Caledonia Gladiators announce former Hibs commercial director and leading football agent as consultant

The BBL Championship chasing team have confirmed a new addition.
Raymond Sparkes has been appointed as a consultant at BBL outfit Caledonia Gladiators. Cr. Caledonia Gladiators.Raymond Sparkes has been appointed as a consultant at BBL outfit Caledonia Gladiators. Cr. Caledonia Gladiators.
Raymond Sparkes has been appointed as a consultant at BBL outfit Caledonia Gladiators. Cr. Caledonia Gladiators.

Scottish basketball outfit Caledonia Gladiators have confirmed the appointment of experienced sports agent Raymond Sparkes, the franchise have confirmed.

Sparks moves to the Gladiators close to four decades of experience of working with a number of leading sports teams - including Hibs - and the club say he will offer support in key areas such as commercial growth, player recruitment and contracts.

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Now running ProStar Management agency in Glasgow, the lifelong basketball fan also spent time with Scottish Premiership outfit Hibs as a commercial director and had the following to say on his appointment: “I’ve loved basketball my entire life, so it’s a real honour to get the chance to support the Caledonia Gladiators as it continues to grow the sport here in Scotland.

“It’s a hugely exciting time to be joining, with both the club’s men’s and women’s teams doing well, and the club recently moving to its incredible new arena. I’ve got a wealth of passion and experience in professional sport, and I want to use that to help grow the club commercially and attract new revenue streams. I’ve already had very positive conversations with potential sponsors, and it’s great to see that level of interest in working with the club.

“I’m also very familiar with the European market and taking players all over the world in my role as a sports agent, which should benefit the club in attracting players here in the future.”

Gladiators CEO Tony McDaid was equally as delighted to confirm his appointment, adding: “Raymond will add significant experience and expertise in his role as consultant, so we’re really pleased to welcome him to the Caledonia Gladiators.

“He’s a huge basketball fan and lives locally, so has seen up close just how much change has happened at the club over the last year with our new arena. He’s passionate about supporting us in our future growth plans and so it’s great that we can see ourselves working closely together for the benefit of the club.

“We believe his commercial expertise will naturally help us with recruitment of players in the future, as well as help us continue to professionalise the sport here in Scotland, so it’s really positive news to be announcing this alignment and partnership" added the CEO.

A football agent since the early 90s, Sparkes has been credited with brokering two of the first ever 'Bosman' deals in the United Kingdom - one of which included Scotland international John Collins' move to Monaco. He is also credited with helping negotiate current Arsenal star Kieran Tierney’s first professional contract at Celtic.

The Gladiators men and women's sides currently sit in third place and second place respectively in the British Basketball League (BBL) and the Women's British Basketball League (WBBL) and have found plenty of success since moving to it's multi-million-pound home at the Playsport complex in East Kilbride. Gladiators have seen a number of games sell out across the season, such as last Friday's clash with table topping London Lions.

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Funded by leading businessman Steve Timoney and wife Alison, owners of the club, Gladiators are also in the first stage of their £20 million stadium project – the largest single investment in Scottish basketball history which will see a new state-of-the-art purpose-built 6,000-seater arena and practice and community facility at the site.



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