The Scottish Football Association (SFA) have confirmed the winners of the 2020/21 Scottish Cup will earn a place in the Europa League qualifying play-off round.
While the two clubs who finish first and second in this season’s Premiership will earn a crack at Champions League qualifying, in the second and third qualifying rounds, respectively, there’s now a huge added incentive to claim the national trophy.
The cup winners will be just one tie from the lucrative Europa League groups.
Aberdeen, who have been in European qualifying for seven straight seasons under boss Derek McInnes, have only made it as far as the third qualifying round – the stage before the play-off round.
Even exiting at the play-off round of the Europa League guarantees a group stage berth in the new UEFA Conference League, meaning European football until at least December based on the current schedule.
Should one of the Premiership’s top two also win the Scottish Cup this term, the team which finishes third in the league will get the Europa League play-off round place. The Dons are currently third in the Premiership standings.
Otherwise, the Premiership’s third-place team will join the fourth-placed side in the second qualifying round for the Conference League.
The Scottish Cup for 2020/21 has been put on hold at the second and third-round stage, along with all football below Championship level, due to the coronavirus pandemic and it is unclear when it will get back under way.