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. Diear Ticketus,



    Remember how we took more than £20,000,000 from you and in return agreed to give you the proceeds from future season tickets?



    Well, I don’t know if you’ve heard, but we’ve got a lot of bills to pay. So we’ve decided just to rip up that contract and not let you have any money back.



    Sorry about that, it’s difficult times for all of us right now.







  2. Neil Lennon has admitted that threats against his safety led him to think about giving it all up.



    The Celtic manager spoke about his difficult year in an interview with Real Radio’s phone-in host Peter Martin, which will be aired on Monday evening.



    Lennon was at the centre of a high-profile court case earlier this year that led to two men, Trevor Muirhead and Neil McKenzie, being jailed for five years for conspiring to assault him by sending parcel bombs to Celtic Park and the club’s training ground in Lennoxtown, East Dunbartonshire.



    During the trial Lennon told the court he was left “very disturbed” after learning he was a target, along with other prominent fans of the club.



    Lennon’s close friend Paul McBride QC, who was also a target, died suddenly while on a trip to Pakistan in March, days before he was to give evidence at the trial.



    The Celtic manager and former player, who was a pall bearer at Mr McBride’s funeral in Glasgow, said losing his friend coupled with the stress of the court case made for a “tough spell”.



    He said: “I had a real difficult time when Paul McBride passed away. And there was a spell where, on the Monday it was Paul’s funeral and then on the Tuesday I had to go and give evidence in the court case and that was a real tough, tough spell. At times you think: is it worth it? You know, all these things that happen to you.”



    When asked by Mr Martin if he had any moments when he thought about “chucking it all in”, Lennon replied: “Yeah. I mean at the end of the day, your personal safety is in jeopardy or you feel it’s in jeopardy.



    “I was always well briefed by the police and the intelligence officers, so that gave me a lot of comfort through those times but you’re just thinking: is it worth living here?



    “You know, I love Glasgow. I love the environment. It’s been my home for a long, long time. But there is an element to it that lets the city down, you know, lets the country down and the sooner we can eradicate that … but it’s got to come from the home.



    “It’s got to come from the families and it’s all right pointing the finger at schools and this, that and the other, [but] you know as parents we have a responsibility to bring your kids up in the right way.”

  3. sparkleghirl on 18 May, 2012 at 12:52 said:


    ”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?”



    You will recall that back in March they had asked the Court of Session to rule that they could, within their powers as Administrators, terminate the contract. The Court refused to give such a ruling at the time.



  4. I can officially reveal that any deal I have with the National bank of Australia has been revoked


    I now owe no money for my mortgage :))). See easy isn’t it


    Hope the NAB don’t read this



    Ps WDH. Mmm. Na

  5. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    Just tear up the paperwork on the ticketus deal its just another 25 million the bears wont be paying back.They have no intention what so ever to try to give a fair deal to there creditors however, they are going to be imo involved in court cases for many years to come.Any Newco must be made to apply to join the Scottish league with other clubs who wish to join and the succesfull club must start in the bottom league.The football authorities must stop pandering to the huns and do there job of running Scottish football for the good of all clubs not just one.H.H.

  6. the missing millions on

    Surely the SPL must listen and act? Perhaps they can meet with a representative of CQN in person? They sat and discussed intimate details of member clubs with Bill Miller’s reps who were not officially connected to any member club so a precedent is set. In fact CQN has more right than most to a seat at the table given the support its subsrcibers give to the SPL.

  7. Jamie Vardy signs for Leicester City from Fleetwood Town to become the first non-league £1m player.

  8. charlie green telling rangers supporters ,he hopes to freeze season tickets,is he the owner of rangers or what.another chancer ,

  9. Paul 67


    It would appear from his comments that NL wants the games against them to continue but they should be punished , I dont find this acceptable or possible.


    I want them thrown out the directors and owners prosecuted in the criminal courts if there is evidence, trophies wiped from the record books and financial recompense made to all the clubs by the SFA.


    I hope this is Neil’s own view and not the boards

  10. timbhoy2 on 18 May, 2012 at 14:12 said:



    “charlie green telling rangers supporters ,he hopes to freeze season tickets,…”



    Maybe he’s a refridgeration magnet …

  11. Timbhoy2



    That gives him a get for not cutting the prices if they are in Divison 3, he can say we told you they weren’t changing no matter what!!! I Obviously when he raises the price, he will say its unavoidable if the club is to survive.



    A win win for him!

  12. Celtic_First on

    ernie lynch at 12:54:


    There’s a counter argument …



    Rangers may well have won their titles with eligible players, but they chose not to field only eligible players, therefore this merits no consideration.



    If at the end of each of the seasons in question the Scottish football authorities had been doing their job, Rangers’s rewards would have gone to others. The Scottish football authorities knew because Rangers and former Rangers directors have consistently held high-ranking positions at the SFA and SPL.

  13. RobinBhoy on 18 May, 2012 at 14:03 said:


    Who broke the blog?





    : (

  14. Paul, sent those figures to a St. Mirren supporting buddy of mine (see what I did there). Now, up until now he’s been pretty much ambivalent about the whole sordid mess.



    Different story now. He’s gone Tonto! I would post his response but I respect your language rules. Effectively wants them obliterated now!



    These figures are mindset changers. Get them out there fholks.

  15. I'm Neil Lennon (tamrabam) on

    Something like 97% of fans in Scotland have said no to newco, and I too have watched in disbelief as the likes of Neil Doncaster and Michael Johnston have openly campaigned in favour the shameful proposal to re allow the newco into the SPL. I expect that kind of behaviour from the red tops not the top execs in the game.


    However they both maybe key parts of a process that will allow a newco in the SPL. It is up to us to ensure that if they do, these clubs pay the price of joining the cheats charter with empty stadiums every time we visit.


    The wonderful thing about this is that it’s not just Celtic fans who oppose the newco, it is 97% of Scotlands fans who oppose it. The self preservation society, that is the SPL upper echelons, is in danger of putting many of its members “out of business”


    If the likes of Killie think they will go out of business with the loss of 7,000 visiting huns fans in a season, then maybe Killie are too stretched and should also learn to live within their means too. Maybe we will help them get there.

  16. I can’t see how the potential loses for Hearts can be acctuated at greater than ours.



    I’ve looked at the tables that support your post Paul and even with the caveat of 20 percent I think the loading is very kind to Hearts.



    Relative to Hearts potential projected losses…



    In 2001/2 Fenerbahçe put Rangers out in the 3Q, we came third in a group which Juventus won, Porto second and Rosenborg propped us up.



    In 2002/3 Basel put us out in the 3Q. Rangers were in the UEFA Cup.



    In 2003/4 we beat FBK Kaunas in the 2Q and MTK Hungária in the 3Q. Rangers beat Copenhagen in the 3Q.



    We came third in our group with Lyon and B. Munich above us and Anderlecht below.



    Rangers came bottom of their group to Man. U. , Stuggart and Panathinaikos.



    In 2008 Kaunas put out Rangers in the 2Q, Aalborg BK put out Kaunas in the 3Q, and we came bottom of our group propping up Aalborg BK.



    In 2010 Braga put us out in the 3rd Q round before going on to beat Seville in the play-offs for the group stages. They then went on to take nine points in a group where Arsenal came second to Shakhtar Donetsk.




    Would Hearts have performed better than Rangers?



    History has Hibs, Aberdeen and Dundee Utd. much more succesful in Europe than Hearts.

  17. Celtic_First on 18 May, 2012 at 14:25 said:



    ”Rangers may well have won their titles with eligible players, but they chose not to field only eligible players, therefore this merits no consideration.”




    With respect, I don’t think you’ve properly understood the point I was making.

  18. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Would not be surprised if Hampden’s 6 th floor broke the blog…..dynamite P67.

  19. Paul



    Another excellent article.



    These figures show that, in all likelihood, throughout the SPL’s existence Rangers has cheated the other clubs of more money than it and its fans can be credited with having brought in to the SPL through sponsorship, TV deals and away fan revenue.



    Meanwhile, the (New) Club’s business plan, from the comments of owner presumptive Charles Green, seems to be based on annual involvement in the Champions League, SPL access to which will likely be restricted to just the league winners from next season.



    Would an unrepentant New Club, ushered into the SPL with minimal sanction, be a clean new football team living within its means or a cheating parasite, taking every opportunity to bend the rules and intimidate the governing bodies and their officials to ensure Champions League income?

  20. harryhoodsdugbitme on

    Brilliant P67. btw strong rumours murray has an injuction against the beeb stopping the programme being aired! ‘walls come tumbiling down’ CSC HH.

  21. If there is anyone under the age of 25, what you are witnessing in Paul67’s article is known as investigative journalism.



    Sadly it has largely died out in Scotland but like the dodo, dinosaurs and an Ally McCoist diet sheet, you may have heard it mentioned by your elders.



    It’s good stuff innit…

  22. Gene's a Bhoys name on



    The problem is that you can’t really predict what would have happened – for instance Hearts get some CL money in season 1 which means they could improve the side for year 2 and so on.



    Result extrapolation is so 2003

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