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'Unanimous support': Scotland hand CEO Dodson a contract extension

By Kim Ekin
(Photo by Gary Hutchison/SNS Group via Getty Images)

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Scottish rugby have handed CEO Mark Dodson a contract extension through to summer 2025, the official claiming he has the unanimous support of the board despite frequent criticism from Scotland fans. An SRU statement read: “Chief executive Mark Dodson will continue in his role at Scottish rugby through to the summer of 2025. The board of Scottish rugby was unanimous in its decision to extend Dodson’s contract, which was due to end in December 2023, by a further 18 months until June 2025.

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“The new agreement will enable Scottish rugby to draw on Dodson’s extensive rugby and business experience, developed over twelve years leading the executive team at BT Murrayfield as it navigates a series of operational and strategic priorities, Dodson will continue to play a key role on the international stage.

“He gives Scotland an experienced and respected voice around the table for the ongoing global calendar discussions which will shape the immediate future of the game. He also sits on the finance, audit and risk and professional game committees at World Rugby.

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“Dodson’s commercial experience and track record of finding new sources of investment in the game of rugby – having played a pivotal role in the long-term strategic partnership announced in March 2021 between CVC and Six Nations rugby – will be called upon by Scottish rugby as it continues to deepen its sponsorship portfolio against a challenging period of rising societal costs, interest rates and financial uncertainty.

“In addition, Scottish rugby is progressing work on a new governance structure. This is a watershed moment in the union’s history and will require Dodson’s expert operational knowledge and key personal relationships for the new structure to be seamlessly introduced. Dodson has over the last decade developed strong relationships in government and across the world game.”

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Scottish rugby board chairman John Jeffrey said: “Mark’s track record leading Scottish rugby speaks for itself and as we enter what is likely to be a period of significant change and some uncertainty the board unanimously agreed to ask him to continue for an additional 18 months. Through our governance review, we are proposing changing how Scottish rugby is structured and this is likely to take some time to establish.

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“The executive team, led by Mark, will be vital in helping this happen and it is important we can have continuity and experience around the table as that work progresses. The global picture in rugby invariably shapes what we can do locally in Scotland so, again, we felt it was right to have Mark in post with his international experience at this point in the world game too.”

Scottish rugby president Ian Barr added: “We are entering a key period in the history of Scottish rugby as our governance proposals are developed and new bodies are created to deliver. It is vital Scottish rugby continues to be successful on and off the pitch and it was obvious that Mark’s experience would be hugely beneficial to help us achieve this as the new governance structures bed in.”

Dodson said: “To know there was unanimous support on the board to extend my role for a further 18 months was a key factor in the decision to accept their offer to continue in post. I know how hard all our people work to deliver rugby across Scotland and on the international stage and I remain fully committed to leading them through what is likely to be a challenging and unpredictable period.”

“The new governance structure will offer a fresh start for the way rugby is managed in Scotland. I’m delighted to continue leading Scottish rugby until 2025.”

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