Highlands & Islands

Inverness Caledonian Thistle: Bid to boost League Cup Final support

Inverness Caledonian Thistle player Nicholas Ross
Inverness Caledonian Thistle will take on Aberdeen at Celtic Park

Highland Council has offered to help encourage people to turn out in support of Inverness Caledonian Thistle at next month's Scottish League Cup Final.

The team will face Aberdeen at Celtic Park in Glasgow on 16 March.

The local authority said it was having talks with the club and supporters' trust on finding ways of swelling Inverness's support.

Aberdeen City Council has offered £50,000 from its common good fund to help young fans.

Highland Council is also considering helping young people attend the final.

It has also written to the Scottish Professional Football League to ask how it planned to encourage people to go to the game.

Council leader Drew Hendry said: "This is a major sporting and cultural event for Inverness and the Highlands.

"This is why we are actively involved in discussions to ensure that this major achievement by Inverness Caledonian Thistle is effectively promoted and generates an interest that results in a big turn out from the Highlands at the final in Glasgow."

Aberdeen players
Young Aberdeen fans are to be offered help in attending the game

Mr Hendry said Dingwall-based Ross County FC had shown in 2010 how teams could rally support for big games.

There were an estimated 17,000 Ross County fans at Hampden for the Staggies' Scottish Cup final against Dundee United.

Dingwall's population in 2010 was about 5,000.

Sign before Ross County's Scottish Cup final in 2010
A sign that appeared outside Dingwall before County's cup final in 2010

On the day of the final, a sign directed at traffic leaving the town on the road to Inverness read: "Last one out turn the lights off".

County lost the game 3-0.

But Mr Hendry said: "There were lessons learned from their effective promotional campaign to engage with the Highland public and maximise national exposure for the area.

"We have spoken with Inverness Caledonian Thistle and their supporters' trust to identify how we might best provide backing.

"Our clear focus will be to encourage as many young people as possible to attend."

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