BY DARREN JOHNSTONE @CCP_Sport
Ross County chairman Roy MacGregor has welcomed ‘innovative’ changes to the League Cup format – but admits he doubts whether it will have the fans flooding back.
The revamped competition will feature group stages involving all 38 teams not in Europe, plus the winners of the Highland and Lowland Leagues, at the start of next season.
Where possible, the groups will also be regionalised and games will take place during the latter stages of July, a period normally dominated by pre-season fixtures.
But McGregor admits he would be surprised if matches in the group stages see a significant rise in attendances.
He said: “I haven’t been involved in the decision of this one at all but it seems inventive, it deals with a movement towards at least playing a couple of weeks in July.
“It’s a trial, although it’s a four-year trial. I think it will give us more exposure, it gives us games in July and I’m a favourite of the winter break and getting a couple of weeks off in January.
“I’m slightly sceptical (that it will draw more fans) because it’s changing a mindset.
“The kids are off for six weeks holiday and people plan their holidays around trade fortnights or particular things.
“I welcome the fact that it’s competitive games because I think pre-season friendlies are a bit false nowadays and by regionalising it we’re going to get clubs within our own locality, local derbies and I think that’s a good thing.
“I do welcome the Highland League and Lowland League participation as well.”
Speaking to the BBC Radio Scotland, he added: “I think this is a bold, innovative approach and I think we’ll learn a lot from it with regards to summer football – with regards to regionalisation and certainly, we do welcome the winter break.”