ABERDEEN chairman Dave Cormack has revealed the initial findings of Deloitte’s independent review of the SPFL will be made public next month - and show that income from broadcasting rights can be almost doubled within the next five years.

Aberdeen, Dundee, Dundee United, Hearts and Hibernian commissioned the international consultancy firm to carry out an evaluation of Scottish football’s commercial activities and identify potential additional sources of revenue back in September.

Douglas Park, the Rangers chairman, claimed last month that the game in this country is both undervalued and undersold and faced being left behind other European nations unless there is change as the Ibrox club announced an operating loss of £23.5m.

Speaking via a Zoom link at the Pittodrie club’s AGM last night, United States-based software entrepreneur Cormack confirmed the first conclusions of the review, which will be made available in January, highlight that significant increases can be achieved in both the immediate and long term. 

“We get about £27 million distributed to all clubs right now, depending on league position,” he said. “We believe we can get to £50 million in the next five to 10 years. We believe there’s an immediate 20 to 30 per cent increase and we’re working on that with Deloitte. 

“It benefits every club, all 42 in the SPFL. The initiative is about taking advantage of the opportunity we have. We have a great product, an authentic product. We need to do better with broadcasting rights.

“We think that there is an opportunity, broadcasting wise, domestically to potentially put another package together of other games. Some of the analysis against other leagues has shown that we don’t give very many games compared to other leagues.

“That’s one aspect domestically. Internationally as well, I think there’s a strong feeling from this that we could be doing better internationally with selling the Scottish game as an authentic game. That would be the core of this maybe 20 to 30 per cent potential in the next two to three years.

“I don’t have the specific data, but what I can tell you is that it’s our understanding that the viewing of Scottish football with Sky has gone up by at least 30 per cent. When you compare, for example, some of the English Championship games that are live compared to even an Aberdeen v Hearts, Dundee United, it’s quite encouraging that there is the opportunity to lift the outcome.

“Some of that will require investment by the league. But if we can invest half a million more a year to generate 10 more million, it would be worthwhile.” 

Cormack added: “We as clubs decided to invest in this ourselves. The deal with Deloitte says that this is for Scottish football, it’s not for five clubs. They wouldn’t have taken it on otherwise.

“What you’ll see out of the report is that there is definitely short-term, in the next couple of years, the opportunity to significantly increase distributable revenues to the clubs. That will of course require some investments. But the return is a no brainer.

“Where we are is that we are still working through the analysis. In the next month should be when Deloitte can come out and say that this is what Phase 1 has shown up, which we hope will lead to a Phase 2 implementation of some of the initiatives.

“I’ve been involved with it. Leading up to the Deloitte work that we did, we as clubs got together. Ron Gordon took the initiative and invested himself in some consultants looking at the commercialisation and the marketing and branding of Scottish football. The feedback from that was fairly compelling.”

Cormack also suggested that a change to the SPFL’s system of governance – and board members serving longer tenures - could yield significant results.

“The directors of SPFL are renewed every year,” he said. “It’s really difficult if the board members change every year. 

“The main thing is getting more value into the Scottish game, more money to clubs so they can invest. Hopefully we’ll see an outcome from Phase 1 in January.” 

Cormack told the AGM that Aberdeen’s proposed new stadium on the beach front – which will have a capacity of 15,000 to 16,000, cost between £50m and £60m to build and will take three years to complete if it is given the go-ahead – would be the first net zero carbon emission arena in the world

“The council is considering a number of options, including no stadium being built,” he said. “We’re developing cases for an arena, comprehensive facilities, ice rinks, stadium.  

“Ideally, this arena will be net zero, powered by renewable energy – a first in Europe, if not the world. Funding the stadium? We can only address that fully when the business case shows we can increase turnover.”

Meanwhile, Steven Gunn, the Aberdeen director of football, revealed that Jack McKenzie, the 21-year-old left back who has established himself as a regular starter in Stephen Glass’s first team this season and impressed with his performances, had signed a contract extension that ties him to the Pittodrie club until 2025.

“We have been really pleased with Jack’s performances since he made his debut late last season,” said Glass. “He has gone on to feature regularly in the first team. He has earned this extension and I look forward to seeing his continued progress here at the club”