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Detail behind haunting words of Paul Murray

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You and I have been discussing football finances here since 2004.  In our early years Celtic lost several million pounds each year, CQN’s call was ‘we must breakeven over any business cycle’, an incredibly controversial view in those times of indulgent bling.

By 2004 Celtic hadn’t added a player who held down a sustained first team place for three years (since John Hartson in 2001).  We also lost a talisman that summer.  The pressure was on to spend, from the stands and the dug-out, but Brian Quinn, our chairman, had concerns about running at a permanent loss.  In the face of considerable criticism from the bling-brigade he stood firm.

Celtic won three of the next four league titles while reaching new territory in the Champions League as others continued to spent beyond their means and exploit unconventional taxation policies, which ultimately saw them liquidated, but while the end game was predictable, most didn’t predict it.  This resulted in strife at our club.

Finance was a focus of CQN in the early years when we produced granular analysis of accounts and budgetary forecasting.  As we became less of a basket-case the time spent debating money reduced.

We can all talk about strikers and defending, policing and political influences, good corporate governance and the SFA, but if you scratch below the surface of those with many years of CQN behind them, I suspect you’ll find people who can’t resist a football club’s cost and revenue breakdown spreadsheet….

The document which appeared on the internet yesterday on a former football club [let’s call them ExCo] was a joy.  To me, anyway.  It provided many small details which add up to one or two enormous conclusions.

ExCo forecast current year spend for 2011-12 on cleaning costs to be £380k, electricity at £455k, insurance at £374k, postage and carriage at £146k, IT at £261k, professional fees at £613k and telephone costs at £149k.  Stewarding was £593k, policing, £343k, match day ambulance, £89k.  They spent £160k on finance salaries and £176 on press office salaries while ticket operation salaries cost £268k.  The list is exhaustive, 10 pages of costs detailed.

Operating costs, before items like our old friend, amortisation, and tax (don’t laugh), were predicted to come in just shy of £37m, but the key message in all of this detail, is that if you want to operate a football club which can accommodate circa 40,000 spectators you need an infrastructure which costs around £20m.

The police, building maintenance, insurances, grass seed and everything else has to be budgeted for before you can look at player wages, not to mention transfer fees.  £268k might sound like a lot to pay for ticket office staff but if you need to issue tens of thousands of tickets you need fulfilment staff.  All those assets: enormous properties, thousands of fans, blanket media attention, can feel like liabilities to the guy with the responsibility to pay for them.

On reading this the overwhelming memory I had was of former Rangers director, Paul Murray, who a year ago told the world that Newco Rangers would not be viable, and he was hoping a Newco would have SPL football back then.  New clubs cannot qualify in European competition until after they have completed three years trading (a minimum of four years without Europe).

With no European revenue for four years, Newco would be unable to pay all those ‘fixed’ costs and put a competitive team on the field.  A big club can’t survive trapped in a small league with no European revenue.

This is reality.  Scotland has one healthy large club and has a dozen or more potentially healthy small ones, but nothing will ever be the same again.

Thanks to everyone who has bought Willie Wallace autobiography.  Orders in from Belfast, Blackpool, Bonnybridge, Burntisland and Blackrock.  If you order now you will receive a copy signed by the man himself….

Email me if you have an article for CQN Magazine inside of you waiting to get out; celticquicknews@gmail.com.


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  1. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    awsomeauldshilale. 1336

     

     

    AWESOME POST

     

     

    Feel free to add yer tuppence worth more often.

     

     

    Please…..

  2. A Ceiler Gonof Rust on

    !!Bada Bing!!, I finally got round to watching some more of the final episodes of series 6.

     

     

    Geez, auld tony’s a bad wan right enough!!!

  3. Neil canamalar Lennon hunskelper extrordinaire on

    Just got a message from an extra terrestrial,

     

    Ask SETI to answer the bloody phone

  4. Bada my neighbour was searching for channel.

     

    Ach well the G64 household will just have be without my scintillating

     

    company this Sunday.hh

  5. O.G.Rafferty on

    Doc is Neil Lennon, 14:18

     

    You’re safe to get your round in (is that good news or bad news?)

  6. Neil canamalar Lennon hunskelper extrordinaire on

    petec,

     

    50 bloody years they have been phoning :o)

  7. unionbearBhind

     

    14:16 on

     

    17 May, 2013

     

    Auldheid

     

     

    just scrolled back & noticed, no budget for transfers if they ever even got back to spl?

     

    ============================

     

    It will be all Bosmans but I included £3m for transfers to get them ready for the SPLin 2014.

  8. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Craig Mather in DR today-first paragraph he was asked why he supported the huns “my mother was Church of England…….” wtf.

  9. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    macjay1 for neil lennon

     

     

    14:12 on 17 May, 2013

     

    BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

     

    14:07 on 17 May, 2013

     

     

    Nae,pal.

     

    ” token tory ?”

     

    Silent majority.

     

    Who`s pulling the strings?

     

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

     

     

     

    It was a reference to THE TOKEN TIM,bud.

     

     

    Well aware there are more than one of you,haha!

     

     

    Up late,nowt on the telly?

  10. DontPatmadug on

    !!Bada Bing!!

     

     

    14:50 on 17 May, 2013

     

     

    Did they not ask him what school he went to :)

  11. 'crushed nuts?' 'Naw, Layringitis!' on

    squire danaher

     

     

    13:49 on 17 May, 2013

     

    jc2 – NO

     

     

    Re George Sq area pubs

     

     

    Auctioneers is a Hun hole. We usually make our way to CP by train from Queen St to bellgrove and used to watch the dead club lunchtime matches on TV before hand

     

     

    Never seen so many fat trainer-wearing shaven-headed tattooed Granda-Ned Neanderthals in the one place.

     

    &&&&&4

     

    And you should see the men! :-)

  12. squire danaher on

    hendrix67 13:59

     

     

    Indeed, that particular visual delight has been denied me since my last trip to Mordor in 2000

  13. sannabhoy

     

     

    11:04 on 17 May, 2013

     

    Vmhan , did you get my email ?

     

     

    Sanna

     

    ………..

     

    Just checked, no email amigo!

     

     

    V

  14. unionbearBhind on

    Auldheid

     

    14.49

     

     

    hope they don’t see out 2013, but with sfa three not so wise monkeys, am not very confident!

     

     

    HH

  15. Sevco will take years to qualify for Europe and then when they eventually do, they then have the massive problem that they will not be seeded so they have no chance of making it to the group stages. The group stages is where the money is!

     

    If they dont make the group stages they cant accumulate enough seeding points to one day become a seeded team so they are doomed to be eternally unseeded !

  16. Quantum

     

     

    Sevco will take years to qualify for Europe and then when they eventually do, they then have the massive problem that they will not be seeded so they have no chance of making it to the group stages. The group stages is where the money is!

     

    If they dont make the group stages they cant accumulate enough seeding points to one day become a seeded team so they are doomed to be eternally unseeded !

     

     

    I think you can get treatment for that…

  17. 'crushed nuts?' 'Naw, Layringitis!' on

    quantum

     

     

    15:11 on 17 May, 2013

     

    Sevco will take years to qualify for Europe and then when they eventually do, they then have the massive problem that they will not be seeded so they have no chance of making it to the group stages. The group stages is where the money is!

     

    If they dont make the group stages they cant accumulate enough seeding points to one day become a seeded team so they are doomed to be eternally unseeded !

     

    %%%%%%%

     

    Does that not make them Orange Jaffas?

  18. All that I personally see in Georgios Samaras is a Man that loves this Club dearly.

     

     

    He is willing to step aside so that others develop, WOW.

     

     

    Every time I see him take that armband of being Leader of Men, well it means a lot mair than just the cotton that is wrapped around his arm.

     

     

    Broonie is our fantastic Capitano but there is something about the subtleness of GS that warms my very well being.

     

     

    Geo, Geo……….

  19. “Doc is Neil Lennon, 14:18

     

    You’re safe to get your round in (is that good news or bad news?)”

     

     

    There’s a first 4 everything right enough.

  20. !!Bada Bing!! on

    petec -Samaras is a Prince amongst men,the guy deserves everything he gets out of football.The Cup Final team will be interesting i hope he and Commons start but a lot of guys in contention.I would play v DU fringe/youth players ,guys suspended for the final…..oh and make Paddy captain in his last game.

  21. unionbearBhind

     

    15:09 on

     

    17 May, 2013

     

    Auldheid

     

    14.49

     

     

    hope they don’t see out 2013, but with sfa three not so wise monkeys, am not very confident!

     

    ______________________________

     

    To steal what Dr McCoy said to Captain James Tiberius Kirk –

     

    “Its Rangers Jim, but not as we know them.”

     

     

    HH

  22. A Ceiler Gonof Rust on

    Petec / Bada Bing, I should introduce you two to the goodwin that sits behind me in 402. He’s never done ripping into sammy. Even his mate is completely embarrassed by him.

     

     

    Hopefully he’ll move to the south stand or Outer Mongolia for next season.

  23. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    BADA BING

     

     

    Sad day when we have no room for the maverick,a tanner ba player who can get us out of our seats.

     

     

    Remember him ripping Spurs to bits one per-season?

     

     

    Only one of many fond memories Paddy will leave in my mind.

     

     

    I hope he has many fond memories of us too,and makes a bloody fortune somewhere else,as befits his talents.

     

     

    But I betcha he tells his grand kids about his time wi The Celtic…..

     

     

    He richly deserves his place in our history.

  24. Daylon Claasen on trial apparently. Anyone know anything about him? His time in Belgium isn’t impressive although apparently down to injury. Not sure if this is the type of signing we need but he looks like a Scott Brown type. Good drive, very quick, more creative but less defensive…

     

     

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxf2C-fVVOU

     

     

    —-

     

     

    Have we ever had any success with a trialist ?

     

     

    Hate seeing us bring boys on trial, makes us look like a small club scraping barrell for boys not wanted anywhere else.

     

     

    Must be some more adam matthews,joe ledley type signings available …Young,talented and free

  25. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    My favourite Paddy Mccourt game was the one at Ibrox, when he and Sami ran the show.

     

     

    The Derry Pele had a fantastic tackle, nearly sent the Oldconian flying into the epicentre of cash strapped scrofulous hillbillitude.

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