Rangers chairman Douglas Park has appeared to land a political blow on the SPFL as his company Park’s Motor Group sign a deal with the Scottish Women’s Professional League (SWPL).
The Scottish Women’s Professional League will now be known as the Park’s Motor Group SWPL and the company’s branding will be prominent in the league’s communications.
— Park’s Motor Group SWPL (@SWPL) November 17, 2021
The contract has been lauded as a “historic moment” in women’s football and for many further evidence of the growing strength of the game in Scotland [SWPL].
“This is a positive development for the girls’ and women’s game,” said Aileen Campbell, Scottish Women’s Football’s (SWF) Chief Executive Officer.
“Since my arrival as CEO, I know how important commercial income is to ensure we continue to grow the game and this deal is another step forward.
“This deal is a further sign that the game here in Scotland is deserving of recognition and investment. This will be the fifth continuous season that the SWPL has had a title sponsor.
“I want to thank all those involved in our game for helping make that possible and for continuing to help us grow and develop the sport we all love.”
Park’s Motor Group’s Marketing Director, Graeme Park, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the women’s game at this exciting time.
“Park’s has a rich history within the men’s game, with our coaches being used by many teams across the years as well as providing sponsorship and support to many clubs.
“We’re excited to be extending our involvement in Scottish football and helping to further grow the national game.”
Rangers chairman SPFL dispute separate as Park’s grow influence with SWPL deal
Whilst this is not directly related to Rangers, it’s interesting that the business involved in the SPFL dispute has entered a commercial contract with the women’s game.
The Gers are locked in a dispute with the professional members’ body for the men’s game regarding the signing of a deal with online used-car sales site cinch.
Not only does the deal conflict with Rangers’ own contractual agreements with Park’s – who also deal in used cars – but many within Ibrox believe the £8m over five years is underselling the game.
As a result of the dispute, Rangers have refused to promote cinch branding at their stadium, on their jerseys, or in the awarding of a Man of the Match at each home game.
A furious SPFL have already lost in a court battle to exclude Park’s from the dispute with Rangers, and the Ibrox club are adamant they are only following the league’s own rules.
But as the bad blood continues to boil underneath Hampden – Rangers called for the suspension of chief executive Neil Doncaster and an independent investigation into the SPFL in 2020 – Park’s have now thrown their support behind the SWPL.
Rangers have a proud recent history of supporting the growth of the women’s game in Scotland and since 2020, have undergone serious investment into this long-neglected department.