Hilary Spence to leave Scottish Rugby’s Chief Financial Officer role

Oliver Colling of the company Kingsgate will provide financial consultancy support until replacement is recruited

Hilary Spence with departing Scottish Rugby Chief Executive Mark Dodson at November's SRU AGM. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Hilary Spence with departing Scottish Rugby Chief Executive Mark Dodson at November's SRU AGM. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

HILARY SPENCE is to leave her role as Scottish Rugby’s Chief Financial Officer in March “to focus on health issues”.

“I have hugely enjoyed my time with Scottish Rugby and will now be taking some time away from work,” said Spence, who joined the organisation in August 2021.

“I have been fortunate to work with some talented and inspiring people who, like me, want to see our national and professional teams succeed, to enable us to support rugby in Scotland at every level. I will remain a passionate rugby fan and wish my colleagues and our teams every success in the future.”

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Scottish Rugby Limited Chair, John McGuigan, said: “I’m supportive of Hilary’s decision to step away from work to allow her to focus on health issues.

“I’d like to thank Hilary on behalf of Scottish Rugby and the SRL Board for her contribution over the past three years and wish her well for the future.”

A recruitment process for a new CFO will begin in due course. Meanwhile, Scottish Rugby has asked Oliver Colling of the company Kingsgate to provide financial consultancy support to the Board and executive team of Scottish Rugby.

Colling worked with Scottish Rugby between April 2020 and September 2021 and was part of its senior management group throughout the Covid pandemic. A chartered accountant, Oliver has over 30 years’ experience across industry and in consulting.

His LinkedIn profile states that he has “delivered a wide range of turnaround and transformation programmes, including CFO roles in challenged situations within Private Equity portfolio companies.”

Scottish Rugby reported a £10.5m loss in the last financial year.

“The performance of the core business, in the form of Scottish Rugby Limited’s finances, against the backdrop of a hyper-inflationary environment is pleasing,” said Spence at the time.

In January, Scottish Rugby’s long-serving and often controversial Chief Executive Mark Dodson announced that he was leaving the business in the summer, a whole year before his recently signed contract extension was due to run out.

A whistle-stop tour of Mark Dodson’s 12 tumultuous years in Murrayfield hot-seat

About David Barnes 3891 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.


  1. Mmm

    The SRU is £10.5m in the red and Hilary was CFO on the board presiding over that.

    Not much changed outside the players enclosure. Big queues for beer, expensive tickets, not much changed from my perspective.

    New broom needed

    • Absolutely agree with what you have said – I like many who supported the move to season passes and provided vital ongoing regular income in the form of direct debits through the summer months when the team were very much on the back foot are still waiting to hear the fate of season passes. This information was promised in the “new year” and here we are in March with no word at all. Someone needs to pull their finger out

  2. She only joined in August 2021. Looked to me like she did her job in difficult circumstances. Good luck Hilary.

  3. “Rugby Fan” – Gerry Thornley of the Irish Times, this week, had a piece about how unhappy an experience it is to go to the Aviva these days. Apparently, too many of roy Keane’s “prawn sandwich” eaters and genuine rugby fans going AWOL.

    • It’s a pretty over-rated stadium anyway. When it goes quiet you can hear the players shouting at each other because the sound rattles round the tinny finishings. From space it probably looks like a giant bedpan full of sickly green vomit.

    • Whereas Murrayfield is full of working class heroes….only need to hear how goal kickers are treated at Murrayfield to know how few real rugby people attend nowadays. It’s a tourist venue these days.

  4. Any insights into her severance package? More precisely how many Super League players that might fund for a season?

  5. Exit not before time. More evidence of the new broom sweeping through Scottish Rugby. A good few others who have been riding on Dodson’s coat tails should be polishing their CVs.

  6. She says she’s worked with some talented and inspiring people .
    Who are they ?
    I would really like to know as I guess would many others

    • Just wondered if you have been to Murrayfield on an international day recently. What a great experience, probably the best in the 6 Nations. Do you think this came out of fresh air.

      • Imagine Irish fans prefer their experience of picking up silverware with teams developed from grassroots Irish rugby and supported by execs who don’t corruptly fill their pockets or bully staff / lose industrial tribunals…..shall we see if they would like to swap???

      • @Rugby Fan they have a bigger audience over there though, right? No doubt they prefer their experience of winning.

        But then they don’t have that lead dog collar of Scottish fatalism hanging round their necks where everything is falling down.

        Sometimes you just have to make the most of what’s available and take it from there. Being allusive to ‘something better’ or ‘we have it worse’ without offering improvement is just dog food.

      • Went to Murrayfield years ago
        Married now with young kids …don’t go …..prices too exorbitant for the whole family.
        Somebody is milking it upstairs

      • On a personal note and admittedly via the television coverage, i’m reasonably sure the experience would be greatly enhanced without the moronic screaming over the Tannoy at every given opportunity, and although it wouldn’t save a great deal could we ditch the pyrotechnics.

    • I’m sure she wouldn’t want to embarrass those colleagues by naming them. And let’s face it, not many folk are going to know the names of those who work behind the scenes. I’m sure there’s lots of people who work at Murrayfield who are very talented at what they do.

      Good luck to Ms Spence anyway


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