FFP, Newco’s loss and huge consequences


Two weeks ago, in the State of the Club Report, I noted, “What happens in [Newco’s] qualification tie against Malmo and if they progress, in the subsequent play-off round, will go a long way to determine how competitive the league race is over the next decade.  It is the sting in the tale of losing such a momentous title.”

The next decade’s power within Scottish football is what last night’s result is all about.  To explain why, let’s look at what is allowed under Uefa’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules:

Clubs are allowed to lose €5m each season without breaching FFP.  Some costs are deductible: spending on youth development and depreciation (often incurred to improve facilities) are deducted from your FFP loss.  In addition to this, clubs can convert up to €25m debt into shares, raising the maximum allowable loss for any period under consideration to €30m.

The monitoring period for FFP in normal times covers the three years before the current season.  In response to the current crisis, Uefa amended the reporting period for season 2019-20 to cover two seasons (2019-21), so currently, the FFP reporting period is for seasons 2017-18 until 2020-21.  Uefa also permitted crisis-related costs of revenue falls would be recognised, so clubs that are normally run prudently will not be penalised due to the mess the world is in.

Newco’s most recent accounts are for year ending June 2020.  Figures for the season just ended have not been published yet, but they were obliged to report their figures to Uefa at the middle of last month and are due to report again to Uefa in October.

See graph below:

I calculate three of the four FFP years show a cumulative loss of £32.76m.  This converts to €38.657m.  Unlike Celtic, Newco did not offer season ticket holders refunds for season 2019-21, though there will be some crisis-related loss of revenue, I estimate no more than £500k.

To align with FFP requirements, Newco would have to have made a profit after adjusting for the crisis of around £8m last season.  That did not happen.  It is more likely that their adjusted figure was between the trend of £11m loss and £15m loss.

All of this crystallises now.  Champions League revenue would have resolved this, but now they are in breach, and will be required to come into compliance if they wish to compete in European football.

So what happens next?  Uefa will investigate Newco’s financial housekeeping on receipt of the figures submitted last month.  This will be reviewed in October, allowing Newco to downsize and come into compliance during this transfer window.

If they do not come into compliance, Uefa will offer a Settlement Agreement.  The most relevant recent example is Milan, who were in breach for the monitoring period, seasons ending 2015, 2016 and 2017.  Uefa offered, then imposed, a two-year European ban in 2018.  Milan appealed to CAS, then in 2019, the club accepted a compromise one-year ban.

Other remedies short of a ban are available and have also been used.  These always include a transfer ban and reduced European squad size, and are only permitted when strict measures are taken to bring the offending club into compliance.  The process can be lengthened by appeal, so Newco can choose to bury their heads in the sand and compete for the title this season.

This latter possibility is dependent on them continuing to raise money.  Between November last year and June this year, Newco issued share capital on 10 occasions, giving the impression of a business living very much hand to mouth.

With Europa League revenue, everything else being equal, I estimate their loss for this season will be around £15m.  If they fail to reach the Europa, that figure will rise to a £25m loss.  That’s a lot of BMW sales.

I started CQN in 2004 because there was financial madness going on at Ibrox and many Celtic fans were asking why we were not working with the same gusto.  For 8 years, I predicted Rangers would crash and burn before they eventually did.  I predicted this would lead to a Generation of Domination – which it did.

Those were tough years in the Celtic financial blogging scene as we lost leagues and trophies to an outfit that seemed to always survive.  Like Oldco Rangers, Newco are playing casino football.  They run huge losses in order to become competitive.  If they lived within their means, they would have finished nowhere near the top of the table last season.

The predictions I made for Oldco were always likely but never certain.  We have followed Newco’s accounts for years.  The direction of travel was clear, but a team that was a goal up and comfortable against 10 men at halftime last night, blew their chance of competing for a £40m lifeline tie against a side from Bulgaria.

On the turn of a 4-minute spell last night, the world changed.  Football is a fascinating business; the complexity of risk is incomprehensible.  If you think it looks easy from the outside, you are almost certainly missing a huge part of the plot.

And permit me another point, if a grinning Jon Dahl Tomasson knows all of this, why do you have to come to CQN to read about it?  We are talking about publicly available information here, noted in Newco accounts and prospectuses.  A decade on and again, the mainstream are sleeping while the biggest story in football unwraps.

Click Here for Comments >

About Author


  1. It’s set to be an exciting night in Paradise, as the Celts take on FK Jablonec tomorrow (Thu, Aug 12), in the return leg of the Europa League third qualifying round, and Celtic TV is bringing all subscribers every kick of the ball live from Celtic Park.*



    Four goals from four Celts in the Czech Republic last Thursday (Aug 5), put the Bhoys in good stead to progress to the play-offs, as they go into the second leg sitting comfortably on a 4-2 aggregate score.



    With a sea of green and white getting behind the team, the supporters are ready to raise the roof on Thursday night to bring back that world famous Paradise atmosphere!



    Subscribers in the UK, Ireland and overseas* can tune into Celtic TV from 7:15pm, where Connie McLaughlin will be live pitchside at Paradise, joined by John Hartson and John Collins bringing you all the pre-match build up from Celtic Park.

  2. bournesouprecipe



    Thanks for that. By leaving the old stand intact back then, meant that we never had the option of moving the footprint South, plenty clearance on the London Road side.

  3. bigbhoy 9:19 pm



    Keith Jackson got Sports writer of the year after the Craigy Craigy Whyte exclusive of him being a Billionaire – The Press in this Country is North Korea on Steroids when it comes to the Old and newco.

  4. SAINT STIVS on 11TH AUGUST 2021 6:39 PM


    that paddypower skit is brilliant














    The Scottish champions, playing the biggest game in their ten-year history, were dismantled like a cheap Ikea shelving unit by Malmo in their 3rd round Champions League qualifying tie despite the Swedes playing much of the second leg with only ten men in front of a ferocious home crowd.






    St Stivs



    I didn’t watch them last night, ( ma telly does nae play them, unless they’re getting beat ;) )



    Those of our bhoys who seen it, did Malmo play in a Swedish ( Ikea ) style?



    A flat pack four?? ;)

  5. BIGBHOY @ 9:19



    “The overcrowding at Ibrox brings to memory the Keith Jackson strange column where he used the figure of 52,000 tickets sold. Wiki has capacity at 50817, It did seem strange at the time. Did Rangers deliberately oversell tickets? Surely they wouldn’t do that to make extra cash ? Would they?”



    Blockages in stairwells and passageways frequently bring penalties to Clubs in Europe when reported by the UEFA Game Observer. Somehow or other, the Observer for Sevco games often comes from Norn Ireland. Funny that.

  6. Buddy Morrisey on




    I’ve contacted paul67and asked him to send my email to you.



    Happy to meet up tomorrow in the town or up at the park.

  7. Buddy Morrisey,



    Good Stuff Buddy, the details have been pretty poor – a Full House is gonnae be good.



    btw Jablonec urnae a bad team, average yeah, but they have a chance to get a big bonus.



    Never take anything for granted.



    A Full House is gonnae get the quiet ones SHOUTING after being away for so long – IT IS GONNAE BE ROCKIN’.



    I am Super Excited efter Sunday. IMO, we still need Leo Sayers, experienced ones too, mainly Backline.



    Delighted for Anthony, I’d say he is a Super Middle weight boxers physique, ma favourite Division, before I stopped watching it.




  8. squire danaher on




    This is a website advising in advance of UEFA competition refereeing appointments and useful from a betting perspective. It’s intended to be a site for amateur referees with comments from amateur referees.



    Anyone interested may want to scroll down and read the absolute pasting the Slovenian guy gets from contributors for his Malmö red card last night and McGregor handball yellow.

  9. corkcelt on 11th August 2021 10:02 pm



    Impotent Bullies, Ah FFS Pete, I nearly choked when I read that.






    I hope you are OK? ;)

  10. Celtic have agreed a fee with Leeds United that will see promising Norwegian centre-back Leo Hjelde leave the club.



    Hjelde agreed personal terms some time ago with the PL club & the 18 year old now looks like he’s got his move.

  11. The graffiti on the walls all around us, enclosing too – says we are MAGIC




    The Tyrannical Walls being implemented are SCAREY – Thankfully Celtic are Resisting @ the Highest level.

  12. It was either get a bit of money now or feck all next year.


    The mistake was not giving him an extended contract last year.


    Not down to Dom, another reason why this review is so important & urgent.


    Another Top Talent lost, would be extremely lucky if we got a million.

  13. God Bless Jablonec, a respecting Fitba Club, Celtic could still go out the morra. I think we wil do it.



    SG saying Dundee rather than Dundee United is a Sign of a not so respectful Dude.

  14. Really saddened to read the devastating news about Robinbhoy



    May you rest in Peace Robin



    Thoughts and Prayers are with the family and friends 🙏🙏🙏

  15. corkcelt



    He’s swam off the West Of Scotland, Ireland too, been down off the Welsh shore, spotted off the Scilly Isles, but now he’s finally made up his mind…..


    Where’s Wally?


    Down Clonakilty way

  16. Don’t think we could have done much more with the boy.Obvious he wanted to go.Even a longer contract,if he wants away,that’s it.The EPL is a very big pull.We might never hear of him again.

  17. If it’s being reported by rags that the hun need to sell , they’ve been ordered to report it …

  18. prestonpans bhoys on

    BOGNORBHOY on 11TH AUGUST 2021 11:20



    Problem is nobody wants then, or at least not their daft prices

  19. squire danaher on




    Think the daft prices may now be glossed over and some will be sold for “undisclosed” fees.

  20. Ange – Just do it.



    Last Season was incredibly disappointing, not just cos we wurnae Dani Bher, but, I Curtley Ambrose, its because the …..




    there, suppose,




    Come on the Celts the morra night.



    The Big Man is Always in control.

  21. Every club in debt is in Barney Rubble.




    There wullnae be much movement after Buy Back Better Monsters jibber jabber.

  22. Think we’re all agreed that we still need another dominant centre-half who’s aggressive and better in the air that what we can currently field. While Chris Jullien is not long off a return, I still think we could be vulnerable to sustained aerial pressure (a route to goal many team – inc the huns – like to do against us)


    This Celtic Way article does a decent analysis of Itakura (who is 6″1 and 75kg – not quite a man mountain)




    He fits Ange’s playing style. He’ll chat easy to Kyogo.


    To me, he doesn’t add to our need to have a better-balanced aerial capability across the backline. The stats show Jack Hendry and Nir Bitton are way better in the air.



    But – in Ange I trust. HH

  23. Alasdair MacLean on



    You will never read this.


    I never met you but through this site I felt I knew you.


    To all who knew Robinbhoy, I just want to say how saddened I was to hear today of his passing.


    A gentleman has left us.


    He left a mark for me here.


    I’m not religious although I try, so all I can say is my thoughts are very much with his family and friends.