Hibs chairman Ron Gordon excited over future of Scottish football as action plan put in place
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Hibs, along with Edinburgh rivals Hearts, were among five clubs who commissioned Deloitte to undertake a “critical and transparent” review of the SPFL in 2021.
Those finds have since led to a strategy group coming together, which includes representatives from each half of the Old Firm, with a view to boosting the league’s income from £28.4 million to £50 million by 2029.
The plan seeks to turn the SPFL from a largely administrative function into one which will be a “more robust and dynamic commercial structure”. The aim is to maximise income from broadcasting and create more commercial partnerships by selling the Scottish top flight as the “most dramatic, passionate and exciting” in Europe.
The Innovation and Strategy Group will consist of Gordon, Hearts chief executive Andrew McKinlay, Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack, Celtic chief executive Michael Nicholson, Rangers MD Stewart Robertson and SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster.
Speaking on behalf of the five clubs, Gordon said: “We’re very excited about this strategic action plan which sets a new tone and direction for the SPFL and the game in Scotland.
“The proposed strategic building blocks are designed to grow our clubs, the SPFL, and the men’s and women’s game at every level.
“A more substantial and comprehensive broadcast partnership, a focused and robust commercial structure and team, an investment and commitment to the growth of the women’s game, and the development of our young men’s players are all critical to reaching our aspirational goal of £50 million in revenues.
“Football is Scotland’s passion – we have a dynamic and exciting league with historic clubs and passionate fans. The image and brand of the SPFL should reflect and celebrate the many positives that our clubs and league provide our communities across the country.
“I want to thank Aberdeen, Dundee, Dundee United, Heart and Hibs for their investment in the review, along with Celtic and Rangers for their participation and contributions in curating and refining the actionable recommendations of the study.
“Our thanks also go to the SPFL board and executive for their openness, receptivity and leadership in exploring and driving new ideas and opportunities to help advance, promote and grow our clubs, the league and our game.”
Other goals in the five-year plan will be to improve the women’s game in Scotland and to establish a sustainable competition for SPFL clubs to provide a better pathway for young Scottish talent in which to flourish.
Doncaster expressed his thanks to the five clubs, along with Dundee and Dundee United who helped commission the initial report, for their work in taking the game forward in Scotland.
He said “On behalf of the SPFL, I would like to thank Aberdeen, Celtic, Dundee, Dundee United, Hearts, Hibernian and Rangers for their constructive approach and their investment of time, money and expertise into this project, which will underpin the League’s strategy over the coming years.
“Their valuable work will undoubtedly enable the League to bring in additional commercial revenues for the benefit of all 42 SPFL Member Clubs and for Scottish football as a whole. It is an exciting time for the game.”