Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Sponsorship of SPL? Without Rangers, a real struggle

The SPL was formed in 1998, as a breakaway from the old First Division of Scottish football, and a way of making revenue streams more profitable for the top flight.

The Scottish Premier League had two sponsors down the years, with the Bank of Scotland and later the Clydesdale Bank partnering the top flight.

However, there is absolutely no coincidence that Rangers’ plight coincided with the end of sponsorship in the summer of 2013. Rangers were voted out in summer 2012, and a year later the top flight lost its sponsorship, and has not managed to acquire any since.

The SPFL’s commercial director, Scott Steedman, has even managed to embarrass himself with the following soundbite on the subject:

“I am confident that we will have someone in place, there is no reason why that should not happen."

Other than his remarkable failure to have any in place over the past 12 months (he was appointed in April 2014), none at all!

“We are in talks with several companies, some of which are at different stages than others. It’s not a bad position to be in and I would say that there is no way we won’t have a new sponsor announced fairly soon.”

Not exactly convincing. Reading between the lines, he is desperately trying to hawk a dismal product off to lower-tier companies, none of whom are interested in an SPL without Rangers.

The Sun today does claim Steedman has been negotiating a million+ figure sponsorship with bookmakers BetFred (quite a step down from the reputable banks of the past), but the fact it has taken 24 months (including well over a year by Steedman himself) to get to this stage gives some idea of just how unnattractive a prospect the SPFL now is.

Scottish football, as a product, is garbage enough as it is, but the Old Firm always was, and always will be, the lifeblood of the sport up here. Without it, the game in Scotland is in borderline ruin.

Whether or not Rangers come through the play-offs won’t affect negotiations because we are not selling the Old Firm – we are selling a 42-club solution.”

Yes, because the whole package has been remarkably attractive for the past 24 months since Rangers disappeared from the top flight…

The desperation from Scottish football’s hierarchies to have Rangers back at the top is countered only by their embarrassing refusal to admit it.


  1. You're right, no one and certainly none of the big guns appears to be interested in the SPFL if Rangers aren't involved. Like you say, whether the governing bodies want to admit it or not, it's all about the Rangers.

  2. The stupidities of ScottIsh football mirrors , sadly, Scottish society. Rangers should not have been sold to Whyte, the banks forced it on Murray, who had himself been allowed too much leeway by said bank. The HMRCs position on EBTs is questionable to say the least. But Rangers should never have used them. But then many businesses did.


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