A meaningless win is always better than a meaningless defeat, but in the larger scheme of things, yesterday’s game against Liverpool is no more significant than last month’s games in Germany. They are about building fitness and, if necessary, trying new things.
Amido Balde was the winner yesterday. Some were already writing the player off, not because of any performance inadequacy, but because he was not being deployed competitively. Victor Wanyama joined two years ago but spent the first six months of this stay warming the bench with Brown, Ledley and Kayal ahead of him.
Five months ago Rangers International FC PLC released their interim accounts, noting that their recurring operating expenses of £2.371m, were £1m per month more than their income.
£1m per month!! To a club which has no bank borrowing facility! Yet the alarm bells didn’t ring everywhere. Roll on five months, 34,000 fans have been separated from their cash in return for season tickets, and now the alarms are ringing all over the place, not just the Celtic online media.
This is not news to anyone reading Celtic Quick News but in life, it’s often not so much the message as the messenger that’s significant. That the mainstream media feel it’s appropriate to ‘tell it as it is’ about Rangers International’s finances, is a measure of how acute the situation is.
As we’ve been saying here for years, it takes close to £20m p.a., before you employ a footballer or coach, to run a football club which can accommodate circa 40,000 spectators on a regular basis. Add your football budget onto that £20m and you have an idea of the cash needed to be a ‘top’ Scottish club.
Rangers International’s interim revenue for seven months was £9.5m which annualised up would be £16.3m. There is a huge structural gap which no one has been able to even remotely suggest a way to bridge.
Now Dave King has told the Herald what we’ve been saying for a while, “Celtic are building reserves by selling top players that they won’t need until Rangers are back (sic) competing with them. The way our finances are being run we could end up with a gap that is too large to bridge.”
It takes hundreds of employees to run a football club at a busy Ibrox Stadium. There are policing, rates, utility, insurance and stewarding costs, which you can’t do anything about. Even if they double income, they’re still going to be left with a fraction of Celtic’s football budget.
As Dave King suggests, this is not a short and medium term problem, the gap is already too large to bridge. King is wrong on one factor, Celtic will not store reserves awaiting a challenge from Rangers International (or a successor club), they are managing player assets as part of an on-going Champions League development strategy.
The other lot are finished, I tells ya’, finished! This is Private Fraser doing his Dave King impersonation: