While who puts the ball in the net determines the outcome of any given game, the financial fundamentals will determine who can win the league title. Today we got an insight into how the medium term future of Scottish football is likely to play-out in this respect, as Newco, Rangers International Football Club, released their interim accounts for the six months to 31 December 2016.
Turnover reached £16.3m, up £5m from their previous season in the Championship. The rise in costs was limited to £4m, allowing them an operating profit of £294k, although their loss for the period was £238k, almost identical to the previous term’s loss of £288k.
No notes are provided with the accounts, so there is no breakdown of £451k of non-operational “other charges”, which tipped the club into a loss.
It is with some astonishment that I note the early reviews proclaim, “financial results show club is in profit under King”, and the like, when “financial results show club is in loss under King” would be considerably more accurate.
How this is reported is of little consequence, as in reality no one who is taken in by this will have any influence over events, but you have to wonder, what’s the point? Why go shout about a small profit when you should write about an equally small loss?
Neither scenario is particularly noteworthy. Whether Newco made or lost a couple of hundred grand isn’t going to impact their ability to be competitive. The need to control inconsequential elements of the public narrative is highly dysfunctional.
It suggests some key influencers in this scenario are working-through deep insecurities.
By contrast, Celtic’s income for the six months to 31 December 2016 was £61.2m. Income disparity between the clubs for the second half of the season will be less significant, but Celtic are still likely to turnover circa £50m more than any other club in Scotland. The league title will remain a no-contest for this reason.
Celtic are also in profit, actual profit, not the imaginary kind you need to compulsively ask journalists to write about.