Scottish FA Cup Betting

The Scottish Football Association (FA) Cup is arguably the oldest national football trophy in the world. There may have been football trophy competitions played prior to 1873, but they were contested under different football codes, such as Sheffield Rules, and cannot be placed within the context of the Association game.

The FA Cup competition itself dates back to 1871. In the tournament’s early years, most of the participating clubs were from the London metropolitan area, where football was better funded, making long distance travel possible. Glasgow’s Queen’s Park was one of the few Scottish competitors, defeating Clydesdale in 1874 by a score of 2-0 at first final played at Hampden Park, the home of Scottish football.

In the 1880s, Scottish clubs began applying greater numbers, so that by 1895 a qualifying tournament was required to cope with demand. As a result, the success of the Scottish FA Cup has spanned 135 years, surviving the disruptions caused by the First and Second World Wars, to emerge as one of the world’s truly great football competitions.

The venue for the finals is still Hampton Park, although the present grounds were not constructed until 1903. The current FA trophy was introduced in 1911, as the original Challenge Cup was stolen in 1895 and never recovered.

The finals matches have grown into a huge attraction over the years, from just 2,500 in 1874 to well over 50,000 today. In fact, there were over 70,000 fans on hand in 1909, and in 1937 a crowd of 147,365 witnessed the FA Cup final, setting a new world mark for attendance that remains the European record for a national cup final to this day.

In recent years, sponsorship has become an important part of the Scottish FA Cup tradition. The high street bookmaker william hill has signed on as the primary backer from 2012 to 2014. Previous sponsors have included the Scottish Health Board, Tennents Lager, SFA, Homecoming Scotland 2009 and Active Nation.

All twelve of the Scottish Premier League clubs are automatically entered into the tournament. All 30 Scottish Football League clubs participate as well. Since 2008, by virtue of qualifying through one of three regionalised Junior leagues or by winning the Scottish Junior Cup, a number of additional clubs are also invited to join in.

For the 2011-12 Season, there are six qualifying rounds, beginning in September and scheduled to run monthly through March. Semi-finals are to be played on Saturday, 14th and Sunday, 15th April, 2012, leading up to the Final at Hampden Park on Saturday, 19th May, 2012.

Wagering on the Scottish FA Cup starts just as soon as the draw for the first round on qualifiers is known in August. There is ante post betting on the predicted overall winner of the tournament.

Heavily favoured in the early go are the three clubs that have dominated the finals over the year. Based in the Parkhead area of Glasgow, Celtic F.C. have triumphed here 35 times, including their most recent victory in 2010-11. They are followed by Rangers F.C. of Glasgow with 33 championships and Queen’s Park F.C. with ten.

Other teams that have fared well in the Scottish FA Cup include Aberdeen (7 wins), Heart of Midlothian (7), Vale of Leven (3), Clyde (3), St. Mirren (3) and Kilmarnock (3). Those tied with two victories apiece are Renton, Hibernian, Third Lanark, Falkirk, Dunfermline Athletic, Motherwell and Dundee United. Another seven clubs have won the FA Cup once: Dumbarton, St. Bernard’s Dundee, Partick Thistle, Morton, Airdrieonians and East Fife.

Most of the matches are broadcast live via BBC Scotland and/or Sky Sports. This makes it possible to wager live with bookmakers who offer in-running betting options, such as william hill, Victor Chandler and Stan James, to name just a few.

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