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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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1,267 Comments

  1. Are any CQNers involved in this Celtic Chorus?

     

     

    What’s their ‘thing’?

  2. Neil canamalar Lennon hunskelper extrordinaire on

    Proudbhoy,

     

    I’m very wary, I honestly believe the board have not finished with the GB, and won’t be till they are dispersed.

     

    I expect a more sleek it approach to undermine and discredit them is now underway.

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

    Bada Bing

     

     

    Got into my head that he was a loan signing, must have been a load of Oui Oui.

     

     

    aff oot noo.

     

     

    HH

  4. I think the Celtic Chorus Group will need to get themselves kettled and be the subject of FOCUS harrassment to establish a bit of street cred. Hopefully they don’t have too many falsettos in their ranks as I’m finding it increasingly difficult to match the high notes in any singalong. On a more serious note one would have to assume that there must be at least a hundred in this choir if they are attempting to get a few songs going. It seems strange that noone yet on here seems to know anything about them, how they were put together and how they will be put sitting together in CP. If they are starting life at an away game, will they not be in close proximity to Green Brigade.

  5. weet weet weet on

    naw bada,see can I have raspberry’s post.

     

     

    but yir nearly there

     

     

    HH

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

    Proudbhoy

     

     

    I agree about John Park & Joe and Adam etc.

     

     

    Clubs are always looking to find that diamond in amongst the coal though, and as BRTH put in his blog this week, you might just uncover/sign a Eusebio.

     

     

    Romantic nonsense maybe but you never know.

     

     

    HH

  7. weet weet weet

     

     

    Celtic hold TWO European attendance records:

     

     

    Record attendance for a club match – CELTIC v Aberdeen, SC Final 24 April 1937 at Hampden – 146,433 (with 1000s more locked out).

     

     

    Record attendance for a European Club competition – CELTIC v Leeds, EC semi-final second leg, 15 April 1970 at Hampden – 136,505 (‘tho it is estimated that several thousand more gained entry without paying!).

     

     

    Was at the latter one -whit a night!

     

     

    HH!!

  8. Afternoon all.

     

     

    Warm, sunny and lovely down here at the moment. Long may it continue.

     

     

    So, it’s curtains for the deadybears. What a beautiful thought.

  9. corkcelt

     

     

    16:41 on 17 May, 2013

     

    I think the Celtic Chorus Group will need to get themselves kettled and be the subject of FOCUS harrassment to establish a bit of street cred. Hopefully they don’t have too many falsettos in their ranks as I’m finding it increasingly difficult to match the high notes in any singalong. On a more serious note one would have to assume that there must be at least a hundred in this choir if they are attempting to get a few songs going. It seems strange that noone yet on here seems to know anything about them, how they were put together and how they will be put sitting together in CP. If they are starting life at an away game, will they not be in close proximity to Green Brigade.

     

     

     

     

    Forgot we are away this week, very strange .

     

     

    Maybe they Are set up to try drown out the away day rebel ballads ?

  10. Kojo

     

     

    16:10 on 17 May, 2013

     

     

    I remember listening to a Bob Chapman (died last year) interview on Radio Liberty, way way back and his comments always stuck with me.

     

     

    Get out of Debt, he struck the Fear of God into me with his analysis, I listened to his interviews every week for about 2 years after that, I drifted away from that podcast as I was seeing mair and mair things, it wiz a shame when I drifted back to hear the host speaking in the past tense of Bob.

     

     

    He wisnae, and despite Disney, kidding.

     

     

    The age old phrase that is known throughout the ages.

     

     

    “Now is the Time” to buy Gold and Silver especially as they have moved it down, make sure it is physical.

     

     

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWz9VN40nCA

     

     

    HH m8

  11. weet weet weet on

    tallybhoy

     

     

    away game mate.

     

     

    the leeds game,as you say,wit a night

     

     

    HH

  12. NFL – we have lost the second biggest team in Scotland we can’t loose the third

  13. O.G.Rafferty on

    Leggat to the rescue!

     

     

    (I think he may be keen that we know Ahmad sent him an email)

     

     

    RANGERS MUST MOVE FOR DAVE KING….NOW!

     

    IMRAN AHMAD has claimed he will help Rangers man Dave King to sweep up the shares he needs to put him in a strong position to run Rangers.

     

     

    That was the message which Ahmad sent me. And he sent it to me directly. I have the electronic proof of the shamed former Rangers commercial director’s pledge to back Dave King.

     

     

    And in a stunning claim, Ahmad also insisted to me that 60 per cent of Rangers shareholders want to bail out and are eager to sell, as they believe, what Ahmad referred to as “Craig Whyte’s mental(sic) disturbed rants.’

     

     

    In the same email – a copy of which is now stored in a safe place – Ahmad who was booted out of Ibrox for leaking sensitive confidential Rangers business information to a website, also insisted that he has nothing to do with the moves to call an Emergency General Meeting.

     

     

    In his own words, Ahmad wrote to me, ‘I have nothing to do with calling the EGM my good friend. The Easdales are grown men and not anybody’s pawns.’

     

     

    Ahmad says that should Dave King wish to buy a majority stake in Rangers he will facilitate the King efforts, subject to London Stock Exchange rules.

     

     

    The Ahmad email, which came directly from him, dropped into my in box a mere three minutes into Thursday morning, after I revealed the bid to call an EGM and bulldoze one of the controversial Easdale brothers, along with slash and burn Cockney costcutter Chris Morgan, into the Blue Room as directors.

     

     

    It now remains to be seen if Imran Ahmad is as good as his word, his word which I have the irrefutable proof he has given

     

     

    However, there is no need to wait until Dave King has bought up a strong percentage of the Rangers shares before inviting King to join the board.

     

     

    In fact, such is the danger to Rangers, so perilously poised is the club, that the future of the club could depend on some of the men inside the Blue Room making a bold move. And making it now.

     

     

    For Rangers are in dire and desperate need of a strong man inside the Blue Room and it would be much better for the club if that strong man was a Rangers man with dough, rather than someone such as Chris Morgan, someone many believe would wreak havoc and damage the Rangers hopes of a march back to the top.

     

     

    And that man is surely Dave King!

  14. proudbhoy

     

     

    Do you start off in the Chorus and progress to the GB?

     

    Sound a bit cr@p to me in all honesty. I don’t see it taking off. Nobody will want to be in an uncool version of the GB.

     

    I had read somewhere that they will not join in with the GB and vice versa. That is no good for me. Whole stadium should support the team together through the medium of song.

     

    Have a sing off on Sunday and get it under one banner!

     

     

    LB

  15. “Well you are losing probably the third biggest club. We’ve already lost the second biggest so it doesn’t look good.”

     

     

    I won’t tire of reading this for a while lol!

  16. Neil canamalar Lennon hunskelper extrordinaire

     

     

    16:38 on 17 May, 2013

     

     

    Proudbhoy,

     

    I’m very wary, I honestly believe the board have not finished with the GB, and won’t be till they are dispersed.

     

    I expect a more sleek it approach to undermine and discredit them is now underway.

     

    _____________________________________________________________________

     

     

    The bottom line is the $ to everyone.

     

     

    Annoying as that may seem, especially as we are a charitable Club, there is a lot of GOOD that can come from Celtic in so many ways, and a lot of $s that would never have made their way to places unless we had a Capitalist like Fergus.

     

     

    Looking too deep into the fundamentals of things, and I’m the Worst ever for doing that, can skewer your perspective.

     

     

    I am up for the CC but then I love an atmosphere.

     

     

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFPLk5mJ1D4

  17. livibhoy

     

     

    16:58 on 17 May, 2013

     

    proudbhoy

     

     

    Do you start off in the Chorus and progress to the GB?

     

    Sound a bit cr@p to me in all honesty. I don’t see it taking off. Nobody will want to be in an uncool version of the GB.

     

    I had read somewhere that they will not join in with the GB and vice versa. That is no good for me. Whole stadium should support the team together through the medium of song.

     

    Have a sing off on Sunday and get it under one banner!

     

     

    In a celticeurovision kind of way

  18. Neil canamalar Lennon hunskelper extrordinaire on

    acgr,

     

    I hope they are just a squad of honest supporters up for a sing song without politics but the timing makes me suspicious.

     

    The boards treatment of the GB over the last few years has brought them nothing but mistrust from the support, this looks like another tactic, to be honest it should have been their first strategy but their arrogance pled them to think they could bully and get away with it

  19. O.G.Rafferty on

    I know this may be stretching it a bit but if Dave King is the man to save them then why hasn’t he done so already? What’s he waiting for?

  20. De la Pena had been a rising star which had waned when he had hos trial with us. The little Bhudda then went on to have a decent career with Espanyol.

  21. O.G.Rafferty on

    Can I Have Raspberry On That Champions League Ice Cream

     

    Maybe he’s hidden it with his special, special email and can’t find it?

  22. LiviBhoy, Its a bit strange particularly at an away game. I could see some sense in having 2 groups in opposite corners of Celtic Park, as the sound of one does not travel full way around. So 2 groups singing different songs at the same time would not be a major problem. However if 2 distinct groups go to an away game and plonk themselves in proximity to each other and try and best each other, I must say I wouldn’t like that at all.

  23. a ceiler gonof rust

     

     

    16:02 on 17 May, 2013

     

     

    Have you read any of the comments on hunmedia about king?

     

     

    One more astute hun thinks king won’t get clearance from the sfa as he has over 300 charges still pending…

     

     

    Then again it’s the sfa we’re talking about.

     

    I’m not sure but has he not already been given the all clear?

  24. The Celtic chorus is a choir run by the Celtic Trust. I don’t think GB were thinking of doing ‘Walking in the air’ anytime soon.

  25. Surely Dave King is barred by law from being a Director of Sevco because he was a Director of the liquidated company-true/false? Or does he get round it by being the owner but not a Director? Help please. Hail Hail Hebcelt

  26. DownForSam

     

     

    It was Pep. Dani, De La Pena and Pep. Javier Saviola was on trial too although not certain at the same time.

     

     

    LB

  27. I’m bloody sure the Cabal would gladly sell to King or to anyone else for that matter. All they want is to get cash for their shares and to get out. They are valuing the Club at about 50 million. If King bought the whole lot out for 50 million the Club itself wouldn’t benefit a bit, he would have to pump another 20 million direct into the Club to really make a difference.

  28. O.G.Rafferty on

    Can I Have Raspberry On That Champions League Ice Cream, 17:11

     

    Leggat’s email is the one sent to him by Ahmed (so special that he had to tell us twice)

  29. ArranmoreBhoyLXV11 on

    HH

     

     

    Mather too.. Some suggestions he is an agent & as a CEO this contravenes many rules …