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Listening Report: Football in Scotland through Numbers

Champions LeagueScotland has been very much in the news recently so on this week’s listening report we look at football played ‘north of the border’ through numbers. You can listen to the report by clicking on the link above and can read the transcript of the report (below) where you will also find explanations of key vocabulary (in bold).


This was the year that the first ever organised football league in Scotland began. There were only 11 teams in this inaugural competition – the Scottish Football League – including Glasgow sides Celtic and Rangers as well as Hearts from Edinburgh. Rangers and Dumbarton shared this first title – the only time that this has ever happened in Scotland’s football history.


This is the number of times that Rangers have won the Scottish title: a world record. The team with the next best number of wins in Scotland is Celtic with ‘only’ 45 wins. Now, there have been 9 other title winners with north-east side Aberdeen and Hearts from the capital claiming four each.


This is the number of times that the two biggest clubs in Scottish football, Celtic and Rangers, have played each other. The Old Firm derby is one of the biggest games in world football though the two Glasgow giants have not faced each other since 2012 after Rangers were demoted to the third tier of Scottish football for financial irregularities. Rangers do have the most wins in this game, however, with 159 victories to Celtic’s 144.


This is the current capacity of the Scottish national stadium: Hampden Park in Glasgow. This is the home of the Scottish national team and domestic cup finals also take place here. The record attendance for the stadium is a remarkable 149,415 who crammed inside to watch Scotland take on England in 1937.


The number of professional clubs in Scotland. There have been many upheavals in the organisation of Scottish football but in 2013 the Scottish Premier League (that’s the former top tier) and the Scottish Football League merged to form the four division Scottish Professional Football League. There are currently twelve teams in the top division: The Scottish Premiership with three divisions of ten teams below them: The Scottish Championship, Scottish League One and Scottish League Two.


‘north of the border’: Scotland is situated to the north of England so often commentators will refer to Scotland in this way.

inaugural: The first time something is played

claiming: Winning (claiming the title)

Old Firm derby: The name given to the matches between Celtic and Rangers

were demoted to: Were relegated to; had to drop down a division

financial irregularities: They had problems with money

capacity: The number of people that can fill the stadium

crammed inside: Packed inside (there were so many people there)

upheavals: Major changes

top tier: The top division

merged: Combined or came together


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