BBC Study finds Scottish Premiership 'half Scottish'

State of the Game

Scottish players have seen a fall in the number of minutes on the pitch in the Scottish Premiership this season, according to a BBC Sport study.

From the start of the season until 1 October, domestic players accounted for just 50.78% of Scottish Premiership playing time, State of the Game found.

That is a fall from last season's figure of 55.66%.

In contrast, English players accounted for 19.18% of minutes compared with 16.62% last term.

State of the Game analysed the total minutes played by each nationality in the Scottish Premiership and English Premier League and Championship to 1 October this season and in 2013-14.

Champions Celtic played nine Scottish players in the period covered by the study, while St Johnstone used a league-high 17. The Perth side were followed by Dundee (16), Hamilton Academical and Partick Thistle.

Inverness Caledonian Thistle used the fewest number of Scottish players (five).

Meanwhile, levels of Welsh and Northern Irish game time in the Scottish Premiership have remained similar to last season. The Welsh went from 1.09% to 0.92% while their Northern Irish counterparts rose from 4.95% to 5.03%.

France and Nigeria have fallen out of the top 10 nations in the Scottish Premiership, with Poland and Germany replacing them.

In England's Premier League a total of 18 Scottish players were used in the first six matches compared with 15 last term. This made up 4.87% of the Premier League - up from last season's 3.22%.

That leaves Scotland fourth on the list in the English top flight, behind England, France and Spain. Promoted Burnley and Hull City each used three Scots while Stoke City, Sunderland, West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace used two. Scottish players also spent time on the pitch for Manchester United, Aston Villa, Everton and QPR.

Scottish players had more minutes on the pitch in the Premier League than the Republic of Ireland (4.22%), Wales (2.45%) and Northern Ireland (1.53%).

The percentage of minutes played by Scottish players in England's Championship was almost unchanged, from 9.53% to 9.52%.

Scottish Premiership top 10 countries
NationTotal minutes% total playing time
Figures for this season to 1 October 2014
Scotland47,14450.78%
England17,80419.18%
Northern Ireland5,4155.83%
Republic of Ireland5,4065.82%
Netherlands2,7182.93%
Poland1,6201.74%
Slovakia1,2371.33%
Germany1,0011.08%
Spain8830.95%
Wales8550.92%

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