Who is top of the class & who must do better? Scottish Premiership report card

The season is over and the prizes have been handed out, but how did each team in the Scottish Premiership fare?

Celtic completed the treble treble. Rangers claimed second. Kilmarnock and Aberdeen both secured Europa League places. St Mirren avoided relegation. But Dundee dropped.

But what lies behind those headlines? With the help of Sportscene pundits Steven Thompson and Michael Stewart, BBC Scotland has assessed all 12 teams and come up with this report card...


League position: 1st (87 points) Last season: 1st (82 points)

League Cup: Winners Scottish Cup: Winners

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Edouard's double clinches treble treble

History made with a treble treble secured despite the upheaval of Brendan Rodgers' shock departure in February. Neil Lennon stepped in as manager and finished the job in league and Scottish Cup to become permanent boss. However, he faces a big summer of recruitment and must convince a sceptical portion of the support that he is the right man to continue the quest for 10 in a row. Returning to the Champions League group stage will also be a key target, with Rodgers' Celtic having faltered in the qualifiers this term before reaching the Europa League last 32.

BBC Scotland pundit Steven Thompson: Clearly Celtic still need some catching from Rangers. Celtic have won a treble treble and that's just incredible, a phenomenal achievement. A change there too as nobody predicted Rodgers would leave mid-season and Lennon coming in. He's done well to keep this going at Celtic.


League position: 2nd (78 points) Last season: 3rd (70 points)

League Cup: Semi-finals Scottish Cup: Quarter-finals

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No silverware but plenty of positives from Steven Gerrard's first campaign at the helm. He steered the club to the Europa League group phase and highest Scottish Premiership finish and points total since promotion to the top flight in 2016. Failing to win more than half of their away games proved fatal, though, in a title race that had been neck and neck at the turn of the year. And defeat in both cups by Aberdeen leaves Rangers fans still craving a first major trophy in eight years. Alfredo Morelos became the first Rangers striker in 10 years to score 30 goals in a season, but his five red cards showed a volatile temperament too quick to trigger.

BBC Scotland pundit Steven Thompson: Rangers got a bit closer to Celtic and there's no doubt they have improved. However, it's another season without a trophy which is the one thing they need to start adding to their performances.


League position: 3rd (67 points) Last season: 5th (59 points)

League Cup: Last 16 Scottish Cup: Last 16

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A season that will live long in the memories of Kilmarnock fans. Their success was masterminded by Steve Clarke, who departed to become Scotland manager basking in a warm glow of adulation. A club record points total for the second season running helped the Ayrshire finish third in the top flight for the first time since 1966 and gave them European football to look forward to. Whoever succeeds Clarke at Rugby Park has massive shoes to fill.

BBC Scotland pundit Steven Thompson: Kilmarnock are the romance, the story with another wee twist at the end of the season with Clarke being announced as the Scotland manager. He's had a magnificent season, he's rejuvenated that club. I don't think any Kilmarnock supporters would have believed you if you went back to the start of the previous season that they would be finishing third and qualifying for Europe with a record points total. Absolutely phenomenal.


League position: 4th (67 points) Last season: 2nd (73 points)

League Cup: Runners-up Scottish Cup: Semi-finals

Sam Cosgrove
Sam Cosgrove scored 21 goals in 44 appearances for Aberdeen

Aberdeen had the best away record in the division but their Pittodrie struggles meant Derek McInnes' men were shunted out of a second-place finish for the first time in five seasons. They impressed again in knock-out competitions before twice running into all-conquering Celtic. The departure of inspirational captain Graeme Shinnie leaves a void in midfield, but Sam Cosgrove emerged as a striker of prowess with 21 goals and 22-year-old centre-back Scott McKenna continues to grow in stature.

BBC Scotland pundit Steven Thompson: It's a difficult one for Aberdeen. They've had an immense away record but at home they've dropped points you wouldn't expect them to against the likes of St Mirren and Hamilton. Yes, they've had massive injuries to key players all season but overall I don't think it's too disappointing a season and Derek has made that point.


League position: 5th (54 points) Last season: 4th (67 points)

League Cup: Quarter-finals Scottish Cup: Quarter-finals

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The poorly-handled exit of manager Neil Lennon was soon forgotten as Paul Heckingbottom made a swift impact. He was appointed in February and embarked on an 11-game unbeaten league run to hoist Hibs from eighth to a fifth-place finish. The Yorkshireman also ended the club's six-year wait for a win at Tynecastle and the attractive style of football he favours has gone down well in Leith. His progress was stalled by going winless in the five post-split fixtures, tough, and Heckingbotom will look to put his own stamp on the club with his summer dealings.

BBC Scotland pundit Michael Stewart: Huge credit to the board for the appointment [of Heckingbottom]. As much as there was a debacle over the way Lennon left, the Hibs hierarchy deserved time and space to make an appointment. Hibs have a real identity about them. Next season there's no reason why they should not be up there challenging for second spot.


League position: 6th (54 points) Last season: 6th (49 points)

League Cup: Semi-finals Scottish Cup: Runners-up


A campaign that promised so much ended in heartbreak as Craig Levein's men lost the Scottish Cup final after taking the second-half lead against Celtic. For many Hearts fans, this season will be remembered as one of two halves: in the first 15 league games, the Tynecastle side won 26 points and topped the table until October. In the following 23, they won just 25 and slid down to sixth. Injuries to key players such as Steven Naismith, John Souttar and Uche Ikpeazu proved too much to handle, but patience is wearing thin among the support and Levein must evolve the playing style to prove progress is being made.

BBC Scotland pundit Steven Thompson: Hearts will probably be a bit disappointed with the way they ended the season and where they are in the league in terms of finishing sixth. They've got to be looking a bit above that.

St Johnstone

League position: 7th (52 points) Last season: 8th (46 points)

League Cup: Quarter-finals Scottish Cup: Last 16

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A second successive season outside the top six - after finishing among the elite six years running - may be perceived as a disappointment. But Tommy Wright has managed to transition a number of young, exciting players in to a team that was beginning to creak with age. Running into Celtic in both cup competitions was rotten luck for Wright's hopes of emulating his 2014 Scottish Cup success. St Johnstone fans can chalk this campaign up as a rebuild and look to the next campaign with renewed ambition.

BBC Scotland pundit Steven Thompson: St Johnstone can be pleased with their points total. But it's difficult to break into that top six now with the budget that the teams have. So I think they have had a good season and can try again next year to breach into that top six.


League position: 8th (51 points) Last season: 7th (48 points)

League Cup: Quarter-finals Scottish Cup: 4th rd

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Over the last 20 games of the Premiership season, Motherwell picked up 33 points. To put that in to context, it's as many as Clarke's Kilmarnock achieved in that time and one fewer than Aberdeen - two sides that ended up qualifying for Europe. Stephen Robinson looked like a broken man prior to the winter break but his side have since turned their form around by switching to a passing game that suits their young talent. Pick of the bunch is David Turnbull, whose 15 goals in just 33 appearances marks the attacking midfielder out as one of the hottest properties in Scottish football.

BBC Scotland pundit Michael Stewart: Turnbull is destined for the top as long as he keeps working hard. He's got such a long way to go before he's a Michael Ballack, but I'm talking about the stature of him. Two good feet, links up well in the final third. He is the best young player that I've seen in a long time. If he continues to perform at that level then there will be a number of potential suitors looking at him. Because he is the full package as a midfielder.


League position: 9th (44 points) Last season: N/A

League Cup: Last 16 Scottish Cup: 4th rd

home form

Few would have given Livingston much chance of surviving in the Premiership when manager David Hopkin decided to leave the club shortly after winning promotion last year. Even fewer would have thought they had any hope when his successor, Kenny Miller, exited just three months later. However, Gary Holt was then appointed and, sticking with the same pragmatic tactics that pulled them out of the Championship, the top-flight minnows shot up the league table largely thanks to the fourth-best home record in the division and secured safety with plenty of room to spare.

BBC Scotland pundit Michael Stewart: Since the turn of the year, they were not on a great run of form and slipped away from the top six, which looked like it might be a possibility. It was difficult to turn that around and they were inconsistent in the second half of the season.


League position: 10th (33 points) Last season: 10th (33 points)

League Cup: Group stage Scottish Cup: 4th rd

Every year they are written off and every year they confound the critics. Although they could not confirm safety until the final day of the season, the notable rise in performances that Brian Rice coaxed out of the Accies squad proved enough to keep them above Dundee and St Mirren. Hamilton won 19 of their 33 points in Rice's five-month reign after Martin Canning was axed. And while that may not seem like a lot, it proved to be exactly what the club needed to once again defy expectations.

BBC Scotland pundit Steven Thompson: Congratulations go to Hamilton because again they were written off but they just keep doing it. It's in their DNA, they love the adversity and we shouldn't be surprised that Hamilton managed to stay up and avoid the play-offs.

St Mirren

League position: 11th (32 points) Last season: N/A

League Cup: Last 16 Scottish Cup: Last 16

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'Written in the stars'

Their return to the top flight did not exactly start smoothly, with Alan Stubbs ditched as manager after just four league games. Successor Oran Kearney took 10 matches to register a win and it has been a slog to survival with a squad ripped apart and rebuilt in January with 12 new signings. Safety was only secured in a nerve-shredding play-off that went to penalties before Dundee United were beaten. There was also a Scottish Cup exit at home to United and Kearney has dismissed speculation he will leave this summer. The Paisley club need stability if they are to avoid another season-long relegation battle.

BBC Scotland pundit Steven Thompson: St Mirren right up until the end put them themselves in a position where they could have escaped the play-offs and I think most St Mirren fans would have taken the play-offs at Christmas time because it had been that bad. They have now taken their opportunity to stay in the league against a strong Dundee United side.


League position: 12th (21 points) Last season: 9th (39 points)

League Cup: Last 16 Scottish Cup: 4th rd

File under catastrophic. Things began badly and did not improve as Dundee were relegated with a whimper. Neil McCann paid for a poor start when he was sacked with the club bottom of the table after losing seven of their opening eight league games. Jim McIntyre could not spark an upturn despite a flurry of transfer-window singings and a run of 10 straight defeats finally sealed their relegation fate with two games to spare. That cost McIntyre his job, with James McPake drafted in as caretaker. And Dundee's misery was not just confined to the league, with embarrassing 3-0 defeats to Championship sides Ayr United and Queen of the South ending their interest in the cups.

BBC Scotland pundit Steven Thompson: Dundee just never really got going at all, another two managerial changes for them. A club that just seemed to be in turmoil throughout the season, could not score, conceded soft goals and it was predictable in the end that they would go down - and they didn't even go down fighting.

Jim McIntyre

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