Scottish Premier and Football Leagues 1998-99
In 1998 the top clubs broke away from the SFL to form the Scottish Premier League, following the example of the top English clubs. Only one club would now be relegated, their place being taken by the Champions of the Scottish First Division, but only if their stadium met certain standards. This led to controversy when Falkirk were denied promotion in 2003 and a similar situation was only narrowly averted the following season when Inverness Caledonian Thistle's promotion faced a legal challenge. The rules on seating capacity and ground-sharing were subsequently relaxed.
The main purpose of the break away was to allow the top clubs to negotiate their own deal with the television companies for broadcast rights, a development that would see revenues in both England and Scotland go through the roof over the following decade.