Scottish Supporters Network

Hosted by Supporters Direct Scotland

Strengthening Scottish Football
SDS Logo

Does the Bonus Point Shoot-out Work?

Date: 17th July 2016


By Scottish Supporters Network Member Grant McKenzie (@Grantomac)

The Scottish domestic football season is now under way. The new format of the League Cup has meant that competitive football begins mid-July and on Friday night the BT Sport cameras were at Gayfield. It allowed us our first glimpse of how the new bonus point system would work in the real world and not simply on the notepads of the decision makers within the Scottish Professional Football League.

Following a 90 minute, and frankly uninteresting, 1-1 draw between Arbroath and Dundee United we were given the chance to see how this bonus point penalty shoot-out would hold up to the scrutiny of the viewing public. United made history to win the first bonus point of the new format but the crucial question for the concept is this: Did it add to the excitement of watching Scottish football?

It is off course entirely positive that there is an increase in television coverage and thereby an increase in income for clubs. I’m also fairly certain that lower league clubs will be delighted at the prospect of home gates against Premiership opposition. After all, at this time of the year they would only be playing friendlies either closed doors or to small crowds with a lower yield at the gate than a competitive fixture.

One of the noticeable elements of the penalty shoot-out was its presentation. BT Sport positioned a camera behind the penalty taker allowing us to see it from their angle, low down at pitch level. At first I was a bit unsure of this innovation but I think it could grow on me. However, the single most striking element for me was the sort of anticlimactic reactions from the winning players once they won the shoot-out. Totally understandable by the way. This is a group competition and it likely that penalty shoot-out wins will be celebrated with more visible joy if/when they occur in the latter group games and be the difference between progression or being put out in the first round.


In the end we can only suitably judge if Scottish football has been enhanced by the new format after the group stages are at an end but first impressions are always important. For me the jury is still out. What about you?

Posted in: Latest News