The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland

Turkeys urge continuation of Christmas

Posted on May 18, 2012 by

As lovers of a good stat-wade ourselves, we’re liking this terrific piece by Celtic Quick News detailing the amount of money that Rangers FC’s “financial doping” has cost the other Scottish Premier League clubs over the last decade-and-a-bit. We highly advise reading it all, but the headline is that the Ibrox side has effectively stolen a minimum of £49m, a statistically most-probable £69m and a maximum of £224m from the other 11 teams currently in the SPL, as well as further sums from teams since relegated.

For us, though, the most striking figures can be found in the detailed breakdowns, where you’ll notice certain figures crop up over and over again. The direct immediate cost (in lost SPL sponsorship and TV money) of relegation to the SFL Division 1, for example, can be seen to be £765,000.

But the real eye-opener comes if you look at the sums involved in dropping down one league place. We’ve mentioned it in previous pieces, but laid out in stark black-and-white numbers it shows just what a crooked deal the non-Old-Firm SPL chairmen lumbered their clubs with when, blinded by short-sighted greed, they collaborated with Rangers and Celtic in setting the league up as a cosy permanent duopoly:

Loss from finishing 2nd rather than 1st: £340,000
Loss from finishing 3rd rather than 2nd: £935,000
Loss from finishing 4th rather than 3rd: £170,000
Loss from finishing one place lower, 5th-11th: £85,000

Ouch. Were the premium for a 2nd-place finish to follow the pattern of the rest of the distribution, it would be just £255,000. Or put another way, the SPL is basically an agreement to give Rangers and Celtic £680,000 a year each, on top of the regular prize money, simply for being the Old Firm.

Since all but one SPL season has seen the two Glasgow clubs take the top two places, the league prize-money distribution alone has ensured that the other 10 clubs fall further and further behind every year, by roughly the amount needed to pay the salary of one international-class player.

(It comes out fractionally over £13,000 a week, a sum exceeded by only a couple of Rangers’ biggest stars before their in-administration pay cuts, which are about to end. It’s the same as the average wage for an English Premiership player at the mid-point of the period analysed by CQN.)

Over the 11 seasons of Rangers’ alleged EBT improprieties, that of course adds up to a complete international-class side, which the other SPL teams have in essence paid the wages for (with the additional millions brought in by annual Champions League participation providing the transfer fees), guaranteeing that Rangers continued to beat them, secure one of the two top spots and perpetuate the cycle.

(A grossly-unbalanced state of affairs which makes it all the more astonishing that Rangers STILL felt the need to cheat by robbing the taxpayer, and just about everyone else as well, in order to spend even more money.)

Remarkably, it seems from their comments to the media so far that most of the SPL chairmen will be minded to vote in favour of continuing this slow suicide, out of fear that the alternative could somehow be worse. We hope that New Rangers will at least have the courtesy to pay for the cranberry sauce.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

5 to “Turkeys urge continuation of Christmas”

  1. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy)

    And in breaking news an SPL spokesperson said:

    “Gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble…”

  2. Doug Daniel

    Bizarre. Why the hell did the clubs allow this to happen in the first place?

  3. Rev. Stuart Campbell

    “Bizarre. Why the hell did the clubs allow this to happen in the first place?”

    As the piece says, short-sighted greed. It’s sort of analogous to people being happy about rising house prices because their house has appreciated in value by 20% a year, regardless of the fact that everyone else’s has too so it doesn’t actually do them any good, plus if they do move up the ladder an ever-greater proportion of their income will go on paying for their house because wages aren’t keeping price with house-price inflation, leaving them much poorer in real terms.

    The proposition put to the would-be SPL chairmen was basically this:

    Would you like:

    [a] £100,000 a year in prize money?


    [b] £500,000 a year in prize money, so long as Rangers and Celtic are always guaranteed a million?

    To a short-sighted dimbo, that’s a no-brainer – “£500,000 is a lot more than £100,000 so hand me my signing pen! We’ll be competing with AC Milan in no time!”

    If you have the brain of a slightly-above-average amoeba, though, you quickly spot the problem – if everyone’s got five times as much money, nobody does. You can’t buy anything you couldn’t buy before, because the vast influx of money has driven the price of everything up by 500%.

    You can’t, if you’re chairman of Dunfermline, persuade someone to come and play for you instead of Kilmarnock by offering them five times the money you could before, because Kilmarnock can now afford to do that too. But because you’re a bit thick and no match for a quick-witted agent, you’ll try anyway, rapidly lumbering your club with a crippling wage bill that you can’t really afford because you can’t put the price of tickets up 500% or nobody will come to see you.

    And in fact you’re even worse off, because in RELATIVE terms you’re much poorer than Rangers and Celtic, and getting relatively poorer every year. Very quickly, you can no longer afford to live in the same neighbourhood as them. And because their neighbourhood is where all the money is, that’s where all the businesses, investment and jobs go, and soon your neighbourhood falls into a vicious circle of decline.

    You realise your mistake, and try to change the distribution of the money, but it’s too late – you’ve already signed a contract giving Rangers and Celtic a veto on altering the rules, and they’re naturally very happy in their nice neighbourhood rather than wanting to be dragged back to your slum.

    I was going to torture this mixed metaphor some more by explaining how Rangers got into massive credit-card debt buying expensive crap to flaunt at Celtic, and have now come round to your house demanding you bail them out, but I think the point’s made by now…

  4. Juteman

    As a (former) Dundee supporter who has seen my club going through the financial mill, i’ve pretty much given up on Scottish football as a ‘sport’.
     It’s a corrupt business.

  5. Barbarian

    I’d rather that Scottish Football did a Euro, crash and burn then restart. True fans will still support their clubs. Develop the youth programmes to give Scottish kids (boys and girls) a chance and if they end up being bought a major club, then they get a great career opportunity and the club gets a financial reward.

    What worries me is that Rangers get away with paying most if not all of the money due to us – ie taxpayers – and David Murray makes a profit.


Comment - please read this page for comment rules. HTML tags like <i> and <b> are permitted. Use paragraph breaks in long comments. DO NOT SIGN YOUR COMMENTS, either with a name or a slogan. If your comment does not appear immediately, DO NOT REPOST IT. Ignore these rules and I WILL KILL YOU WITH HAMMERS.

↑ Top