No other candidates considered as Doncaster wins ‘rigged’ election


doncasterSPL chief executive Neil Doncaster has been named as the chief executive of the Scottish Professional Football League, beating off competition frm SFL chief David Longmuir.

An SPFL statement read: “The Remuneration and Appointment Committee of the SPFL can advise that Neil Doncaster has been appointed to the role of Chief Executive Officer of the SPFL.

“The SPFL looks forward to continuing with the implementation of one representative body and the commencement of season 2013/14 for the benefit of all 42 member clubs.”

No other candidates were considered for the SPFL chief executive’s job, except for Neil Doncaster and David Longmuir. Two men who have done enough in their respective tenures to give many in the Scottish game enough evidence that they are not up to the task of leading Scotland’s new professional league body.

The fact that the SPFL board were not even looking for other potential candidates is worrying enough, even more so when the only candidates were Doncaster and Longmuir.

There has been much derision because of the way the SPFL has been born, with many making their feelings and opinions heard on more than one occasion, but this latest decision to consider just Doncaster and Longmuir for the role is up there with the SPL clubs rejecting the Sky Sports deal in the noughties for the Setanta deal and look how that turned out.

We had a great chance to put some of Scottish football’s recent woes behind us with a clear change of personnel at the top of the tree, by ditching two men who have done nothing positive for our game. But those with the power deem the duo are capable to do the job – evidence to the contrary can be delivered by the bucket load however.

Capable enough, should we have actually looked at two candidates who are just capable of doing their jobs? Should we not be recruiting a chief executive that is actually a leader, rather than an overpaid spokesperson? We needed a candidate leading from the front, that is respected across the board for his business experience, a man who – while commanding a sizeable salary and bonus with it – is actually worth the money he would earn. And grab those club chairmen and for that matter the clubs by the collar and giving them a swift kick in the unmentionables when they stepped out of line. Rather than meekly issue a warning or a slap on the wrist.

So now that Doncaster has won the ‘rigged’ election, an election that a third world nation under totalitarian rule would be proud of, where does that leave Scottish Football? Well we thought things couldn’t get any worse after recent events, but Doncaster’s election win could prove more damaging to our game than Rangers in the lower leagues ever could.

Doncaster won the election, not involving the 42 clubs of the SPFL, but of the board members of the SPFL. Such a decision should not have rested solely with the board, so we shall welcome a few more years of the good ship Scottish Football rudderless.

However, not everything can be laid at the feet of Doncaster and it would be unfair to just single him out. As Doncaster stated in an exclusive interview with Scotzine back in 2011: “there is a belief that the leagues somehow have power, independent of their member clubs, to make decisions. The reality, of course, is that leagues can only do what their member clubs want them to do and vote for.”

So what is next for Doncaster and the new SPFL league? Well a sponsor must be secured by the 3rd August. The SPL deal with Clydesdale Bank ended last season and the Irn Bru deal with the Scottish Football League is now null and void – there is no indication that Irn Bru would decide to sponsor the SPFL however. If no sponsor is found by the league opener, then it will be another humiliation for the Scottish game.


About Author


Andy Muirhead is the Editor of Scotzine and the Scottish Football fanzine FITBA. He is the Scottish Football columnist for The Morning Star and has written for a number of other publications including ESPN, Huffington Post UK, BT Life's a Pitch and has had his work featured in the Daily Record, The Scotsman and the Daily Mail.

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