“New tone and direction for Scottish football”: Deloitte report sets the stage for an improved era

Income streams will increase in the SPFL.
Income streams will increase in the SPFL.

Hibs, Aberdeen, Dundee, Dundee United and Hearts commissioned Deloitte to conduct a “critical and transparent” review of the SPFL last year, aimed at improving all aspects of the league.

As a follow-up to the report, an innovation and strategy group comprising representatives from Aberdeen, Celtic, Hearts, Hibs and Rangers has now developed a five-year strategic action plan to implement the recommendations. All Premiership clubs are said to have signaled “overwhelming support for the direction of travel”.

The overarching objective is to refocus the SPFL from a largely administrative function into a more robust and dynamic commercial structure, with the aim of increasing distributable revenue for Scottish clubs from £28.4m to £50m by 2029.

The strategic priorities are maximizing broadcast revenues and expanding commercial partnerships and revenues. These include securing more commercially attractive deals with broadcasters and increasing the value of overseas rights, which would mean more games would be sold.

Improving the SPFL’s image, brand and profile is also a priority, with the aim of positioning the league both domestically and internationally as the “most dramatic, passionate and exciting” in Europe and enhancing collaboration between the clubs and the to strengthen the league.

Other aims include raising the profile, capability and finances of women’s elite play in Scotland and establishing a sustainable youth development competition program for SPFL clubs with the aim of promoting young Scottish talent more effectively.

Hibs chairman Ron Gordon, speaking on behalf of the five clubs that placed the order, said: “We are delighted with this strategic action plan which sets a new tone and direction for the SPFL and the game in Scotland.

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“The proposed strategic building blocks are designed to grow our clubs, the SPFL and men’s and women’s football at all levels.

“A more substantial and broader broadcast partnership, a focused and robust commercial structure and team, investment and commitment to the growth of women’s football and the development of our young men’s players are all critical to achieving our ambitious goal of £50m in revenues.

“Football is Scotland’s passion – we have a dynamic and exciting league with historic clubs and passionate supporters. The SPFL image and brand should reflect and celebrate the many positives that our clubs and leagues bring to our communities across the country.”

SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster welcomed the clubs’ cooperation in trying to improve Scottish football.

“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 in this project which will underpin the league’s strategy for years to come “, he said.

“Their valuable work will no doubt allow the league to generate additional commercial revenue for the benefit of all 42 SPFL member clubs and Scottish football as a whole. It’s an exciting time for the game.”

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