New sponsor for League Cup
Betfred takes a £1m punt on Scottish football
The agreement represents another significant investment into Scottish football with Betfred assuming its rights ahead of the start of the 2016/17 competition this July, which involves a new format and up to 13 matches shown live on BT Sport.
Betfred has a strong pedigree of sporting sponsorships including existing agreements with the World Snooker Championship and a number of UK racecourses.
SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster said: “On behalf of the SPFL I’d like to offer a very warm welcome to everyone at Betfred as new title sponsors of The Betfred Cup and the latest major brand to support Scottish football.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to have them on board for what is another significant vote of confidence – and investment – in the game.
“The exciting new format for next season’s Betfred Cup has truly captured the imagination of supporters, clubs and media, as well as our broadcast partner BT Sport and now Betfred. By building on our strong points and proud heritage as well as daring to be a little bit different we have shown Scottish football’s enduring popularity and growing reputation for innovation.
“We know Betfred share in our ambitious vision and we are really looking forward to working with them to bring this proud and popular competition to life for the benefit of Scottish football supporters across the country.”
Betfred chief executive John Haddock added: “We are very pleased to become sponsors of the Scottish League Cup at the inception of its new and exciting format. The SPFL have shown us great enthusiasm and we look forward to a continued and successful relationship.”
Daily Business comment: “It’s a pity the sponsor has not agreed to incorporate the proper name of the competition in the title. The Betfred League Cup sounds much better than the plain Betfred Cup which suggests no particular status. Even so, this has been a reasonable two weeks for the SPFL. The deal with the BBC to show highlights over the next four seasons is worth £11.2 million, effectively double the previous agreement, and Sky and BT Sport are already on board for live matches. Having said that, Scottish football can only dream of the money pouring into the English game. Promoted Burnley and Middlesbrough, together with a third team yet to secure their position in the Premier League, will each be guaranteed £170 million. No wonder outgoing Celtic assistant coach John Collins says the club will never be able to compete for top stars. He is not alone in his sentiments. The Spanish clubs are enviously eyeing the wealth pouring into the English game. However, maybe they’re having the last laugh. After all, the European Champions League final will be contested by two Spanish clubs.