CEO Mark Dodson to lead Scottish Rugby through to 2025
Chief Executive Mark Dodson will continue in his role at Scottish Rugby through to the summer 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.
The new agreement will enable Scottish Rugby to draw on Dodson’s extensive rugby and business experience, developed over 12-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 on-going 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.
Scotland Men currently sit in 7th place in the World Rankings and are on the eve of their tour to Argentina, having retained the Calcutta Cup for the first time in 38 years with back-to-back wins over England. The team also claimed historic wins in Twickenham and Paris last season.
Scotland Women qualified for the 2021 Rugby World Cup, played in 2022, for the first time in 12 years and will travel to New Zealand aiming to build on their repechage matches.
Scottish Rugby is also continuing its rebuild phase post-pandemic and has bounced back incredibly well financially. This has enabled consistent development and investment in the sport.
This was highlighted when Scottish Rugby announced its new three-year Strategy last June, focussing on ‘Wellbeing, Winning and Women’. The Women and Girls’ strategy was launched last week and will see the development of the professional and domestic game to an unprecedented level to 2026.
Earlier in the year Scottish Rugby was able to commit to a record level of investment in grassroots rugby in Scotland, with £6.5m being invested over the next five years through a combination of Government loan and Scottish Rugby funding.
This has also seen rising investment in both Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors who both reached the last eight of the United Rugby Championship this season, with the capital side enjoying its first season in the new purpose-built DAM Health Stadium.
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.
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. 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 said: “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.”
Scottish Rugby Vice-President Colin Rigby, who will take on the role of President following the AGM in August, said: “Having worked with Mark over the past couple of years I believe it is the right move to extend his tenure to allow Scottish Rugby to work through the coming years with business continuity.
“The sporting landscape moves at a rapid rate and it is important we maintain the positive momentum post-pandemic.
“It is a changing commercial landscape out there and Mark’s rugby and business knowledge, coupled with his Executive team, will be very valuable in the coming years.”
Scottish Rugby Chief Executive, Mark 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 am delighted to continue leading Scottish Rugby until 2025.”