Ominous for Newco as Celtic cards refuse to collapse


“Money in: £101, money out: £99, happiness.  Money in: £100, money out: £101, distress.”  Of the millions of words left on Celtic Quick News over 19 years, a few regularly come back to mind, including this one from Kojo, circa 2006.

Money determines long-term success in football, and CQN started by explaining our finances, in particular, our position in relation to our then-rivals, Rangers.  Documenting the last 8 years of their journey around the plughole was educational.  People refuse to believe the patently obvious until the final moment.  There is no helping them.

A new era and a Newco is jostling with Celtic for the prizes in Scottish football.  Who generates and spends money wisely will again determine long-term outcomes in our game.

Newco released their accounts for the year to 30 June 2023 yesterday, a year in which they matched Celtic’s operational spend (Newco: £95.2m, Celtic, £95.4m) in an attempt to bring down our dominance, “like a pack of cards”.  You already know that despite achieving Champions League qualification for the first time, those cards proved remarkably durable.

Newco turnover was down £3m to £83.7m, a whopping £36.2m less than Celtic generated during the same period.  That chasm reflects our higher earnings from the Champions League, domestic prize money from winning a treble, higher ticket sales and, importantly, more lucrative commercial deals.

Newco made a loss for the year of £4.1m, Celtic’s profit was £33.3m, that is despite Newco making a profit on the sale of players of £23.6m, and Celtic ‘only’ reporting a £14.4m corresponding figure.  Year-end cash at Newco was £5.3m, compared to £72.3m at Celtic.

Post year-end, Michael Beale and others were sacked, resulting in a £13.1m hit to this year’s figures.  The accounts note, “Our thanks go to Michael Beale and his staff for their efforts during their time at Rangers (sic.)”.  I think we can all echo that.

Barring an exceptional run in the Europa League, Newco’s income will drop significantly this year.  Their playing squad was overhauled in the summer, so wages will vary, quite possibly going down from the £64m of last season, a figure which eclipsed the treble winning champions’ £60.8m bill.

Both clubs are subject to the vagaries of Champions League qualification, but Celtic can afford to carry an operational cost of £95m, without needing to massively adjust if they only reach the Europa League, Newco cannot.  They are trading miles above safe levels, with enormous risks which should worry fans who lived through earlier times, and have a modicum of perspective.

Administrators for Elite Sports Group have a £9.5m action raised against the club.  Newco signed a kit contract with Elite and Hummel, but after an action by Sports Direct, a court ordered the club could not “wear any Official Rangers Technical Products designed by, supplied by, gifted by or manufactured by Elite or Hummel, or bearing the Hummel brand.”

The £9.5m figure is what Elite’s administrators estimate the company lost due, they have asked the court to force Newco to reveal sales of Castore kit, to allow them to prepare a detailed claim.  Newco are confident the contract they signed with Elite is nothing to worry about.  Good luck with that, they have an admirable track record in legal matters.

In September last year Uefa placed Newco on their financial monitoring list.  Uefa requires club who participate in their competitions to meet break-even criteria.  A £4.1m loss will not move the dial much either way, but the storm clouds are gathering.

No Champions League football this season, no player sales to speak of, the spectre of Elite lurking in the background, and still dependent on financial support for day-to-day operations, all add up to an acute scenario.  Uefa sanctions are a risk.

We’ve been here before, you know how this plays out.  This club needs to significantly downsize to give it its best chance of avoiding punitive repercussions.  Let the voices of worried fans be heard loud and clear today.  If they are not, there will be no sympathy when we hear “we were hard done by” claims, when the bell finally tolls.

The direction of travel could not be clearer, memories from 2012 are still fresh, and yet there are still news outlets today writing “profit” headlines accompanying these results, who do they think they are helping?

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  1. Morning all. Right at freezing this morning while the dog, cat and I pondered going out back.



    Ayshire currants say they are reverting to a grass pitch in 2 seasons. A pitch that should flourish with the amount of sh1te they put out on it.

  2. In the confetti shares world of second rangers who actually owns the entity now and who is actually owed money.



    I hate to be all conspiracy theory but it is going to take a lot of var anomalies to get them direct access to next cl

  3. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Sounds like an absolute shambles of a club, Paul. Certainly not the type that a club like Celtic would see as some kind of “big rival”!


    Imagine if our ambitions only went as far as being slightly better than them!


    Doesn’t bear thinking about………

  4. garygillespieshamstring on




    Excellent piece.



    I hear the sound of a hammer thumping a nail on the head this afternoon.

  5. …and so they go bust. Shed their debt.



    They reanimate. Take the ole carcass and call themselves the real rangers.



    Avoid bottom tier as that’s been cut off now and stay in the SPFL.



    Get legitimised by the SFA, MSM, UEFA and the Celtic board, and tell us its only a holding company issue and that we need a strong Rangers for the good of the game…Sky doesn’t blink as it screams Old Firm Sunday….



    and the needle returns to the start of the song and we all play along as before…..




  6. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    “memories from 2012 are still fresh”




    Not sure what you are referring to there, Paul. Is that related to Newco? Wasn’t that the year they started?

  7. I can feel the need for a couple of ‘ Glamour Legends ‘ games to prop up the day to day spend.


    …..not forgetting the charity aspect……..ssssshhhhh

  8. theBHOYfromU.N.C.L.E on

    They need Champions League money next season , yet……………you think VAR is not a real concern because we are better.



    Join the dots if not the Masons.

  9. Last year was as good as it gets for them and they ended the year with a £4m loss and an absolute mess of a cashflow report

  10. Embdae think Crawford Allan and his Band of ‘ Brothers ‘,know how vital is is that their heroes need to win this league?

  11. A fine article,Paul.




    !!BADA BING!! on 14TH NOVEMBER 2023 12:41 PM



    Just what I was going to say —- although I would have said `gone` and not `went` :-))))

  12. “!!BADA BING!! on 14TH NOVEMBER 2023 12:44 PM


    Embdae think Crawford Allan and his Band of ‘ Brothers ‘,know how vital is is that their heroes need to win this league?”





    That, for me, is always a genuine concern.

  13. glendalystonsils on



    ” who do they think they are helping?”


    That’s easy , they are helping the fabulous and famous Celtic of Glasgow and long may it continue . That’s why I don’t get hot under the collar when I read such Sevguffery, I chuckle instead.



    I must admit ,I get all excited at the prospect of them teetering on the edge of the lavvy pan and staring down at the u-bend but I fear they will just pop up again like the smelliest floater you ever did see.



    I can’t see them ever living within their means though as that would probably weaken them to the level of a Motherwell for a long time and their supremacist mindset would never tolerate that .

  14. Great article Paul.All the rest of the Celtic blogs reporting the truth,unlike the pathetic Media.Same as before.


    As per normal,the usual suspects on here not impressed.Whats new.Seems its a crime to stay ahead of your rivals.

  15. Meaty big article today Paul – good one.


    But re…


    ‘We’ve been here before, you know how this plays out. ‘



    It feels like I’ve salivated at their potential implosion – predicted by several bloggers – multiple times. And like the mutants in I AM LEGEND, they keep coming back, angrier, nastier and more rabid than ever.


    Yet I truly long for their demise.



    Just back from seeing the flick DUMB MONEY – and recommend this cracking tale of fiscal skullduggery and victory for some of the wee guys.




  16. Paul 67,



    No lazy journalism there. You will never read an article like that in the MSSM.



    As always though, I am more interested in Celtic and the following paragraph stoud out ;-




    “That chasm reflects our higher earnings from the Champions League, domestic prize money from winning a treble, higher ticket sales and, importantly, more lucrative commercial deals.”



    I trust that is in the forefront of the clubs recent rationale.




  17. “Year-end cash at Newco was £5.3m, compared to £72.3m at Celtic….



    Yes, wonderful.



    Does the fact we don’t net spend on players, quite the opposite actually, mean that we don’t get benefit from our “superior” financial position?



    Or do we believe in Lord Nimmo Smith’s idea that spending money does not give Football Clubs a financial advantage!?



    Either way, good for the old firm model, should be a cracking match on 30-Dec…



    We don’t care if we win, lose or draw…



    Hail Hail



    there is no again – different entities!


    just , please let them (Newco) go bust!

  19. A wee aside:



    That young Aussie A-League flyer Nestory Irankunda I was talking up for us, has just signed for Bayern in a rumoured AU$5.5m deal. Beats the money we paid AU$2.9 for Marco Tilio and becomes the ALeague’s record transfer.



    I hope the lad makes the step up to the reqd level. His physicality and speed are amazing for a 17yr old.

  20. The football authorities established the principle of Phoenix clubs in 2012, with the spinoff from the 5WA.


    That meant that a club could be liquidated and return as, to all intents and purposes, the same club. I believe they also changed the rule re entering the football pyramid at the lowest level.


    The quest for CL football next season is being underpinned by the Men in Black and other facilitators, shameful Penalty Kick “anomalies”.


    These Facilitators, SFA,SPFL, Clubs and Media will have convinced themselves that their (in)actions are for “the good of Scottish football”.

  21. P67


    Great article – really shows the mess they are in and shows that with cash in the bank we can ride it out should the VAR “mistakes” swing the league in Sevco’s favour.





    “Yet I truly long for their demise.”



    Sadly it wont change much other than the owners, if anything it will likely dump their debt and benefit the “club”. At a similar time to when the 5WA was signed I’m sure the SFA/SPFL changed the rules to effectively make phoenix-ing much less painful – retain same league and SFA membership etc.




  22. Great analysis as usual



    CL football, huge profits on player sales and a significant loss and an absolute mess of a cashflow report.



    On the park they outspent us not only in wages but also in amortization costs – their football department staff cost considerably more than ours.

  23. We were lucky enough to see them die once.



    Liquidation was a disaster that I wouldn’t want any club except for them to go through.




    Agree with you. I had decuced Paul was implying it will be disastrous for them. It likely wont be.


    Yet – part Zombie part Phoenix part Feline – they seem to cheat death and resurrect again and again.



    A bhoy can hope tho.

  25. CHAIRBHOY on 14TH NOVEMBER 2023 1:00 PM



    Does the fact we don’t net spend on players, quite the opposite actually, mean that we don’t get benefit from our “superior” financial position?



    Simply, no. We can outspend them on transfer fees, and more importantly, wages, over an extended period without distressing our club. They have to put themselves in debt and try to borrow to keep the lights just to keep up.

  26. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Chairbhoy 1:00


    Yeah, we can’t compete in the Champions League because the other teams have more money and can buy better players, but we shouldn’t spend more money on players because more money doesn’t get you better players!



    “A bhoy can hope tho.”



    Indeed we can.



    Being 2nd best more often than not or us soon surpassing the “55” / total trophy count might see a drop off in attendance then a vicious circle of down sizing leading to a fate worse than death (or admin/liquidation)




  28. RAB HAWE on 14TH NOVEMBER 2023 1:27 PM



    That’s my understanding. Liquidation has a much softer landing this time….



    They’ll continue to go ‘all-in’ with 5 minutes left to go to liquidation.



    Then flip.




  29. A few years back , a work colleague was describing one of his childhood pals who landed a good job in Scotland, turns out it was in the Huns financial hierarchy.



    The gist of the tittle tattle was that the volume of essentially fraudulent invoices presented to the hierarchy was laughable, a lot of the brothers had to be kept happy. Whilst , this generosity to their fellow Freemasons is touching it’s unlikely to trouser their numbers to the extent described in Paul’s article; however it does provide an insight into the complete un professional approach to business.



    Their major problem with a modern (non Hun-like background) approach I.E. Clement , he will want / demand a support team and a decent structure. Bizarrely, their push to modernise will tip them over the edge in terms of FFP with a fair chance that Clement will walk , as he will have been led up the garden path in terms of funds available




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