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Sports retailing and spending what you earn

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You get the sense that the Sword of Damocles is hanging over Newco Rangers.  Some wondered about the sense in Mike Ashley controversially renaming Ibrox as the rumoured ‘Sports Direct Outlet Village’ but having bought the rights to do so for £1, he is now able to leverage this detail in his earlier loan.

He has the retail and stadium naming rights but ownership of the club badge, details of which it appears the Newco board leaked to the Daily Record yesterday, would allow him to control the strips, novelty ducks and other tat, no matter where it’s sold.  Any future shirt deal would need his authority, as it would require use of ‘his’ logo.  Which would inevitably lead to shirt deals being concluded by one of Ashley’s in-house brands.

All this makes sense if you are a retailer with notions of monopoly status.  ‘Rangers’ branded pencil cases, alarm clocks and shirts will continue to sell, no matter in which league Newco inhabit.  It’s a straight merchandise play from the retailer, who is the only person in the UK in a position to exploit clubs going through a hard time, like Newco.

Ashley is thick-enough skinned after sitting through all that Newcastle fans could throw in his direction for years.  He doesn’t need to be liked, and with control over intellectual property like the badge, he doesn’t even need to be the retailer to make money every time club merchandise is sold.  Newco wouldn’t even be able to put the badge on their tickets without his agreement.

In many ways this proposed deal is an inevitable step.  Clubs are enormous merchandising opportunities, the people who can profit most from this are the retailers.  It is, of course, only inevitable because of the state Sir David Murray left oldco in.  As soon as he handed the keys to a liquidation specialist the game was over.

News in today’s Herald that an S&P study makes Celtic the least likely publicly listed football club in Europe to default is likely to sound a little hollow to some who watched us against Accies on Sunday. There are many ways to build a sustainable and successful football team, but none of them involve spending more than you earn.

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  1. Seen on twitter

     

    ” If someone went round Sevco with ultra violet light would they find everything marked “Property of http://C.Green “?

     

    Till later all

  2. Paul

     

     

    From previous thread….thoughts, yours, if you could.

     

     

    I find it a well reasoned and worrying hypotheses…..

     

     

    HH jamesgang

     

     

    ———-

     

    tinytim

     

     

    12:57 on 9 October, 2014

     

    Paul67

     

     

    Blantyrekev of this Parish , told me about 18 months ago that Mike Ashley would be the man that emerged as the saviour of Rangers.

     

     

    Ever since then I have been keeping an eye on his dealings.

     

     

    First of all.

     

     

    Why would he be motivated to buy them?

     

     

    The purchase of a football club by an individual is not done with the primary goal to make money .

     

     

    It is done mostly for the ego.

     

     

    Mike Ashley took over NUFC when they had debts that amounted to hundreds of millions of pounds.

     

    He then spent further hundreds of millions to establish that he would be required to spends billions to get to the very top and into the CL.

     

     

    He cut the cloth accordingly , and his reward has been vitriolic abuse from the Geordie fans.

     

     

    Mike Ashley wants to be loved.

     

     

    He would be idolised by the Zombie hordes.

     

     

    A modest spend of say between £10 m to £20m on players would almost certainly win the SPFL.

     

     

    It is loose change to Mike Ashley.

     

     

    Secondly .

     

     

    He needs to sell NUFC.

     

     

    Well there have been rumours in England for over 6 months that he has a buyer lined up.

     

     

    Yes they may be infighting just now.

     

     

    But money will talk in the end.

     

     

    Mike Ashley would be very motivated to spend and succeed .

     

     

    Our board led by Dermot Desmond have already travelled that road , and will not repeat the journey.

     

     

    We are in for a period of being second best if Mike Ashley takes control of The Rangers.

     

     

    TT

  3. MAGNERS have donated an impressive £18,300 to Celtic FC Foundation thanks to their Goals for Charity initiative

     

    Magners, main sponsor of Celtic, threw their backing behind the charitable arm of the club by vowing to donate £150 for every competitive goal that Celtic scored during the 2013/14 season.

     

    A total of £18,300 was raised as a result of the Hoops notching 122 competitive goals during the title-winning campaign and the Foundation received a further boost with Magners confirming they are continuing the initiative for the 2014/15 Season.

     

    Magners are now calling on Celtic fans to help determine how last season’s figure will be used to benefit the good causes supported by Celtic FC Foundation.

     

    The charity provides assistance to those who face daily challenges within four key priority areas; Health, Equality, Learning and Poverty.

     

    Fans can vote on Twitter for the area they feel should benefit from the money with the votes received translating into how the donation from Magners will be allocated across each area.

     

    To vote, simply tweet @MagnersUK with a supporting hashtag for one of the priority areas; #Health, #Equality, #Learning or #Poverty.

     

    Voting will close at midnight on Friday, November 7 with all votes cast determining how the £18,300 raised will be allocated.

     

    Paul Condron, Marketing Director for Magners, said: “Our sponsorship commitment to the club involves working together in a number of areas – from support of the team and fans to the good work of Celtic FC Foundation.

     

    “We’re delighted to confirm that last season’s goal-scoring form has allowed us to donate £18,300 to Celtic FC Foundation.

     

    “Now we’d like to allow fans to determine how the money is distributed across the key areas that benefit from the Foundation’s support – Health, Equality, Learning and Poverty.

     

    “By voting, fans are taking an active role in channelling the money raised by the team’s goal scoring efforts to the good causes the Celtic FC Foundation supports so we’d encourage everyone to get involved.

     

    “We also hope our decision to extend the initiative into the 2014/15 season will see on field success continue to benefit the Foundation as much as possible.”

     

    Tony Hamilton, CEO of Celtic FC Foundation, added: “The recognition of Celtic’s principles and the generosity displayed by Magners through their Goals for Charity initiative is highly commendable.

     

    “The work Celtic FC Foundation is doing in the local community and further afield will benefit greatly from the £18,300 raised from last season’s goal-scoring exploits.

     

    “It’s also great to see Magners engage the Celtic supporters by giving them a voice in deciding how this money should be spent.

     

    “The fact that all of our priority areas are likely to benefit is most pleasing and it’s a huge boost to know the Goals for Charity initiative will be supporting us again for the 2014/15 season.

     

    “Celtic FC Foundation provides assistance to those who face daily challenges within four key priority areas – Health, Equality, Learning and Poverty.

     

    “In addition, the charity offers support in the form of delivery and/or partnership to external charities and other organisations who offer value in the community and whose principles fit within these key priority areas.”

  4. Justafan

     

     

    Strategy:

     

    I’m accepting of downsizing but not one that is based on buying £1.5-2m strikers who are poorer than £500k scottish strikers already playing the league who are PROVEN goalscorers. We all know the list.

     

    The strategy should also look at squad with 22 senior players and 11 youth players giving 3 for each position.

     

    The to 3 should be capped at £40k, the next 8 at £20k, the 2nd 11 at £8k, youth cap of £2k ( all per week).

     

    Managers who have achieved in SPL should be considered with preference given to ex players who know the club and who fans can relate to.

     

    The above would reduce over all cost allowing reduction in ticket price. Improvement in quality of ‘hospitality’ should be introduced to encourage more up selling of tickets at the ground. I’d consider buying in a franchise. I’d go for volume on food sales and reduce costs.

     

    More direct selling of Television to fans home and abroad.

     

    I could go on … But my ideas are very different to what’s happening right now.

  5. adi_dasler

     

     

    Congrats on the podium mhate.

     

     

    Hope you haven’t been poised and hitting refresh since 11.48! You must be exhausted, though rightly proud!

     

     

    HH jamesgang

  6. For the record, the remaining players with surnames ending in a were Darren O’Dea and Mo Sylla.

     

     

    Well done everyone, prized coconuts all round!

  7. jamesgang

     

     

     

    Lots of If’s and But’s in there mate.

     

    Who is buying Newcastle Utd?

     

     

    Celtic could easilly cope with spending £10m – £20m and it might be just what we need. Competition never hurt us. If Ashley gains control at Ibrokes he has to spend £20m just to match our squad.

     

     

    Don’tpanic CSC

     

     

    LB

  8. jamesgang

     

    Wait till the SOS “flash mobs” start dragging their brain dead limbs round Ashleys shops :)))))

  9. LB, NB…I was quoting TT.

     

     

    AbbreviationsCSC

     

     

    None of it was my own homework.

     

     

    Moi? Relatively sanguine about their ongoing demise; while inherently suspicious/paranoid about how far the establishment (football and beyond) will go to preserve them and pretty unimpressed by our execution of what could be a pretty effective business model/strategy.

     

     

    I should have Curate’s Egg stencilled on my Celtic top!

     

     

    HH jamesgang

  10. Bada

     

     

    Haddaway man !.

     

     

    Me Adidas Inter Boots – Only £79.99 at all good MA owned stores.

     

     

    Jamesgang …. 1st time ever – pure fluke !

  11. Good morning from a glorious Grenada :-)

     

     

    Cultsbhoy, Celtic downsizing involves removing the top bracket earners

     

    i.e, Joe Ledley, Samaras, so will Kris Commons and Scott Brown be next ?, only 2 left now earning in excess of £20k per week ?

     

     

    Hail Hail

  12. Leftie

     

     

    Flashmoabs (sic) – do they actually know there’s no flashing done in the process?

     

     

    Don’t want to be seeing their bit day erchies all over CCTV.

     

     

    HH jamesgang

  13. Cowiebhoy

     

     

    Passing polmont. Speedos not required. And I don’t mean that in a naughty, nudey way!

     

     

    Reminds me – differing climates, not skinny dipping! – of being at my girlfriend’s family in st Lucia for Christmas and watching the Hoops playing at a very wintry Easter Road.

     

     

    Must be time for your 1st good Bhoy cocktail of the day.

     

     

    HH jamesgang

  14. Cowie hoy

     

    My proposal of 3 on £40k, 8 on £20k, 11 on £8k and 11 on £2k comes in at £21m for the year.

     

     

    It is also likely to boost number of bums on seats.

     

    It creates a promotion structure for players and gives the fans at least 3 potential marquee signings.

     

    Given we would continue to punt players this £21m would be off set.

     

    The other measures would also improve the match day experience.

     

    Right now we are very inefficient with 1/5- 2/3 of seats empty.

  15. cowiebhoy

     

     

    Wage bill: £32.66m

     

    Difference from 2010: Down £3.82m

     

    Turnover: £52.56m

     

    Wage to turnover ratio: 62%

     

     

    2012 figures:

  16. jamesgang

     

     

    Hibs pumped Sevco and with more confidence and better players it could have been worse. How much does that club have to spend just to fix their ground up? They need to buy a whole squad of players and they have to gel. He has to change the gaffer and pay off the current one.

     

    I reckon to get Sevco near our level he would have to spend about £50m all in and then he would have to pay the new players much bigger wages so the wage bill would be higher.

     

    If Ashley is the saviour then I think Celtic Plc would be not worried one bit.

     

    We have our house in order and we need to maximise our match day revenues by making it a day experience rather than just 90 mins. Standing areas, beer on sale in the ground, etc.

     

    Celtic are getting there. A team on the pitch and more punters in would be a start though. Ronny will get the team motoring soon I reckon.

     

    Sevco may be our nearest challengers in years to come but we should still be far and away ahead of them on and off the pitch.

     

     

    Remember we have all that cash squirreled away as well ;-)

     

     

    LB

  17. Gordon_J…

     

     

    I hope the volunteer stuffed his season ticket up his chairman’s arse on the way out the door.

     

     

    I have a mate who follows Livingston and he says he’s jacking it in because of this.

     

     

    I’m sure he won’t be alone.

     

     

    Mind you Livingston don’t need the money.

     

     

    Clowns.

  18. From the Herald:

     

     

    Senior reporter

     

     

    THURSDAY 9 OCTOBER 2014

     

     

    THEY have been leagues apart in Scotland of late but research shows the country’s two he independent study by City analysts, which is geared towards investors, shows Scottish champions Celtic topping a league of publicly-listed European clubs for financial standing and stability while cross-Glasgow rivals Rangers are ranked bottom.

     

     

     

    When the 17-team table is extended to include some of the Continent’s most successful privately-run clubs, Celtic are third of 44, while Rangers are in 31st place.

     

     

    Topping the 44-team financial health league are Dutch champ­ions Ajax, followed by London club Arsenal.

     

     

    At the other end are French side Lens, with Inter Milan second-last, with the club’s financial structure and ownership model to blame.

     

     

    Tapping into the surge in foreign ownership and global appeal of football, the report, by US-based markets and risk specialists McGraw Hill Financial, pulls together what it describes as a “virtual Credit Football League”.

     

     

    One key warning is on-field success being no gauge of a club’s creditworthiness, with the report adding: “There is no sure thing in sports. Deteriorating match performance combined with economic struggles and financial concerns could sink a corporation (or a football club). An example of such a case is in Rangers Inter­national Football.”

     

     

    The positioning of both Glasgow clubs reflects their fortunes in the past few years, with Rangers playing in the lower divisions following their liquidation in 2012 and beset by boardroom turbulence since, while Celtic have enjoyed a number of relatively successful European campaigns and sold a number of players.

     

     

    The report authors assessed how the equity markets react to the match performance of the 17 publicly-listed football clubs through stock price movements and built a picture of how the market perceives a club’s credit.Of the 17, it claimed, Celtic were the least likely to default and their “status as perennial title contenders and their recent success in winning the Scottish Premier League for the last three seasons has apparently led to a positive market sentiment”.

     

     

    Pavle Sabic, director of Credit Market Development at S&P Capital IQ, part of McGraw Hill Financial, said: “Especially since the 2014 World Cup, ‘following the team’ has taken on a whole new meaning as foreign billionaire owners, bank lenders, large corporate investors, and even day- trading stock pickers are monitoring the share price and financial standing of clubs.

     

     

    “Our credit indicators provide investors with a set of essential signals to monitor improving or declining credit strength in football clubs.”

     

     

    Arsenal scored highly due to “consistent match performance and increased revenue from the Emirates Stadium”, as well as conservative control of finances, while Juventus bounced back from a poor rating following their match-fixing relegation to one of the best after successive title successes.

     

     

    All 44 clubs, reflecting a north/south European divide, were assessed against 24 different criteria ranging from performance, transfers, ownership model, debt structure, match attendance and fan spend.

     

     

    Stuart Macdougall, senior manager at PWC, said: “The credit score results come as no surprise in light of recent events surrounding the Glasgow club’s. Despite the absence of the Old Firm fixture in recent seasons Celtic have continued to demonstrate financial stability and low debt.

     

     

    “There is no guarantee of top flight football for Rangers next season, a high cost base to service and rising debt leaves them in a very unenviable position to their great rivals.”

     

     

    He added that the Ibrox club needed a return to the SPFL and a flood of home-grown talent.

     

     

    Celtic and Rangers were unavailable for comment.

  19. One for the book club.

     

     

    The Irishman who gave Celtic FC a cricket team and Union Jack flag

     

    By Richard Purden on February 5, 2014 The Irish Post

     

    THE remembrance day poppy has recently been a contentious issue for a number of Celtic fans.

     

    The “No Bloodstained Poppy On Our Hoops” protest organised by the Green Brigade proved to be a divisive one among Celtic supporters back in November 2010.

     

    The marking of the 100-year anniversary of the Great War have already sparked varied debate among politicians and the media in Scotland; the release of a new book The Celtic, Glasgow Irish and The Great War: Gathering Storms by Ian McCallum, a former soldier (among many other occupations), is likely to stimulate even more deliberation.

     

    It’s the first release in a new six-part series which examines the social history, political atmosphere and wartime experiences of Glasgow’s Irish Catholic community. McCallum offers a balanced study of the community’s support for the British war effort as well as its relationship with Irish Home Rule.

     

    Gathering Storms offers a fascinating account of the men who built Celtic, giving us a sense of the events and dynamics that created the club. The most striking figure remains the original Mr Celtic: William Patrick Maley.

     

    Signing for the team as a player in 1888 and becoming the club’s first manager in 1897, the Newry-born man fashioned Celtic to become the most successful, robust and wealthiest club in Britain.

     

    In 1897 rivalry with Rangers wasn’t on his radar; aside from being a club of sporting excellence the manger/club secretary dedicated his life towards creating an eminence that would make Celtic a known and respected club throughout Europe.

     

    From the team’s philosophy of attack to how they were perceived outside the community, Maley stage-managed every aspect of the club, dedicating his life to the institution over a period of 43 years and guiding them to 30 major trophies.

     

    Ian McCallum deconstructs Maley’s life focusing on the significant relationship with his father, the British army sergeant Thomas Maley, which provides a vital clue into why Celtic were different from other Irish clubs such as Edinburgh’s Hibernian.

     

     

    He persuaded Willie’s brother Tom to quit playing for Hibs as he felt the club were not inclusive and stunted the integration of Irish Catholics into Scotland.

     

    It was also Tom who Brother Walfrid had selected to manage Celtic, but on a casual visit to the family’s Cathcart home, Willie accepted the invitation. But only after Maley senior gave the Marist’s vision his seal of approval.

     

    McCallum rightly suggests the fate of Celtic would have been very different without Maley; he summons the range of influences that shaped him, in turn fashioning Celtic: “In the military’s male-orientated world, the ethics of duty, self-discipline, hard work, respectability and self-improvement were instilled into the Maley boys and would remain with them throughout their lives.

     

    Despite the family’s obvious Irishness and their undoubted prolonged and active support for constitutional Irish Nationalism — all four brothers were known to have spoken on Nationalist platforms — the sons of old Sergeant Maley most certainly felt they owed a large degree of loyalty to the land that had adopted them.”

     

    Willie Maley certainly grafted his personality and character onto Celtic. Another story tells of the Irish manager overseeing the design of Celtic’s 1893/94 Scottish League Championship flag, when the silk emerald material was embossed with a Union Jack in the top left quarter.

     

    Undoubtedly such a sight on any piece of Celtic memorabilia would be frowned upon today but the story offers us a significant degree of perspective.

     

     

    McCallum’s evidence goes further revealing that designs with Scottish and British symbols associated with the club were more apparent than perhaps thought.

     

    Links between the Celtic board or staff and the British military were also part of the club’s fabric. Soldiers were as visible as priests among the ranks of the support as both were allowed free entry into Celtic Park, and many former players had been soldiers themselves — British Army bands even provided the pre-match entertainment.

     

    Celtic organised matches against military teams and even secured the services of a few players when doing so. Celtic even had their own cricket team.

     

    Joining the army for many working class Glaswegians of Irish or Highland stock was something of an economic necessity, it also offered an opportunity and a sense of adventure.

     

    While many of the Glasgow Irish would have been supporters for Irish Nationalism the need for economic stability and an escape from the slums outweighed political affiliations.

     

    During that process many retained something of their identity by supporting Celtic — the club like them was made up of both Irish and Scottish influence.

     

    But joining a British regiment was equally an equally absorbing shift with new loyalties, comrades, traditions and badges of identity. As McCallum points out the Highland Light Infantry was considered Glasgow’s own regiment.

     

    The Gathering Storms is a demystifying and captivating read that will challenge many supporters on what they perceive the club to be.

     

    While it’s widely accepted that Celtic are both Irish and Scottish they were shaped by a very British Celt in Willie Maley — a devout Catholic and ardent royalist, an Irish nationalist, imperialist, socialist and supporter of the British army and establishment.

     

    Undoubtedly it’s these varied loyalties that make Maley such an intriguing figure. He remains a vital cornerstone of the club today and he anchored Celtic during a period of economic instability, world war and social turmoil.

     

    In modern times Celtic have underlined the importance of Maley’s ethos.

     

    A few seasons ago they stitched the inside collar of the club jersey with one of his most famous quotes, it said: “It’s not the creed nor his nationality that counts. It’s the man himself.”

     

    For more information on The Celtic, Glasgow Irish The Great War: The Gathering Storms visit http://www.theglasgowirish.com

     

     

    ————————————————————————————————————

     

     

    Just a wee aside:

     

     

    Does anybody know what became of the Celtic Supporters who were arrested in Amsterdam?

  20. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    LEFTCLICKTIC

     

     

    That’s the badge they used to have when I was a kid.

     

     

    Google their ECW 72 squad.

     

     

    I’d do it for you and post it here,but perhaps not-not after the Huistra comment!

  21. Gordon -J

     

     

    Did they really have to sack him?

     

     

    What were the consequences to the volunteer and the club if they hadn’t?

     

     

    I expect the wee fat obnoxious one would have been demanding to know his name and address.

     

     

    By the way, I love the word “volunteer”.

     

     

    Sounds like the cue for a song!

  22. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    Re Livi programme.

     

     

    I wish someone would sue for libel.

     

     

    I wonder why no-one has?

  23. Livibhoy

     

     

    Yer Mhan Leigh looked decent on Sunday. He’s no2 on my list of potentially effective strikers right now behind guidetti. Hope he gets some game time.

     

     

    You’re more, much more, sanguine than I am about how quickly the FOD could match us on the park. A wee safety certificate to keep ipox open, a McInnes-type manager and the inevitable honest mistakes. Job done.

     

     

    I’m not usually as pessimistic and critical as Cultsbhoy (though you may be spot on Sir) but I agree 100% with his lament at the lack of clear green water we’ve put between us.

     

     

    We should be grooming a new generation of Scotland’s finest….our own and Dundee United’s! – and playing footie to make your purr. We’re not.

     

     

    And this predates RD and goes above him in the corporate good chain.

     

     

    In Ronny I still trust, but not unreservedly.

     

    But c’mon Celtic. Get it together. Pronto!

     

     

    HH jamesgang

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