Marlborough, Murray, Ideguchi


A little appreciated determinant of the rise and fatal fall of Rangers under Lawrence Marlborough and then David Murray was the effect of an inflating, then deflating market for player transfers.  Betting on an inflating asset was a guaranteed success and the bigger you bet, the more successful you became.  Celtic eventually tried to copy this strategy, but we were betting with smaller stakes than Rangers, seeing poorer returns and unable to draw level.

Rangers seemed unstoppable.  Celtic’s league win in 1998 was as unlikely as it was remarkable.  Everything went right for Celtic, including the arrival of the Great Swede and an early season postponement, but even then, the win was by the skin of our clenched teeth.

Rangers responded to that loss with the biggest spending splurge in Scottish football history.  Transfermarkt records a figure in excess of €40m, but they don’t have a fee for the new World Cup winner, Lionel Charbonnier, or Rod Wallace.

Their accounts for season 1998-99 were a classic of the genre.  They opened with a copy of the Centenary Certificate, recording 100 years since the club registered with Companies House.  The celebratory tone continued as David Murray discussed their treble win.

Turnover was £36.526m (a record), loss was £24.393m (also a record, but not for long).  That’s despite an amortisation charge for player registrations of only £12m, most of that €40m plus splurge had yet to hit the P&L.  Despite this, the board, the media, the fans, were unanimous in celebrating how clever David Murray was.  Some of us were muttering “Crash and burn” to anyone who would listen.

Within three years of those accounts being signed, ITV Digital, broadcast partner for the Football League, collapsed, causing the market for player transfer to dip.  At that moment, it was all over for Rangers, they hobbled on for another decade, but the writing was on the wall.

Anyway, why am I bothering you with this today?  For a start, it’s always an enjoyable story to tell (with many more chapters), but one thing bothered me during the rise of Rangers.  They were able to sign players that didn’t work out, sell and either get their money back, or make a profit.  Their mistakes, were profitable mistakes.

Also, Yosuke Ideguchi today left Celtic for Vissel Kobe.  Celtic made a small profit on a player who scarcely wore the strip.  He is clearly a better player than he was able to demonstrate in Scotland, who benefited from a successful loan period in a market able to spend money on him.

Keeping the ship financially afloat means constantly working to enhance the value of all your players, including those well out of the picture.  More of this, please.  And no, Companies House will not be sending a letter this year, congratulating Rangers on the 125th anniversary of their registration.  I’m sure you’ll remember, that outfit ended in liquidation in 2012.

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  1. Aipple,



    Suggest you go on other celtic web pages and its pretty unanimous. The Huddleboard has a thread on transfer window with 340 pages and over 15,000 responses. Lawwell get’s it tight. CQN has a very small number of people who actually blog and an even smaller numbers who go to games.



    I travel more than i should and its the same story.



    Did you miss the fans singing there is only one Peter Lawwell before our 4 game run. Maybe you didn’t hear properly it was “LAWWELL LAWWELL GTF” hence the Lawwell/Lawwell tag aimed at both parasites.



    Their cards are marked —- and they know it.



    That’s nothing compared to what will come if the don’t deliver in the window with well in excess of £70M cash gathering dust. The fences erected during covid to when no fans were allowed will trampled underfoot.



    Suggest Lawwell builds a moat around Celtic Park in January to keep the fans out.

  2. Panama was created in 1904 in the Waldorf Hotel in NYC 1904, the result of a deal between Teddy Roosevelt and JP Morgan. $10 million was made available to the new country by the USA. The deal to sell Rangers FC, by Lawrence Malborough to David Murray was also conducted in an hotel in NYC for a little bit less, a bribe of around $1 million would seal the deal. Did I say bribe? I mean transfer of course. The actual sale of course involved £6 mill, which Murray borrowed from the Bank of Scotland. Murray repayed that debt by not only bankrupting Rangers FC but helping to bankrupt the Bank of Scotland. In betwixt and inbetween the Bank of Scotland attempted to liquidate Celtic FC, and at the same time kept Murray’s failing businesses and Rangers FC afloat in the early 1990s. Fergus kept us afloat, but not even the Bank Of Scotland could keep Rangers FC a going concern and within twenty years or so both the Club (Formed 1872 Inc 1899) and the Bank (Formed 1695) were going down the pan, with the Club soon to be consigned to the dustbin of history courtesy of BDO and the Bank and its’ debt swallowed up by Lloyds Bank on instruction from Gordon Brown. Not a model to be followed then or now, and you know why, there are only so many Boumsongs to go around………







    I do chat with Celtic fans in places outside of here.



    I did hear the fans singing.



    I am not a Lawwell/Lawwell fan bhoy.



    Parasite an interesting choice of words.



    You pulled 90% of fans out of your…….



    You could have said “90% of the fans that took part in a poll on a website” but you didn’t.



    37% of fans don’t even know who he is or what he does.

  4. CELTIC MAC on 9TH JANUARY 2024 11:56 PM



    Fergus kept us afloat, but not even the Bank Of Scotland could keep Rangers FC a going concern and within twenty years or so both the Club (Formed 1872 Inc 1899) and the Bank (Formed 1695) were going down the pan, with the Club soon to be consigned to the dustbin of history courtesy of BDO and the Bank and its’ debt swallowed up by Lloyds Bank on instruction from Gordon Brown.



    *The son of the manse giving a knighthood tae the Ayrshire rag and bone man for his services tae industry haha, and the Ballymena demagogue for his services tae sectarianism

  5. bournesouprecipe on

    “I’ll never forget my memories of Glasgow. Thank you to all of you. I’m cheering you on from Japan. Thank you “



    Yosuke Ideguchi

  6. tontine tim



    Ol’ Pa Broon has a lot to answer for, not least PFI, and the FSA.


    Surprised he never gave Stuart (In Administration) Milne a Knighthood, though he did get a CBE in 2008 for er “Services to the Housebuilding Industry”, but like Murray before him Lloyds Bank has been forced to pull the plug on him today. Another one down the pan.

  7. Proceeds from the tribute concert will go to charity. As well as general admission, fans can also accesss VIP tickets, which are on sale now and priced between $300 to $20,000.



    General tickets go on sale on 22 January.

  8. Good morning all Tim’s across the globe from a -1 Garngad very mild when I went out the back garden there.



    Have we signed any new players yet?






    D. :)

  9. My friends in Celtic,



    Re PO scandal



    Let’s not forget that the prosecutions in Scotland were not by the PO but by the Crown. The Scottish government knew in 2013 that the system was faulty.



    Mr Kenny MacAskill added that the scandal was “shameful” and that there had been a “conspiracy to silence” those affected.



    I think that the conspiracy deniers should be aware of the current views of Mr Kenny McAskill who was Scottish Justice Secretary at the time.



    This scandal and conspiracy in both the UK and Scotland has a lot of unravelling to do and heads must roll.


    The public will demand no less. Hopefully justice will prevail unlike the poor face painter who is still waiting



    PS : Thankyou Private Eye.

  10. Lucky Cody



    Their cards are marked —- and they know it.






    That remains to be seen. I suspect they feel quite safe which tells us all we need to know.



    BR may need to do an Ange and go public with his displeasure at our transfer activity. I know he spelt it out several times in December but we’re now week 2 of the transfer window with the squad retuning for training – now is the ideal time to bed in new recruits.



    There’s no point in BR coming out in February saying he wanted more in this window. He has to speak up very soon.



    There’s no way Ange would tolerate the thought of Scales as his LB cover ( think he played his last game for Ange at LB against Raith and wasn’t seen again).

  11. Scales is not a left back he is a left sided central defender, he is far too slow on the turn for left back, he played against Bodo away and was roasted. keep him where he is ,that is his position.

  12. Not a penny spent by any team yet in the window,but we are wasting time.Really,do these people inhabit this planet.


    Like sheep.One B,aaas,and the rest join in.Paul highlighting Lenny today saying January window very difficult to deal in.Every manager says the same,but anything anyone says,who actually knows through experience,is ignored by the Flock.Trumpets like Lucky Cody now their new Messiah.



    And Bada,strap in.Not just here all week.Every week.Enjoy.

  13. According to Cris Jack(ass) in the Herald..


    The Ragers have a chap who is masterminding their transfers during this window


    Big question


    Why don’t we have a mastermind and why don’t we jet our signings in like they do




    Why can’t we find superstars to bring in on loan like they can

  14. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Good morning CQN.



    Early to bed last night, interesting read back this morning.

  15. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Lucky Cody ….



    Your post caught my eye.



    “Lawwell cost Celtic over £100M in CL revenue with his interference on football matters”


    Evidence ?



    “The beancounter control freak briefed behind a Celtic managers back to the hun media and delayed offers to get McGinn”





    Lawwell also lied to shareholders on the 5WA and helped them back as it was in his “personal interest”


    Evidence of his personal interest?



    “He took £17M from the club as we became nobodies in Europe”



    17 years as CEO so, from memory, £17m total remuneration sounds accurate.



    Personally, I think he was overpaid given the size of the company … but then again I don’t know what he was actually paid to get done.



    Depending on your point of view the last sentence could easily have read ….



    “He took £17M from the club as we enjoyed unprecedented domestic success”







    Thank you gentlemen. I hope you and your families have a fantastic year. HH

  17. glendalystonsils on



    Getting Lammers off the payroll is clearly the workings of a transfer mastermind.



    The same mastermind that brought him in perchance ?

  18. Greenpinata.



    Interesting its Kenny MacAskills fault from 2013 as you say,when we know Horizon had problems since its inrroduction in 1999.(are those who were in power then accountable?)With Scots law publically prosecuting and eng&wales privately so but both legal jurisdictions adhering and respecting Post Office selfgovernance and law and precedent uk wide


    it is a scandal,fujitsu will have reports of every bug/debug and fault since introduction in 1999.They should be made to turn every one of them over.its horrebdous




    Tis a shocker.



    I see keevs new boy in rutherglen making a wee name for himself as a genocide apologist.hopefully replaced soon




  19. Wee Fra



    Hope your well and cheery Fra and keeping yourself warm in the current climate.wrap up well buddy




  20. glendalystonsils on




    Utrecht specialist recycling centre for hazardous waste . Does Mark Lawwell have their phone number?

  21. I’m not nervous….just twitchy…..I’ve got a horrible last day scramble feeling coming on !!!




    Thanks buddy, yes doing my best to keep the home fire burning. Literally lol. HH

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