Over the last 20 to 30 years, there has been seismic shift in the makeup of the average football squad. Going back even further, it used to be the case that a team’s squad of players would all hail from the same country or even the same city as the football club that they represented. But the world has gotten a whole lot smaller since then, and national barriers have became less and less important.

For the most part, footballers are free to move from country to country or continent to continent without restriction and as the pull of football has grown across the globe, it has become more commonplace for leagues all around the world to import footballers from outside their own borders.

Some argue that this has led to an improvement in the domestic game, with a new variety of playing styles and tactics implemented that require everyone involved to raise their game. Others say that the abundance of foreign players has had a detrimental effect, arguing that young footballers are denied a path to the first team of local clubs by expensive foreign imports.

In Scotland’s case, there is probably some truth to both of these arguments. But that’s a discussion for another time. The abundance of foreigners in the Premiership has led us to an interesting thought experiment: how would the league table look if top flight clubs were composed entirely of players born in Scotland?

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Below, we’ve made up a league table from this season, but with the caveat that only domestically-produced players’ goals count. This isn’t a perfect system, admittedly; after all, this doesn’t account for the fact that clubs would be fielding Scottish players in the foreigners’ absence. But it is an indicator of how different Scottish football would look if only Scottish players started for each team.

Unsurprisingly, the absence of goals scored by players born outside of Scotland hits Celtic and Rangers harder than most other clubs. Both sides rely on importing foreigners to fill their squads, and their absence is keenly felt once their goals are removed.

Kilmarnock, St Johnstone and Livingston all fare quite well in this thought experiment, but this is probably to be expected. After all, all three squads have a number of home-grown players at their disposal and the removal of goals scored by foreigners’ wouldn’t actually harm them too much.

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Interestingly, the three clubs cut adrift at the foot of the Premiership table - Hamilton, Dundee and St Mirren - are pretty much in the exact same position in this scenario. Hamilton are two points worse off, but the total points accrued by the teams is otherwise identical to their real-life total. And all three would actually have a superior goal difference.

So we’ve seen what a table comprise of only Scottish goals would look like, but what about the reverse? How would the table look if only foreigners’ goals counted? Take a look at the graphic below.

In this scenario, Rangers lead the way in the Premiership with Celtic following closely behind them. If it weren’t for the goals they concede against Scots, Steven Gerrard’s side would have only lost two league games all season and would be on course to pip Celtic to the title. Celtic, remarkably, would have only conceded seven goals in 25 league games.

Hibernian, St Mirren and Dundee would all be significantly better off in this reality, but spare a thought for poor Livingston. With only foreigners’ goals counting, the West Lothian club would have only found the net on three occasions and would be rooted to the bottom of the table as a result.