The Scottish Cup is to be rebranded as the Homecoming Cup after the Scottish FA yesterday brought to a close their 17-month search for a new sponsor.
City Refrigeration Holdings (CRH), the Glasgow-based refrigeration firm owned by Willie Haughey, the former Celtic director, will succeed Tennent's, who ended their 18-year backing in 2007 to instead provide funding for the national team.
The two-year deal is said to be worth £1m a year, with an option in place to extend the agreement for another year, and will help ease the financial burden on the SFA, who paid out more than £1m to clubs last season for their participation in the sponsorless tournament.
The competition will be renamed as of this season with CRH electing not to have their name on the trophy. "It won't have my company name because this isn't about selling more fridges," Haughey said. "I am simply trying to help out football at a number of levels with so many clubs involved in the tournament. The City Refrigeration Scottish Cup sounds a little bit cold in any case."
The Scottish Government has designated 2009 Homecoming Year to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns, the Ayrshire poet, and hope to entice a large number of expatriate Scots and people of Scottish descent back to Scotland as a result.
The agreement is due to be formally announced at a press conference at Hampden this afternoon where Haughey, George Peat, president of the SFA, and First Minister Alex Salmond are all expected to be present.