SPFL announce record turnover with Celtic top of the tree for prize money

By Dave Flanigan

September 29, 2022

The SPFL has today announced record financial results for the 2021/22 season, with Premiership clubs also enjoying record league pay-outs over the last year.

The league saw its highest-ever turnover of £39,523,000 a 7% increase from the previous season, with fees paid to clubs up 5% from season 2020/21 to £29,717,000.

Overseas income also saw a 5% increase from the previous campaign with a 6% decrease in staff remuneration.

Photo by Jeff Holmes/Getty Images

In a press release published on the official website this morning, SPFL CEO Neil Doncaster said: “These record results are extremely encouraging for our game and reflect the positive impact of the cinch title sponsorship, the largest single sponsorship deal in the history of the league, and the ongoing support that we continue to enjoy from Sky Sports and our other broadcast partners.

“It’s also important to recognise the outstanding commitment of our small team at the SPFL, which works tirelessly on behalf of our 42 member clubs, and deserves huge credit for the way league operations continued through the pandemic.

“With two of our clubs in the UEFA Champions League group stage for the first time since Season 2007/08, and on the back of our recently-announced long-term contract with Sky Sports, the SPFL can look forward with real confidence to the years ahead.”

Of the nearly £30m paid to clubs over the course of last season, Premier Sports sponsorship of the League Cup accounted for £2,787,000, also a 9% increase from the previous season.

The governing body also announced the promotion of Company Secretary & Director of Operations Callum Beattie as the inaugural Chief Operating Officer, alongside the financial results.

SPFL in good financial health in wake of controversial TV deal

It’s difficult to separate the financial news with the announcement of the new Sky Sports TV deal on Tuesday, with the broadcaster exclusively showing Scottish Premiership games until 2029.

Given Sky’s habit of not broadcasting the full allocation of contracted games – Celtic’s away trip to Fir Park next month is just one of many the provider has chosen not to show – and the meagre revenue secured compared to other similarly-sized leagues, the new deal has attracted much ire in the lead-up to the announcement.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

With both Celtic and their rivals in the UEFA Champions League group stage for the first time in fifteen seasons, and the Scottish national team flourishing, it feels like a naïve deal to cut for such a long contract with the increased visibility of the Scottish game having the potential to attract more lucrative offers in the coming years.

The financial results once again demonstrate that those at the top of the game seem to undervalue Scottish football’s viability as a sellable product, to the detriment of the game as a whole.

In other news: How Motherwell management change could play to Celtic’s advantage