Scottish Football, SPFL

Sawing Neil Doncaster In Half


Good Evening.

Yesterday afternoon Neil Doncaster was being upbeat about the state of Planet SPFL. In response to Henry McLeish’s comments about a summit to consider the state of the game in Scotland, he said the following:

“In the two years since the SPFL was formed, there has been much positive change, including the introduction of Premiership play-offs, financial redistribution to assist Championship clubs, new sponsor and TV broadcast deals, increased revenues and greater fee payments to clubs”

Well guess what?

The good news didn’t stop there!

Today Mr Doncaster announced that the League Cup has a sponsor!

Utilita Energy to back League Cup

However, this being Mr Doncaster, all is not what it seems…

Utility Energy are not a sponsor. They are the “official presenting partner of the Scottish League Cup”.

No, I am none the wiser either. But I suppose it is better than having Neil McCann as a ‘presenting partner’. As anyone who has seen him in the Sky Sports studio will attest. 

And the prize for ‘Best League Cup Sponsorship Gobbledygook’ goes to…

According to Bill Bullen, CEO of Utilita (whose logo looks a bit like a hotel in the game of Monopoly) – “We have some wonderful ideas to really elevate this partnership with the SPFL, who have been fantastic throughout our negotiations.”

To be honest, I am not sure it’s good to hear people putting up money describing the authorities as “fantastic throughout our negotiations”. I’d rather hear “they drove a hard bargain, reflecting the value of the product”. But maybe I simply don’t understand how Doncasternomics works…

As for the quantum of money being put up… well the SPFL statement doesn’t provide a figure although press reports this morning suggest it is £200,000, with the tournament to be revamped next season.

But we don’t need to concern ourselves with next season in this blog, because the sponsorship deal only covers the remainder of this season. 

Yes, that’s right. The SPFL have managed to secure a sponsor for the final three rounds of the six-round tournament. Call me old-fashioned, but wouldn’t it be better to have secured a sponsor for the entire tournament?

It would be interesting to know why that didn’t happen.

This ‘partial sponsorship’ seems to be a phenomenon peculiar to Scottish football. And in particular the League Cup. You may remember that last season, the SPFL only managed to secure a League Cup sponsor for the Semi-Finals and Final.

The Clumpany feels that the ever-enterprising and commercially-minded Mr Doncaster ought to cash in on this unique characteristic of Scottish football. Given that only half the rounds of this year’s League Cup are sponsored, he could perhaps 

  1. raise additional funds for SPFL clubs this season; and
  2. advertise the SPFL’s extremely flexible approach to sponsorship deals…

…by allowing himself to be sawed in half at halftime during this season’s League Cup Final. 

A potentially great publicity stunt

Football fans could sponsor him for going through the ‘ordeal’, and an auction could be held to give one lucky punter the opportunity to wield the magic saw.

I can see it being a real money spinner!


Disclaimer: The Clumpany does not advocate actually sawing any football administrators in half. The above scenario is provided for comedy purposes only…

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