Scottish Championship

The Scottish Championship, known as the cinch Championship for sponsorship reasons,[1] is the second tier of the Scottish Professional Football League, the league competition for men's professional football clubs in Scotland. The Scottish Championship was established in July 2013, after the Scottish Professional Football League was formed by a merger of the Scottish Premier League and Scottish Football League.[2]

Scottish Championship
Founded2013 (2013)
Number of teams10
Level on pyramid2
Promotion toScottish Premiership
Relegation toScottish League One
Domestic cup(s)Scottish Cup
League cup(s)Scottish League Cup
Scottish Challenge Cup
Current championsKilmarnock (1st title)[note 1]
Most championshipsHeart of Midlothian (2 titles)[note 1]
TV partnersBBC Scotland
Current: 2022–23 Scottish Championship


Teams receive three points for a win and one point for a draw. No points are awarded for a loss. Teams are ranked by total points, then goal difference, and then goals scored. At the end of each season, the club with the most points is crowned league champion. If points are equal, the goal difference determines the winner. If this still does not result in a winner, the tied teams must take part in a playoff game at a neutral venue to determine the final placings.[3]

Promotion and relegation

The champions are directly promoted to the Scottish Premiership, swapping places with the bottom club of the Premiership.[3] The clubs finishing 2nd, 3rd and 4th then enter the two-legged Premiership play-off. The 3rd-placed club plays the 4th-placed club, with the winner then playing the 2nd-placed club. The winner of that game then plays against the 11th-placed Premiership club. If the Championship play-off winner prevails, the club is promoted and the Premiership club is relegated; otherwise, the Premiership club remains in its league while the Championship club is not promoted.[3]

For promotion and relegation, the Championship play-off system closely mirrors its Premiership counterpart—the bottom-ranked club in the Championship is automatically relegated while the 9th-placed club undergoes a play-off with the 2nd, 3rd and 4th placed clubs from League One. [3]


Listed below are all the teams competing in the 2022–23 Scottish Championship season, with details of the first season they entered the second tier; the first season of their current spell in the second tier; and the last time they won the second tier.

Team Position in 2021–22 First season in
second tier
First season of current
spell in second tier
Last second tier title
Arbroath 2nd, Scottish Championship 1921–22 2019–20
Ayr United 8th, Scottish Championship 1910–11 2018–19 1965–66
Cove Rangers 1st, Scottish League One (promoted) 2022–23 2022–23
Dundee 12th, Scottish Premiership (relegated) 1938–39 2022–23 2013–14
Greenock Morton 7th, Scottish Championship 1893–94 2015–16 1986–87
Hamilton Academical 6th, Scottish Championship 1897–98 2021–22 2007–08
Inverness Caledonian Thistle 3rd, Scottish Championship 1999–00 2017–18 2009–10
Partick Thistle 4th, Scottish Championship 1893–94 2021–22 2012–13
Queen's Park 4th, Scottish League One (promoted) 1922–23 2022–23 1955–56
Raith Rovers 5th, Scottish Championship 1902–03 2020–21 1994–95


Arbroath Ayr United Cove Rangers Dundee Greenock Morton
Gayfield Park Somerset Park Balmoral Stadium Dens Park Cappielow Park
Capacity: 6,600[4] Capacity: 10,185[5] Capacity: 2,602[6] Capacity: 11,775[7] Capacity: 11,589[8]
Hamilton Academical Inverness Caledonian Thistle Partick Thistle Queen's Park Raith Rovers
New Douglas Park Caledonian Stadium Firhill Stadium Ochilview Park[9] Stark's Park
Capacity: 6,018[10] Capacity: 7,512[11] Capacity: 10,102[12] Capacity: 3,746[13] Capacity: 8,867[14]



Season Winner Runner-up Top scorer
Player Goals
2013–14 Dundee Hamilton Academical Rory Loy (Falkirk) 20
2014–15 Heart of Midlothian Hibernian Jason Cummings (Hibernian) 18
2015–16 Rangers Falkirk Martyn Waghorn (Rangers) 20
2016–17 Hibernian Falkirk Jason Cummings (Hibernian)
Stephen Dobbie (Queen of the South)
2017–18 St Mirren Livingston Stephen Dobbie (Queen of the South) 18
2018–19 Ross County Dundee United Lawrence Shankland (Ayr United) 24
2019–20[lower-alpha 1] Dundee United Inverness Caledonian Thistle Lawrence Shankland (Dundee United) 24
2020–21 Heart of Midlothian Dundee Liam Boyce (Heart of Midlothian) 14
2021–22 Kilmarnock Arbroath Michael McKenna (Arbroath) 15

Records and awards

Biggest home win
Heart of Midlothian 10–0 Cowdenbeath, 28 February 2015[16]
Biggest away win
Dumbarton 0–6 Rangers, 2 January 2016;[17]
Most points in a season
91; Heart of Midlothian, 2014–15
Fewest points in a season
4; Brechin City, 2017–18[18]
Fewest goals scored in a season
20; Brechin City, 2017–18
Most goals scored in a season
96; Heart of Midlothian, 2014–15
Most goals conceded in a season
90; Brechin City, 2017–18
Fewest goals conceded in a season
25; Hibernian, 2016–17[note 2]
Highest attendance
50,349; Rangers 1–1 Alloa Athletic, 23 April 2016
Lowest attendance
318; Cowdenbeath 3–0 Greenock Morton, 25 March 2014

Top goalscorers

As of 23 June 2022[19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27]
Rank Player Club(s)[note 3] Goals
1Stephen DobbieQueen of the South (2016–2021)69
2Jason CummingsHibernian (2014–2017)
Dundee (2020–2021)
3Lawrence ShanklandSt Mirren (2015–2017)
Greenock Morton (2017)
Ayr United (2018–2019)
Dundee United (2019–2020)
4Nicky ClarkRangers (2014–2016)
Dunfermline Athletic (2016–2018)
Dundee United (2018–2020)
5Derek LyleQueen of the South (2013–2018)51

Italics denotes players still playing professional football,
Bold denotes players still playing in the Scottish Chamionpship.


  1. The Scottish Championship has only existed since 2013. For a complete record of clubs that have won the Scottish second tier, see List of winners of the Scottish Championship and predecessors.
  2. Dundee United conceded 22 goals in the curtailed 2019–20 season (28 games), and Heart of Midlothian conceded 24 goals in the shortened 202021 season (27 games).
  3. Clubs only include those where players scored goals in the Scottish Championship.
  1. The 2019–20 Scottish Championship was suspended in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Scotland. The season was subsequently curtailed on 15 April 2020 and a points per game average was used to calculate a final table.[15]


  1. "CINCH ANNOUNCED AS SPFL TITLE SPONSOR". 10 June 2021. Retrieved 10 June 2021.
  2. "SPFL: New Scottish league brands unveiled". BBC Sport. 24 July 2013. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
  3. "The Rules and Regulations of the Scottish Professional Football League" (PDF). Scottish Professional Football League. 12 January 2022. Retrieved 2 February 2022.
  4. "Arbroath Football Club". Scottish Professional Football League. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  5. "Ayr United Football Club". Scottish Professional Football League. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  6. "Cove Rangers Football Club". Scottish Professional Football League. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  7. "Dundee Football Club". Scottish Professional Football League. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
  8. "Morton Football Club". Scottish Professional Football League. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  9. "Lesser Hampden Update". Queen's Park FC. 25 May 2022. Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  10. "Hamilton Academical Football Club". Scottish Professional Football League. Retrieved 26 May 2021.
  11. "Inverness Caledonian Thistle Football Club". Scottish Professional Football League. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  12. "Partick Thistle Football Club". Scottish Professional Football League. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  13. "Queen's Park Football Club". Scottish Professional Football League. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
  14. "Raith Rovers Football Club". Scottish Professional Football League. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
  15. "Dundee Utd, Raith & Cove win titles & reconstruction talks start after Dundee vote". BBC Sport. BBC. 15 April 2020. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  16. "Heart of Midlothian F.C. 10–0 Cowdenbeath". BBC Sport. 28 February 2015. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  17. "Dumbarton 0–6 Rangers". BBC Sport. 2 January 2016. Retrieved 4 July 2015.
  18. Sutherland, Jonathan (28 April 2018). "Brechin City: Scottish Championship side go entire league season without victory". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  19. "Scottish Championship Statistics 2013–14". Soccerbase. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  20. "Scottish Championship Statistics 2014–15". Soccerbase. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  21. "Scottish Championship Statistics 2015–16". Soccerbase. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  22. "Scottish Championship Statistics 2016–17". Soccerbase. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  23. "Scottish Championship Statistics 2017–18". Soccerbase. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  24. "Scottish Championship Statistics 2018–19". Soccerbase. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  25. "Scottish Championship Statistics 2019–20". Soccerbase. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  26. "Scottish Championship Statistics 2020–21". Soccerbase. Retrieved 30 May 2021.
  27. "Scottish Championship Statistics 2021–22". Soccerbase. Retrieved 11 December 2021.
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