Corporate By William Hill PLC

Ralph Topping announced as new SPL Chairman

The Scottish Premier League (SPL) today announced the appointment of Ralph Topping as Non-Executive Chairman. Ralph succeeds Lex Gold, who stepped down at today’s General Meeting after over 10 years in the role. Ralph becomes Chairman of the SPL with immediate effect and will continue in his role at William Hill.

Ralph Topping, 58, is Chief Executive of William Hill PLC, one of the UK’s largest bookmakers, where he is responsible for strategic direction and the day-to-day management and profitability of the Group's operations. Ralph was born and raised in West Lothian and worked in the shadows of Hampden Park in his first job with William Hill in the early 1970s.

Commenting on his appointment, Ralph Topping said: “I am very excited to be joining the SPL in a role that marries three of my greatest passions – business, Scotland and football. I’ve spent many afternoons on the terraces and in the stands across Scotland over the years and I am confident that this first-hand knowledge of the sport, together with my Scottish background, will allow me to successfully contribute to the SPL’s development. I’m looking forward to working with the wider Board, the management team and the Clubs to continue to cultivate the Scottish game.”

Lex Gold said: “It has been a privilege to serve the SPL for over 10 years. I am most grateful to all Board members with whom I have had the pleasure to work and for all the support, advice and friendship that I have enjoyed from the member clubs and SPL staff during my time as Chairman.

“Much has been achieved. But much more remains to be done. In that context, it is reassuring to know that, with the recent appointment of Neil Doncaster as Chief Executive and the appointment today of Ralph Topping as Chairman, the SPL will be in good hands. As I step down, I wish the SPL and all its member clubs every possible future success and look forward to watching the top level of our national game flourish in the coming years.”

Rod Petrie, SPL Board Director and Hibernian Chairman, said: “On behalf of the Board and, more particularly, on behalf of all member clubs, I would like to thank Lex for his immense contribution to the Scottish Premier League. Lex has led the top flight of Scottish football with distinction and overseen a number of developments which have been important, not just for member clubs but for all supporters of the game. Lex deserves everyone’s thanks for the dignified way in which he has conducted SPL business and he leaves with our very best wishes.”


William Hill
Brunswick Group
Simon Sporborg / Tom Williams / 
Dania Saidam 
020 7404 5959

Scottish Premier League
Greig Mailer
0141 620 4147
07876 251 730

Notes to Editors

Ralph Topping
Ralph Topping, 58, has worked for William Hill for over 35 years. He joined the company as a student working on Saturdays in Glasgow, and has since held numerous senior roles including Shop Manager, Personnel Manager, Regional Director in Scotland, Sports Information Controller, Internet Director and Retail Operations Director. He was appointed Chief Executive in February 2008.

Ralph was recently voted the most influential person in the betting industry 2009 by Betview.