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. ASonOfDan on 18 May, 2012 at 12:30 said:





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



    I’m sure anyone who has had the misfortune of playing rangers on their uneven playing field would be interested in these figures, as well as the body that oversees the competitions concerned of course.



    Dear Mr Platini…………

  2. These are huge and incredibly relevant numbers to every one of those clubs and I think this info should be sent to every chairman and supporters club.

  3. googybhoy ♥ Celtic and Liquidation on May 25th. on 18 May, 2012 at 12:27 said:



    Do apologise ,to your lovely lady for my ungentlemanly behaviour.:O(

  4. !!Bada Bing!! on

    traditionalist88-Beat me to it,we must pursue their 9IAR,which must have been achieved with double contracts.Wee Dawwell and the lapdogs are desperate to ringfence the EBT scandal to recent years.

  5. JinkyvJohnGreig-saysitall on

    Paul67 – Excellent



    I’ve said it before, but if you were a Celtic/Hearts/Ayr United/Dundee etc etc player (take your pick) who was denied a win bonus by being beaten to a league or cup final by a team of improperly registered players, do you have a case to sue? I suspect they do and the BTC is just another in a long list of unexploded bombs awaiting this scandalous football club and its rogue officers.

  6. Great article Paul.


    If that doesn’t sway the rest of the clubs there is no hope for them

  7. South Of Tunis on

    Sweating like a 10 year old Bangladeshi earning a dollar a day making sportswear for the likes of Nike and Adidas.

  8. northshorebhoy on

    The Mark Daly piece on wednesday.



    If you have Sky, try channels 971 or 973 (BBC1 Scotland and BBC1 Northern Ireland) are showing it for people outside these areas.



    Should also be available as BBC regional variations on Freesat, but I do not know the channel numbers.



    Paul, if you somehow know this is going to be a dambuster of a show then I wonder if you can include these details in an article.

  9. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    Paul 67 I salute you I am sure if it was not for your goodself and Phil Mac and Alex T this whole thing would be hushed up.Mr.Doncaster is trying to play down the scale of the Orcs cheating and the very fact he has held talks with Charles Green who has as much money invested in Rangers as I have is another sign that the authorities are bending over backwords to help the cheats.We must keep bringing up our disgust about what has and is going on we also must let every other Sottish club know the scale of there cheating and there punishment must must fit the crime.H.H.

  10. Brrrr. Cold down here



    Am I right in saying that with a newco all normal debts die with oldco( including all tax liabilities )


    But all football debts remain active


    So if all the clubs took action for loss of income , then newco would have to pay if the action was sucessfull ????


    Write off 100m but still be active of over 200m football debts




  11. This is indeed the smoking gun – they can gerrymander the newco thing but they cant gerrymander this. We all know the double contracts are true – the SPL are trying to avoid the consequences. The only way they can avoid it is to cover it up – but their problem is its already out there.



    Paul – brilliant you have quantified it in terms of hard cash.



    Their end approaches.

  12. A pence in the pound deal to Ticketus & HMRC.



    bye bye rangers…



    Rangers administrators have written to Ticketus to terminate a £25m season ticket deal, according to prospective owner Charles Green.



    Duff and Phelps informed the London firm of their move to tear up the agreement after a court hearing earlier this year found that Ticketus did not own Ibrox season tickets.



    Mr Green said in a statement on the club website on Friday that supporters could now “take heart” from the fact that the Ticketus deal had been terminated.



    Current owner Craig Whyte bought an 85% stake in Rangers for £1 from Sir David Murray last May and used a £25.3m deal with Ticketus for around 100,000 season tickets until 2015 to wipe off the club’s £18m debt with Lloyds Banking Group.



    Mr Green, who has entered a “binding agreement” to buy the club that administrators said would be completed on June 6 when a pence in the pound deal is put to creditors in a company voluntary agreement (CVA), also claimed on Friday that he had no intention of raising Ibrox season ticket prices.



    He said: “During the last week I have had a number of meetings with supporters’ representatives who have raised important issues about the club and the way forward. I have listened to them and a key issue raised with me was the season ticket pricing for next season.



    “My initial thoughts prior to these meetings was that season tickets prices should be increased as they had not been raised in the last three years. However, taking on board the fans’ concerns, I can confirm that when my consortium completes the purchase of Rangers and takes over the running of the club, season ticket prices will be frozen for next season.



    “The club’s administrators have informed me they have written to Ticketus to terminate the agreement that is currently in place with the club and supporters can now take heart from the fact that season ticket sales will be as normal.”

  13. Snake Plissken on 18 May, 2012 at 12:39 said:



    and the Octopus Group being the benevolent Company they are will no doubt appreciate the difficulties faced by rangers(ia) and accept this decision….


    another court case beckons.

  14. Jelly And Gelato on

    Stunningly good piece of research Paul. The Google Doc should be sent to every affected club, and recorded delivery to the SFA, the SFL (Some of their clubs were affected too), the CEO of the SPL cartel (for that is all it is) and to the main Scottish sports journalist to make sure they have no excuse not to report this as anything but a fraudulent mauling of the football industry in Scotland.

  15. Shieldmuir Celtic on

    Well done Paul.


    These figures are dynamite and deserve th widest ciculation NOW! As they have European implications, U.E.F.A. have a legitimate interest and should be informed by S.F.A. – failing which, by Celtic without delay.

  16. traditionalist88 on

    Bada Bing



    Exactly, damage limitation and denial it is from the laptop loyal(wonder if they even have the internet on those laptops, the fancy typewriter loyal more like!)




  17. Excellent stuff Paul, just excellent.


    As Frankie boy says – shockerrrooonie!


    The impact of their cheating is astonishing, even after all we have heard until now, it still takes the breath away.



    This has to be spread around the globe.



    Donkey is an ass and has to go. Blackpool maybe! (pleasure beach)



  18. The Ghood will prevail on

    Excellent work Paul.


    Doncaster’s blatant procrastinating means he is not fit for purpose. This is a man who misrepresented facts on national radio in an attempt to normalise phoenixing as standard business practice. He would sell his granny for a cash bonus. I can’t listen to another word he says. He has zero credibility.

  19. The FAI has prevented a preseason tournament from being played in Thomond Park, Limerick.



    The tournament was to be a follow on to the Dublin Super Cup, which began last year, and invites well known clubs to play in Ireland in a friendly tournament. This year, Chelsea and Celtic were among the teams to be involved in the tournament. The fixtures were set to be played on the August bank holiday weekend.



    The FAI has stated that it has alternative plans for the use of Thomond Park at that time. John Cantwell, the manager of Thomond Park, said that there is “another tournament planned for the same period.”



    The tournament began last year and was played in the Aviva Stadium, Dublin, and included such teams as Manchester City, Celtic, Inter Milan and the Airtricity League XI. Even with this group of high quality teams, it failed to attract crowds and the attendance for the games was relatively poor. This year’s tournament would involve Chelsea, Celtic and perhaps Tottenham Hotspurs. Chelsea are among the most high profile clubs in the world and are playing the Champions League Final this weekend, the peak of club football in Europe. Celtic and Tottenham both have large fan bases in Ireland also.


    This years tournament was set to move to Thomond Park, where it was hoped that it would have a greater benefit for both the sport and the area. “The economic impact would be significant, that profile of an event for Limerick and the region would be phenomenal” Cantwell said.



    The event was planned and would be executed by the Thomond Park team, but the FAI needs to sanction such events before they are played. Without a sanction from the FAI, the tournament will be cancelled and Thomond Park will lose the opportunity to showcase high profile stars in the stadium. In 2010, Limerick FC had a friendly arranged with Barcelona, arguably the biggest club in the world, but it was prevented by the FAI because they believed that the match would take away from the reopening of the renovated Lansdowne Road.



    The Thomond Park management team still have a positive outlook on the possibility of the tournament being played. “If the situation changes, whereby the will not be having a tournament, they will be right back onto us” said Cantwell (Irish Independent).

  20. Snake Plissken



    Ticketus have already issued a statement:-


    A Ticketus spokesman said: “Around the time of Mr Miller’s preferred bidder status we spoke to Mr Green, neither party reached any agreement and he went ahead with his bid.



    “Ticketus is now a creditor in a CVA and it is not involved in the future of the club in any way.”



    So they to know that there is no chance of a CVA and therefore Liquidation will enable them to bid for the assets, ie come to a deal with Craig Whyte to stop the legal case and buy Ibrox, which of course they will then rent or lease to any club willing to play there under their terms…it is beginning to make sense is it not? por cierto.

  21. sparkleghirl on

    So the news yesterday that the Ticketus deal had been ended – this was a unilateral decision on the part of Rangers/D&P/Green? It wasn’t necessarily agreed by Ticketus?

  22. leftclicktic on

    greenmaestro on 18 May, 2012 at 12:28 said:


    Yes this should be shared with supporters of other SPL clubs. So email the link (http://www.celticquicknews.co.uk/?p=9104) to your friends who support the other teams. I know I have.




    DONE get it out there

  23. ASonOfDan on 18 May, 2012 at 12:43 said:




    I imagine a new term will enter the lexicon : ‘gangster football.’

  24. There’s a counter argument.



    If the purpose of this exercise is to engage in some kind of restorative rather than retributive justice by considering the question ‘what would have happened if the huns hadn’t fielded ineligible players?’ then you have to allow for the possibility that they might nonetheless have won/qualified if they had played with only eligible players.




    I’d prefer a retributive and deterrent approach. They should get their baws kicked because they deserve to have their baws kicked, and to stop any other clubs doing the same thing in the future.

  25. Doncaster will be history soon, he will go along with the SPL. Once everything has settled down, whatever happens, and next season is underway, the SFA will make their move to take control of the league structure in Scotland. The SPL will be disbanded and the SFL will be included in new structure.

  26. Snake Plissken on

    Guys don’t shoot the messenger. I’m just reporting what I saw.



    I canny see Ticketus take this lying down.

  27. Eurochamps67 on



    Terrific work, absolutely bang on the money.


    I’ve often stated, to anyone that would listen, that their cheating is not only about titles etc but about the financial cost.


    I never had any ballpark figures to deal with……………until now.


    Brilliant work.



    All this is before considering the implications of clubs overspending to try to compete with a corrupt club e.g.


    Mothers – Spencer


    Dundee – Ravinelli, Canniga, Caballeros



    I am sure you could up with others.



    Just when is the right time to begin the full frontal assault on remains of that despictable institution?




  28. voguepunter on 18 May, 2012 at 12:34said:


    googybhoy ♥ Celtic and Liquidation on May 25th. on 18 May, 2012 at 12:27 said:


    Do apologise ,to your lovely lady for my ungentlemanly behaviour.:O(





    You did the right thing. You would have been regaled with three hours if tunes played.with her hand under her oxter.



    Hope she is not reading this.




  29. northshorebhoy on 18 May, 2012 at 12:42 said:




    It’ll be on Virgin Ch862 as well.


    : )

  30. In which I discuss Neil Doncaster’s views as expressed in the Scotsman today regarding a newco and a CVA for Rangers. He maintains the line, with which I disagree, that CVA and newco are basically the same. His position on that seems designed to make non-Rangers fans fear the worst about some cosy accommodation being reached.



    However, for those concerned with sporting integrity, he includes a killer line, which, if followed through, will leave a newco Rangers with a very hard decision. Accept penalties for past rule breaches by oldco, or accept that newco is a new entity, without the history and titles of oldco.



    It would be helpful if the SPL and SFA could disclose what they are talking to Mr Green about, in the same way as it would have been helpful to find out, in the spirit of “transparency and clarity” what Mr Miller discussed with them.




  31. Paul67,



    A remarkable effort to produce these numbers on behalf of Celtic and other clubs. We know the collateral damage Celtic have suffered trying to keep pace with the tax evaders and today we see the financial impact. Other clubs were driven to financial armegeddon by the tax evaders and today their chairman will see the financial impact. However it is not a true measure as clubs like Aberdeen, Hearts, Kilmarknock can never recover unless they go through administration like rangers and motherwell.



    Regarding Neil Doncaster , he should be sacked for his lack of leadership. In this world where fiscal discipline is the watchword and in the football world Platini is pushing the same agenda, the SPL has a Chief Executive who is oblivious to greatest financial larcenry in the history of the sport. He is not a fit and proper person to be in this role. If he fails to secure the tv deal and a league sponsor he will almost certainly be dismissed for gross incompetence. One way or the other the sooner he is replaced , the better for Scottish football.



    I would hope that Celtic , with Eric Riley on the spl board , and the support of other clubs start the process of dismissal and an executive search for his replacement. No matter what happens with the newco, Doncaster is burnt.

  32. lochgoilhead bhoy on

    …and this doesn’t take into account the losses incurred by many European clubs.

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