Donald, Ashley, cost of hubris laid bare


Delighted Aberdeen are now free of their “debt servicing burden” after long-term supporters Willie and Elaine Donald proposed to reduce net debt by an astonishing £14.9m.  The club have been able to service their debt but it’s been caught between paying for old overspends and driving ahead with a new stadium to provide for its future.

Aberdeen has a vibrant business and corporate entertainment sector which the club is well-placed to exploit.  In the right environment, specifically, playing a regional league with a new stadium, they could be transformed into a European power, as they were back in the day.

Unfortunately, it’s not all rosy positive financial news for Scottish football clubs.  Rangers International’s statement to the stock market this morning confirmed that Mike Ashley’s £2m loan will not be enough to see the club through to the end of this month.  Ash’ has provided a further £1m, which will take them through to the second week in December – at least!

The statement confirms yet more money will be needed before the end of the year and that the directors have begun a cost cutting exercise.  So where does this leave them?

Living week-to-week is fine if you are within sight of season ticket renewal deadline but that’s six months away.  The funding requirement to get them to that day is likely to be north of £10m, with Ashley now the only wallet in town.

A great deal of analysis is taking place over his commitment to the SFA that he’ll not acquire more than 10% of the club, but this overlooks all the important factors, specifically that owning more share capital is neither necessary nor helpful to Ashley.

Football clubs are a collection of businesses.  There is the football, of course, but there is also a media business (print, online), retail services, brand merchandising, corporate hospitality, there’s advertising space to fill, and with some, there’s a link to a charity, which requires administration.

The charity and football operations cost money but everything else tends to make a profit.  Football clubs are horrible entities to manage.  You have unrealistic competitive pressures, fans who demand conflicting objectives and your performance can be undermined by a defender’s lapse, before you’re scrutinised in public. Only lunatics would apply.

By contrast, corporate retail management is a walk in the park.  Ashley already has a healthy share of Newco’s retail, merchandising and IP rights.  He can and will make money out of them, and no one has been able to tell me why he’d be remotely interested in owning an ounce more than Rangers International.

The funding which will get the club through the rest of the season is likely to cost them all those profitable income streams in perpetuity.  There’s a good chance security will be required over the property assets too.

Newco is pretty much hollowed-out already but the scavenging isn’t finished.  By the time the consequences of all that ‘we will continue to act like a big club’ nonsense of the last two years has comes home to roost, the cost of their hubris will be laid bare to even the most blinkered mind.

All of this was inevitable when Sir David Muray overruled his board’s recommendation and sold out oldco to a liquidation expert.

TIME CHANGE Remember, we’ve got Davie Hay on the blog tomorrow from 9:30 – 11:30.

You can get copies of Caesar & the Assassin, Billy McNeill and Davie Hay’s accounts of managing Celtic from Jock Stein’s departure until the appointment of Liam Brady, signed by both Billy and Davie here.

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  1. blantyretim


    Good to see you getting to the game. You must be picking up. How far are you from returning to work.

  2. Dena 29



    Very Noteworthy comment,pal..



    Sure, It is Always best tae Support a Celtic Player..



    Ah hiv Nae argument ..agin That.



    That being said..



    It still disnae Justify .. Supporting a Guy such as Mubarack..






    He is No Worth the trouble.



    He has Previous.. as a Known Troublemaker..n.. Ah like Ma Players tae


    Represent awe the Is



    Good n Above Reproach.



    We must keep oor Hoose Clean n Tidy..


    Fur we hiv Nosey Neigbours.



    Nice chatting,pal..






  3. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    Doctor whatfor



    just meeting bhoys for an hour or so, still not fit for football.



    possibly return end of month as i have hospital 27th..

  4. Noted blantyretim, we might pop in but local knowledge of Glasgow is poor outside of the gallowgate and the walk to the stadium. We usually get taxis when we are over at Celtic games.

  5. mike in toronto on

    Johann Murdoch @ 14:47



    Dont know if that is true or not …. either way, keep spreading it around …. I will hear their screams from across the pond!

  6. BT, I may catch up for an hour Friday, got a works’ night out so any chance you’ll buy a round?




  7. I see someone’s cashed in 4 Sevco shares for £1.02. LOL.



    Maybe it was Craigy Bhoy, wanting his £1 back. He’s now up on the deal! What a businessman, Sevco could be doing with someone with his business acumen!




  8. My friends in Celtic,



    Must agree with KINGLUBO; I’m also sick of the whole lot and I’m in total agreement with his liquidation sentiments.



    As another mob MASH holdings joins the circus, surely it is overdue for Scottish football to wave good buy to the whole corrupt lot. Alas, I fear we will have a long wait.



    The mind boggles with all the “Players” that have participated in the farce :-



    Duff and Phelps.


    Collyer Bristow.


    Media House.


    Sevco 5068


    Sevco Scotland.


    Worthington group




    The rangers football club


    Law Financial Ltd.


    RFC 2012






    Cosec Ltd.


    Wavetower Ltd


    Zeus Capital


    Blue Pitch Holdings.


    Abraaj Capital


    Orlit Enterprises




    Insight investments


    L&G investments


    Cazenore Capital


    Artemis Investments


    Blue knights group


    Hargreave Hale Ltd



    No doubt there are many, many more that I have omitted. Of course as many of the decreased club’s followers like their secrets, I would wage that there are a good few secret mobs still to show their hand.



    Hell mend them.




  9. Good n Above Reproach.



    We must keep oor Hoose Clean n Tidy..


    Fur we hiv Nosey Neigbours.



    Nice chatting,pal..







    Fair comment but those type of players are few and far between I’d like to think he will behave when he learns about the Celtic way and its up to us to do that, second chances and all that :-)))))) as you say we have nosey neighbors so hope that keeps the lid on any antics, keep the faith




  10. BT hope it is not too long till you get back. I fair enjoyed my return for the Inverness game. Just praying that the weather permits me to go to the next games. Hope you make it back soon.

  11. So 150 tonnes of gold allegedly belonging to Germany mysteriously disappeared?



    Nothing new there.



    They have history!



    Between 1939-45 the Germans managed to ‘disappear’ a lot more than that!




  12. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on



    soon i hope…





    Yon thing has been on route for 10 years….

  13. Canman



    David Icke always said that he wanted to be seen as a looper, it enables him to get stuff out there, he reckons he would be dead otherwise.


    Max is sort of the same, comes away with stuff that the powers label him as paranoid etc, but he gets some kwality stuff out there.


    You are right about Max being a year ahead, been following him for some time now, his hit rate must be high 90s.




  14. Neil canamalar Lennon hunskelper extrordinaire on



    You picked that up wrong, 150 tonnes of British taxpayers gold was mislaid by the BoE, and to think about all the hassle Ronnie Biggs went through eh, if only he’d got a job with the BoE he’d be living it up Biggs style without the threat of jail for the paltry sum they took.

  15. Ah see Frank de Boer.. ( Who?..ed)



    Advises.. Virgil, tae



    Shun a January Move tae Arsenal or Whomevah… in the Near Term.



    De Boer, goes oan tae Recommend that Virge, baby.. Should Stey wi’ Celtic



    n.. Continue wi his Fitba’ Apprenticeship.. Plenty o’ Time tae Move.. At a Latah Date.






    Well, Whoevah.. this De Boer Fellah is.. Ah believe that he Hiz Issued..



    Sound Advice.



    . Right?



    Virgil, should stey( But, Wull He?..ed)fur a coupla Mair YEARS..fur he Kin Afford tae dae That(Agewize.)



    Then ..he wid be Ready fur Prime Time. He is Still pretty Raw.






    Ma Personal Opinion is that HE WULLNAE.. Stey wi Celtic Much Longer.







  16. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Winning Captains 15:20


    The CLUB went into admin, then the HOLDING COMPANY got liquidated.


    Do keep up!

  17. Anywey..



    Barring Accident.. Global Warmin’..or… Us..HIvin’… a New Labour Government..



    Celtic ,hiv goat the Perfect Replacement fur Virgil.



    (Na..it is No.. O’Connell..)



    HIs name is



    MARK HILL.. n..he is only Two Years Away fae Burstin ontae the Celtic Stage.



    as the Best Center Backin’ Prospect, since..



    Big Billy..



    Jist You Wait.. Guys n Gals.. Ye wullnae be Disappointed..






    Still Laughin

  18. doctor whatfor



    15:50 on 12 November, 2014



    Saint stivs


    I don’t know that they are there training. All I know is that they are flying the green white and gold. And no, I haven’t had a drink.





    Green White and Orange



    Just like Ayrshire….



    Ayrshire is Green and White

  19. Kojo,



    Couply points.



    Who’s filling virgils boots till yer man hill makes it?



    And the best prospect since big Billy was Master Kennedy.

  20. neil c…



    I wisnae paying attention!



    150 tonnes is a lot of gold.



    If my arithmetic is correct , 150 tonnes of gold at today’s price is c$6 billion.




  21. Geordie Munro.



    Ah am Hoping that Virge.. Taks Mr. De Boer’s Sound Advice..






    He may no..



    N.. During those Those Two Years..We wull be Face a Challenge..tae Fill



    Virge’s Boots.



    Somehow.. we wull Manage, though.. Ah am sure of that.



    The Kennedy Point..pal..



    He wiz Afore Ma Time..in Watching Celtic… Ah wiz Too Busy at That Time.


    tae Follow the Bhoys..



    So. Ye hiv me there..



    But,in any case..



    Ah sure Mark Hill, wull Please Ye.. Aloater.. when he Breaks thru.



    Nice Chatting..






  22. dena29


    People in the “Posh “seats are still welcome at CQN corner :)))),so have a great day and dont worry,they will be in Awe of you and the effort you put in following the Hoooooooooops.

  23. Neil canamalar Lennon hunskelper extrordinaire on



    We lost more on the post office flotation, it’s par for the course

  24. glendalystonsils on

    Good job it wisnae a wummin tryin tae park that ‘thingy’ on that comet. They ur bad enough in the car park at Comet.





    don’t tell the missus I said that!

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