Pay your way or go to the wall


I’ve not touched the Anthony Stokes story on purpose. It’s one of those stories you could be writing for a week, if you started. Anthony enjoyed a successful period for Celtic but the writing has been on the wall since the latter part of Neil Lennon’s era.

He’s still only 27, with around half his career ahead of him, but it won’t be at Celtic. I hope he gets a club who can make the most of his talent.

Despite the riches brought by a new TV deal solidarity contract, many English Football League clubs are still under severe financial pressure, including Neil’s current charges, Bolton Wanderers. Bolton owe the vast majority of their circa £200m debt to owner Eddie Davies, so there’s a good chance that will be written off, but administration remains likely.

Bolton chairman, Phil Gartside, who I hear is now seriously ill, saw this coming years ago, when he proposed an EPL 2-type league reorganisation, while lobbying for the inclusion of Celtic and Rangers. The plan was kyboshed by his then fellow Premier League acquaintances. It would have been transformational for Celtic, and literally a life saver for Rangers.

That Bolton debt figure is pretty eye-watering but the returns from non-league club Forest Green Rovers caught the eye. Net debts reached £5.4m after season 2013-14, thanks to a £2.9m loss. In non-league football. There’s only one Scottish club with that kind of debt. Although I suppose they are also playing off-piste in the Championship.  Pay your way or go to the wall.  Long term that rule applies.

The football industry in England and Wales will survive for a while yet, despite the broken financial model. It won’t be until the TV rights value drops due to reliable and easy to access pirate feeds that the bubble will burst. And it will burst.  The underlying fragility in the football business is that your expenditure is either fixed or often contracted on a multi-year basis, while income is vulnerable to sharp shocks.  It’s not a healthy business to be running at a deficit in.

Click Here for Comments >

About Author

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. ...
  10. 13

  1. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on



    I took Tony`s post to mean that even although Celtic had won a tricky Away fixture, the ` pundit` felt the need to highlight the goal conceded rather than praise Celtic for a good victory after a disappointing Thursday.




  2. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on



    Not only dis I misspell `Romans` I left a `t` out of your name 0:-)




  3. Excathred 44…………..Can we be sure Carlton Cole is only 32, he looks like a man with heavy mileage on the clock – big difference in him and Mark Rosenberg the Malmo striker of similar age. However let’s give Cole a chance but to me he looked as stiff as a poker,

  4. “He’s a pundit stating the obvious!”







    But is he really?



    Did vvd and jd keep clean sheets every game? How do the statts add up on last season.



    Sure I’d love to concede less and score more but is it truly that much worse than previous seasons that an article needs written about it?




  5. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on

    “football scarfs from Savile Rogue which are the most expensive Celtic scarfs you will ever see! ”



    Huh! They haven`t seen the scarf Geordie Munro is sending to me!



    Geordie, has Paul sent you my email address?



    Liked your 4:28 post. So true…..in my opinion 0:-)




  6. excathedra44



    “We need players who, when wearing the strip,put in a bit of effort, and want to win for the Club,I believe Stokes falls into that category as I would have been more encouraged seeing him come on at Inverness than the totally unfit publicity stunt that is Carlton Cole.



    A ridiculous state of affairs when players like both Stokes and Cifti had travelled and were either not selected or left on the bench. ”



    I don’t see why Carlton Cole is a publicity stunt. He was a player available for free who offered something different than what we had. He will get fitter.



    I don’t have an issue with players travelling. Injuries can happen and the club should be prepared for the possibility that Griff or Cole were injured or fell ill.

  7. JJ,



    Of course he hasn’t. He’s a busy man :)




    The last time I asked for thunder roads address I was sent a different thunder roads addy.



    That was a weird conversation.



    I’ve mailed a whisky loving mate of yours, so hopefully he’ll do the biz.




  8. TBJ says Wee Oscar Knox is in heaven with the angels on

    Anyone tell me why we have a cqn article quoting an ex rangers player / ex sevco manager telling us celtic are easy to score against



    If I wanted to read hun opinions I would log onto sevco sites

  9. Mahe the Madman on

    WC,, if theres no ads involved with the app it should be successfull I think. On another note I think a cqn phone in after games might be successfull. I believe it’s free via speaker or something similar. The many posters living abroad could listen later at their leisure. I for one would like cqn to enter the podcast/ audio realm ,,they are very popular these days. Would yerself and Paul have any appetite for this avenue? I’m sure some bloggers would do the work,its not that hard. Thanks for all the hard work,,its appreciated greatly by myself at least. HailHail

  10. hankray on 3rd December 2015 4:33 pm



    Thanks for reply.


    Heavy mileage !! good way of putting it. 32 yr old not so sure but did look very stiff.

  11. Geordie



    Domestically we set the bar high with only conceding 17 goals last season. We have already conceded 12 this year and we aren’t even half-way



    Obviously the bigger problem is in Europe when we have conceded 11 goals in 5 games in the group stage on top of 4 goals in the Malmo tie.



    Malmo have conceded 6 goals, Ajax 5 and Fener 5. Celtic are WAY behind at that level.

  12. Afternoon bhoys, hope you are all well. Can I ask that you please include our own Tommy Gemmell in your thoughts and prayers tonight. The bigman fell at home yesterday and broke his hip, has his operation today and then comes the long road to recovery. Thanks in advance and speedy recovery big Tam HH

  13. glendalystonsils on



    “football scarfs from Savile Rogue which are the most expensive Celtic scarfs you will ever see! ”




    I am the owner of the world’s best Celtic scarf. It’s the one my granny knitted for me nearly 60 years ago.


    Just plain green and white bars. The wool’s so itchy you can’t wear it next to yer neck!

  14. timaloy29 on 3rd December 2015 4:41 pm


    Thanks for reply.



    My point was that CC may ? get fitter but both Cifti and Stokes were available and fitter despite limited match time than Cole.


    To pluck him from the back of the Q ahead of these guys must be dis-heartening for them and in my view totally illogical.

  15. WC,



    I can’t say I’m too keen on the App, simply because I’m not computer literate. I would be happy to subscribe to CQN, particularly if this were to get CQN back to its wonderful best.

  16. Mahe the Madman on

    Kickinthenakas,,head to the felons bar.Game deffo on there. Should have a crowd. The Roddy Mac Corleys club is a better bar imo but you would need to call to see if they have the game on. Hail Hail

  17. Mahe the Madman on

    Googybhoy ,,,ha-ha,,I never thought of that. Snake Pliskken was eloquent any time I’ve heard him on podcasts,,I don’t see him post much anymore but he might host it. No pressure snake,,hurry back here enjoyed your posts. HailHail

  18. Paul67



    Totally disproportionate for Celtic to punish Anthony Stokes for a random tweet which he regretted, knew was wrong and apologised for within minutes. There clearly is an undercurrent of agenda against the player, who has been cold shouldered and marginalised for months,.



    He may or may not have issues, but again Celtic have scored an own goal in the PR stakes, something in which the present regime are consistent. There has been much worse from the players, that has gone unmentioned.



    Lapped up by our clubs detractors, who already have a unique regard for the player, and driving yet another wedge between the lots of ordinary supporters, and the club hierarchy, not mention the player, surplus or not.

  19. EXCATHEDRA44 o



    “My point was that CC may ? get fitter but both Cifti and Stokes were available and fitter despite limited match time than Cole.



    To pluck him from the back of the Q ahead of these guys must be dis-heartening for them and in my view totally illogical.”



    Cole will only get match fit by getting games. I guess it shows the crap involved with being Celtic manager. People were on here saying “where is Cole? why did we buy him? what a joke” and there is criticism when he gets selected as well.



    Like I said, he offers something a bit different from the other two. He’s a big unit after all.



    We all know what these trips to the highlands are like. In the past we have been kicked off the park by the caber tossers. It’s good to have a target in the box like Cole when the winds swirling. You could see the chaos involved for the OG.

  20. CultsBhoy can not relate to Celtic Board ambitions on or off the park on

    mungolian bhoy on



    I’m just flattered someone is paying close attention to my posts… 8-)





  21. “have already conceded 12 this year and we aren’t even half-way ”







    But at the same stage last season we had lost 10. So Imo it’s not all that worse.



    It’s a new pairing, again.



    European footy is a different kettle of worms. More definitely needs done there.



    Last season was 12 goals conceded in group stage so a clean sheet in Turkey sees us improve on last season.



    Happy days. ;))

  22. Pogmathonyahun aka Laird of the Smiles on

    Sincerely sorry to hear about Tommy Gemmell’s injury, not a good one to get at the best of times never mind in later life.


    Get well soon Tommy, thoughts and prayers.

  23. bournesouprecipe on 3rd December 2015 5:01 pm



    It wasn’t random. How could it be random? It was a deliberate tweet in response to his non-selection.



    Nor did he apologise within minutes.



    As I said earlier I’m not overly concerned whether it disrespected his team mates but it totally disrespected the fans that had travelled and his subsequent tweet about double training and deserving his money was totally crass and again not particularly respectful of the support.



    That to me was the biggest problem with his outbursts.

  24. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on



    Every mate I have loves whisky;




    That made me laugh;




    Five card trick! Your rhyming slang always makes me smile. Hope you had a good birthday yesterday. Mine is a week on Monday.


    Cheerio for now.




  25. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on



    When I was in Belfast for the Wee Oscar Bike ride, we went to the Crown opposite the Europa (?) Hotel. There won`t be any football on but what a fine looking pub. I think Johan Murdoch had something to do with the amazing decor in the place.Great beer, too if you like Real Ale.


    Definitely off now.




  26. “Mine is a week on Monday.”






    I better watch when I post it’s the love of my life’s birthday on the 14th.



    Folk will get ideas :D





  27. bournesouprecipe on 3rd December 2015 5:01 pm



    Spot on, your point was emphasised by the Herald who managed 2 maybe 3 headlines about ” Republic of Ireland ” Anthony Stokes.



    I’m willing to bet if he is transferred he will still play a part for the Republic making his departure,should it occur, all the more annoying.

  28. West End of East End on

    Stokes is another one of many players we’ve had at Celtic who get better the less we play them. Then when he plays he’s the next target for the boo bhoys….

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. ...
  10. 13