Celtic may not have to worry about having to follow the potential English path regarding the FA Cup.
The Sun has reported that Premier League clubs will meet next Thursday, with one of the potential options for next season being to scrap both the FA and League Cups. This would be in order to make more room in the calendar should the current health pandemic effect next season.
Scottish clubs have yet to have a similar meeting regarding the future of Scottish football. However, even if this was to come into place next year down south, Celtic would unlikely need to worry about it being replicated here.
That’s because SFA Chief Executive Maxwell isn’t long after explaining how important the Scottish Cup is to the SFA and Scottish football. Here’s what he told the BBC as recently as last week on Sportsound (17/03, 18:10):
“The Scottish Cup semi-finals are postponed at the moment. They’re huge games in this country, it’s a flagship tournament across the world and it means a lot to the clubs involved and the spectators that want to go to Hampden and see their team lift the trophy. It means a lot to the Scottish FA.
“It’s our big tournament of the year. There’s a financial imperative around it in terms of club revenue – they receive some gate receipts. It’s vitally important that we get those games played. They’re so important to the football calendar.”
Betfred Cup doesn’t have similar importance
You may do well to find many who wouldn’t have the Betfred Cup scrapped to create more space. Therefore, that could potentially be one avenue the SFA and the clubs agree to go down.
However, there’s no need to fear anything drastic like the Scottish Cup disappearing. Maxwell’s comments stress at the very least how vital it is to the SFA as an organisation to have these games played. As he says, it’s a flagship tournament.
There’s also a clear difference between clubs’ reliance on gate revenue from it compared to England. Clubs down south don’t have that same need for cash from their domestic cups. The sponsorship deals they have keep their bank balance more than healthy regardless.
The cups in England have also been devalued in recent years. Too many of the bigger clubs have been playing shadow squads in them. Liverpool, for example, put out a team of kids against Shrewsbury Town and Everton respectively. That’s not something you would ever see Celtic do in the Scottish Cup, regardless of the opposition.
So if the current health crisis affects things next season, don’t expect the Scottish Cup to even be considered being scrapped.