Premiership clubs who commissioned a review into the state of Scottish football have welcomed a plan that aims to almost double club income by 2029.
Aberdeen, Dundee, Dundee United, Heart of Midlothian and Hibernian used their own funds to employ Deloitte to conduct a “critical and transparent” review of the SPFL last year, with a view to increasing revenue and improving the league in the short and long term in every aspect of its business.
That review was delivered to league clubs and a new innovation and strategy group, comprising representatives from Celtic, Rangers, Hearts, Hibs and Aberdeen, studied the findings and put together a plan of action to implement recommendations.
The clubs who set the ball rolling on the review say it can deliver a “shared vision and set of goals to lift the Scottish game signals the beginning of a new era for Scottish football”.
The plan is designed to significantly increase the pot of income that is shared between clubs from £28.4m to £50m by 2029.
At the core of the recommendations are a plan to transform the SPFL itself from an organisation that is primarily concerned with the administrative side of organising competitions, to a body that has a “more robust and dynamic commercial structure.”
The league body has been accused in the past of failing to deliver satisfactory broadcast and sponsorship deals and the new proposals say that maximising television contracts and commercial partnerships will be a “strategic priority”.
Other aims are to improve the brand of Scottish football at home and overseas, develop the women’s game, and improve the quality of youth competitions to help young players to develop to elite level.
Hibs chairman Ron Gordon, representing the five clubs who commissioned the original review, 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 £50m 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.”
Neil Doncaster, chief executive of the SPFL, 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.”