Scottish football must improve to attract cash – Warburton

Rangers manager Mark Warburton has claimed that only through better quality football will the finances of the Scottish game receive a boost.
Rangers manager Mark Warburton. Picture: SNSRangers manager Mark Warburton. Picture: SNS
Rangers manager Mark Warburton. Picture: SNS

The state of the national game has once again been put sharply into focus after Scotland manager Gordon Strachan talked about the need to “mend” the sport.

Warburton considers there is no way of circumventing the need for more money to do that.

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The Englishman, whose Championship leaders have been the embodiment of a perceived obligation to play expansive, attractive football to excite fans, believes cash can be accrued through constructive coaching

“As an outsider coming in, and this is purely my opinion, it’s all down to investment,” the 52-year-old said. “The challenge for Scottish football must be to improve the investment in the game.

“Where does the investment down south come from? It comes from TV. I’m no expert but the common-sense approach would be to improve the quality of the product.

“It’s just my opinion, but to attract more TV investment you have to improve the product. It comes down to money, it’s as simple as that, so Scottish football has to improve its product to attract greater investment.”

Recent research carried out by STV Sport highlighted that the much-derided SPFL television deal actually compared favourably with those struck by countries across Europe.

Calculated per capita, Scotland’s television rights – worth around £20 million – were bettered only by ten of Uefa’s 54 associations.

The sums involved are dwarfed by the £1.7 billion English clubs will receive each season from next year, but Warburton, as an Englishman, naturally makes parallels.

Any comparison, though, is hardly fair on the game north of the border.

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Warburton said: “You need to look at the Premier League in England. What a product, what a global brand.

“The investment is key because, at the moment, Scottish clubs can’t afford to match transfer fees being paid by Championship clubs.

“It wasn’t that long ago Rangers and Celtic were among the biggest clubs in Britain.

“I’m an outsider coming in but we need to find a way of improving the investment coming into the game,” added the Rangers manager.