The Scottish FA and Scottish Women’s Football (SWF) has announced this morning that the Perth-based energy company SSE will be the first major sponsor of women’s football in Scotland. The branding will see the Scottish Women’s Cup branded as the SSE Scottish Women’s Cup, as well as becoming a partner of the National Team.
The deal was announced at Oriam, Scotland’s National Performance Centre, where the Scotland team was training for their crucial qualifier against Iceland. The Minister for Public Health and Sport, Aileen Campbell MSP and Viv McLaren and Justine Mitchell from the SWF were also in attendance.
This historic deal will see prize money awarded to the winners of the 2016 SSE Scottish Women’s Cup Final which will take place at Hamilton Academical’s Superseal Stadium on the 6th November, a game that will also be broadcast by BBC Alba.
And next season, the prize money will also be extended to earlier rounds for next season’s tournament, something that will be crucial in growing the game.
The four-year deal which will see investment in both the SWF, the National Team and at grassroots level sees SSE continue their highly successful partnership with the English FA The company sponsor the FA Women’s Cup where building upon the success of the Lionesses, there have been record attendances – as well as increases in the prize money available.
SWF Joint Chair Viv McLaren stated, “We would like to thank SSE for its investment, which will significantly help us to realise our aim of ensuring every girl or woman who wants to play football has the opportunity. We are delighted that, amongst other benefits, players in the SSE Scottish Women’s Cup will be rewarded for their hard work and dedication with the first ever prize fund.”
The SSE Director of Human Resources John Stewart commented on the deal that,
“SSE is proud to be the first major sponsor of women’s football in Scotland entering this partnership with one simple ambition – to make a difference to the future of women’s football and sport…SSE also sees the partnership as an opportunity to increase grassroots support for girls with the goal to get more girls playing the beautiful game.”
There is no doubt that the game is getting stronger – something this investment only bolsters Currently, Scotland have two entrants in the 2016-17 UEFA Women’s Champions League with Glasgow City taking out Swedish side Eskilstuna United and Hibernian playing on the Frauen-Bundesliga champions FC Bayern Munich.
The restructuring of the SWPL has been a huge success but there is the small matter of Scotland possibly qualifying for their first major international tournament. If results go Scotland’s way today, they could end up qualifying without kicking off their final qualifier – but regardless of that, there is no doubt that a good result against Iceland is vital. As Scotland’s National Manger Anna Signeul stated, if Scotland qualifies today, the preparations for next summer will start on Tuesday.
On the game against Iceland, Signeul commentated that the squad did have revenge on their minds for the 4-0 loss back in June. She said everyone had been able to do self-analysis from the defeat, but they’ve done that as a group too.
“We had a really good session yesterday. We focused on defending, we focused on really being tight, and we need to get back to not conceding goals.”
On the deal, with SSE she said it was fantastic that the company had invested in girls’ and women’s football across the UK and that Scotland had a great deal
SSE Plc is one of the UK’s leading energy companies, supplying energy to around 8.21 million energy and home service customers throughout Great Britain and Ireland and is the UK’s leading generator of electricity from renewable sources. The company became a Living Wage employer in September 2013 and was accredited with eh Fair Tax Mark in October 2014.