Scottish Premier League

Doncaster: Life after Rangers

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Thu, 11 Oct 2012 13:11:00

Rangers' demise has not caused the feared financial catastrophe on the top flight in Scotland, SPL chief executive Neil Doncaster has insisted.

Doncaster said the fact that SPL finances have held up overall proved that Scottish football is not all about the Old Firm.

He admitted that individual SPL clubs were facing a drop in income due to a fall in gates now they no longer had visiting Rangers fans to rely on but that centrally the league had suffered little effect.

Doncaster told the Leaders in Football conference in London: "There was a real fear over the summer that the demise of Rangers, effectively demoted to the fourth tier of Scottish football, would lead to a real concern about the financial position across the whole of the game in Scotland.

"For many people Scottish football means 'Old Firm' and what the events of the summer show the game in Scotland is a lot more resilient than that.

"Whilst there are challenges at a club level because the Rangers support is now not going around the Premier League clubs, centrally we are relatively robust so it's not quite what people would have expected.

"In fact finances at league level will not be wildly different from where they were last year.

"So the game has developed and has proved to be more resilient. Part of that is we have been able to rely on our strong partnerships with the likes of Sky and ESPN and Clydesdale Bank and they continue to back the league."

In the summer, one football finance analyst estimated the cost of not playing Rangers four times a season could lead to a ?1m drop in revenue for each SPL club.

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