Report: SFA planning radical changes to 2020/21 Scottish Cup

By John McGinley

July 24, 2020

Celtic’s bid to win the Scottish Cup in 2020/21 may be missing a bit of the fairytale romance of years gone by if the Scottish FA progress proposals to alter who takes part, STV report.

The broadcaster believes a number of new formats are on the table, the most likely of which would see the competition have just 52 participants this season, down from the usual 112.

That number would be made up of all 42 SPFL sides, as well as ten others who could commit to completing fixtures.

Other proposals up for discussion include a 32-club competition with only Premiership, Championship and League One sides involved or a 42-club tournament that also brings in League Two teams, the report states.

Currently, all Highland and Lowland League teams as well as clubs from the East, South and West of Scotland leagues, alongside other invited SFA members, take part.

STV go on to say that Round One wouldn’t take place until Boxing Day 2020, with Celtic entering Round Three of the competition, along with all the other Premiership and Championship teams, at the end of January.

The ongoing pandemic has massively restricted the ability of smaller clubs to get back to playing until October or beyond, forcing the SFA’s hand on the issue.

Neil Lennon celebrates Celtic winning the Scottish Cup / (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

Any changes would need to be confirmed at a general meeting of SFA members.

Celtic are already confirmed to be playing Aberdeen in a semi-final at Hampden this October to conclude the 2019/20 Scottish Cup tournament, with Hibernian facing Hearts in the other half of the draw.

In other news, the SPFL have released a statement confirming that the five substitution rule will be implemented in Scottish football this coming season.