SPFL football club Rangers FC has confirmed that it will not renew its in-stadia wagering partnership with bookmaker Ladbrokes, however the announcement seems to be little more than posturing from the Glasgow football club.
This morning, Rangers Commercial Director James Bisgrove communicated that Ladbrokes in-stadia betting services would be discontinued from Ibrox in advance of the SPL 2020/2021 season.
“Following a number of supporter enquiries over the Easter weekend, we can confirm the arrangement with Ladbrokes, who provide betting facilities at Ibrox stadium, will not continue next season,” the Rangers FC statement read.
As yet, Ladbrokes has made no comment on Rangers’ actions. However at the start of the 2019/20 season, the bookmaker revealed it had opted not to renew its legacy sponsorship of the Scottish Professional Football league (SPFL), supporting its wider ‘Change for the Bettor’ social responsibility mandate – which sees all active GVC UK betting brands end their marketing exposure through football.
This means that today’s announcement was largely superfluous and more than likely stems from the football club’s dissatisfaction with how the SPFL is planning to conclude the 2019/2020 Scottish football season and the seemingly supportive position held by the title sponsor.
Rangers branded the SPFL’s decision to determine the final placings of its three leagues on a ‘points to date’ basis as an ‘abhorrent plan’ that would have severe consequences for football clubs.
Challenging the SPFL, Rangers’ Interim Chairman Douglas Park stated that the club had been presented with ‘whistle-blower evidence’, raising doubts about the stewardship of voting in relation to SPFL’s resolution.
Threatening legal action, Rangers has called for the suspension of SPFL Chief Executive Neil Doncaster while an investigation takes place.
Park said: “The lack of leadership and responsibility from the SPFL as a members’ organisation has shocked me. If ever there was a time for complete openness and transparency, it is now.
“Crucial decisions are being made on the issues of promotion and relegation behind closed doors and without proper time for consideration or debate.
“The farcical conduct of this affair seems to me to bring the corporate governance and business operations of the SPFL into sharp focus. It is an example of an undemocratic culture, which has existed within the SPFL for far too long.”