Can Scottish Teams Play In England

Can Scottish Teams Play In England And The Premier League? (Explained)

There are some Welsh football teams that are playing in England, and you may be wondering if it is possible for teams from Scotland to play in the Premier League.

Here’s what you need to know:

Fascinating Facts About Glasgow x
Fascinating Facts About Glasgow
Do any Scottish teams play in England?

There are currently no Scottish teams that play in England or the English Premier League. This is because all Scottish teams play in the Scottish Premier League (or lower), which has been established since 1890.

In contrast to the Welsh Premier League, the Scottish footballing system has been rather well established ever since the Scottish Football League (SFL) was founded in 1890.

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Meanwhile, the Welsh Football League (now rebranded as Cymru Premier) was only founded in 1992!

Due to this longstanding history of Scottish football, clubs like Celtic and Rangers play in the Scottish Premiership, and not the English Premier League.

Both teams were founded very early on (1887 and 1872 respectively), and both Celtic and Rangers were a part of the eleven original teams in the Scottish Football League (founded in 1890).

Since they have been playing in the Scottish football pyramid ever since their inception, Scottish teams like Celtics and Rangers are unable to play in the English Premier League!

Each UEFA country will have its own domestic league

Most countries in UEFA will have their individual domestic leagues. Here are some of the more popular leagues in Europe:

Premier LeagueEngland
La LigaSpain
Serie AItaly
Ligue 1France

In fact, only clubs that are from UEFA countries will be able to participate in the UEFA Champions League.

Similar to these countries, Scottish teams will play in their domestic league: the Scottish Premiership.

Can Scottish teams play in the Premier League?

It is not possible for Scottish teams to play in the English Premier League as they have been playing in the Scottish football pyramid.

For some Welsh teams like Swansea City and Cardiff City, they had been playing in the English leagues even before the Welsh Premier League was formed.

However, in the case of Scottish teams, a football league had already been established quite early on. There is no reason why Scottish teams need to play in the English Premier League, since they are under the jurisdiction of the Scottish Football Association (FA).

It is highly unlikely that Scottish teams will play in England as they will require to switch from the Scottish FA to the English FA!

Can Scottish teams play in the FA Cup?

Scottish teams are unable to play in the FA Cup, as the FA Cup is a competition for teams that are in the English football pyramid (including the 5 Welsh teams). The Scottish Football Association banned any of its members from taking part in the FA Cup since 1887, and Scottish teams will compete in the Scottish Cup instead.

Scottish teams used to play in the FA Cup, including Rangers!

However, this was banned by the Scottish FA in 1887. The only exception was Gretna F.C., as the town of Gretna was located extremely close to the Anglo-Scottish border.

Gretna continued playing in the qualifying rounds of the FA Cup for 19 seasons, before they joined the Scottish Football League in 2002.

You can check out what’s the difference between the FA Cup and EFL Cup here.

Have Scottish teams played against Premier League teams?

The main way that Scottish teams can play against Premier League teams would be via the UEFA competitions (e.g. Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League).

UEFA has compiled a long list of all of the matches that have been played between Scottish and English teams.

Here are some of the more notable ones:

Celtic vs Man City (2016/17 UEFA Champions League)

Celtic and Man City played each other twice during the Champions League Group Stages. This match was particularly notable as Patrick Roberts was on loan at Celtic from Man City, and he featured in this match.

Roberts went on to score a great solo goal against his parent club!

Burnley vs Aberdeen (Europa League Qualifying 2018/19)

Burnley made their appearance in European football when they achieved 7th place in the 2017/18 Premier League.

During the qualifying rounds, they played against Aberdeen in an all-British tie.

Burnley went on to progress to the next qualifying round after beating Aberdeen on aggregate.

You can find out more about reading both aggregate and the match scores on your TV screen here.


It is highly unlikely that a Scottish team will feature in the English Premier League, since they have been playing in the Scottish football pyramid from the start.

As such, we can only see Scottish teams playing against English teams in UEFA competitions!

If you’re looking to buy the latest football merchandise from your favourite club, you can check out the latest deals at Kitbag.

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