'I get a hard time at board meetings' - Rangers MD Stewart Robertson on SPFL situation

Rangers managing director Stewart Robertson has doubled down on his criticism of the SPFL’s governance of Scottish football, insisting it is ‘badly run’ and ‘undersold’.

Rangers managing director Stewart Robertson pictured leaving the Ibrox club's annual general meeting at the Clyde Auditorium in Glasgow on Tuesday. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)
Rangers managing director Stewart Robertson pictured leaving the Ibrox club's annual general meeting at the Clyde Auditorium in Glasgow on Tuesday. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

Despite being re-elected to the SPFL board at the start of the season, Robertson remains dissatisfied with the way his fellow directors at the governing body have responded to Rangers’ complaints.

In 2020, the Ibrox club failed to garner sufficient support from other clubs to force an independent investigation into the way the SPFL conducted the controversial vote which decided how the Covid-impacted 2019-20 Premiership season ended.

Rangers have subsequently hit out at the £125 million five-year TV deal agreed with Sky Sports, claiming it undervalues the Scottish top flight.

They are also in dispute with the SPFL over their £8 million title sponsorship deal with used car firm cinch, refusing to promote it as they insist it breaches conflict of interest rules relating to their existing partnership with club chairman Douglas Park’s own motor group.

Speaking at Rangers AGM on Tuesday, Robertson revealed the hostility he has subsequently encountered at SPFL board meetings.

He welcomed the independent strategic review of the SPFL’s strategy and financial performance commissioned by Aberdeen, Hearts, Hibs, Dundee and Dundee United in September and which is currently being undertaken by Deloitte.

But Robertson told Rangers shareholders the Scottish champions will now concentrate on strengthening their own revenue streams as they look to emerge from a period of sustained annual losses which have been financed by club directors and other friendly investors.

"My views are well known on how the game is run,” said Robertson. "I have made it well known for the last 18 months and beyond. It has not changed any.

"I have been on the SPFL board since July. I get a hard time when I go to the board meetings and speak about this when it should be ‘If you have got any issues, deal with it in the board meetings’.

"I think it is important that we keep trying to be the best that we can be. We are trying to do that as a football club and we need the authorities to be the best that we can be to assist us.

"Look at what we have done for the coefficient over the last four years. And look at the situation we have got ongoing just now, there is the obvious one that I am not going to name in terms of sponsorship.

"I just think things could be done a lot better, more efficiently and with better governance.

"There is the five club review that is going on with Deloitte. I haven’t seen the draft report of that yet, hopefully we will see it shortly, and see if there are ways of increasing the revenues.

"We have taken the view that we will just get on and try and grow our own revenues to the best extent we can with the team that we have got here.

"I think we are doing a good job of that. We are on the cusp of financial sustainability.

"We will look after ourselves and if the other bit comes, then fine. I think we have learned over the last few years just to get the head down, focus on Rangers and make Rangers the best."

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