SPFL Member Clubs Invest in Independent Advice on Strategic Review

SPFL Member Clubs, Aberdeen, Dundee, Dundee United, Heart of Midlothian and Hibernian, with the endorsement of the SPFL, have commissioned independent advisers to assist in a strategic and holistic review of the SPFL, with the primary focus on identifying ways of unlocking significant additional revenues for the benefit of all in professional Scottish club football.

As a group of Clubs, who will spend around £600m over the next ten years (in both operations and infrastructure) we believe a clear vision and strategy with measurable goals is needed if Scottish Football is to continue to grow and prosper on and off the pitch, and ultimately compete with similar-sized countries and leagues across Europe.

The Clubs, who have commissioned this work with Deloitte, welcome the engagement of all stakeholders in the game and intend to make the key outcomes and recommendations public.

THE PLAN

Deloitte’s Sports Business Group has been engaged to complete the first phase of a six-month review with the goal of developing a blueprint/road map to shape and guide the future of Scottish professional football. In order to achieve this, the review will consult with SPFL stakeholders to evaluate the current situation in the Scottish game, while exploring new and innovative ideas, and best practices across the industry.

The strategic review will focus on four key areas:

1. Commercial Growth
Explore the opportunities and structure to significantly increase league revenues and, by extension, funds distributed to member clubs. The analysis will include league inventory and value of sponsorships and commercial partnerships, broadcast and media licensing, new product opportunities, inventory development, structure and staffing, among other initiatives to drive revenue growth. For reference, the current annual distribution to member clubs is £27m, and the hope and expectation is to test the aspiration and goal of achieving at least £50m of annual distributions within the next five years.

2. SPFL Brand

The SPFL is one the most exciting leagues in Europe, – it is authentic, intense, and passionate. Few leagues and clubs have the level of engagement, attendance and support that exists in Scottish football. We should cherish, promote and celebrate it. The review will explore how we can work together to strengthen and promote the image and brand of the league and the Scottish game.

3. SPFL Structure, Governance, Organisation, Resources, and Competition

The exercise will review and recommend structural and organisational changes to improve the governance and administration of the league, – focused on streamlining the delivery of the strategic goals. It will benchmark against other leagues and best practices across the game.

4. Strategic Projects
Finally, we will review and recommend initiatives that complement and advance the strategic, commercial, and sporting goals of the league. Areas of review could include government relations, philanthropy, safety and security of venues, youth academies, player development, etc.

KEY POINTS

• The strategic review will include independent recommendations. These will be based on consultations with stakeholders and the review of available data and insight, informed by Deloitte’s extensive expertise in the sports business.
• This review is being undertaken with a view to identifying how the SPFL can significantly increase the annual distribution of revenues to Member Clubs.
• This is not about redistribution of existing income sources in favour of so-called ‘bigger clubs’. The Clubs are seeking to unlock new revenues and grow the Scottish game as a whole where ‘a rising tide lifts all ships’.
• We believe that unlocking new revenues will allow us to, amongst other things, produce better, more technically gifted players, to compete in European Club competitions and at national level.
• The SPFL board has endorsed this important review that the Clubs have commissioned with Deloitte and welcome the support and engagement of all who share our ambition to grow the Scottish game via a clear vision, strategy, and set of goals.

Dave Cormack – Chairman, Aberdeen FC
Tim Keyes – Chairman, Dundee FC
Mark Ogren – Chairman, Dundee United FC
Ann Budge – Chairman, Heart of Midlothian FC
Ronald Gordon – Chairman, Hibernian FC