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Page last updated at 15:38 GMT, Tuesday, 28 September 2010 16:38 UK

Co-operative Insurance end Scottish League Cup deal

The Co-operative Insurance Cup
Co-operative Insurance has sponsored the League Cup since 1999

The Scottish Football League is seeking a new backer for the League Cup after Co-operative Insurance announced they would not continue their sponsorship.

The current agreement will expire at the end of the season and the insurance firm is not looking to renew the deal.

Co-operative Insurance has sponsored the trophy since 1999, then under the banner of CIS Insurance.

The SFL chief executive David Longmuir criticised clubs for failing to attend last week's quarter-final draw.

However, Co-operative Insurance insist that has nothing to do with their decision.

Aileen Walters, the sponsorship manager for Co-operative Financial Services, told BBC Scotland this was a purely business decision.

"We've had 12 very good years working with the Scottish Football League and we have built an excellent brand awareness in Scotland," she said.

"It is time now for a new marketing focus."

There's no doubt after the excitement of last week's round three games, the cup offers a great promotional platform at the heart of Scottish football

David Longmuir

The League Cup has been running since 1946-47 and has received commercial backing since 1979 when Bell's became the first official sponsor of the trophy.

Allied Breweries took over sponsorship in 1984 to promote their Skol Lager brand and remained the official name of the tournament until 1994, when soft drinks giant Coca-Cola took over for four seasons.

Responding to the announcement, Longmuir said: "Obviously I'm disappointed that The Co-operative Insurance sponsorship will end but I fully understand and accept the decision.

"The company has always been an active and involved partner in what has been a highly successful sponsorship which has allowed us not only to raise the profile of the competition but also that of Scottish football.

"The current contract ends after this season's final and we will now be working to secure a new sponsor for the tournament.

"There's no doubt after the excitement of last week's round three games, the cup offers a great promotional platform at the heart of Scottish football."

Last week, Longmuir was critical of Motherwell, the holders Rangers, Dundee United and Falkirk, who were not represented at the quarter-final draw.

"My point is to remind clubs to be a bit more thoughtful about the importance of sponsorship," said Longmuir.

"Sponsors need the clubs to help them to make the most of the sponsorship."

No manager was present from any of the teams involved in the draw, which paired Aberdeen with Falkirk, St Johnstone against Celtic, Motherwell versus Dundee United, with Kilmarnock up against Rangers.

The clubs all released statements either apologising for their absence, or providing what they believed were valid reasons for not attending, which ranged from training obligations to travel problems.

Co-operative Insurance has also announced an end to their sponsorship of the Irish League Cup competition after this season.

Print Sponsor

see also
Longmuir ire at Cup draw absence
23 Sep 10 |  Scottish Cups
Scottish League Cup sponsor boost
07 Jan 09 |  Scottish Cups

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