A bit surprised that Dave King’s gunboat diplomacy saw an agreement with Sports Direct, which will see the retailer’s interest in Newco end next year.
There is little prospect of Newco making much additional income from this over the next 12 months, as this period is where Sports Direct will receive all compensation for curtailing the period of the deal. But a year out, should they still be around, they will be able to negotiate improved terms, presumably with a different kit supplier.
You can ignore the grandiose bluster from some in the media, this will not in any meaningful way narrow the financial gap between Newco and Celtic, the more important question is why Mike Ashley chose to take an early exit. Maybe taking a limited dividend over the next 12 months is a better bet than hoping for a long-term return from a five-year-old business. Ashley’s people will have run various scenarios.
The important medium-term objective for Newco will be to reduce the dependency on shareholder loans to keep the lights on. They are not a millions miles away from this, and with a premium kit deal it should be possible from season 2018-19, but the central question you and I have pondered occasionally over the last five years remains:
Is a ‘Rangers’ football club commercially viable earning £50m less than Celtic and trailing hopelessly in their wake? I really hate the ‘know your place’ sentiment, but we’ll not have an answer to that question until self-awareness dawns, and there is a realisation that second placed cannon fodder is the best they can hope for.
Aberdeen have lost players (sorry about that) and are likely to be weaker next season. Hearts Cathro experiment looks unlikely to make any sort of challenge, so the Best of the Rest opportunity is wide open. Dream time, for those at Ibrox.
Get involved with the Foundation
There’s a great opportunity to get involved with the Celtic Foundation coming up in October with the Great Scottish Run. Each year the number of Celtic fans who get the trainers on and sign up for this event grows.
It is a magnoficen magnificent thing to do, great for you, and you get to do your part for the Foundation.
Go here for sign-up information. See you there!