Neil Doncaster new SPL chief executive

Former Canaries supremo Neil Doncaster is back in football - as chief executive of the Scottish Premier League. Doncaster was one of the big post-relegation casualties at Carrow Road, leaving his job eight days after the drop to League One was confirmed - the same day that then chairman Roger Munby stepped down.

Former Canaries supremo Neil Doncaster is back in football - as chief executive of the Scottish Premier League.

Doncaster was one of the big post-relegation casualties at Carrow Road, leaving his job eight days after the drop to League One was confirmed - the same day that then chairman Roger Munby stepped down.

He relinquished his place on the board of directors and has since then stepped down from the board of the Football League and the board of the Football Association.

But his absence from the game has been a short one, with the announcement of his new role coming Tuesday afternoon when he became the SPL's first chief executive since Roger Mitchell left following the collapse of the Sky Television deal in 2002.


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“I've worked in football for 15 years and I am excited about now playing a part in developing the Scottish game,” said Doncaster. “The SPL already has excellent standing in European football, but like all football organisations it faces many complex issues and challenges. I am looking forward to working hard with the board, our member clubs, our partners and the SPL staff to continue to improve our competition and push Scottish football forward.”

Doncaster's priority would now appear to be to find new TV partners following the demise of Setanta.

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He will work alongside SPL chairman Lex Gold, 68, who has plans to retire.

“We have been engaged in a detailed recruitment process for some time now,” said Gold. “The role attracted international interest.

“Neil was the unanimous choice of those involved in the process. He has had excellent experience in club football with Norwich City and with his involvement with the FA and the Football League.

“That experience will hold him in good stead to lead the SPL team and deal with the challenges that lie ahead.”

Doncaster, 39, moved to Carrow Road 12 years ago as secretary and solicitor, becoming head of operations before taking over as chief executive in 2001.

It was a meteoric rise to the top for the Bristol-born Doncaster, but in recent years he increasingly became a target for disgruntled City followers and at a fans' forum a day after the final game of the season was heckled by many supporters.

Relegation cost the club dearly, with Doncaster's �180,000 a year salary under the microscope, and on May 11 it was announced that he and Munby were to step down.

Doncaster was replaced by David McNally last month, while City last week unveiled Alan Bowkett as the new chairman.

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