|Number of teams||44|
|Current champions|| St Johnstone |
|Most successful team(s)|| Rangers |
|Television broadcasters||Premier Sports|
|2021–22 Scottish League Cup|
The Scottish League Cup, currently known as the Premier Sports Cup for sponsorship reasons, is a football competition open to all Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) clubs. First held in 1946–47, it is the oldest national League Cup in existence. The competition had a straight knockout format but became a group and knockout competition from 2016–17.
Rangers are the record holders of the cup, winning 27 times. St Johnstone are the current holders, after beating Livingston 1–0 at Hampden Park on 28 February 2021.
Currently, the domestic television rights are held by Premier Sports who replaced BT Sport from the 2019–20 season.
Historically, the Scottish League Cup has oscillated between being a straightforward single-elimination knockout tournament and having an initial group phase. Since the 2016–17 season, the League Cup has used a group phase format. The current format has eight groups of five teams playing each other once in a round-robin format.The forty teams playing in the group stage consist of the 38 league clubs who are not participating in UEFA competitions, along with two teams from outside the league. In the group phase, three points are given for a win and one point for a draw. If matches are level after ninety minutes, a penalty shoot-out is held with the winning team gaining a bonus point. The groups are regionalised: there are four groups in the North section, and four in the South section, with three pots for each regional section – top seeds, second seeds, and unseeded clubs. Each group will consist of one top seed, one second seed, and three unseeded clubs.
The eight group winners and four best runners-up progress into the second round, where they are joined by the four clubs participating in UEFA competitions.The tournament then adopts a single-elimination knockout format. There are no replays, which means all drawn matches are decided by extra time and a penalty shootout, if necessary. The semi-final matches are played on a neutral ground, determined by the location and size of supports involved. The final game is traditionally played at Hampden Park in Glasgow, though due to renovations some finals have been played at other venues, such as Celtic Park or Ibrox Stadium. The new format also allowed the SPFL to reintroduce the two-weekend winter break in January. Along with the newly designed tournament, a new television deal for it was announced as BT Sport took over rights from BBC Scotland. In February 2016 the SPFL announced the League Cup final would be moved to November.
The cup has its origins in a regional cup competition called the Southern League Cup which was introduced in 1940 when wartime restrictions led to a suspension of the Scottish Cup. This tournament was largely regional and did not involve all of the teams who comprised the Scottish Football League prior to the outbreak of war. The first official Scottish Football League Cup was contested during the 1946–47 season, when Rangers defeated Aberdeen in the final.
The competition was very popular with supporters during the first few decades of its existence. The tournament consisted of 8 or 9 groups consisting of 4 or 5 teams. The groups were seeded into 2 sets with the top 16 teams in Division 1 making up the first four groups. This guaranteed that 4 'top' teams would play 4 'lesser' teams in the quarter-finals.
Extra games when the Premier League was formed and expanded European competitions meant that by the early 1980s, its long-winded format, which involved group rounds played early in the season leading to two-legged knock-out rounds, attracted much criticism. In the mid-1980s the tournament was revamped to a shorter, single elimination knock-out format with a final played prior to Christmas, which provided the excitement of a cup final early in the season.
During the 1999–2000 competition, the semi-finals and final were moved to the springtime to avoid the congestion of fixtures caused by the early rounds of the UEFA club competitions and Scotland's representatives in Europe were given automatic byes until the third round of competition.
From the 2016–17 edition the League Cup reverted to a group stage format, with single-elimination knock-out in the last 16 onwards.
The League Cup has been known by different names due to sponsorship:
|1946–78||No sponsor||Scottish League Cup|
|1979–81||Bell's whisky||Bell's League Cup|
|1981–84||No sponsor||Scottish League Cup|
|1984–92||Skol Lager||Skol Cup|
|1992–94||No sponsor||Scottish League Cup|
|1998–99||No sponsor||Scottish League Cup|
|1999–2008||CIS Insurance||CIS Insurance Cup|
|2008–11||The Co-operative Insurance||Co-operative Insurance Cup|
|2011–13||Scottish Government||Scottish Communities League Cup|
|2013–15||No sponsor||Scottish League Cup|
|2015||QTS Group||The Scottish League Cup presented by QTS (semi-finals and final only)|
|2015–16||Utilita Energy||The Scottish League Cup presented by Utilita|
|2021–present||Premier Sports||Premier Sports Cup|
Since the competition's inception, the winning team has been awarded the three-handled trophy known as the Scottish Football League Cup. However, during the 1980s when Skol lager sponsored the competition, a second trophy known as the Skol Cup was awarded as well. After the 1987–88 competition when Rangers won their third Skol Cup, they were given the trophy permanently and a new Skol Cup with a slightly different design was introduced the following season.
It was long term Clyde and then Scottish Football League chairman John McMahon who donated the trophy that is still awarded to the winners of the competition to this day.
Until 1995, the winners of the Scottish League Cup were granted a place in the UEFA Cup, although this privilege was rarely invoked as the winning teams usually qualified for Europe by some other means such as winning the League Championship or Scottish Cup. The most recent example was Raith Rovers who represented Scotland in the 1995–96 UEFA Cup after winning the League Cup the previous season as a First Division club. This privilege has since been discontinued due to the reduction in the number of European places granted to Scottish clubs.
|Team||Winners||Runners-up||Years won||Years Runners-Up|
|Rangers||27||8||1946–47, 1948–49, 1960–61, 1961–62, 1963–64, 1964–65, 1970–71, 1975–76, 1977–78, 1978–79, 1981–82, 1983–84, 1984–85, 1986–87, 1987–88, 1988–89, 1990–91, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1996–97, 1998–99, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2004–05, 2007–08, 2009–10, 2010–11||1951–52, 1957–58, 1965–66, 1966–67, 1982–83, 1989–90, 2008–09, 2019–20|
|Celtic||19||15||1956–57, 1957–58, 1965–66, 1966–67, 1967–68, 1968–69, 1969–70, 1974–75, 1982–83, 1997–98, 1999–00, 2000–01, 2005–06, 2008–09, 2014–15, 2016–17, 2017–18, 2018–19, 2019–20||1964–65, 1970–71, 1971–72, 1972–73, 1973–74, 1975–76, 1976–77, 1977–78, 1983–84, 1986–87, 1990–91, 1994–95, 2002–03, 2010–11, 2011–12|
|Aberdeen||6||9||1955–56, 1976–77, 1985–86, 1989–90, 1995–96, 2013–14||1946–47, 1978–79, 1979–80, 1987–88, 1988–89, 1992–93, 1999–00, 2016–17, 2018–19|
|Hearts||4||3||1954–55, 1958–59, 1959–60, 1962–63||1961–62, 1996, 2012–13|
|Hibernian||3||7||1972–73, 1991–92, 2006–07||1950–51, 1968–69, 1974–75, 1985–86, 1993–94, 2003–04, 2015–16|
|Dundee||3||3||1951–52, 1952–53, 1973–74||1967–68, 1980–81, 1995–96|
|East Fife||3||0||1947–48, 1949–50, 1953–54||—|
|Dundee United||2||5||1979–80, 1980–81||1981–82, 1984–85, 1997–98, 2007–08, 2014–15|
|Kilmarnock||1||5||2011–12||1952–53, 1960–61, 1962–63, 2000–01, 2006–07|
|Motherwell||1||3||1950–51||1954–55, 2004–05, 2017–18|
|Partick Thistle||1||3||1971–72||1953–54, 1956–57, 1958–59|
|St Johnstone||1||2||2020–21||1969–70, 1998–99|
|St Mirren||1||2||2012–13||1955–56, 2009–10|
|Dunfermline Athletic||0||3||—||1949–50, 1991–92, 2005–06|
|Inverness Caledonian Thistle||0||1||—||2013–14|
Scottish League Cup matches are currently shown live by Premier Sports in the United Kingdom and Ireland.In Australia, the Scottish League Cup is broadcast by beIN Sports. The 2009 Scottish League Cup Final was shown live on SBS due to a fixture clash on previous hosts' Setanta channel. In sub-Saharan Africa, the Scottish League Cup matches are currently shown live by ESPN
|2004–16||BBC One Scotland|
The Scottish Football Association Challenge Cup, commonly known as the Scottish Cup, is an annual association football knock-out cup competition for men's football clubs in Scotland. The competition was first held in 1873–74. Entry is open to all 98 clubs with full membership of the Scottish Football Association (SFA), along with up to eight other clubs who are associate members.
The Scottish Professional Football League Challenge Cup, commonly known as the Scottish League Challenge Cup or Scottish Challenge Cup, and currently known as the SPFL Trust Trophy for sponsorship reasons, is an association football knock-out cup competition run by the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL).
In addition to their senior squad, Rangers Football Club also operate a football Academy which contains a number of football teams culminating in a B team, which currently participates in friendly challenge matches against various domestic and European sides in accordance with the academy's development plan, having declined the option to continue in the SPFL Reserve League despite winning the competition in 2019. Historically, the club's second side was known as the Rangers Swifts.
The 2009–10 Scottish League Cup was the 64th season of the Scotland's second most prestigious football knockout competition, also known for sponsorship reasons as the Co-operative Insurance Cup. Rangers won the cup beating St Mirren 1–0 thanks to a goal from Kenny Miller.
The 2010–11 Scottish League Cup is the 65th season of Scotland's second-most prestigious football knockout competition, the Scottish League Cup, also known as the Co-operative Insurance Cup for sponsorship reasons. The competition started in July 2010 with the First Round and ended in Spring 2011 with the Final. Rangers are the current title holder, having beaten Celtic in the 2011 final.
In addition to the Motherwell F.C. first team, competing in the Scottish Premiership, the club also has a reserve team who play in the SPFL Reserve League as well as younger age group teams in their youth system. They fielded a reserve team in defunct competitions for many years.
The Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) is the national men's association football league in Scotland. The league was formed in June 2013 following a merger between the Scottish Premier League and the Scottish Football League. As well as operating its league competition, which consists of the top four levels of the Scottish football league system, the SPFL also operates two domestic cup competitions, the Scottish League Cup and the Scottish Challenge Cup. While the Scottish Cup includes all the teams within the SPFL, the competition is run and organised by the Scottish Football Association.
The Scottish Premiership is the top division of the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL), the league competition for men's professional football clubs in Scotland. The Scottish Premiership was established in July 2013, after the SPFL was formed by a merger of the Scottish Premier League and Scottish Football League. There are 12 teams in this division, with each team playing 38 matches per season. Sixteen clubs have played in the Scottish Premiership since its creation in the 2013–14 season. Rangers are the current league champions, having won the 2020–21 Scottish Premiership. This was their 55th Scottish league championship in total, and it ended a run of nine straight league titles by Celtic.
The 2016 Scottish Challenge Cup Final, also known as the Petrofac Training Cup Final for sponsorship reasons, is a football match that took place on 10 April 2016 at Hampden Park, between Rangers and Peterhead. Rangers won the match by 4 goals to nil. It was the 25th final of the Scottish Challenge Cup since it was first organised in 1990 to celebrate the centenary of the now defunct Scottish Football League and the third Challenge Cup Final since the SPFL was formed. Both teams progressed through four elimination rounds to reach the final.
The 2016–17 Scottish Challenge Cup, known as the IRN-BRU Cup due to sponsorship reasons, was the 26th season of the competition. The tournament took on a different format from previous seasons with a total of 54 teams participating. It was the first season with two clubs from both Northern Ireland and Wales competing alongside the 30 members of the 2016–17 Scottish Championship, 2016–17 Scottish League One and 2016–17 Scottish League Two, four teams from the 2016–17 Highland Football League and four from the 2016–17 Lowland Football League as well as the Under-20 teams of the teams competing in the 2016–17 Scottish Premiership.
The 2016–17 Scottish League Cup was the 71st season of Scotland's second-most prestigious football knockout competition.
In addition to their first team competing in the Scottish Premiership, Hibernian F.C. also maintain further teams for younger age groups playing in competitions such as the Scottish Challenge Cup and the Scottish Youth Cup within the club's academy.
The 2017 Scottish Challenge Cup Final, also known as the Irn-Bru Cup Final for sponsorship reasons, is a football match that took place on 25 March 2017 at Fir Park, between Dundee United and St Mirren. It was the 26th final of the Scottish Challenge Cup since it was first organised in 1990 to celebrate the centenary of the now defunct Scottish Football League and the fourth since the Scottish Professional Football League was formed. Both teams progressed through four elimination rounds to reach the final. The match was won by Dundee United 2 - 1, marking their first win in the tournament since its inception and their first silverware since the 2009-10 Scottish Cup final.
The 2017–18 Scottish League Cup was the 72nd season of Scotland's second-most prestigious football knockout competition.
The 2017–18 Scottish Challenge Cup, known as the IRN-BRU Cup due to sponsorship reasons, is the 27th season of the competition. The tournament took on a similar format from the previous season, however, two teams from the Republic of Ireland's Airtricity League entered the competition for the first time taking the total number of participating clubs to 56. This was the second season with two clubs from both Northern Ireland and Wales competing alongside the 30 members of the 2017–18 Scottish Championship, 2017–18 Scottish League One and 2017–18 Scottish League Two, four teams from the 2017–18 Highland Football League and four from the 2017–18 Lowland Football League as well as the Under-20 teams of the teams competing in the 2017–18 Scottish Premiership. The Welsh teams were The New Saints and Connah's Quay Nomads while the Northern Irish teams were Crusaders and Linfield.
The 2018–19 Scottish Challenge Cup, known as the IRN-BRU Cup due to sponsorship reasons, was the 28th season of the competition. The tournament took on a similar format from the previous season with the addition of two teams from England's National League entering the competition for the first time. This took the total number of participating clubs to 58.
The 2018–19 Scottish League Cup was the 73rd season of Scotland's second-most prestigious football knockout competition.
The 2019–20 Scottish League Cup was the 74th season of Scotland's second-most prestigious football knockout competition.
The 2020 Scottish Challenge Cup Final, also known as the Tunnocks Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup Final for sponsorship reasons, was a scheduled football match between Raith Rovers and Inverness Caledonian Thistle. It was the 29th final of the Scottish Challenge Cup since it was first organised in 1990 to celebrate the centenary of the now defunct Scottish Football League, and the seventh since the SPFL was formed. However on April 30 2021, the game was cancelled after a year of inactivity, leading to the clubs sharing the title.
The 2020–21 Scottish League Cup was the 75th season of Scotland's second-most prestigious football knockout competition.