Saturday, September 1, 2012

Another reformed league, the Scottish one, failed to produce the positive change witnessed in Switzerland and Austria. It was old same, old same in misty Scotland – Celtic and Glasgow Rangers. There was heroic stunt, thanks to Dundee, but even that was mixed. Dundee, by now in Second Division – or Scottish Division 1, as it was named after the reform – finished third. It was not even missing promotional spot – Dundee were out of the race really, lagging 8 points behind second placed Clydebank. Dundee looked like favourites in the new 14-team division, but they were not. High scoring, yet, with leaky defense, promotion was not up to this squad. But they shined in the Scottish F.A. Cup, reaching ½ finals. Not bad, but hardly enough for their fans.

So-so season for Dundee.

Same for Heart of Midlothian – in the previous season they were in mid-table and F.A. Cup finalists. Cup tournaments were still up to them – they fought their way to ½ finals in both F.A. and League Cups, where they lost by the bigwigs, Celtic and Rangers. The championship was even bitterer pill to swallow: they finished second to last, at 9th place, and were relegated. Thus, Dundee was to have company in the next season. Kilmarnock, promoted in 1976, ended last and went back to second division.

The unfortunates were replaced by St. Miren and Clydebank. For Clydebank it was all the way up – they were promoted from 3rd Division in 1976 and one year later were going to the Premier league.

So much for relegation and promotion. The rest of business as usual n the mud and the rain. Aberdeen finished third, more or less expected from the nominally 'third' Scottish club. Lovely Hibernian was satisfied with mid-table position, slipping from third in 1976 to 6th in 1977.

If anything, at least their kit was pretty as ever. Unfortunately, kits don't win matches. Winning was not the forte of Hibernian this year – with only 8 wins, only the relegated clubs had less. But ties was the specialty of the Hibs – 18 out of total 36 season games. Half of the matches! Record of the league, but spelling nothing better than middle place in the final table.