The SFA has confirmed that William Hill will end their Scottish Cup sponsorship at the end of this season.
The decision is another blow to the SFA who started this season without a sponsors for the national team before BT Sport emerged with a deal covering the four home nations.
Sponsorship deals with bookmakers have come in for criticism in recent months with Hamilton boss Brian Rice serving a five match touchline ban for being caught betting on football matches. Hiils have sponsored the Scottish Cup for nine seasons with Celtic lifting the trophy in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
With live TV coverage of the competition moving from Sky to Premier Sports sponsors get much less coverage than they would usually expect although the Scottish Cup draw is given prominence with live coverage on BBC Scotland.
With Ladbrokes ending their sponsorship of the SPFL in May the two main football bodies face a race against time to find a sponsor that hasn’t already committed its budget for this year.
The Sun reports Ian Maxwell saying:
The Scottish FA would like to thank William Hill for their investment in Scottish football over the past decade.
Their sponsorship has enabled development in many aspects of the game, through the Scottish Cup, men’s national team and Hampden Park, but has also supported key initiatives such as the Hampden Sports Clinic’s mental health programme.
With Maxwell’s track record it is unlikely that any blue-chip sponsor will be beating a track to Hampden to be associated with the SFA.
Earlier this week the SFA were ridiculed over the decision to reject James Keatings’ appeal against a second yellow card for simulation. Today former First Minister Henry McLeish has been highly critical of the SFA for falling short of his much heralded 2020 Report from a decade ago.