In season 1895-96 ( as was also the case between 1892/93 and 1899/00) every team involved in the First Division of the Scottish League would play 18 matches, of which obviously half were at home. That meant that the clubs were guaranteed to receive an income from only 9 matches during the season.
There were also cup competitions of course – the Scottish Cup and in the case of Glasgow clubs, the Charity and Glasgow Cups – but the problem with them was that gate income had to be shared and an early exit was always on the cards. Taking all that into account, it was fairly obvious that clubs could do with some extra income and in season 1895-96, a Glasgow League was started up to fill in any free dates on the calendar and provide some possible extra income for the clubs.
In the first season, four clubs took part – Celtic, Rangers, Queen’s Park and Third Lanark – and on this day in 1896, Third Lanark hosted Celtic in the competition at Cathkin Park. In the two league encounters that season, Celtic had twice been victorious, by 2-1 and 7-0 and were undoubted favourites for this match. And the players did not disappoint the fans, rising to the occasion to win by four goals to one. The competition lasted till 1905-06 and Celtic’s record was;
Season Entries Celtic’s Place Champions
1895-96 4 2nd Rangers
1896-97 5 3rd Queens Park
1897-98 5 3rd Rangers
1898-99 6 1st Celtic
1899-00 6 1st Celtic
1900-01 6 4th Third Lanark
1901-02 6 2nd Hearts
1902-03 9 8th Hearts
1903-04 9 Competition Unfinished
1904-05 5 5th Third Lanark
1905-06 6 4th Third Lanark