Stirling Albion have backed the changes to the League Cup that will see a return to the group stages for the first time since 1983/84.
The SPFL has announced that the revamped competition will begin on Saturday July 16, 2016, with eight groups of five clubs – the 38 SPFL teams not involved in Europe plus the winners of the Highland and Lowland League. Drawn games will be settled on penalties, with the shoot-out winners earning a bonus point.
The section winners and four best runners-up will join the four clubs in Europe in the knock-out stage. A four-year TV deal has been struck with BT Sport, which will see them screen six group games and seven knock-out matches each season.
SAFC Chairman Stuart Brown said: “I am delighted with the announcement that the League Cup is to be revamped and will kick off next season with group stage qualifying sections.
“I believe it is pretty much universally accepted that the current format is tired and holds little excitement for fans, particularly for the lower-league clubs, given that it is seeded and a straight knock-out.
“While I assume the new format will still have seeding at the group stage, every club will be guaranteed a minimum of four matches and the chance to pit themselves against teams from different leagues.”
Stirling Albion’s best run in the League Cup was in season 1961/62 when we lost 2-1 to Hearts at Easter Road in the semi-final but the competition has not been kind to us in recent years and the 1-0 home defeat to Airdrieonians in August was our eighth first-round exit in a row.