“The draw comprises 40 clubs: the 38 SPFL clubs not participating in European competitions plus East Kilbride (Lowland League champions) and Buckie Thistle (Highland League champions).
The format of the 2017 Betfred Cup Group Stage draw is as follows:
The draw will produce eight groups of five teams on a regionalised basis – four ‘North’ groups and four ‘South’ groups.
All eight groups will be made up of one 1st seed, one 2nd seed and three unseeded clubs.
Prior to the draw the 40 participating teams are placed into one of three pots based on league positions at the end of season 2016/17 – 8 x 1st seeds, 8 x 2nd seeds and 24 x unseeded teams. Each of the pots is then individually split into two equal halves: North and South o 8 x 1st seeds = 4 x North and 4 x South; o 8 x 2nd seeds = 4 x North and 4 x South; o 24 x Unseeded = 12 x North and 12 x South.
The 2017 Betfred Cup will kick off another season of Scottish football and follows a hugely successful first year in the competition’s unique format which saw a number of innovations introduced. BT Sport continue as broadcast partner of the Betfred Cup for a second season.
The Group Stage draw sees the 40 participating clubs scheduled to play four games across five match dates – 15 July, 19 July, 22 July, 26 July and 29 July (subject to broadcast selections).
The format, announced in advance of the 2016 Betfred Cup, sees all drawn Group Stage matches go straight to a penalty shoot-out with the winners earning an extra ‘bonus point’ in addition to the traditional point given for a draw. The eight group winners and four best runners-up progress to the last 16 where they are joined by holders Celtic and fellow European representatives Aberdeen, Rangers and St Johnstone.”
For all the latest Betfred Cup information including fixture dates visit: http://spfl.co.uk/betfred-cup/