Scottish Rugby announces termination of Mark Dodson’s directorship

Notice to Companies House brings curtain down at last on Mancunian's long time at the helm of the governing body.

Scottish Rugby Chief Executive Mark Dodson was paid £676k in the last financial year. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Mark Dodson's time as the SRU chief executive officer has finally come to an end. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

THE curtain has finally fallen on Scottish Rugby’s Mark Dodson era with the news that the governing body has informed Companies House that they have terminated the former chief executive’s directorship.

The ‘termination’ took place last Tuesday, 30 April, but was only officially logged with Companies House this morning, Monday 6th May.

Dodson, who was appointed chief executive in 2011, announced in January of this year that he planned to step down in the summer. His most recent new contract, signed in 2022, was not due to expire until the summer of 2025.


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He insisted in January that it had been entirely his own decision to leave a year early, and implied that business would continue as normal until his summer departure.  “My role won’t change in the slightest between now and the summer when I actually step down,” he said. “I’ve still got lots of things I want to do between now and the summer.”

Events since then, however,  have taken a different turn. Chief financial officer Hilary Spence, one of Dodson’s closest colleagues, announced at the end of February that she was to leave to focus on health issues. And at the start of last month, chairman John McGuigan revealed that Dodson had already worked his last day in the job.

This morning’s post on Companies House therefore does no more than dot the is and cross the ts on the ending of the Dodson era. Nonetheless, it does provide the official, definitive break with the Mancunian’s time in charge.

The next step for McGuigan and Scottish Rugby will be to announce Dodson’s successor. At the same media briefing where he said that Dodson was effectively no longer in office, McGuigan said he and his fellow-directors had already compiled a shortlist of five candidates, and predicted:  “We’ll be done by the end of April, or first week in May latest, when we’ll have made a decision as a board about who we are going to select.”

If and when that decision is made shortly, the board and the new chief executive will then need to decide who to appoint as Jim Mallinder’s successor as performance director.


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About Stuart Bathgate 1412 Articles
Stuart has been the rugby correspondent for both The Scotsman and The Herald, and was also The Scotsman’s chief sports writer for 14 years from 2000.

21 Comments

  1. Eleven years in charge and one Mickey Mouse tournament no one is interested which has already been disbanded to show for it. A truly pathetic legacy.

    We need a proper CEO with the drive and ambition to create 4 pro teams similar to Ireland’s structure which has been proven to work.

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  2. I am no particular fan of Dodson and always felt the salary he was paid was always out of kilter for a job like his and left the fans aggrieved from day 1 (or whenever they knew what his salary was). It inevitably led to him taking the blame for everything when it was not always his doing. If he was seen as more of a businessman then putting aside rugby matters, to run up a £10m loss in a business with a very predictable revenue stream is pretty deplorable and shows a complete lack of basic cost/budget management. The finance director must also take some of the blame for this. I fear the response to this seems to be to cut back on player costs with the pro teams rather than tackle some of the other central admin costs that must be part of the problem.

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  3. So Dodson has been sitting on his backside doing nothing but watching his bank balance increase these last few months then. If only he had sat on his backside doing nothing while he was in charge he would have left Scottish rugby in a far better state albeit still almost bankrupt.

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  4. Here’s hoping we can lure Dom McKay back. It was his efforts that transformed the SRU from old boys booze club to a modern sustainable professional business entity, he demonstrated how to get things done with integrity (while others took credit).

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    • He did such a marvellous job at Celtic….Some people are better as 2nd in charge.

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  5. Even his leaving is sneaky and slithers out of the back door… do not make the same mistake with another high paid smoke and mirrors conjuror please !

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  6. Super Series disbanded and no coherent pathway between the Club and pro game. Yes, Dodson was not what Scottish Rugby needed but removing him didn’t expose any new ideas or revolutionary plans to transform our game. We have had the best international squad but failed to capitalise on that. Where do we go from here?

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  7. Back in the day these guys were known as the ” Blazerati.” I don’t think much will be changing. It seems the SRU will focus on revenue streams but they need to get their costs under control and one of the largest costs has just left.

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  8. Brilliant news. Gone, at last.
    10 years too late, but still, good news.

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  9. I would like to know if he leaves with the bonus that he turned down a couple of years ago.
    Rumour has it that the bonus was repackaged as a terminal bonus and he got to keep it in the end as a gift from his yes men

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  10. Hopefully, we can now start to peel back the smoke-screen obscuring the truth behind the failure to care for Siobhan Cattigan when she needed it.

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  11. Farewell Mark – you will be missed.

    Lets hope Keith ‘Dodson’ Wallace can solve what will be huge boots to fill.

    Dark times await.

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    • Missed by those he promoted far beyond their level of competence maybe. Not by anyone else except the trolls of course.

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  12. Hopefully now a man or woman with Scottish rugby at heart. We need money focused on players not fat cats. We need a pathway for school kids to full caps, where’s the team to represent Scotland from 2026, 2027, onwards coming from? With respect to Siones’ brother, all Townsend is doing is buying in imports. Harry Paterson and Ben Muncaster with probably have 13 imports alongside them given Townsends’ current plan. A new broom is needed throughout Murrayfield to focus on SCOTLANDs rugby future

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  13. Yahooooooooo.

    But how much is he taking with him ?
    He’s raked it in for years but has left Scottish rugby in a real mess

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  14. A very sad day, I think the old adage of not knowing what you’ve got til it’s gone applies here. Thanks again Mr Dodson, and have a very happy retirement

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  15. Another comfortable job for someone that doesn’t challenge the norm or ask questions or tries to shake things up. Same old same old.

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