Doncaster confident of SPL success
Former Norwich chief executive Neil Doncaster believes he can re-produce the Canaries season ticket success story north of the border. The recently installed head of the Scottish Premier League cited the massive increase in sales during his tenure at Carrow Road at the launch of the 'SPL Family Champions' initiative.
Former Norwich chief executive Neil Doncaster believes he can re-produce the Canaries season ticket success story north of the border.
The recently installed head of the Scottish Premier League cited the massive increase in sales during his tenure at Carrow Road at the launch of the 'SPL Family Champions' initiative.
A specially selected group of families will go undercover at the 12 leading clubs before reporting back on their match day experiences. The best-performing club will be announced as the 'SPL Family Champions' at and end-of-season awards ceremony.
Doncaster revealed the new initiative was partly borne out of the work carried out behind the scenes at Carrow Road before the ex-chief executive stepped down from the City board in the wake of the club's Championship relegation.
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“I have seen first hand from my time at Norwich City the positive impact this type of initiative can have,” he said.
“There, we managed to increase the number of season ticket holders from 6,600 to 20,000. We put crowds on at Norwich when the team wasn't successful on the pitch and I can repeat that success in Scotland. You've got to remember that money through the gate is still the number one source of revenue for our clubs.
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“So anything we can do to drive more families in and bring more money into our clubs should be welcomed and I hope it will drive up standards across the board. What we are trying to do is bring more people through the turnstiles, that will lead to more money into clubs and that will mean that there is more money to be spent on developing Scottish talent, bringing players into our clubs and making our clubs more competitive on the field of play.”
Doncaster thinks his SPL scheme can succeed despite well-publicised attempts by Celtic and Rangers to move into either the Premier League in England or a North Atlantic League.
The former FA board member is convinced supporters will continue to back the domestic game despite recent criticism from Rangers boss Walter Smith over the diminishing financial clout of Scotland's top clubs.
“I am determined to keep our focus on driving people and families through the turnstiles and maximise the money available to all our clubs within the SPL,” he said. “We've got a lot of good things about the SPL, we've got a lot of exciting players coming through. What we need to make sure is that we get our pricing right and, when the families come in for their first experience of SPL football, that they want to come back again. That's all about the quality of the family experience and that's what we will be measuring.”