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. I wouldn’t like to be a British pilot shot down over Syria and picked up by IS.



    Do they have orders to go down with their plane?



    Or take the usual IS punishment?



    The world is a mess right now and I don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel.



    Mind you, we’ve got Big Dave in our corner so we should be ok.



    God help us and them.

  2. Good evening all. I stayed out of the recent so called debate which centred around Tony Donnelly. I have nothing nice to say about the individual and therefore the best thing to say is nothing.



    On the stokes issue. The media I’m Scotland of course have to emphasise his irishness. Did I ever tell you that Scotland is institutionally sectarian.



    Stokes was of course stupid (he is a footballer) but the suspension is heavy handed. The Celtic board it seems is only too willing to act on its on but unwilling to act elsewhere. That’s interesting but in this case they are going to attack anything that threatens Ronny (well any Celtic supporter etc not the media of course) because they need to defend him lest they themselves become the target. The board have circled the wagons. They are spooked.



    The agm was a disaster. The Celtic support are not going quiet on the ebt and Celtic are going to have to declare its hand soon. You are not going to like it. They know it. But they are willing to sacrifice quite a few of us for,ahem, the greater good of sectarian old firm money.



    The tactic will be the old there isn’t a rule to punish the Huns. Celtic will say nothing.



    The table is set. The BDO appeal will fail and then we will know.



    The board as I say are spooked. They know they are vulnerable.



    Baton down the hatches my friends.




  3. The Spirit of Arthur Lee on 3rd December 2015 10:05 pm







    Been to Sun Records though



    *aye there tae, also saw the statue of WC Handy. Mrs. TT and her wee skin and blister hudnae a clue who he was or where we were.

  4. PHILBHOY on 3RD DECEMBER 2015 10:10 PM





    Make sure you get him pissed then!




    We had a good try yesterday.

  5. VP – sad news mate. My dad passed away last night……know you and Gordon always asked after him so wanted you to know. He had a great life but afraid he had one battle too many to fight. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.

  6. mike in toronto on




    sorry for butting in, but wanted to express my condolences. thoughts and prayers.




  7. Gerryfaethebrig on




    That’s not bad for saying nothing about the person you weren’t going to say anything about, if you wanted to say nothing don’t tyoe anything, it works better than words on a blog

  8. I like Tony Stokes More Than i like Bankier Livingstone or Any of The Mps that voted for Bombing Syria…Tony Stokes Aint That Bad……Just Saying like…

  9. Gerryfaethebrig on




    Remembering the good times will get you through the sad times, thoughts and prayers with you and all the family



    Take care & Hail Hail

  10. My goodness Kelvinbhoy, that is very sad news. May God be good to him. My prayers & sympathies to you and your family.

  11. Celticrollercoaster supporting Shay,our bhoy wonder along the way on

    Evening Kelvinbhoy



    Thoughts and prayers to you and your family,



    Take care and HH




  12. Dallas Dallas where the heck is Dallas on

    Gerry at 9.21, sorry for my late reply.



    Stokesy is definitely a right footer who likes to drift out left. When he played up front with Gary Hooper, he tended to play left of Gary.



    He didnt use his left foot often but the two crosses he put in for Gary Hooper’s goals in the 2013 cup final were with his ‘standing foot’ and each was excellent.



    When we beat Dundee Utd 4 1 near the end of the 2010/11 season, he took a high ball down then skelped a left footed volley just wide of the post. It was great skill and showed he could use his left foot.



    A real bugbear of mine is our players’ reluctance to use their alleged standing foot not to shoot when they have a chance. We were spoiled by Lubo and his ability with either foot.

  13. Kelvinbhoy on 3rd December 2015 10:14 pm



    James I am so sorry to hear that ,your auld man and his pals too were all gems.


    God bless him.


    Please let me know of details will pass them to wee Alfie to spread word.



    Take care mate.

  14. Gerryfaethebrig. No it doesn’t it makes the point (that needs made) without the bile.



    Kelvin bhoy I am sorry to hear of your loss.

  15. Kelvinbhoys Dad was a lovely man a true Celt and obviously a fine father


    for his family are a credit to him.

  16. Gerryfaethebrig on




    As you know your memory is better than mine, they should all be able to kick with both feet in my opinion, we had to do it in the boys guild !



    Only nipped on the blog as the rest of the house in their beds shattered, it feels like a Friday night apart fae work the morra !

  17. Tontine Tim on 3rd December 2015 9:51 pm



    Re Bertie,good update.


    Got it out his system before returning,that was the equivalent of tweeting in those days.


    Did not stop him coming back.!!

  18. Gerryfaethebrig on




    No bother, it seemed that without mentioning it you mentioned it…. Anyway far more important things in life everywhere



    No malice here fellow Celtic fan

  19. Kelvinbhoy



    Sorry your auld man lost his last fight. My own Da is also losing the battle with the big C. The family are all going to his at Christmas as this might be his last.


    I will pray for your Da and remember all the good Celtic men that have been lost to us.


    They are the people that made the ‘Tic famous not the chancers on the board or the whingers on this and other blogs.



    May they all rest in peace.

  20. Thanks to all for your kind words about my dad.



    VP – his reception is at St Marks @ 630 on Monday evening with mass @ 930 on Tuesday – cheers mate.

  21. TT


    Never knew he was from Cork.


    Just doesn’t fit the image.






    Can anyone point me in the direction where I can buy Celtic related stickers for my car ?


    The ones I had on it have withered with the sun, got them in a prezzie, so don’t know where they come from.

  22. Pogmathonyahun aka Laird of the Smiles on

    Condolences Kelvinbhoy, may your dad rest in peace and may eternal light shine upon him.

  23. Gerryfaethebrig on




    Never from me….Hail Hail



    Tractorbhoy and Kelvinbhoy



    Not sure about you two bhoys and every single person is different, my dad passed in 1995 and even though I was always closer to my mum I have always been jealous of anybody having their parents for most of their lives, hope you two bhoys don’t take this the wrong way and you are both in my prayers, none of my parents every met the apple of my eye but they met all their other grandkids, treasure every minute and cherish every memory…. In the words of RWE



    No One Walks Alone