Aberdeen fans, grasping financial fundamentals


It would be remiss of me not to acknowledge Aberdeen fans’ banner on Saturday in response to their chairman, Stewart Milne’s suggestion that fans are damaging our game with talking about the consequences of clubs being found to be cheating.

I know some people learned the lessons of 2012 but others appear to have acquired amnesia. Back in 2012 only one SPL club was of the view that Rangers should not be allowed to phoenix and gain entry to top flight football. After a considerable campaign by fans, all others, apart from Rangers themselves, and Kilmarnock, decided it would be better if existing rules were allowed to stand on the matter.

Milne was off his head making his comments. The only way to possibly pull a stroke like this would be to keep quiet about it, even then I doubt it would be achievable. Making his feelings known was only going to engage Aberdeen supporters, who will have the ultimate view on what the club do.

The issue remains in the long grass until the Supreme Court have concluded their business, but what we said in October remains valid: if Celtic stand alone, the matter will not be looked at again, if other clubs are on-board, it will be examined appropriately. It is for fans of Aberdeen, United, Hibs, Hearts, Motherwell and make their feelings known.

The Herald’s piece this morning on Newco being “handed a place in the Premiership next summer as a result of some hastily-arranged league reconstruction” was remarkable. It was absurd but also worthy of respect. “NOBODY at Rangers (sic.)” wants this, but as other clubs need for Newco’s promotion is so great, apparently this is not really implausible.

Promote them, not because they are in need, because other clubs need them.

The starting position on league reconstruction is notable. For years only Celtic and Rangers blocked the SPL from being expanded. The majority of top flight clubs live in fear of (and experienced) relegation. They want a less competitive middle to the league. When the SPFL was formed a temporary moratorium of league reconstruction was agreed. This moratorium is due to expire shortly, a window for change is about to open up.

Tracking underneath all of these debates are the financial fundamentals. Newco is not financially viable. They are not viable in the Championship and although Premiership football would give them a few millions more, it would not change the fundamentals.

The circa £17m it takes to run a club at Ibrox before you employ football staff leaves little money for football given their anticipated top-flight income. It would take years and many tens of millions of dead investment to change this, as well as Mike Ashley raising the white flag.

These facts have not been grasped yet as the consequences of the hoped for investment of tens of millions not appearing are not being considered. Dave King might invest £30m-£50m, so with a fair wind everything might be OK. On the other hand, I think even £50m is tight, and I don’t see anything like that money heading to Ibrox.

The consequences of what happened in 2012, even on these pages, have yet to be realised. The old business model is finished, it’s not coming back.

Many thanks to everyone who contributed to the Foundation Christmas Appeal bucket collection on Saturday. You see people at their very best on these occasions. If you want to know how your money will be spent have a read here.

Very last shout from CQN Bookstore for Christmas delivery, if you’re after 16:00, it’ll be after the festives’ before you get your book or DVD.


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  1. Greenpinata



    Well that’s partially what prompted me to ask. There seems to be a great deal of confusion over who sets the transfer targets and who approves them. Is Carlton Cole really a player that RD would ever chose of his own accord?



    I’m currently undertaking a bit of private research into different football club structures such as fan/member ownership. Transparency is a major tenet of such club structures. Could we benefit from more transparency? As you say, mibbes aye, mibbes naw….

  2. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Just read the Herald article. As soon as I saw the name “Matthew Lindsay” at the top I knew what to expect.





    Errr – increased finances through broadcasting and sponsorship? Didn’t we just do new deals on both? With no “Rangers” in the premiership?





    All clubs have to live within their means. 41 of them manage just fine.

  3. Davidopoulos



    The role of agents in Celtic’s transfer dealings could be something interesting to investigate or have transparency around.



    “Oi Celtic I’ve got Carlton Cole ‘ere, top geezer would luv to come up Norf forrabit, whathc fink?”

  4. starry plough



    Indeed. And what about personal relationships? I’ve heard the conjecture around the Lawwell Man City connection – do we think there is anything in that? What about Dudu Dahan? Have his clients been good for Celtic? Surely, partially yes?



    All interesting things to consider. Difficult to answer.

  5. More crap about people other than management team signing players and foisting them on Ronny – for God’s sake GROW UP!





    In case you missed it due to the rapid turnaround…





    LATCHFORD 1145



    Surprised that you are advocating the removal of RD. PL is the problem,and I know you believe that too.



    Sack RD and leave PL in charge just moves the problem down the line.



    Simple fact is that PL either goes or returns to his original remit. He runs Celtic as his own personal fiefdom. His ego long ago outran his talents and his usefulness.



    He is now-and for a long time hence-a drain on resources and a blight on our future. That he is a divisive figure amongst the support is long overdue,but hardly unexpected.



    His time is up. He should leave with what is left of his reputation.

  7. One of my best mates is a West Ham fanatic .. Years of being ranted at have conditioned me towards learning that the player in question has 2 names —



    @@@@@@@ Carlton Cole / Carlton @@@@@@@ Cole – ( in a born n bred East London stylee )

  8. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Aye Paul that’s right – they don’t want any help (sure!). They’re gonna be dominating Europe the year after next.


    One point from six against Morton and Falkirk? Dearie me!

  9. Another day, another article about sevco but we’re not defined by them in any way. You learn more at times about the tactics of the tea ladies at sevco on here than how much of an error of judgement it is to sign players purely based on their potential resale value rather than whether they will improve the first eleven.

  10. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    I know some people learned the lessons of 2012 but others appear to have acquired amnesia. Back in 2012 only one SPL club was of the view that Rangers should not be allowed to phoenix and gain entry to top flight football. They would have much preferred them to Phoenix and be parachuted into the Scottish Football Division one. That club hoped that this would have been considered enough punishment for their legions of fans. After a considerable campaign by fans, all others, apart from Rangers themselves, and Kilmarnock, decided it would be better if existing rules were allowed to stand on the matter.

  11. Davidopoulos



    It would be interesting to see who has what input and at what stages etc.



    I think we all know that the days of Stein/Shankley/Busby/ Tommy Doc picking up the phone are long gone but the idea that PL signs the players has always seemed a bit far fetched for me, I’m sure he gives final approval of any deal.



    The same scouting process gave us Ledley, Matthews, Forster, Wanyama VVD Jason D, so again quite obviously Neil and his back room team had connections and reputations in the British game which Ronny doesn’t and therefore would it be fair to say that in recruitment he needs a fully functioning scouting process which delivers Celtic quality players to his desktop and not some shady behind closed doors agentry that we never get to hear about:))



    All in my humble opinion of course, I have no inside info on the shady dealings alleged or otherwise of football agents:))

  12. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo



    Do you think that that fan power could be repeated to prevent restructuring just for the benefit of one club? Also, could it be repeated on a further occasion to sort out the SFA?



    I would like to think that it could, however i do have nagging doubts as well.

  13. What a well run club Bayern Munich are.



    They do their business professionally.



    They replace quality with even more quality.



    Guardiola goes and they bring in 3 times champions league winner Ancelloti.



    It’s all done seamlessly.


    Kept private until the announcement ,and planned out well in advance.



    They always go for top drawer ,and perform like the big club they are.




  14. starry plough



    I agree that the idea that PL pulls ALL the strings seems a little unlikely. And you make a good point about RD not having the British football connections. Surely this was the point of hiring John Collins? The Murdo to Wim’s Tims?



    The system has produced good results in the past, just as it has produced resounding flops. The key thing is that we are now seeing more of the latter than the former (or so it would seem).



    Likewise, just my opinion :)

  15. Fred or whatever your name is.


    It has been said that Ronny has signed X amount of players since he came to the club, and Stefan Scepovic is among the band of players he is supposed to have signed, as is Craig Gordon.


    Simple question for you, though I doubt you will answer, answering questions is not the forte of a troll.


    Did Ronny sign Scepovic and Craig Gordon ?

  16. ” Platini was going home the minute Blatter decided that he wasn’t prepared to go home alone “.



    Sicilian Radio News -21 /12 /15

  17. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on




    Yes I think it could.



    Celtic as an organisation cannot can´t due to their covert stance since the 5WA was first muted and do not want their fans to rock the boat (see Res 12)



    That is why they need the support of the rest of Scottish football and are trying their best to drum it up. So that they cannot be implicated.



    An unpromoted phoenix-ed Rangers will be in the SPFL at the start of 2017 if Aberdeen, Dundee Utd and St. Johnstone chairmen get their way. That is 3 from 12 already. Sorry 3 from 11 .. another three and they will get what they want. Mmmmh I wonder how Kilmarnock, Hearts and Caley Thistle will vote




  18. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    TINYTIM on 21ST DECEMBER 2015 1:47 PM



    Their C.E.O has just come out of jail for tax evasion



    Their club secretary Karl Heinz Rumenigge (King pin at the ECA) has also pleaded guilty to tax fraud.




  19. Davidoupulos



    Have a look at Malmo’s ownership model. It’s a membership scheme approach with one vote per member at AGM according to Wiki.



    For this to work it requires a wide understanding of the football industry and finances across the membership Base.



    Malmo are like Celtic in being the biggest club in Sweden so there might be some parallels worth borrowing from there.

  20. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo






    I believe you are right, the chairmen want them back. They long for the good old days, when finishing 3rd or 4th was worth more to them than finishing second (I am referring not so subtly to Aberdeen).


    The whole question of putting the scandals behind us and moving on assumes that it is possible to put such things behind us.


    The scale and severity of the breach of trust at high levels of our sport has meant that any fan who can put it behind them is either a very good actor or a fan of the deidco.



    I appreciate what I’ve just said has been said a thousand time already :)

  21. Auldheid



    Malmo are on my list to investgate. I believe (could be wrong) that Sweden has the same 50+1 ownership structure that the German league has. Indeed, I think it applies to all sports organisations there, not just football club.



    I’m currently knee deep in the consitution of FC United of Manchester, but Malmo is definitely on the list.

  22. I have another theory on why Milne came out and said what he said, this man did not get to where is by being daft, he is using the fans to twist his arm on this, he will be under pressure from all areas to move on but he can take the pressure off himself by saying, the fans spoke.



    Hail Hail

  23. “if Celtic stand alone, the matter will not be looked at again, if other clubs are on-board, it will be examined appropriately. It is for fans of Aberdeen, United, Hibs, Hearts, Motherwell and make their feelings known.”



    Hats off to the Aberdeen fans.



    Other fans are more likely to “make their feelings known” if the biggest club in the land would do so first. Celtic have been the most wronged both financially & in terms of honours, it’s up to us to lead the way. No good waiting for Kilmarnock, Thistle, Aberdeen etc. to open their mouths, as financially these “clubs” would benefit far more than we would by welcoming New Club back in to the top flight. Time is often a great healer & the longer Celtic keep schtum the easier it will be for fans of less effected clubs to jump on the “lets all move on for the good of the game” bandwagon.



    Celtic need to be proactive, not good enough to lead from behind. It’s our obligation to get out in front & make sure fans of all clubs, can be confident in raising their collective voices.

  24. 16 roads - Celtic über alles... on

    Whomever thought it a good idea to sign Carlton Cole should be immediately exiled from the football club,or sent to see a psychiatrist.



    If it was a collective decision,then all of the individuals involved should be sacked,banished.



    Same applies to the Derk Boerrigter fiasco.



    Who is signing these comedians?



    CEO,scouts, agents, managers?



    Something isn’t right and it needs fixed before the club ends up bankrupt.




  25. Gerryfaethebrig on




    We have a manager plus surely all that tippy tappy stuff would have Cqn in meltdown

  26. thomthethim for Oscar OK on




    Correct and that is why we need a joint statement from the CSA, the IACSC and perhaps, the CT, directed towards their counterparts at the other clubs.



    As the Aberdeen banner stated, It’s the fans who will decide.

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