SPFL announce changes to Celtic's league cup defence schedule
This afternoon, the SPFL has announced changes to the Premier Sports Cup for the 2022/23 season.
Currently, Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic side are the holders of the competition, having defeated Hibernian 2-1 in the final last December.
As the Hoops look to retain the trophy going into next season, some changes have been announced involving the schedule of the competition and its earlier rounds.
Due to their involvement in European competition, Celtic will once again not take part in the group stages of the Premier Sports cup, with 37 SPFL sides, the Highland League champions & runners up, and the Lowland League winners battling it out for a place in the next round.
Changes to the group stage have removed the North and South regionalisation, with the draw taking place for the opening stages of the competition on the 25th of May.
As well as minor changes to the format, the dates that matches will take place have also been announced, and Celtic will have to wait a little longer if they want to bring the trophy back to Parkhead.
The second round and quarter-final stages will occur as usual at the end of August and the beginning of October.
However, the semi-final and final of the League Cup will be in 2023, during the middle of January and the end of February next year.
The Premier Sports cup has undergone many changes over the last few years, including moving the final stage to before the turn of the year.
But, due to the Qatar World Cup taking place later this year, the SPFL have been forced to push the dates back.
It will be interesting to see whether or not the competition is expected to return back to its regular date from the 2023/24 season.
Ange Postecoglou and his squad will be aiming for the same feat achieved this season by lifting the first available trophy of the campaign.
In other news, the big responsibility and test Celtic board are now facing.