What’s the value of the Scottish Professional League sponsorship package? It’s whatever the highest bidder is prepared to pay for it. £4m from Ladbrokes over two years is, therefore, a true value. It’s down on the previous SPL deal, which was £2m from Clydesdale Bank, as it includes rights to the lower leagues, but this reflects variations in market and product conditions since that deal was signed.
The SPFL chose to go without a sponsor rather than significantly reduce their asking price, believing that it would be difficult to up-bid from a lower position than wait on the market returning to a position closer to the expected value. As we don’t know what offers they received two years ago, and we’ll never know what subsequent value would have been received, there’s no point even trying to judge that decision. The most we can say is that despite worries in some places of Armageddon, clearly member clubs believed they had enough in the tank to ride out some years without sponsorship money.
Everything is for sale (Ibrox naming rights for £1, anyone?), but you only take low value deals when you’re in a low value starting position – and there’s no point making moral ‘right or wrong’ judgements about people who make decisions from a poor starting position.
Unlike Scottish football’s broadcast deals, the values of which are determined by an oligopoly, league, shirt and stadium sponsorship is open to a very wide number of potential partners.
The real focus of our angst, should be against the behemoth who own the majority of football TV rights, pays a huge premium for the rights which are critical to its business, while exploiting the large barriers to entry to pay a pittance for Scottish football.
As TV consumers we pay some of the highest subscriber rates in the world as we are part of a very valuable TV market. Our football clubs operate within the boundaries of this TV market but are excluded from competing in the lucrative section of that market by a closed shop.
An oligopoly working with a closed shop to the detriment of some competitors within the EU. I cannot believe this is legal.