TO PREDICT the future in commerce and industry it is common practice to look at past statistics, trends and data to strive and get best estimates for future performance.

Is it time to look at Rangers in this manner now that the financially bloated years are just a memory, with the new entity struggling to get any success now that a fiscal level playing field is beckoning?

Before the financial upheaval that befell Scottish football with the arrival of Souness and Murray in a two year period in the mid to late eighties, it is interesting to look at the performance of Rangers in the twenty years previous.

Since 1966 up until the arrival of Souness, out of the 20 league titles up for grabs Rangers won a total of three in that period.

Compared to Celtic’s fourteen this looks somewhat sparse, but we of course have to take into account the Jock Stein inspired Nine In A Row Scottish League winning record from 1966-1974.  The remaining three titles were shared between Aberdeen and Dundee United in the early 80’s during the emergence of the “New Firm.”

It must be recognised that during this halcyon period for the Celts that Rangers had a decent side evidenced by a European trophy win in 1972 against Moscow Dynamo. Indeed Rangers entry into the competition was by courtesy of Celtic as Cup winners, when Celtic also raised the league flag that qualifying season entitling the hoops to a bash at the major trophy: The European Champions Cup.

The Cup Winners Cup victorious Rangers team included some accomplished players including Alfie Conn, Alex McDonald and Scottish International Willie Johnston who was to become embroiled in a bizarre drug testing fiasco at the World Cup in Argentina in 1978. Interestingly the Cup Winners Cup Final took place at The Nou Camp in Barcelona with an attendance of less than 25,000.

Where were the Bears?

Alfie Conn in Celtic strip


After the departure of Jock Wallace, who served up three titles in four years in the 1975-1978 period, Rangers hit a leaner spell before financial doping upon Murrays arrival.

Their attendances in the first part of the 1980s were lower than previous successful seasons in the mid 1970s.

The average home attendance for Rangers over the six seasons before Graeme Souness -the harbinger of financial calamity – showed face, was 20,462, with a low point of 17,969 in season 1982/1983. [1]

In the early eighties before the financial watershed of Souness and Murray it is noted that Rangers did not take the runners up spot in the table even once.

This is testament to the form of Alex Ferguson’s Aberdeen and Dundee United managed by Jim “Don’t ever offer me that- Scud!!” McLean.

During this time we saw the sacking of John Greig as Rangers manager and the ineffective return of Jock Wallace. Perhaps an indicator of the decline of the Rangers club in the eighties is that the ageing team which played in Rangers lowest ever home attendance ever in a league fixture featured five remnants of the successful Cup Winners Cup team of 1972.

Rangers (1872) recorded their lowest ever attendance in the league on Wednesday 23rd of May 1979 in midweek just before the wilderness years of the eighties.

ghost game snip

On the Monday previous, Celtic had snatched the league title in the famous “Ten Men Won The League” game at Celtic Park after the dismissal of Johnny Doyle. Celtic came from behind to register an incredible 4-2 victory against the odds.

Rangers had a league game still to play and the fixture versus Partick Thistle – now a dead rubber – took place two nights later at Ibrox.

Less than 2000 fans turned out to watch the match.

Two major Scottish newspapers recorded the attendance as 2000, however that may have been an embellished massaged figure as the Rothmans football yearbook provided the attendance as 1300.

i know how the fans feel- Greig snip

Once you subtract the away support and the attendance of family and friends of the players it does not leave many home fans paying at the gate.

So where does that leave us with the prediction given the facts and performance of Rangers in the two decades pre Souness and Murray?

Now that they have to stand on their own financially without a sugar daddy who had access to almost bottomless cash from Scotland’s two major financial institutions, it’s hard to find any positives!

Without the fabled investor that many Ibrox fans on social media and radio phone-ins insist is on the horizon, we have to look at the facts presently.

Rangers have performed poorly financially since Charles Green the founding father initiated the new club with the basket of assets from the liquidation sale.

Taking this into account and evaluating the situation from a start-off point at the end of season 2016-2017, the playing squad evidently do not have enough quality to mount a league challenge for next season.

With a lack of finance it will be difficult to recruit players with the necessary qualities who can supplement the squad. The current Rangers squad value is £11.86m. [2]

This is approximately one quarter of the value [2] of the Champions, with more quality Celtic signings expected during the summer window that will lever the financial chasm wider.

Rangers squad worth

…ignoring the dodgy claim on the dead club’s trophies…


Some of the Rangers squad have long term contracts until the year 2020. These include O’Halloran, Dodoo, Windass, Holt, Rossiter and Halliday, who may prove costly to dispose of if the new manager is of that mind.

Contracted to 2019 are Garner, Hodson, Wallace, Cafu, Forrester and Foderingham.

Arguably their two best players Hyndman and Toral returned to their parent clubs today, their time at Rangers having come to an end.

There are questionable cash liabilities due for the dismissal of Warburton, Weir and McParland and also the Wi-Fi dispute has still to be heard in court.

There is the problem of the soft loans.

Will they continue?

Can the three bears recover their money?

Can new a new share issue to raise capital occur or can the loans be converted into equity?

This can’t happen until King is able to get a majority vote from shareholders over the dissapplication of pre–emptive rights to enable a wider share issue to new share purchasers to raise fresh capital.

Rangers still have no nominated financial advisor (NOMAD) which is a necessity to facilitate this despite a promise from King at the inception of his reign.

The Ashley Case is coming up soon and a reverse decision will see no income on club merchandise replica shirts for six years.

We also have the takeover panel ruling on Dave King to bite, which could see him cold shouldered by every financial institution in Britain.

The Supreme Court decision is also due in the autumn and should BDO’s appeal fail it will finally confirm beyond any doubt that Rangers cheated from 1999-2011.


There are repairs to the stadium overdue confirmed by evidence heard during the trial of Craig Whyte at the High Court in Glasgow under oath by Ian Shanks (Lloyds) and Mike McGill (MIH). This is a legacy issue from at least 2010-2011 season and is to comply with H&S regulations.

Did I mention roofs?

Will Ann Budge, Stewart Milne and Steve Brown of Hearts Aberdeen and The Perth Saints meekly accept Rangers granting of a European Licence if they don’t fully comply with the UEFA Financial Fair Play regulations?

These clubs have already fired a salvo over Stewart Regan’s bows by mentioning in their audited club accounts that they are fully compliant with UEFA FFP.

Pedro Caixinha the rookie Rangers manager has already stated that he needs to get in new faces for the coming term that he can trust.

Where are the readies for the deadies coming from?

Contrast this to the existing situation at Celtic.


Celtic have a proven manager with a long term commitment who has transformed the players currently at the club and has made signings who have made a significant impact immediately.

More signings are imminent with Eboue Kouassi still to properly contribute.

Celtic have promoted from the Club Academy with players like Ralston and Johnston given opportunities, while the club‘s youngest ever top team scorer Jack Aitchison is being noticed for prolific displays at his national age group as well as Celtic’s youths.

The club has accumulated approximately £30m from a group stage appearance in the Champions League this season. Replica shirt sales and merchandise have rocketed in the Lisbon Lions centenary year. Celtic have a trimmed squad managed by proper amortisation with former academy players now established in the first team.

Additional income from a sell on clause for Virgil Van Dijk as well as a 61,000 sell out stadium with a waiting list for season tickets and entry into the CL qualifiers is also a financial plus.

So in summary given the undisputable evidence, can we predict that after the distended EBT years that ended in disgrace for Rangers can we really see a sustained transformation in the distribution of Scottish Titles and Trophies?

Can Scottish Football possibly return to the kind of results that were normal for Rangers in the two decades before the arrival of EBT Souness, a man who was paid by Rangers while employed as a manager of a premiership club in England?

I predict ….a riotously successful and prosperous period for Celtic.


[1] www.fitbastats.com

[2] www.transfermarkt.co.uk

Written by TheBear@FeedTheBear1888


 CELTIC QUICK QUIZ – “In my lifetime Rangers have won more honours that Celtic, how old am I?”

Email your answer to David@cqnpublishing.co.uk – 3 copies of That Season in Paradise – Ten Months of Celtic Heaven to 3 readers who get it right.

Also if you fancy writing for CQN Magazine send an email to address above and we’ll get right back to you!








Click Here for Comments >

About Author