The SPFL appear to take Rangers’ advice in the appointment of a new commercial director who will haul the professional members’ body into the world of modern football business.

Brendan Napier will now join the SPFL as the organisation’s first director of commercial and marketing as Scottish football looks to improve its commercial operations and increase financing into the game.

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

The SPFL have made the appointment – which will cover the SFA, SPFL and SWPL under the Scottish Football Marketing umbrella – “with the goal of driving growth in the commercial value of the game’s key sponsorship assets for the benefit of the entire sport in Scotland” [SPFL].

It’s been widely recognised as a good move from the SPFL but might it never have happened had Rangers not called out some of the SPFL’s investment last season?

SPFL appoint commercial director after Rangers nudge

The Ibrox side’s gripes with the Hampden powerbrokers is well documented but now the SPFL appear to have considered Rangers’ feedback in the appointment of a commercial director.

This comes after the Ibrox club criticised the SPFL for using around £500k of group funds from the controversial cinch contract to pay middle men who organised the deal.

Whilst we want to focus on the commercial director aspect of this specifically, the entire thing relates to a clash of interests between Rangers, the SPFL, cinch and Parks Motor Group.

The situation eventually landed in Rangers’ favour, with the Ibrox side the only team in the 42-side pyramid who does not need to sport any cinch branding.

However, Rangers still directly benefit from the £1.6m per year deal in a damning indictment of the SPFL’s handling of the Gers’ conflict of interest claims.

But before that outcome was reached, outgoing Rangers managing director Stewart Robertson laid bare the club’s frustrations with the SPFL in a damning letter.

In that letter, Robertson also criticised the SPFL for spending £100k per season across the course of the five-year deal to pay commission on an agency rather than on a commercial director to broker this deal alongside many others.

An excerpt from the letter reads:

It was interesting that the Chairman provided the Chief Executive with the credit for closing the deal when it was introduced to the SPFL by an agency that will receive c.£100,000 pa in fees for each of the 5 years of the deal. That is c.£500,000 of cash that will be leaving the Scottish game. Is this the best use of Scottish Football’s limited resources? Could this money have been better spent by employing a full time Commercial Director?

It appears Rangers may well have nudged their old pals at the SPFL in the right direction and perhaps this is a step in the right direction at Hampden and a sign of better things to come.

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