Celtic watching as more trouble brews at SPFL; contract clause brought to light

By John McGinley

June 23, 2022

Celtic and the rest of Scottish football continue to be embroiled in the enduring drama focused on the SPFL and Rangers.

Rangers being omitted from the cinch sponsorship deal last week looked to have brought an end to the tiresome saga, but it rumbles on and a new report from The Athletic has raised some concerning stuff.

The outlet states that not only are Rangers excluded from the cinch deal but any collective sponsorship deal over the next four years – effectively restricting the value of new agreements with any interested companies.

Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images for cinch

It’s believed by The Athletic that concerns were raised by member clubs in the build-up to a vote on the resolution, but that these concerns were not shared by chief executive Neil Doncaster with other clubs. There’s a sense some weren’t fully informed of the implications of approving the resolution.

The resolution the Premiership clubs voted on included these words: “The SPFL shall not grant (or permit the grant of) the Rangers Related Rights (or any similar rights) implying any sponsorship of or similar association with the SPFL, the League or the Divisions to any third party at any time throughout the remaining term.”

It seems logical that in the coming seasons Rangers will target the same industries as the SPFL will when it comes to sponsorship of inventory that would ordinarily be shared amongst clubs, potentially throwing up all sorts of issues.

At the very least, the apparent exclusion of one of the bigger teams in the league will undoubtedly have an impact on any future deals with third parties.

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A meeting is now being arranged for all 12 Scottish Premiership clubs, where an airing of grievances is inevitable, even if there is no conclusion to the nonsense.

It seems that clubs are growing weary of the entire situation with one Premiership executive telling The Athletic: “The rest of us want rid of it but if something big comes out of this meeting then it could cause problems as, if they can’t sell the league, questions should be asked of the SPFL

“The SPFL seem confident they can be open and transparent, so let’s have that meeting and listen. People would pay a fortune to hear what is going to be said.”

If Rangers effectively have the ability to reach agreements in conflict with the SPFL’s sponsorship rights, to their benefit, then it creates an odd imbalance that Celtic should certainly be keeping an eye on.

I can’t see any of this going away any time soon.

In other news, New Adidas Celtic kit hits shops.