Newco hiatus delays League Cup draw

THE Scottish Football League have pushed back the date for the first- round draw for their League Cup competition in order to concentrate on the meeting which will decide whether ‘Newco’ Rangers are to be admitted to their organisation and in which division.

It was hoped that the draw would be made this coming Tuesday, although the delay will have no impact on which round the Glasgow club enter the competition as it looks like they will be made to start in the first round on Saturday, August 4, regardless of which league, if any, they are admitted to.

First round ties usually include the 30 member clubs from the SFL from the season just ended and are normally drawn in May or June. However, this season’s pairings have been postponed in a manner similar to when there was last a gap in 2008, with any decision next Friday to admit Rangers to the SFL affecting the teams in the hat.

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First Division champions Ross County are due to be in the draw, as are Dundee. However, they appear to be SPL bound to replace the Ibrox side and any tie for Derek Adams or Barry Smith’s side will already need to be moved to a midweek date as the Dingwall side are due to kick off their SPL career at home to Motherwell on 4 August, with the Dens Park side now possibly playing at Kilmarnock as the ‘club 12’ mentioned in the SPL’s fixtures.

Dunfermline were due to be given a bye as they were in the SPL last season and they are also insisting that they should remain in the SPL, with the SFL hoping that there will be clarity before the draw takes place in the week beginning Monday, 4 July.

The only similar situation arose four years ago when the draw was held back until late July with Annan entering the competition in the first round following their admittance to the Third Division in place of Gretna, who had been in the SPL the season before.

The draw was originally held back at the end of last season as talks to find a sponsor took place, with the Hampden body keen to repeat the success of the Government’s involvement when they sponsored the competition last season and it was run under the Scottish Communities League Cup banner.

A spokesperson at the SFL said, “We would like to have the meeting held next Friday and then move on to the League Cup draw the following week.”