of Midlothian AND Hibernian fail to beat Falkirk.
  • Rangers draw with Heart of Midlothian AND Hibernian lose to Falkirk by a margin of 6 goals or more.
  • Rangers draw with Heart of Midlothian AND Hibernian lose to Falkirk by a margin of 5 goals AND Rangers score more goals than Hibernian.

 

Championship Relegation

The team finishing 9th in the Championship will enter the relegation play-offs.  The team finishing 10th in the Championship will be relegated to League 1 automatically.  Alloa Athletic, Livingston or Cowdenbeath could still finish in either of bottom two positions.  Alloa are currently bottom, but only trail 9th placed Livingston on goal difference.  Cowdenbeath are a point ahead of both sides.  Alloa host Cowdenbeath this weekend, while Livingston host Queen of the South.

The chart below shows the final positions of each of the three sides under each possible combination of results (click to enlarge if it’s not clear).

 

Championship
*Note that in these cases it would theoretically be possible for Alloa to finish above Livingston, but that would require them to overhaul Livingston’s substantial goal difference advantage.  Alloa would require a 13 goal swing to stay up on goal difference, and a 12 goal swing plus Alloa scoring 10 more goals than Livi to stay up on goals scored.

 

League 1 Title

The League 1 champions will be promoted to the Championship.

Greenock Morton currently top the table from Forfar Athletic on goal difference by a margin of 3 goals.  Stranraer are two points further behind.  All three clubs could still win the league, and we could even have a title play-off.

Note that the tie-breakers for teams level on points are: goal difference then goals scored then head-to-head record.  Morton have the head-to-head advantage over Stranraer, while Stranraer have the head-to-head advantage over Forfar.  However, Morton and Forfar are tied on head-to-head (P4 W2 D0 L2 F6 A6), so in the event that those sides were completely level, the title would be decided by a play-off on a neutral ground.

The following is a very complex outline of the scenarios required for each team to win the league – it is overly detailed in order to cover every possibility.  Note that scenarios which are incredibly unlikely but theoretically possible are in italics.

A basic summary is that Morton will win the league with a win unless Forfar also win and overhaul them on goal difference or goals scored.  If Forfar win and Morton don’t, then Forfar will be champions.  Stranraer can only win the league if they win and Morton and Forfar both fail to win (and if either Morton or Forfar draw then Stranraer will have to overhaul them on goal difference or goals scored too).  There will be a play-off for the title if Morton win 1-0 and Forfar win 5-1, (likewise 2-0 and 6-1, 2-1 and 6-2 etc).

Greenock Morton will be champions if any of the following occur:

  • Morton beat Peterhead AND Forfar fail to beat Ayr Utd
  • Morton beat Peterhead AND Forfar beat Ayr Utd by a margin no more than 2 goals better than Morton’s winning margin.
  • Morton beat Peterhead AND Forfar beat Ayr Utd by a margin 3 goals better than Morton’s winning margin AND Forfar score no more than 3 goals more than Morton.
  • Morton draw with Peterhead AND Forfar fail to beat Ayr Utd AND Stranraer fail to beat Brechin City.
  • Morton draw with Peterhead AND Forfar fail to beat Ayr Utd AND Stranraer beat Brechin City by a margin of 3 goals or fewer.
  • Morton draw with Peterhead AND Forfar fail to beat Ayr Utd AND Stranraer beat Brechin City by a margin of 4 goals AND Stranraer score no more than 6 goals more than Morton.
  • Morton lose to Peterhead AND Forfar lose to Ayr Utd by a margin no more than 2 goals better than Morton’s losing margin AND Stranraer fail to beat Brechin City
  • Morton lose to Peterhead AND Forfar lose to Ayr Utd by a margin 3 goals better than Morton’s losing margin AND Forfar score no more than 3 goals more than Morton AND Stranraer fail to beat Brechin City.

Forfar Athletic will be champions if any of the following occur:

  • Forfar beat Ayr Utd AND Morton fail to beat Peterhead.
  • Forfar beat Ayr Utd AND Morton beat Peterhead by a margin 4 or more goals worse than Forfar’s winning margin.
  • Forfar beat Ayr Utd AND Morton beat Peterhead by a margin 3 goals worse than Forfar’s winning margin AND Forfar score 5 or more goals more than Morton.
  • Forfar draw with Ayr Utd AND Morton lose to Peterhead AND Stranraer fail to beat Brechin City.
  • Forfar draw with Ayr Utd AND Morton lose to Peterhead AND Stranraer beat Brechin City by a margin of 1 goal AND Stranraer score no more than 1 goal more than Forfar.
  • Forfar lose to Ayr Utd AND Morton lose to Peterhead by a margin 4 or more goals worse than Forfar’s losing margin AND Stranraer fail to beat Brechin City.
  • Forfar lose to Ayr Utd AND Morton lose to Peterhead by a margin 3 goals worse than Forfar’s losing margin AND Forfar score 5 or more goals more than Morton.

Stranraer will be champions if any of the following occur:

  • Stranraer beat Brechin City AND Morton lose to Peterhead AND Forfar lose to Ayr Utd.
  • Stranraer beat Brechin City by a margin of 1 goal AND Morton lose to Peterhead AND Forfar draw with Ayr Utd AND Stranraer score 2 or more goals more than Forfar.
  • Stranraer beat Brechin City by a margin of 2 or more goals AND Morton lose to Peterhead AND Forfar draw with Ayr Utd.
  • Stranraer beat Brechin City by a margin of 4 goals AND Morton draw with Peterhead AND Forfar fail to beat Ayr Utd AND Stranraer score 7 or more goals more than Morton.
  • Stranraer beat Brechin City by a margin of 5 or more goals AND Morton draw with Peterhead AND Forfar fail to beat Ayr Utd.

There will be a play-off for the title if any of the following occur:

  • Morton beat Peterhead AND Forfar beat Ayr Utd by a margin 3 goals better than Morton’s winning margin AND Forfar score 4 more goals than Morton.
  • Morton lose to Peterhead AND Forfar lose to Ayr Utd by a margin 3 goals better than Morton’s winning margin AND Forfar score 4 more goals than Morton AND Stranraer fail to beat Brechin City.

 

League 1 Promotion Play-offs

The teams finishing 2nd, 3rd and 4th will enter the promotion play-offs along with the side finishing 9th in the Championship.  Whichever two of Greenock Morton, Forfar Athletic and Stranraer do not win the league will take part in the play-offs, along with Brechin City.

 

League 1 Relegation Play-offs

The team finishing 9th in League 1 will enter the relegation play-offs.  Ayr United are currently 2 points ahead of Stenhousemuir.  Note that the tie-breakers for teams level on points are: goal difference then goals scored then head-to-head record.  Stenhousemuir have the head-to-head advantage over Ayr Utd.

Ayr United will be safe from relegation if any of the following occur:

  • Ayr Utd beat Forfar Athletic.
  • Stenhousemuir fail to beat Stirling Albion.
  • Ayr Utd draw with Forfar Athletic AND Stenhousemuir beat Stirling Albion by a margin of 2 goals or fewer.
  • Ayr Utd draw with Forfar Athletic AND Stenhousemuir beat Stirling Albion by a margin of 3 goals AND Stenhousemuir score no more than 1 goal more than Ayr Utd.

Stenhousemuir will be safe from relegation if any of the following occur:

  • Stenhousemuir beat Stirling Albion AND Ayr Utd lose to Forfar Athletic.
  • Stenhousemuir beat Stirling Albion by a margin of 3 goals AND Ayr Utd draw with Forfar Athletic AND Stenhousemuir score at least 2 goals more than Ayr Utd.
  • Stenhousemuir beat Stirling Albion by a margin of 4 or more goals AND Ayr Utd draw with Forfar Athletic.

 

League 1 Automatic Relegation

Stirling Albion are already certain to finish bottom of League 1, and will be relegated to League 2.

 

League 2 Title

Albion Rovers have already been crowned as champions and will play in next season’s League 1.

 

League 2 Promotion Play-offs

The teams finishing 2nd, 3rd and 4th will enter the promotion play-offs along with the side finishing 9th in League 1.  Queen’s Park and Arbroath are guaranteed a play-off place.

The final play-off place could still be taken by East Fife or Annan Athletic.  East Fife are 3 points ahead of Annan.  Note that the tie-breakers for teams level on points are: goal difference then goals scored then head-to-head record.  Annan Athletic have the head-to-head advantage over East Fife.

The outline below is overly detailed to include every possibility, but a basic summary is that Annan can only reach the play-offs if they win, East Fife lose, and Annan achieve a 7 goal swing over East Fife (eg Annan win 5-0 and East Fife lose 2-0).

East Fife will qualify for the play-offs if any of the following occur:

  • East Fife avoid defeat against Elgin City.
  • Annan Athletic do not beat Montrose.
  • East Fife lose to Elgin AND Annan beat Montrose AND there is a swing of no more than 6 goals across the two matches.
  • East Fife lose to Elgin AND Annan beat Montrose AND there is a 7 goal swing across the two matches AND Annan do not score more goals than East Fife.

Annan Athletic will qualify for the play-offs if any of the following occur:

  • Annan beat Montrose AND East Fife lose to Elgin AND there is an 8 goal swing across the two matches.
  • Annan beat Montrose AND East Fife lose to Elgin AND there is a 7 goal swing across the two matches AND Annan score more goals than East Fife.

 

 

League 2 Relegation Play-off

Montrose are already guaranteed to finish bottom of League 2 and will take part in a relegation play-off against the winners of the Pyramid Play-off between Brora Rangers and Edinburgh City.  If Montrose lose that play-off, they will be relegated to the Highland League.

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About SPLstats
Providing statistics and trivia about Scottish football. Main focus is the SPL, but all Scottish football will be covered. Not affiliated to the SPL.

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