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The Armageddon Files #2

Posted on May 23, 2013 by

We thought we might as well actually put figures to the impact of Rangers’ liquidation on the rest of the clubs in the SPL in season 2012-13. So we did. If you don’t want to read another article about football, look away now.



1. These figures specifically relate to each club’s finances relative to what they’d have been had Rangers still been in the SPL. So for example, Motherwell’s Europa League tie is NOT included in the calculations, because they’d qualified for that anyway before Rangers went bust and were ejected from the Champions League.

2. “Place” figures are taken from this chart of current SPL prize money, based on the assumption that had Rangers survived they’d have come 2nd in the table, with everyone else one place further down than they actually finished.

3. “Crowd” calculations are based on an illustrative average figure of one spectator at one game being worth £25 to the home club. The number represents ticket price and other income (programmes, refreshments, car parking etc), but also attempts to factor in reductions like special lower-priced games and concessions.

4. Figures for Champions League and Europa League participation awards come from the UEFA website, in so far as we can make sense of them.

5. Unquantifiable/unknown figures, eg extra money for TV/radio coverage, hospitality and sponsorship at European or domestic cup ties, have not been included. Logically one or more teams will have benefitted in such a way from the absence of Rangers in domestic cups, but there’s no way of identifying them or putting a figure to the effect.


Crowd: -£1.9m
Place: n/a
Net: -£1.9m

Celtic won’t be too upset at losing nearly £2m on the gate, having trousered around £20m from their extended Champions League jaunt. The absence of Rangers ensured that the Parkhead side qualified for the CL again, which will guarantee a minimum windfall of around £3.25m next season (£2m participation money plus £1.25m from at least one home game likely to be a sellout.) So the “true” net figure for the season is at least £2.06m, and possibly far more.

Crowd: -£277,400
Place: £257,000
Champions League participation: £346,400
Net: £326,000

A good year for the Steelmen despite feeble league crowds. Rangers’ death gave the Fir Park club a bonus Champions League tie, on top of the Europa League match they’d already qualified for (and which they still played after being dumped out of the bigger competition by Panathinaikos). A 9,000 crowd in the home CL game delivered £226,000 on top of the UEFA payment.

Crowd: -£217,550
Place: £172,000
Europa League participation: £323,000
Net: £277,450

Rangers’ collapse bumped the Saintees up into the Europa League, where they pocketed £172,000 in appearance money and around £151,000 at the gate from their single tie. They’ll enjoy the same (at least) next year after managing to climb into the last qualifying spot on the last day of the season.

Crowd: £7,125
Place: £80,000
Net: £87,125

n/a (not in SPL in 2011-12)

Crowd: £30,875
Place: £80,000
Net: £110,875

Crowd: £275,500
Place: £80,000
Net: £355,000

Hibs also gained from getting two home games against Celtic despite finishing in the bottom six, which ensured two home Edinburgh derbies against Hearts.

Crowd: £149,150
Place: £80,000
Net: £229,150

The Dons will have plenty scope for further improvement next season – for the second year in a row the fixture list only gave them one home tie against Celtic, and they’ll be hoping for either the top six or more favourable treatment from the SPL computer in 2013-14.

Crowd: -£422,750
Place: £80,000
Net: -£342,750

The division’s biggest losers, although a very substantial proportion of the shortfall compared to last year (£250,000 of it) can be attributed to the 2011-12 figures being distorted by 10,000 extra Celtic fans turning up for the presentation of the league flag. The “true” drop was a more modest £92,750.

Crowd: -£99,000
Place: £80,000
Net: -£19,000

As with Celtic, the like-for-like figures for Hearts show a loss, but one dwarfed by takings from European competition. The Europa League game at Tynecastle against Liverpool packed the ground out, adding a total of around £600,000 to the club’s moth-infested coffers from ticket sales and UEFA participation money. So while Hearts did take in very slightly less money in the league compared to 2011-12, they still had a strong financial season.

Crowd: -£49,400
Place: £80,000
Net: £30,600

Had Rangers stayed in the SPL, St Mirren would have been relegated to SFL 1, probably costing them a seven-figure sum. So £30,600 is a big understatement.

Crowd: £816,525
Place: £653,000
Net: £1,469,525

Dundee were of course only promoted as a result of Rangers’ demise, and despite being immediately relegated again secured around a 40% increase in crowds as well as vastly higher prize money for coming bottom of the SPL compared to 2nd in Division 1.



So from the 10 clubs who played in the SPL in both seasons, seven (Motherwell, St Johnstone, Inverness CT, Dundee Utd, Hibs, Aberdeen, St Mirren) did unambiguously better without Rangers, one (Celtic) benefitted in all but the extremely short term, one (Hearts) made a tiny loss in the league but won’t be too bothered on account of a big European payday, and only poor Kilmarnock really took a hit.

(Kilmarnock were the only club who didn’t vote against letting Charles Green’s phoenix “Rangers” straight into the SPL. We’re not sure if these facts are related.)

As we’ve already noted, the rest of Scottish football was also a winner – the SFL got significantly more money as a result of the Sky/ESPN deal, and New Rangers walked away from tens of millions of pounds of debt, leaving it in an at least relatively strong financial position. We should do this sort of thing more often.

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    47 to “The Armageddon Files #2”

    1. Doug Daniel says:

      “only poor Kilmarnock really took a hit.
      (Kilmarnock was the only club which voted to allow Charles Green’s phoenix “Rangers” entry to the SPL. We’re not sure if these facts are related.)”

      Nice spot! What are the chances some of the Killie fans stayed away in protest at their club’s shameful actions? Or, possibly more likely, other teams’ fans staying away?

    2. Mosstrooper says:

      Fitba Eh! Like a night wi the toothache only no as much fun.

    3. Rod Mac says:

      do you have he numbers for TV revenue?

    4. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      The SPL prize money is basically the TV money.

    5. Hmm says:

      Good article, but Kilmarnock didn’t vote in favour of The Rangers joining the SPL. They abstained.

    6. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      Good point. Fixed.

    7. Juan Bonnets says:

      Makes Doncaster et al’s dire predictions of “the slow death of Scottish football” look even more ridiculous now, if that’s even possible.
      Of course, the slow death of Scottish football has been going on since circa 1997, under the watch of these clowns, so what else could really be expected of them.

    8. G. Campbell says:

      “Hibs also gained from finishing in the top six, ensuring they got two home games against Celtic. Had Rangers been present Hibs would have completed the season in the bottom six, and might have missed out.”

      Hibs finished 7th.

    9. Rod Mac says:

      We need reconstruction  and my favoured option is bigger leagues to allow for the blooding of more youngsters and more open play.
      We also need a damn good salesman to “sell ” our game to the world the way English did so successfully.
      We need our media to talk it up instead of deriding it all the time.
      Two of the best games i have watched this season anywhere were the two semi final games.

    10. Rod Mac says:

      I also forgot to mention the St Mirren   final it was another great advert for our game

    11. Franck Sauzee says:

      Interesting stuff, but unfortunately Hibs did not finish in the top six.

    12. dcomerf says:

      Off topic, but new blog may interest you all

    13. Piemonteis says:

      An even brighter picture would come from looking at the finances of third division clubs.
      Sell-out crowds twice a season, TV revenues, greater takings in the social clubs, on programs, pies, etc. for the Rangers games, plus the gate receipts for away teams at Ibrox in the B&Q Cup (or whatever it’s called now) as well as the earlier rounds of the League Cup and the Challenge Cup. 
      Of course, Rangers in the third also meant there was effectively no title race (and, more chillingly, no promotion since East Fife won in the playoffs) which might have impacted negatively on gate receipts involving the other nine teams. Nevertheless, a positive picture all round!

    14. murren59 says:

      >Had Rangers stayed in the SPL, St Mirren would have been relegated to SFL 1, probably costing them a seven-figure sum. So £30,600 is a big understatement.<
      Whit’ra’fuks’aw’at’aboot?! If Rangers had stayed in the SPL SinMurren  would have gubbed them 3-4 times, and apart from winning the League Cup, would have ended up 3 or 4 and in Yoorupp. So therrr!

    15. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “An even brighter picture would come from looking at the finances of third division clubs.”

      Yes, mentioned that in yesterday’s piece.

    16. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Interesting stuff, but unfortunately Hibs did not finish in the top six.”

      Oops. That’s what comes of jumping between four tabs of stats and tables and leaving Ross County out. Fixed.

    17. What’s the rationale for computing Dundee’s figures but not those of Ross County?

    18. Sapheneia says:

      There are clearly many more avid football fans here than me but whatever the financial analysis deems to show I wish:
      1. Scottish football had more young Scottish talent in it – the national team seems to always end up with the same suspects.
      2. Someone could explain in simple language what actually happened at Rangers and /or what is supposed to be happening. [Simple language consistent with tax and legal panel outcomes].
      3. We could all acknowledge that Rangers fans have paid a big price for the appallingly bad governance of their board of directors. I am not a Rangers supporter btw.

    19. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “What’s the rationale for computing Dundee’s figures but not those of Ross County?”

      That Ross County, as winners of SFL 1 in 2011-12, would have been in the SPL regardless of Rangers’ fate. Dundee wouldn’t, and therefore directly benefitted from it.

    20. Swello says:

      Sorry to do this – but motherwell got nowhere *near* £2m for the Champs League! The 3rd qualifying round was around €100k and we weren’t on TV as no-one picked up the match. That type of appearance money only kicks in from the playoff round – and mainly in the group stages.
      We did get an additional kick due to Celtic’s success – a solidarity payment that all SPL teams got.

      Edited to add – and the 2nd place prize money is wrong – the SPL clubs quietly voted that away and it was spread throughout the league. Celtic kept their slice – maybe the reason they kept quiet about it,

    21. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      Yeah, just checking both those things after someone on P&B mentioned them. The STV guys are pretty sure about the SPL figures, but I’ve seen the document with the changed ones. Trying to get to the bottom of it, though it won’t change the overall picture anyway.

    22. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      Okay, Motherwell and St Johnstone figures now amended with new CL and SPL prize figures. Haven’t counted the “solidarity” payments because (a) I don’t know what they were and (b) they’re not directly related to Rangers anyway.

      St Johnstone’s figures actually get slightly better, but Motherwell’s get a lot worse. Still £326,000 to the good, though.

    23. Juteman says:

      Nothing more nerdy than football fans, Stu.
      Get one single fact wrong, and it will be pounced on! 🙂

    24. Juteman says:

      149,414 is the record attendance at Hampden.

    25. Sapheneia says:

      Does the 149,414 include the band that played at half time?  Are you sure you have only got paying customers included?

    26. Jiggsbro says:

      It doesn’t include the person who counted the other 149,414.

    27. John Lyons says:

      1. Scottish football had more young Scottish talent in it – the national team seems to always end up with the same suspects.
      you not seen the squad for the croatia game then? Five new caps was it?

    28. Sapheneia says:

      John Lyons
      Yes good to see John. Just hope we do not revert to the old guard for the starting line up or as we progress. Hope Strachan is given some time to stick with this.

    29. Juteman says:


    30. Gfaetheblock says:

      Don’t teams charge traveling old firm fans more than other teams, thus meaning you are underestimating the impact of swapping (say a) Dundee fan for a rangers fan.

    31. JLT says:

      Hmmmm, sorry guys, I don’t know …I feel as though it is just papering over the cracks.
      Overall, at this very moment, I find nothing …absolutely nothing …that is even good, let alone great, about our game. Our National Team is a disaster (Luxembourg lasted longer in the WC Qualifiers), our clubs can barely get a foothold in Europe before being hammered or embarrassed (forget Celtic, I’m talking about the rest), there is hardly a real decent youngster out there (where is our Bale!), the SFA, SPL and the SFL couldn’t agree on the colour of the grass even if their lives depended on it, Dunfermline have just crashed into the 2nd division, some of our clubs are teetering on the edge, and if Hearts, Killie and god knows who else fall through the floor, then our main league will be more than just a joke, it will be seen as one massive waste of time.
      I see nothing …absolutely nothing on the horizon, to say our game is about to change for the better. If anything, I think it’s going to get worse …far worse …before it gets better (and that is …if it gets better!)
      You can call me a pessimist or a doomsayer. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to see Summer Football, lowering of ticket prices, proper under 21,19, 17 leagues, the kids getting footie 3 times a week at PE …but …it’s nowhere on the horizon, so I see no changes to our game at all. I can promise you that in 10 years time, we will still be stuck with 10-10-10-12 or 12-10-10-10 as a league setup.

    32. iain taylor (not that one) says:

      I went to an SPL game. First ever. Friend (Heart’s fan) invited me. I nodded off.
      Also went to see locals – Raith. Didn’t nod off. Too cold.
      Saw FC Bayern too. At home to Freiburg. Much like Hearts game, but more bodies. 
      I’m a CanCans fan, but not being able to get to Forres every other week, end up watching ice hockey. Nod off, and you wake up with the puck between your eyes. 

    33. Linda's back says:

      Sorry Rev
      Very O/T but suggest you watch tonight’s BBC TV One Show’s take on how Scotland lost  its Independence……. in 1603.  No mention of 1707  local protests, bribery and troops massed on the border.
      Given that only English history is featured on “National” BBC no wonder viewers South of the Border haven’t a scooby about Scottish history.

    34. moujick says:

      As a Killie fan I would like to clearly state that the main problem at our club is chairman Michael Johnson who is driving both paying customers and local businesses away in their droves. His “abstention” last year scunnered dozens of die hard fans and we are in dire need of being rid of this man.

    35. Peter Sneddon says:

      Go fuck yourself Stuart, you have just lost me for good!

    36. Bill C says:

      @Peter Sneddon – I really don’t see the point of that comment Peter. I like football, but it is only a game. A self determining Scotland is surely much more important than 22 folk kicking a ball about a grass park.

    37. Doug Daniel says:

      I think some folk are missing Stu’s point – there was certainly someone on Twitter completely missing it. Nobody is saying Scottish football has suddenly been improved immeasurably by The Rangers being in Division 3 – merely that the “Armageddon” predicted by the likes of Stewart Regan and Neil Doncaster has not materialised. It’s a helpful reminder that when people say a change is going to lead to disaster and ruin, they’re usually talking out of their arse.
      The predictions of clubs going bust and fans deserting in their droves have, on the whole, failed to materialise. In the cases where clubs HAVE suffered, it’s down to their own actions, not the absence of The Rangers (Hearts’ problems are down to UBIG, although arguably they stem from trying to compete with the fake money David Murray brought to Rangers). And for all the talk beforehand of the SPL being a complete walkover for Celtic, they ended up winning it by far less points than Bayern Munich won the Bundesliga – and that’s currently the most exciting league in Europe with two teams in the Champions League final at the weekend.
      Scottish football still has massive problems – but The Rangers not being in the top flight isn’t one of them.

    38. Mosstrooper says:

      Hi Rev. quite why you have this obsession with football is somewhat of a mystery to me and ,I imagine, to others. It is a game. What is so world shattering about who kicked what where and when? Where does this lead the fight for independence?
      If you just cannot help yourself and feel you have to use your considerable skills in digging out facts about an over-hyped game,could you not direct to some other forum?
      We need those skills to assist us in the battle for our nation’s soul. Please do not deplete them with superfluous arguments. Really, Fitba Eh! FFS 

    39. James Kay says:

      For better or for worse, football is often believed to be a political game-changer. There is a case to make that Harold Wilson lost the 1970 election on the fields of Mexico just a few days before voting day. Scotland in Argentina, 1978, probably marked the high-point of optimism following the political gains of the early 70s. After that débâcle, the 79 referendum was always going to be difficult.
      (FWIW, the nearest I came to being involved in a battle zone was in the 1969 World Cup War.)

    40. Desimond says:

      Armageddon has only really happened for poor old Dunfermline..down and out in the 2nd Div ( ironically now alongside Rangers 2012). Rev, the Pars were relegated in the same season Rangers went bust, Dundee, 2nd in 1st Div, were then promoted up to replace Rangers.  St Mirren were not in danger of being relegated if Rangers the Company hadnt been caught bumping the £14m PAYE.

    41. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Hi Rev. quite why you have this obsession with football is somewhat of a mystery to me and ,I imagine, to others.”

      I’ve explained why it’s relevant several times. The football features couldn’t be any more clearly flagged. Don’t like ’em, don’t read ’em.

    42. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “St Mirren were not in danger of being relegated if Rangers the Company hadnt been caught bumping the £14m PAYE.”

      If Rangers had still been in the SPL, Dundee wouldn’t have been, so St Mirren would have finished bottom this season and dropped into SFL1.

    43. David Smith says:

      I think it’s probably extremely fortuitous that we failed to qualify for the next World Cup, based on my memories of 1978-9. Prior to that it did feel like Scotland was growing in confidence and stature and independence seemed like a genuine possibility. Somehow, that spirit died somewhere between Peru on Saturday and Iran on Wednesday. The hangover from this persisted and things were never the same in football or national self esteem after that as the seventies faded into the eighties and our country spent the next two decades in a very dark place. It’s maybe surprising to some but even at the age of fourteen I felt a seismic effect from what happened in 1978 out of all proportion to a mere fitba’ game, so I hope you can forgive my inherent superstition in relation to World Cup football and votes of national importance in relation to Scotland.
      Daft I know, but once bitten…

    44. handclapping says:

      OK so we have two fitba related arguments for Indy. item change doesn’t have to be bad despite what the elite say beforehand and item if we say no Sepp Blatter will have us out of internationals faster than you can say better together. Great, we already have more men than women going for Indy. What we need is arguments for women for Indy. And don’t look at me I’m single so panda all use. Competeitive knitting?

    45. Desimond says:

      If Rangers had still been in the SPL, Dundee wouldn’t have been, so St Mirren would have finished bottom this season and dropped into SFL1.
      If your Aunty had baws and all that…you’ve taken that too far 🙂

    46. mealer says:

      Its high time we started measuring the success of the sport called football by the number of people playing it and not by the number of people watching it.

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