Premier Sports Cup dates announced - when do Celtic, Rangers and Hearts enter the competition?

The new 2022/23 season in Scottish football will begin on the second weekend of July after dates for the Premier Sports Cup were released.

The 37 SPFL clubs not playing in Europe next season will kick-off their campaign in the group stages of the competition on the weekend of July 9 and 10, along with Highland League champions Fraserburgh and Lowland League champions Bonnyrigg Rose.

Celtic, Rangers, Hearts and two from Dundee United, Ross County and Motherwell won’t begin their Premier Sports Cup campaign until the midweek of August 30, entering at the last 16 stage due to their participation in Champions League, Europa League and Conference League.

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Buckie Thistle will also participate in the Premier Sports Cup due to their being an extra spot available in the group-stage round with five Scottish teams competing in Europe next term. The decision was made to extend the invite to the Highland side after the Lowland League received two spots last term.

This will be the first year since the competition was reshaped in 2016 that there will be no regionalisation in the group stage after a recommendation from the SPFL Competitions Working Group. The move was initially made to incorporate more derby matches into the groups, though it’s led to a number of teams facing off against familiar opponents each year.

The final will once again take place after the new year. It’s traditionally been in a pre-Christmas slot since the 2016 rebrand but will be held next term on Sunday, February 26.

Celtic won this season’s Premier Sports Cup after defeating Hibs 2-1 in the final at Hampden.

Full details:

The 2022/23 Premier Sports Cup will kick-off with the group stages in the second week of July. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

MD1: Weekend of July 9/10, 2022

MD2: Midweek of July 12/13, 2022

MD3: Weekend of July 16/17, 2022

MD4: Midweek of July 19/20, 2022

MD5: Weekend of July 23/24, 2022

Second round

Midweek of August 30/31, 2022

Quarter-finals

Midweek of October 18-20, 2022

Semi-finals

Weekend of January 14/15, 2023

Final

Sunday February 26, 2023

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