You Couldn't Make It Up!

by Jack Little

20 seasons before automatic promotion and relegation was introduced, meetings were held at the end of each season to vote on whether teams should be re-elected. It was often a messy business with geography, population levels and crowd-pulling potential often more important than league position. Thistle finished top of SFL Div 2 for season 1899/00, Morton finished second and Clyde finished bottom of Div 1. At the SFL meeting held on 16/5 Morton were voted up to Div 1 with 13 votes, Clyde got 8 and champions Thistle only 6. The next round of voting saw them draw 8-8 with Clyde. The chairman, Mr McFarlane of St Bernard's (who had already seen his team voted out of Div 1 having finished 2nd bottom), was expected to use his casting vote but opted instead for the drawing of lots. Thistle's name was drawn out first and they became the only SFL team ever to be "promoted" by the drawing of lots. Clyde, by default, became the only team to be "relegated" in this manner. In a critical piece about the SFL's end of season arrangements, the "Edinburgh Evening News" on 17/5 rather spoiled things by adding "It's a pity efforts were not made to tempt Aberdeen to come within the circle instead of the Partick Thistle".

Publishing date An original Thistle Archive publication, 07-Sep-2020.
Latest edit date Latest edit version 02-Jun-2020.

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