Scottish League Cup: Energy firm Utilita agree sponsorship deal

Neil Doncaster discusses the future of The Scottish League Cup.

Energy firm Utilita will sponsor the rest of this season's Scottish League Cup, the Scottish Professional Football League have announced.

The quarter-finals of the tournament take place on 27 and 28 October and 4 November.

Inverness CT host Highland rivals Ross County and St Johnstone visit Greenock Morton in the first of the ties.

Hearts take on holders Celtic the following night and Hibernian welcome Dundee United the week after.

"We are delighted to announce Utilita as our new presenting partner for the Scottish League Cup," SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster said on the organisation's website.external-link

"As an ambitious and growing business, Utilita is a perfect fit for the competition."

A selection of players with the Scottish League Cup
This season's Scottish League Cup has reached the quarter-final stage

Utilita chief executive Bill Bullen said his firm were "very excited and - above all - honoured to be the official presenting partner of a trophy with such a rich footballing history".

BBC One Scotland will broadcast the Highland derby live, with the game also available via iPlayer, and all the ties will be covered on BBC Radio Scotland.

Meanwhile, Doncaster told BBC Scotland discussions are ongoing about changing the format of the League Cup.

"We're looking very closely at the concept of group stages taking place in July next year and we'll be working with the clubs to try and get the best possible format for that," he explained.

"An early season start date is something that a number of people have talked about, using what we get of the summer months in Scotland to deliver earlier summer football.

"If we can get crowds coming along to Scottish League Cup games in July then we'd be delighted."