SPFL Trust Trophy shuts out cross-border teams as competition changes made

The SPFL Trust Trophy will no longer be a cross-border competition
-Credit: (Image: SNS Group)

The SPFL Trust Trophy will no longer invite cross-border clubs to take part.

For the past six years, teams from Northern Ireland and Wales have previously been invited to compete against lower league Scottish sides for the trophy. Welsh sides Connah's Quay Nomads and The New Saints have both been finalists with both losing, the latter to Rhys McCabe's Airdrie this year.

The competition, historically known as the Challenge Cup, will undergo changes ahead of the 2024/25 campaign, including not now being open to clubs from other countries. Teams from the Highland and Lowland Leagues have already been taking part but it will now be opened up to more, with 11 in total invited in.

Record prize money will now be on offer with the winners this time getting £100,000, a 100 per cent increase on what Airdrie took home. In total £790,000 will be shared between clubs, up 58 per cent.

SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster said: “We’re really pleased to announce record prize money for the SPFL Trust Trophy next season. The SPFL Trust have been fantastic supporters of this important cup competition. Their investment, and the continuing generosity of James and Morag Anderson, is greatly appreciated.

“We have very much enjoyed the participation of cross-border teams, who have competed in six seasons of this competition since they first joined in season 2016/17. However, their involvement does further complicate our already congested fixture schedule. Hence the SPFL Trust Trophy will revert to a Scottish-only competition next season. We are delighted to welcome five Highland League clubs and six Lowland League clubs into the SPFL Trust Trophy next season.”