SPL has to find a new sponsor

After Clydesdale Bank gave notice that it will end its current sponsorship of the Scottish Premier League (SPL) in 2013 the competition has to find a new sponsor against a difficult background.   Scottish football has suffered a number of blows, some of them unresolved, as in the case of the tax dispute that Rangers is involved in.    Moreover, although the Scottish economy has be

After Clydesdale Bank gave notice that it will end its current sponsorship of the Scottish Premier League (SPL) in 2013 the competition has to find a new sponsor against a difficult background.   Scottish football has suffered a number of blows, some of them unresolved, as in the case of the tax dispute that Rangers is involved in.    Moreover, although the Scottish economy has being doing well in many respects, a prolonged recession is in prospect for the whole of Europe.


SPL chief executive Neil Doncaster is nevertheless upbeat, as he perhaps needs to be, drawing attention to improved viewing figures for televised games.   However, this may simply reflect the fact that people have less spare cash to go out and enjoy themselves.


The decision of Clydesdale Bank is not a great surprise.    After several years you get diminishing returns from a sponsorship of this kind  and the bank intends to concentrate more on striaghtforward advertising rather than sponsorship in the future.  


Nevertheless, it will be a challenge for the SPL to match the £10.5m the Clydesdale sponsorship is said to have yielded.   Some of the most successful companies in Scotland are small or medium-sized and would not be interested in this scale of sponsorship, as distinct from being involved with their local club.   Some of the biggest companies by turnover have been in the financial services sector and have taken a big hit in the global financial crisis.


There have been various reports and analyses of the state of Scottish football and none of them has come up with a magic bullet, probably because there is not one.    The idea of at Atlantic League for smaller European countries is probably the best bet in the longer run, but that has its drawbacks for fans in particular.