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.

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  1. NatKnow on 3rd December 2015 6:39 pm



    Guy from Transport Scotland just been on the news – name : “Stein Connelly”.



    Think he’s a Tim? :-)))





    Oh yes!



    Great guy.

  2. Im not complaining that FIFA are being investigated and their practices, I wonder though if the American law enforcement agencies would have been so interested if they had been awarded one of the world cups of 2018, 2022.


    Its a pity they dont get involved here

  3. Melbourne Mick on

    Hello again all you young rebels.



    Had a panic attack there, couldn’t log into the blog because of


    an error database connection failure whatever that means thought


    maybe thats Paul’s way of getting rid of the Aussie rebs lol.


    Watched a travel destinations program last night about the U.K.


    and its various delights, after showing us London etc then Ireland


    Blarney castle ( done that and kissed the stone ) Dublin the


    Guinness brewery ( and that ) the Lake district and then Scotland


    the best part, the lady presenter said.


    ” For such a small and beautiful country it always punches above


    it’s weight with so many great inventors, scientists etc. but also it


    gave us Robert Louis Stevenson, Billy Connelly and of course the


    CELTIC FOOTBALL CLUB….. WOWEEEE and not a mention of


    the stickies, well that made my night so off to the local today to ask


    if anybody seen it or did they hear of any huns jumping into the


    Yarra river.


    H.H Mick

  4. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on

    On Reporting Scotland earlier there was a report on a two times rapist. He sounded a truly vile person and the BBC showed a picture of him wearing a Celtic top.




  5. The Warburton thing is a complete fugazi.



    It’s the equivalent of a drunk man in a pee-stained mac standing outside Claridges and shouting:



    “See youze? Naw, naw… se youze? Naw, nae matter how hard you try to make me come intae yer sh**** hotel, am no, awright? Awright? Am stayin’ oot here in the pi**** rain. And am happy. So am ur.” Goat it?”

  6. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on

    I thought Warburton was fine in the interview. He was as clear as could be that Fulham had not made any enquiries. The BBC would have none of it!, though. They are determined to keep up their part in the ridiculous elevation of Warburton even if the man himself wants no part of it!




  7. Jjhs…



    Are you in anyway surprised on the reporting of BBC1?



    Funnily enough…the huns deem themselves to be maltreated in the same way :)



    As Bada commented on earlier re the Ajax support, I reckon myself, Praecepta and SKIF got out off jail, standing outside the BV we were approached, I expected the worse but knowing Praecepta is an experianced cage fighter that made me feel a bit more safe :))

  8. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on



    Unfortunately,I am not in any way surprised. I suppose I just mention it in case there are any misguided souls who still believe that ` Aunty` is impartial.



    Re The Huns. I can only assume that ONE negative article was written about their team and that is enough for them to truly believe that the Media is against them all the time. It`s is to do with their supremacist attitude, I suppose.


    Cheerio for now.




  9. The Spirit of Arthur Lee on

    Have they been having a eviction on this blog every night as well as the jungle




  10. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Lennons Passion 6.40



    When John Hughes was signed for Celtic he said he was embarrassed at training as the only guy who couldnt trap the ball, then said he has been doing this as a job but then realised he had to work on his game as he was the worst player in training, the big man done a decent job for us and am sure Tommy Burns knew what he was getting, it’s surprising how as a manager he has more or less dropped the kick it the stand attitude (although that’s sometimes a great option) and is now referred to as a manager who plays good football (Tommy Burns influence)



    As for Anto Stokes, am a bit gutted, he is a far better option than some, but like everything else in life, what’s for you won’t go by you, I would like to know Ronny’s inner thoughts, is Stokesy not in his plans or is Stokesy on too good a contract, as for Ronny’s system behind Leigh, it only works if others are scoring goals, if our Anthony was on the left of that three he would certainly be creating AND scoring……maybe GMS or others might not be on as much much money as Anthony 98 goals in something like 200 games ??????



    Dallas… Think Stokesy might be another one of your lefties

  11. Can anybody give me a step for a hint.



    A couple of nights ago I posted that I had just read that the man with no surname had received an EBT.


    I commented that his name had not appeared on a BBC list of EBT recipients.


    A poster later said that the BBC list was short of a couple of names, one of which might be an embarrassment to it?


    Any one even partially enlighten me.

  12. Quonno



    I’m sure it was hinted on here recently that it could have been Wiggy or someone of that ilk while employed by, err, not the huns.

  13. Gerryfaethebrig on




    The head of referees for UEFA ?



    Smith (Gordon)


    Smith (Walter)



    Are obvious, but surely when the Sfa thought Celtic poached Tommy Burns from Kilmarnock what about the tax evaders poaching Sir Cardigan while employed by said Sfa ?????



    Corrupt to the core, unlike others who get annoyed, I smile at their cheating, gives me peace of mind for all my “paranoia”



    By the way Mr Trainor the so called journalist / PR guru must be another cert, Sir Dodgy Dave was great at spending other people’s money, and getting a knighthood for services to business ???

  14. What is the Stars on



    I was going to ask did I miss any good fights.


    What about Hilary Benn comparing the bombing of Syria to the international brigades.


    Bit of a leap that.


    Exiled, phil bhoy, good evening,


    Stokes on the way out. Pity.

  15. Best wishes to Tommy Gemmell…get well soon big mhan.




    Yogi Hughes a true gent…loved when he played for us ,gave his all


    and still a friend of Celtic.



    Two good ghuys hh

  16. • excathedra44 on 3rd December 2015 4:07 pm


    Sometimes the bad boys are worth the effort,even my all time favourite Bertie was shipped out to Birmingham for ” cooling” only to return and the rest is History.



    *aye that tobered wee ten thirty up )))



    ‘Far more impressive fisticuffs occurred back in 1963, pre-dating the advent of the red card, when St Andrews played host to a fiery encounter between Birmingham winger Bertie Auld and Fulham’s Johnny Haynes. Chris Ferns takes up the story: “If memory serves, Haynes fouled Auld, who was legendary for his temper, and was promptly knocked out in retaliation. Auld then flattened another Fulham player who tried to intervene, rendering him unconscious as well. The upshot was that both Auld and Haynes were sent off, the latter via a stretcher.”’

  17. Geordie Munro on 3rd December 2015 5:12 pm


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



    *thought sellick’s birthday was November 6 )))

  18. The Spirit of Arthur Lee on




    Anybody who canny stand Elvis will always be good in my book



    Love me tender

  19. KELVINBHOY on 3RD DECEMBER 2015 9:18 PM


    VP, G64 or Toffeetim – any of you guys around? Cheers.



    J … I am heeeahh !

  20. G64 has jacked it in, if that is Gordon64.



    A lovely ghuy (I met him at 2 Hoots), sadly missed.

  21. Kickintheass


    There are only two venues in Belfast to watch game at 3pm Sat in Beal Feirsde


    Rock Bar Falls Road – great music afterwards Bic McFarlane Something inside so strong


    Or Felon’s Club further up the road


    You can wear your colours in both places


    It will NOT be shown in Cassids on Antrim Road

  22. The Spirit of Arthur Lee on 3rd December 2015 9:53 pm







    Anybody who canny stand Elvis will always be good in my book



    *aye me tae but I’ve also been tae Graceland, you can see who wears the troosers in ma hoose.

  23. PHILBHOY on 3RD DECEMBER 2015 9:58 PM


    G64 has jacked it in, if that is Gordon64.



    A lovely ghuy (I met him at 2 Hoots), sadly missed.







    We wont actually know if he has chucked till Friday or Saturday night….the big eejit only posts when he’s had bevvy.:O)

  24. What is the Stars on

    Elvis wasn’t that bad


    He was the Jimmy barry Murphy of rock and roll.


    Cork celt will explain

  25. THE EXILED TIM on 3rd December 2015 9:57 pm




    Pity about Anto, seems he has pissed somebody off, always had a soft spot for him.



    * aye probably his fellow Dub (I know he was born in Cork but brought up a west brit)