The tens of millions Rangers denied SPL clubs laid bare


The SPL deadline for clubs to provide information on improper registration of players was six weeks ago today but the league has yet to report findings to clubs, while the chief executive rallies support to allow a Newco access to the league.

Time has expired on this policy of non-disclosure until it’s too late.

If the SPL chief executive ever tells us that Rangers fielded improperly registered players between 2000 and 2012, resulting in years of 3-0 defeats being awarded, there will be an enormous amount of anger, not only among supporters, but in boardrooms across the country, as they ponder money which was rightfully theirs but which went to Rangers – perhaps including Rangers prize money for finishing second this season.

We have made an attempt to quantify this money.  Some of the losses were easier to calculate than others.  For example, it was easy to calculate that when Rangers won the title in 2009 with improperly registered players, earning automatic qualification to the Champions League group stage, they denied Celtic £15m European earnings, plus £340k SPL prize money.  Other losses are less clear, specifically when a club was denied a place in a qualifying round for the Champions League or Uefa Cup, which they may or may not have progressed from.

We have established three figures for each club in the SPL during the season just finished, to cover the period from 2000 to 2012:

Minimum loss:
The absolute minimum each club was denied from European and SPL prize money as a result of Rangers finishing above them with ineligible players.

Weighted loss:
The figure based on Scottish clubs gaining entry to Champions League/Europa League (Uefa Cup) group stages from 20% of their qualifying campaigns (which is slightly less than trend).

Maximum loss:
The maximum a club could have achieved if it qualified for the European group stage it was denied entry to.

Out estimates take no account of the subsequent effect money has on future years.  For example, If Celtic earned an additional £15m from entering the Champions League group stage in 2009-10 their league challenge for that season would have been £15m stronger, and Rangers £15m weaker, potentially resulting in consequences in future years.

This multiplier effect would have benefited Celtic but it would be likely to have a greater effect on other clubs, some of whom would be denied the enormous percentage increase in budget automatic qualification to European group stages would have brought.

Hearts finished immediately behind Celtic and Rangers more often than any other club over the period and suffer the greatest potential losses, even more so than Celtic.  Hibernian, Aberdeen, Dundee United and Motherwell also suffered significant losses.

Several clubs got nowhere near European football over the period, and some of the 11 spent only a few years in the SPL but each club lost over £1m.

Figures for each club are:

Maximum: £72.3m
Weighted: £16.3m
Minimum: £6.2m

Maximum: £46.7m
Weighted: £21.9m
Minimum: £17.4m

Maximum: £34.8m
Weighted: £8.4m
Minimum: £3.6m

Maximum: £21.1m
Weighted: £5.5m
Minimum: £2.7m

Dundee United
Maximum: £20.8m
Weighted: £5.2m
Minimum: £2.4m

Maximum: £16.7m
Weighted: £4.4m
Minimum: £2.1m

Maximum: £5.1m
Weighted: £1.9m
Minimum: £1.3m

Maximum: £3.4m
Weighted: £1.8m
Minimum: £1.5m

Maximum: £1.3m
Weighted: £1.3m
Minimum: £1.3m

St Johnstone
Maximum: £1.1m
Weighted: £1.1m
Minimum: £1.1m

St Mirren
Maximum: £1.1m
Weighted: £1.1m
Minimum: £1.1m

In the event Rangers fielded ineligible players during the period under consideration, which everyone apart from Neil Doncaster knows, and even he will be unable to deny next week, we know the following:

Rangers received a minimum of £40.9m which should have gone to the 11 other clubs, assuming each club lost all their European group stage qualifying campaigns.  This calculation does not include earnings from clubs now in the Scottish Football League, such as Hamilton Accies or Dundee.

If Scottish clubs progressed to the group stages of European competition on only 20% of their qualifying campaigns the loss would be £69.0m.

The figure for total potential losses if clubs successfully progressed to every European group stage is, as the figure for 100% failure, more illustrative than likely, but the maximum cost to the 11 SPL clubs is £224.6m.

Results will be changed, trophies can and will, be re-awarded, but these are the harsh financial consequences clubs, their lawyers and supporters, will consider when the facts are presented to them next week. The SPL executive has had six weeks to consider if there is sufficient evidence to commence disciplinary proceedings; they have failed to do so. They have failed you and every other football supporter in the land, while shamelessly pursuing an accommodation for the errant club BEFORE REVEALING THE FACTS TO YOU.

Time will be up soon, Mr Doncaster. You’ve had your chance but you have convinced no one. The people who really matter in this entire debacle are those who buy tickets for Celtic Park, Pittodrie, Easter Road, Tynecastle, Tannadice, Fir Park and the rest, they will hear the truth and read these figures. You have failed them.

You can read our calculations here. European income figures were sources from Uefa data.

Celtic’s disadvantage deepened when their winger John Doyle was sent off ten minutes into the second half for kicking the scorer, but there was an equaliser from Aitken, who was especially suited to a night of such fervour and force. Never bashful, Aitken was stimulated by the challenge of being in an outnumbered line-up.

From Celtic: A Biography in Nine Lives, by Kevin McCarra.

You can buy a hard copy of the new issue of CQN Magazine via Magcloud here.

The graphic below is just for a flick through, to read the magazine go here to it’s dedicated site.

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  1. bunburybhoy. Thanks.



    tomthelennytim, yes, the consequences run deep.



    obonfanti1888, cheers.



    Che, thanks.

  2. CultsBhoy loves being 1st forever & ever on 18 May, 2012 at 12:08 said:


    Startling figures…even if only 50% accurate..(I’m not castigating any calculations – just making a point)



    Will be interesting to see how the media play these kind of numbers..






    They WILL ignore them and if pushed deny their existence!!!

  3. LENNYisAwarMACHINE on




    positively moistening.



    I have been thinking about this for a long time.



    it is great to see my thoughts in black and white.



    Paul, i doff my cap to you.



    excelent work my man!




  4. Think we should cast this Don aside.



    Then I think we should all chip in and buy you a new calculator.



    Excellent work Mr Paul

  5. leftclicktic on

    Thank you Paul these are the kind of statements we need now.


    FIRE UP THE TANKS & BRING OUT THE BIG GUNS, Its time to bring this farcical charade to a long overdue end.


    Why do we think Doncaster is behaving the way he is apart from the obvious incompetence he has shown from day one, Is there a more sinister reason for his actions, he must be doing the exact opposite of what his job descriptios calls for.





  6. tomthelennytim on

    Paul67 – good. I think this could potentially be the route to prison and bankruptcy for these villains. I would personally contribute to a fund on behalf of minority shareholders to sue those responsible.


    We must ensure they are held to account and damn the consequences.

  7. skyisalandfill on

    Stunning article Paul. This is dynamite. Doncaster musn’t be allowed to sweep this under the carpet and must be held to account.


    No to newco.


    Freinds and strangers. We don’t need no stinking Rangers





  8. Lennon n Mc....Mjallby on




    Your 1 in 5 ratio of qualification through group stages in any of the competitions is very conservative given clubs,especially Celtic and media led hysteria for other clubs would have been able to strengthen on each crack at qualification.

  9. BeijingBhoysBrigade on

    Another fantastic article Paul.



    Your work is unsurpassed



    Hail Hail.

  10. Kilbowie Kelt on

    Possibly the most significant exposé EVER into the scale of corruption that takes place in Scottish football.




    Well done, Paul 67.

  11. Paul67:



    If your figures are even half way to being accurate there is no escaping that the sum total amounts to fraud, corporate fraud even. Would be a shame if blazers in the SPL and the SFA were aware of this corporate strategy and rather than raise concerns with the appropriate authorities they instead chose to stay stum and maybe even profit from the connivance in some beneficial way.



    I hope Celtic, and the rest of Scottish football, have the heart for equality regardless of perceived cost in economic terms. The power to make the league a competitive competition again is in the hands of the clubs chairmen, I hope they don’t chose to deflate the national soul for the promise of a bung or two. They’ll only get shafted again.

  12. istanbulcelt on

    Great article,



    The thing i don’t get is, how can any club that owns up to second payments after the SFA letter, get a vote. Now i don’t know if any any other club is guilty or not. Surely the results of the SFA letter should be made public before a vote!

  13. Garngad to Croy, true.



    Lennondinho, boom indeed.



    LENNYisAwarMACHINE, cheers.



    Big Nan, good man.



    DJBEE, cheers.



    leftclicktic, the tanks are revving.



    tomthelennytim. It’ll be interesting.



    skyisalandfill, agree.



    Lennon n Mc….Mjallby, yes, agree, very conservative.



    BeijingBhoysBrigade, cheers.



    Kilbowie Kelt, thanks.



    kitalba, aye.

  14. ourselves alone on

    Excellrnt article Paul



    I’m sure Alex T would like to see those figures.

  15. Nothing to see here Paul, move on!



    Brilliant stuff! Thank you.



    Next week is going to be quite something by the sound of things – and I don’t just mean Mr Daly’s documentary if I read you correctly.

  16. A grand job Paul, a grand job.



    Now everyone knows the possible financial consequences of Rangers cheating on the other clubs, this looks certain to be death by a thousand cuts.



    Or death by BONGO as was the punchline to an old school joke….

  17. Neil canamalar Lennon hunskelper extrordinaire on



    the only mistake out hero whyte made was ending the ebt scheme at the start of the season, so no issue there, but using the tax money just replaces the charge, thats what the sfa dealt with, I’d have thought the spl would stull have to punish them for breaking rgw spl rules.

  18. Paul67


    Do you expect these figures to form part of Mark Daly’s BBC exposé ?



  19. Stunning work, just stunning.



    How can you still run a business and work on articles such as these.


    I think we must be told!




  20. Well done Paul67


    Unless this information is brought to the attention of the general public and distributed amongst the Supporters clubs of the other SPL Clubs, then I am afraid the necessary pressure will not be put on the Football authorities prior to the acceptance of the Newclub into the SPL.


    TIME is the major factor now.

  21. CultsBhoy loves being 1st forever & ever on

    The detail provided here is speculative but errs on the conservative , having said that, establishing the principle is the key objective. Any of us that get the opportunity to engage with media in phone ins et should not focus on the detail but hammer home the principle.



    So it doesn’t matter of it is £40m or £4m – it is a significant, potentially destiny changing sum to most SPL teams…and I would even more so for teams outwith Celtic.


    As much as I would enjoy watching Celtic win everything under the sun – the victory is all the sweeter when it is competed for on an even playing field.



    It’s clear to me also that had there been more fairness in financial distribution across our clubs (ie they were not robbed of their dues) not only would competition been better but it would undoubtedly have reaped a much better crop of Scottish talent. This has undermined not only our domestic competition but our ability as a nation to compete internationally.


    Little coincidence we have not reached the finals of major international competition since 1998.




  22. Just checked my tv planner there and can see Marc Daly’s ‘who sold the Jerseys’ iis scheduled to air for one hour, Wednesday 20:00-21:00. It’s like waiting for the fourth Lord of the Rings.

  23. Paul, what an amazing effort by you to produce those figures. I don’t know how you find time to earn some money. I know these are special times but the quality of contributions by yourself and others is something to behold. Well done again.

  24. voguepunter on 18 May, 2012 at 11:58said:


    Bada bing ,that was your fault.






    Remember in the airport on return from a holiday in Espana.



    Sitting next to a young lady from Northern England .



    She grabs her oxter ,and kindly informed me that she



    was ‘ SWETTIN LIKE PIG’ ,I thought how attractive:O(






    My wife flew back from Spain with a miserable Scottish bloke who would not talk to her.


    He had little sympathy for her hot menopausal flushes.

  25. northshorebhoy on

    This is THE article I have been waiting for, and once again, Paul strikes a bullseye.


    The combined tax issues are a sideshow to me now. Here are the FACTS, plain and simple, that anger me about THEM. During their years of blatant cheating THEM have denied every club of much – needed prize money. It is the combined financial effect of denying Celtic the Champions League revenue over many years – which has ultimately gone to CHEATS – that boils my blood.


    Consider the cumulative total could be OVER 100 MILLION POUNDS (Such is the effect and options available with such liquidity) that had been cheated from our club. Also consider the countless times our prudent board has said ‘no’ because the funds that should have been ours were with CHEATS. It truly disgusts me how this side of the sorry tale is not splashed everywhere……but we all know why.


    Dermott, Peter et al, if the unlikely happens and you vote for this shower’s Newco to enter the SPL then Hell mend you as well as THEM.

  26. Great stuff Paul.



    The impact on the smaller clubs would also have come through decreased chances of cup success. More ties and therefore more income could reasonably have been expected without the cheats in the competitions. Good cup runs and chances of success also lead to increased league gates due to the feelgood factor.



    And, as you mention, success one season means a bigger budget, better players and a greater chance of success the next time around.



    I’m sure that if you were to factor in the losses the clubs could have experienced in the nirvana of a hun free environment – tv money and gates – most would still be better off without them.

  27. Sweating like Neil Doncaster as he awaits his membership renewal decision from the Society of Eunuchs.

  28. jimmybhoycampbell on

    tomthelennytim on 18 May, 2012 at 12:10 said:


    Paul67 – has anyone taken into account potantial losses for shareholders?


    I know that minority shareholders are unlikely to have received a dividend but there is surely potential for a class action against Rangers’ directors and anyone at the SPL/SFA who are found to have known about the fraud.





    I, and members of my family, have been shareholders for many years.



    A class action by shareholders could be a goer as it has denied all of us shareholders the possibility of the share price raising and the possibility of us being able to sell our shares at a higher price.



    A class action against the classless :)

  29. time for change on

    Well written again Paul.



    When the scale of things is analysed in such a manner how can anyone argue for mitigation for the Newco.



    I e-Mailed Neil Doncaster directly this morning on the differences between Newco and CVA (not that I expect any response).



    My season ticket has been renewed (family ticket x2) and will certainly watch how things pan out throughout what is possibly a whilr to go yet before I decide I have had enough. Many comments from some sources have been unexpected recently, and maybe we will have at last an honest league (i’ll save my views on referees for another day).



    Hail Hail

  30. Paul67



    Is it true there are several European clubs awaiting confirmation of the above so they can dispute prize money and results rangers received.




  31. CultsBhoy loves being 1st forever & ever on

    If these figures can be in any way substantiated. or if at least the principle is accepted..



    Waht recourse would other teams have to make a claim on RFCiA? Now I know other clubs have ZERO HOPE of recouping there stolen income but it will just be another nail in the coffin..

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