Increase in prize money
SPFL adds more fizz to IRN-BRU Cup
The SPFL has attempted to add more fizz to the IRN-BRU Cup this season by increasing the prize money in a revamped tournament format.
Chief executive Neil Doncaster is hoping clubs and supporters will enjoy the new-look competition, with a reduction in the number of rounds from seven to six when the action kicks off in mid-August leading up to the final on 24/25 March next year.
As recently announced, Bray Wanderers and Sligo Rovers from the Republic of Ireland will join the tournament along with the Northern Irish and Welsh teams (Crusaders, Linfield, The New Saints and Gap Connah’s Quay) at the second round stage.
While like-for-like prize money comparisons with the 2016/17 IRN-BRU Cup are not possible as this year’s format involves the two additional clubs but one round fewer than last season, the overall amount available for prize money is up by 9%, from £308,000 to £335,200.
In addition, clubs travelling overseas will each receive a £5,000 contribution to their travel costs per overseas game, which is a 25% increase on last season’s figure.
Mr Doncaster said: “Following the success of the new format of the IRN-BRU Cup in its inaugural season, we have worked to further improve the competition for clubs and supporters.
“By increasing prize money, removing one round and introducing more new teams to the competition, we believe this year’s IRN-BRU Cup will be stronger, more competitive and even more exciting.”
The first round draw, which will feature 48 clubs, takes place next Tuesday with the 24 ties to be played on Tuesday 15 and Wednesday 16 August.
Dundee United are the current holders having defeated St Mirren in the final in March.