Report: SPFL set to be vindicated as Celtic and others await outcome of independent review

By John McGinley

July 30, 2022

The final findings of the independent Deloitte review into SPFL commercial and revenue opportunities are set to be publicly released soon, The Scottish Daily Mail reports this week. [28/07 print edition, page 84]

A working group that included Hibs, Hearts, Aberdeen, Dundee United and Dundee commissioned the study with approval from the SPFL board.

Hibs chairman Ron Gordon has now provided the latest update on its publication, stating: “We have one little piece of business that we’re negotiating and, if we get that done, I think everyone is going to think: ‘Wow, this is good’.”

Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images for cinch

However, The Scottish Daily Mail states that the initial report from Deloitte has “largely vindicated” the work done by the SPFL executive team to maximise revenue for clubs.

The outlet says that this is the reason that the main bullet points from the report haven’t yet been published, with officials wary of embarrassing the five clubs who paid for the initiative.

The Deloitte review is focused on four main areas – commercial growth, the SPFL brand, governance and structure, and strategic projects.

The league body has come under severe fire in recent years for not capitalising on opportunities available and underselling the product.

That led to a prolonged and public battle with Rangers regarding cinch sponsorship that was eventually resolved, albeit with plenty of drama in tow.

However, if Deloitte considers that Chief Executive Neil Doncaster and his colleagues have actually worked well with the tools they have, then it’s a bit of a victory for the SPFL, to be perfectly honest. They have always publicly defended themselves from criticism.

Celtic, of course, will be watching on very closely. It’s important the league is moving forward with some sort of unity given there are some big deals to be made on the horizon, including the renewal of TV rights that expire in 2025.

We await the final findings with interest.

In other news, Celtic loanee helps sink Boli Bolingoli and Marian Shved in starting debut.