The business model of the SPFL’s new sponsor, cinch, is to sell cars directly to the public, cutting out the dealer network. Newco’s chairman owns a large car dealership which sponsors Newco (although it is not a shirt sponsor).
Newco have refused to comply with the SPFL contract by adding the cinch logo to players’ sleeves and elsewhere. They claim compliance would break an existing commercial deal, presumably with their own chairman, but have refused to provide evidence of any existing deal to the league.
League and club sponsors often conflict. While the SPFL was sponsored by Ladbrokes, Celtic had Dafabet blazoned across their chest and Newco had their own gambling partner. Newco’s position appears to be that any club with a pre-existing agreement with any one of its partners can veto a league sponsorship deal. Quite a thing, with 42 clubs, some of which have 20 commercial sponsorship partners.
It is always possible that the SPFL’s rules are poorly drafted on such matters, the SFA were able to exploit what appeared to be a clear rule before, but the League have examined their position and have escalated the issue. Yesterday, chairman Murdoch MacLennan wrote to all 42 clubs, stated the league’s position and informed clubs he had referred the matter to the SFA’s arbitration process.
If you think this all seems a bit contrived, you are not alone. Why stand and fight on such a puny hill? Newco are not the private fiefdom of their chairman, he is not Cnut (be careful), able to turn the tide against cinch, so why antagonise every non-compliant club in the league?
Newco want rid of MacLennan and especially SPFL chief exect Neil Doncaster. Neither will do their bidding. If the club can find a contractual oversight, it gives them grounds to call for their resignations, again.
There are other mattes at play; step forward Malmo manager, Jon Dahl Tomasson, who yesterday alluded to the matter we discussed in our State of the Club blog 10 days ago. Newco need Champions League money more acutely than oxygen itself. Should the wheels come off the white charger tonight, you can expect conflicts on every corner.
I never get what is it about people who think they are too special to follow rules. There is a want about them. Are we going to see pyros from the Newco directors’ box next? Seems logical. Fight The Man, even if The Man is just a salaried someone, responsible for converting advice or strategy onto structure.