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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

     

     

    15:51 on 17 May, 2013

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

    Remember that game in wembley cup, paddy isnt consistent and without wanting whole paddy debate i feel he is used wrongly.

     

     

    We were winning by few goals last week, thats when too bring him on ..not when we are struggling.

     

     

    His youtube goals probably wont be bettered ..some crackers.

  2. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    ACGR

     

     

    When we swapped seats so yer golfing superhero lad could be beside the Green Brigade I forgot to mention the SAMMI hater in the row behind.

     

     

    Mea culpa.

     

     

    Just thought the eejit might make you feel at home….

  3. dontbrattbakkinanger

     

     

    15:54 on 17 May, 2013

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

    Yep,played free role brillantly that day, sent elbows on his arse at end to round off great day. Paddy was on great run at the time..we signed commons around then i think.

  4. proudbhoy 15:52

     

     

    I’d say Matthews and Ledley (and Hooper) are exceptions to the rule from English football. With the success we’ve had no doubt English clubs will be thinking I should add on x-more millions because they’ll go up there and be good players.

     

     

    I don’t have an issue with trials, we do seem to have a trial curse when we take players and never sign them but surely that’s a good thing. The only players we had on trial who we didn’t sign and turned out to be a top player that I can think of was De La Pena.

     

     

    This guy is free but may not have played in a while so if he’s willing to take a trial then why not test the waters? He had a trial at Everton.

  5. !!Bada Bing!! on

    a ceiler gonof rust-that type of behaviour not acceptable in the South Stand :)

  6. RalphWaldoEllison remembers ALS victims Jimmy Jonstone & John Cushley on

    proudbhoy

     

     

    Every loan player who we eventually sign is on trial.

     

     

    List includes Samaras.

     

     

    The discussion about clubs living within their means is the rationale.

     

     

    If only we’d got Scheidt on trial/loan then we might have found him out and signed a real player instead.

     

     

    HH

  7. A Ceiler Gonof Rust on

    RM debate on how much money is left in the vault at the victorian lavvy.

     

     

    Thick hun one proclaims “Raised £21.5m less £2,5m exp = £19.5m”.

     

     

     

    I think he’s sevco’s heid accountant:-)

  8. Gene's a Bhoy's name on

    A ceiler

     

    19.5 m that’s because they haven’t paid their bills

  9. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Snyde News playing NL clip re the 2nd biggest team,FF will be on meltdown

     

    Lordingitcsc

  10. A Ceiler Gonof Rust on

    BobM 15.55, Aye the boy looks like jesus.

     

     

    I tell you, I’d like to nail him to a cross:-)

     

     

    Anyway, I thought you never made it oot the boozer that day?

     

     

     

    Bada Bing, apologies for the south stand comment. Outer Mongolia it is then:-)

  11. malone bhoy

     

     

    15:58 on 17 May, 2013

     

    proudbhoy 15:52

     

     

    I’d say Matthews and Ledley (and Hooper) are exceptions to the rule from English football. With the success we’ve had no doubt English clubs will be thinking I should add on x-more millions because they’ll go up there and be good players.

     

     

    I don’t have an issue with trials, we do seem to have a trial curse when we take players and never sign them but surely that’s a good thing. The only players we had on trial who we didn’t sign and turned out to be a top player that I can think of was De La Pena.

     

     

    This guy is free but may not have played in a while so if he’s willing to take a trial then why not test the waters? He had a trial at Everton.

     

     

     

     

    Didnt know evertom had him, unless he has few offers from smaller teams but also requesting trials with bigger teams, you are correct nothing to lose i suppose. Just dont see us having any success unless its 16-19yr old who may has alot of potential.

     

     

    We didnt pay anything for adam or joe because outta contract and different league.. Ur right regarding hooper. Still surprised we got him cheap.

     

     

    Rememeber watching scores every week and hoops and ricky lamberts names always appearing. Was delighted when i heard we were in for hooper. Wish we had of made move for lambert aswel at the time.

  12. A Ceiler Gonof Rust on

    Gene’s a Bhoy’s name, could well be but its more his ability to deduct one number from another ha ha!!

     

     

    I don’t think any of the dum dums on rm even picked him up on the missing half mil.

     

     

    Creative accounting sevco syleeeeee.

  13. Sir Paul

     

     

    Nice Woik..kiddo.. Nicely Done.

     

     

    and a wee Stroll doon Memory Lane, for Bye.

     

     

    Boattum Line..

     

     

    “It’s Awe aboot .. The Money.. Honey~”

     

     

    Right.

     

     

    As ye know.. Ah hiv a Plaque Above Ma Desk..in Ma New L.A. office..

     

     

     

    It wiz a Hoose Warmin’ Gift fae a Pal …oan which is written..

     

     

    “If Ye Must Borrow Money,

     

     

    Borrow , fae a Pessimist.

     

     

    fur..

     

     

    He wull No expect tae Get it Back!”

     

     

    It’s A Lead Pipe Cinch

     

     

    that..

     

     

     

    .. Zsa, Zsa, tae his utter Horror and Lingering Consternation…

     

     

     

    Did NOT follow that sound Advice!

     

     

    And YOU know.exactly.. Tae Whom Ah am Refferin’.

     

     

     

    Kojo

     

     

    Still..Laughin’

  14. ralphwaldoellison remembers als victims jimmy jonstone & john cushley

     

     

    16:02 on 17 May, 2013

     

    proudbhoy

     

     

    Every loan player who we eventually sign is on trial.

     

     

    List includes Samaras.

     

     

    The discussion about clubs living within their means is the rationale.

     

     

    If only we’d got Scheidt on trial/loan then we might have found him out and signed a real player instead.

     

     

    HH

     

     

     

     

    Disagree, having player on loan means we know he can be worthwile so we will take a chance pay his wages and see how it goes, loan is basicall a short contract up front before player gets near the hoops.

     

     

    Trial to me means we dont know much at all, let him train for a week usually at no very little cost to club and see what happens.

  15. !!Bada Bing!!

     

     

    15:40 on 17 May, 2013

     

     

    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.

     

    ________________________________________________________________

     

     

    He is definitely a Keeper. ;))

     

     

    Paddy deserves to start and right in the Middle of the park. Be Bold Neil.

     

     

    I like Hibs and Pat Fenlon but FFS be ruthless in this Final and have it Won by HT. Jock Stein wiz pretty ruthless, so I am told.

     

     

    Hampden Shmamden, get that Double secured ASAP.

  16. A Ceiler Gonof Rust

     

     

    15:49 on 17 May, 2013

     

     

    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.

     

     

    ______________________________________________________________________

     

     

    LOL – I appreciate you are there with the youngster, I’ve always made a point of supporting Sammi even if it means looking daft at times, the Kid will remember it a lot more than when everyone was supporting him. ;)

  17. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    ACGR. 1606

     

     

    Yer kidding,aincha? We were playing the wee huns,never to be missed.

     

     

    My Dad nearly didnae make it to his seat-got bloody vertigo up there and damn near took a swallow dive.

     

     

    Had to force lager down his neck later to revive him!

  18. leftclicktic on

    A Ceiler Gonof Rust

     

    And another deluded belter says

     

     

    :))

     

     

     

    I know they raised 30 or 35 million all in but did the investors not get some of that? At that time there was less than 20million left.

  19. @thecelticchorus: Looking forward to our 1st performance on Sunday at CP We’re singing a few songs to (hopefully) help the bhoys with their @stepschallenge

     

     

     

     

    Have they got their own section aswel ? Near the GB

  20. C’mon who was there?!!!

     

     

     

    Coronation Cup 17th May 1953

     

     

    The gusty wind did make conditions difficult for the players but in the match at Hampden, where Celtic faced Manchester United, both teams rose to the challenge and it turned out to be an excellent contest, played before a crowd of 73,000.

     

     

    Celtic fielded the same eleven which had beaten Arsenal and once again could thank their half-back line – Bobby Evans, Jock Stein and John McPhail – for inspiring the side to victory. But everyone played well. Bertie Peacock harried United’s captain Johnny Carey the whole match, never allowing him to use his tactical brain; Neilly Mochan made life difficult for centre-half Allenby Chilton, frequently moving away from the middle, thus dragging him out of position; and Charlie Tully gave his opponent something of a roasting. It was Tully’s fine play and good pass that gave Peacock the chance to open the scoring in the 34th minute. His powerful drive from just inside the box gave keeper Jack Crompton no chance.

     

     

    Manchester United opened the second half with the wind in their favour and fully expected to come into the contest as they had against Rangers. After only eight minutes, however, Tully controlled an Alex Rollo pass and sent a long ball into the path of Neilly Mochan, who placed a right-foot shot into the corner of the net. United certainly had their chances, a miss right in front of goal by inside-left Pearson and a penalty claim against Rollo; on the other hand, Celtic might have gone further ahead when Bobby Collins only managed to hit the cross-bar from six yards.

     

     

    Manchester United did pull one back through Jack Rowley 13 minutes from the end and came at Celtic from then to the finish. Cool play, though, by Mike Haughney and Jock Stein kept them at bay and Celtic were through to the final. Happy as the Celtic support was, the sight of Charlie Tully limping towards the dressing-room gave them cause for concern.

     

     

     

     

    PHOTO CHARLIE TULLY

     

     

    Celtic 2 Manchester United 1

     

     

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

  21. weet weet weet on

    a pre quiz question

     

     

    celtic hold the record for the biggest away fans attendance at a game in Britain

     

     

    wit game

     

     

    HH

  22. BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

     

     

    15:51 on 17 May, 2013

     

     

    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.

     

    _____________________________________________

     

     

    And it is there.

     

     

    I hope on the day that Hampden witnesses another GreenDay, that Paddy is given a Free Role to do what we All know he can dae, the rubix cube, whilst threading through passes to our strikers.

  23. Neil canamalar Lennon hunskelper extrordinaire on

    Looks like the board are putting up a competitor to the GB, who are the Celtic chorus ?

  24. RalphWaldoEllison remembers ALS victims Jimmy Jonstone & John Cushley on

    Proudbhoy

     

     

    Miku and Lassad were given a period of time to earn a contract here.

     

     

    In that sense, they were most definitely on trial. We don’t know if they’ll do a job for us or not otherwise we would simply have bought them. As it happens these are trials that cost the club money in wages, as opposed to the trials for players like Claesen that only cost the accommodation. I accept that trialists usually don’t get thrown into first team games but I think you get my point.

     

     

    You mentioned earlier something about taking players on trial made us seem like a small club. All about risk & we have happily become a club where we do not take such high risks anymore.

     

     

    I think it makes us a better not smaller club.

     

     

    At least we’re not forced to pretend to field trialists because we are under a transfer ban. :0)

     

     

    HH

  25. A Ceiler Gonof Rust on

    leftclicktic, I need to get some of these guys to cook my books at my company year end.

     

     

     

    Ha ha priceless.;-))

  26. neil canamalar lennon hunskelper extrordinaire

     

     

    16:21 on 17 May, 2013

     

    Looks like the board are putting up a competitor to the GB, who are the Celtic chorus ?

     

     

     

     

    Hopefully its not a case of divide the support etc.. GB should encourage and help this new group where possible so if board are upto no good it backfires.

     

     

    Saw tweet from celtic chorus and said great turnout at FAC demo so thats good sign.

  27. Snake Plissken on

    Off topic and nothing to do with Celtic so scroll on by if the mood takes you.

     

     

     

    Catching up I saw some posters talking about the Farage carry on yesterday.

     

     

    In the interests of fairness I would like to point out that the gang who shouted at Nigel Farage in Edinburgh were organized by a guy who claims to be a Labour man. It was not an Independence thing although so protesters might very well support it. That much is unclear.

     

     

    After perusing the Telegraph and the outrage they feel for this and of course the usual rubbish about English taxes paying for Scots in every walk of life as if no one has a job in Scotland – the UKIP demographic – it is important to point out that this was apparently a left wing protest at Farage and not something directly linked to the campaign for Independence.

     

     

    I’ve seen the guy’s twitter account and apparently he is a Labour man as that is how he describes himself and it was Edinburgh Uni students who formed the mob. They set up the protest via facebook and twitter.

     

     

     

    I don’t believe that this was anti-English in any way especially when they were shouting “fascist scum” at him. It seems they don’t like what he is selling and the guy who organized the protest tweeted that TWO taxi drivers refused to take him anywhere.

     

     

    Makes you wonder.

     

     

    It seems UKIP are very unpopular in Scotland.

  28. weet weet weet

     

     

    1970 Scottish Cup Final @ Hampdump!

     

     

    128000 attending I believe!

     

     

    I was there.

     

     

    Do I win a prize?

     

     

    HH

  29. Has anybody got a link to this 10 page document that was leaked onto the Internet yesterday. It would make extremely interesting reading but I can’t find it anywhere and I’ve spent most of the day looking for it. Could somebody please point me in the right direction. Thank you in advance for any help received.

     

     

    Hail, Hail,

     

    Keep the Faith.

  30. Proudbhoy

     

     

    Miku and Lassad were given a period of time to earn a contract here.

     

     

    In that sense, they were most definitely on trial. We don’t know if they’ll do a job for us or not otherwise we would simply have bought them. As it happens these are trials that cost the club money in wages, as opposed to the trials for players like Claesen that only cost the accommodation. I accept that trialists usually don’t get thrown into first team games but I think you get my point.

     

     

    You mentioned earlier something about taking players on trial made us seem like a small club. All about risk & we have happily become a club where we do not take such high risks anymore.

     

     

    I think it makes us a better not smaller club.

     

     

    At least we’re not forced to pretend to field trialists because we are under a transfer ban. :0)

     

     

    HH

     

     

    /-

     

     

    There is a big difference in loan players and trialits , thousands of pounds worth of dfference.

     

     

    Im glad we are very prudent on the money we spend (at times) thats why i wanna see more adam and joe signings or even players like izzy,kayal being bought instead of gershams,lassads,miku’s, browek ? Polish geezer etc

     

     

    John park is doing great, hopefully a good clear out of 4/5 players and some quality brought in as we can surely afford it.

     

     

    Centre half pleassssseeeee

  31. RalphWaldoEllison remembers ALS victims Jimmy Jonstone & John Cushley

     

     

    I agree. Just because other clubs don’t do it much. It doesn’t mean it’s not right. We had Pep Guardiola on trial at the same time as De La Pena. Must have picked up the Celtic way of playing very quickly.

     

     

    LB

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