The Scottish Football League Cup is an association football competition open to all Scottish Football League and Scottish Premier League clubs. At present it is also known as the Co-operative Insurance Cup owing to the sponsorship deal in place with Co-operative Insurance Society. In the past it has been sponsored by Coca-Cola, Skol Lager, and Bell's Whisky. The competition, like the Scottish Cup, is currently a straight knockout format.
Rangers are the current holders after defeating Dundee United at Hampden Park on 16 March 2008. After the match was drawn 2-2 after extra time, it went to penalties which Rangers won 3-2 in a shootout full of saves and misses by both sides.
Currently, the domestic television and radio rights are held by BBC Scotland.
The competition is open only to the 42 senior clubs who compete in the Scottish Premier League or Scottish Football League. There are no replays, so all matches ending in a draw after 90 minutes are decided by extra time and, if necessary, penalty kicks.
The four teams who, based on results of the previous season, have qualified for UEFA competitions are given a bye until the 3rd round of competition while the ten teams who finished highest in the SPL/SFL without qualifying for Europe receive a bye into the 2nd round.
The remaining 28 teams begin play from the 1st round. They are drawn into random pairings with the games played at the stadium of the first team drawn. The 14 teams advancing from the first round are joined by the 10 teams who received byes into the 2nd round. Of the 24 teams competing in the 2nd round, the 12 teams who finished highest in the league during the previous season are seeded against the second group of 12. The teams who advance from the 2nd round are joined by the final four teams in the 3rd round, again, with seeding in place. The remaining rounds of competition are unseeded.
The semi-final matches are played on a neutral ground, traditionally the home ground of a third club located close to the two competing clubs.
The final game is also traditionally played at Hampden Park in Glasgow, though due to renovations some finals in the past have been played at other venues such as Celtic Park or Ibrox.
The first official Scottish Football League Cup was contested during the 1946–47 season when Rangers defeated Aberdeen in the final. However, Aberdeen still includes their victory in the 1945–46 Southern League Cup tournament among their honours.
The competition was very popular with supporters during the first few decades of its existence. The tournament consisted of 8 or 9 groups consisting of 4 or 5 teams. The groups were seeded into 2 sets with the top 16 teams in Division 1 making up the first four Groups. This guaranteed that 4 'top' teams would play 4 'lesser' teams in the quarter-finals.
Extra games when the Premier League was formed and expanded European competitions meant that by the early 1980s, its long-winded format, which involved group rounds played early on in the season leading to two-legged knock-out rounds similar to the modern UEFA Champions League, attracted much criticism.
In the mid-1980s the tournament was revamped to a shorter, single elimination knock-out style with a final played prior to Christmas, which provided the excitement of a cup final early in the season.
During the 1999–00 competition, the semi-finals and final were moved to the springtime in order to avoid the congestion of fixtures caused by the early rounds of the UEFA club competitions and Scotland’s representatives in Europe were given automatic byes until the third round of competition.
|Rangers||2 – 2 (a.e.t.)|
(3 – 2 pen.)
|Dundee United||Hampden Park|
|Hibernian||5 – 1||Kilmarnock||Hampden Park|
|Celtic||3 – 0||Dunfermline Athletic||Hampden Park|
|Rangers||5 – 1||Motherwell||Hampden Park|
|Livingston||2 – 0||Hibernian||Hampden Park|
|Rangers||2 – 1||Celtic||Hampden Park|
|Rangers||4 – 0||Ayr United||Hampden Park|
|Celtic||3 – 0||Kilmarnock||Hampden Park|
|Celtic||2 – 0||Aberdeen||Hampden Park|
|Rangers||2 – 1||St. Johnstone||Celtic Park|
|1997–98||Celtic||3 – 0||Dundee United||Ibrox Stadium|
|Rangers||4 – 3||Heart of Midlothian||Celtic Park|
|Aberdeen||2 – 0||Dundee||Hampden Park|
|1994–95||Raith Rovers||2 – 2 (a.e.t.)|
(6 – 5 pen.)
|1993–94||Rangers||2 – 1||Hibernian||Celtic Park|
|1992–93||Rangers||2 – 1 (a.e.t.)||Aberdeen||Hampden Park|
|Hibernian||2 – 0||Dunfermline Athletic||Hampden Park|
|1990–91||Rangers||2 – 1 (a.e.t.)||Celtic||Hampden Park|
|1989–90||Aberdeen||2 – 1 (a.e.t.)||Rangers||Hampden Park|
|1988–89||Rangers||3 – 2||Aberdeen||Hampden Park|
|1987–88||Rangers||3 – 3 (a.e.t.)|
(5 – 3 pen.)
|1986–87||Rangers||2 – 1||Celtic||Hampden Park|
|1985–86||Aberdeen||3 – 0||Hibernian||Hampden Park|
|1984–85||Rangers||1 – 0||Dundee United||Hampden Park|
|1983–84||Rangers||3 – 2 (a.e.t.)||Celtic||Hampden Park|
|1982–83||Celtic||2 – 1||Rangers||Hampden Park|
|1981–82||Rangers||2 – 1||Dundee United||Hampden Park|
|1980–81||Dundee United||3 – 0||Dundee||Dens Park|
|1979–80||Dundee United||3 – 0 (rep.)||Aberdeen||Hampden Park*|
|1978–79||Rangers||2 – 1||Aberdeen||Hampden Park|
|1977–78||Rangers||2 – 1 (a.e.t.)||Celtic||Hampden Park|
|1976–77||Aberdeen||2 – 1 (a.e.t.)||Celtic||Hampden Park|
|1975–76||Rangers||1 – 0||Celtic||Hampden Park|
|1974–75||Celtic||6 – 3||Hibernian||Hampden Park|
|1973–74||Dundee||1 – 0||Celtic||Hampden Park|
|1972–73||Hibernian||2 – 1||Celtic||Hampden Park|
|1971–72||Partick Thistle||4 – 1||Celtic||Hampden Park|
|1970–71||Rangers||1 – 0||Celtic||Hampden Park|
|1969–70||Celtic||1 – 0||St. Johnstone||Hampden Park|
|1968–69||Celtic||6 – 2||Hibernian||Hampden Park|
|1967–68||Celtic||5 – 3||Dundee||Hampden Park|
|1966–67||Celtic||1 – 0||Rangers||Hampden Park|
|1965–66||Celtic||2 – 1||Rangers||Hampden Park|
|1964–65||Rangers||2 – 1||Celtic||Hampden Park|
|1963–64||Rangers||5 – 0||Morton||Hampden Park|
|1962–63||Heart of Midlothian||1 – 0||Kilmarnock||Hampden Park|
|1961–62||Rangers||3 – 1 (rep.)||Heart of Midlothian||Hampden Park|
|1960–61||Rangers||2 – 0||Kilmarnock||Hampden Park|
|1959–60||Heart of Midlothian||2 – 1||Third Lanark||Hampden Park|
|1958–59||Heart of Midlothian||5 – 1||Partick Thistle||Hampden Park|
|Celtic||7 – 1||Rangers||Hampden Park|
|1956–57||Celtic||3 – 0 (rep.)||Partick Thistle||Hampden Park|
|1955–56||Aberdeen||2 – 1||St. Mirren||Hampden Park|
|1954–55||Heart of Midlothian||4 – 2||Motherwell||Hampden Park|
|1953–54||East Fife||3 – 2||Partick Thistle||Hampden Park|
|1952–53||Dundee||2 – 0||Kilmarnock||Hampden Park|
|1951–52||Dundee||3 – 2||Rangers||Hampden Park|
|1950–51||Motherwell||3 – 0||Hibernian||Hampden Park|
|1949–50||East Fife||3 – 0||Dunfermline Athletic||Hampden Park|
|1948–49||Rangers||2 – 0||Raith Rovers||Hampden Park|
|1947–48||East Fife||4 – 1 (rep.)||Falkirk||Hampden Park|
|1946–47||Rangers||4 – 0||Aberdeen||Hampden Park|
|Club||Wins||Last win||Runners-up||Last final lost|
|Heart of Midlothian||4||1963||2||1997|