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. Sorry was that gobsmacked at the figures I forgot to congratulate you; brilliant article and alot of hard work. What will Romanov do now I wonder? Would Motherwell have entered administration with £2-4m+ , if all the other teams fans got wind of this imagine the pressure on the the vote then, a potential bombshell methinks.

  2. Paul67


    This is another example of SDM using other people’s money to fund Rangers.

  3. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon..!!..Truth and Justice will always prevail on


  4. RalphWaldoEllison-is Neil Lennon Season 2011-12 on

    Don’t forget now..


    Scottish Football can’t survive without RFCIA.

  5. Just sitting thinking what if the payments via EBT’s were not just to their players and directors, you know to refs journos, maybe just my fertile imagination.

  6. Auld Neil Lennon heid on



    You wonder how football can judge who is fit and proper when those in a position to judge fail the same judgement.


    Doncaster’s arguments are shallow and his strategy of trying to minimise Ranger’s crimes by isolating one from the other is pretty clear. You do our game a service by joining the dots and pulling the strands together.


    Another strand is Ranger’s decision in 2007/08 to spend transfer income received of £19m plus another £10m on players rather than make provision to pay the EBT tax bill.


    When you look at the joined up picture it is one of systemic cheating where the idea that refs were nobbled stops being paranoia and becomes part of the pattern of behaviour.

  7. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    I know he’s not everyone’s cup of tea but he is an ole stalwart of the bhlog, so how is ole Kojo doin’?


    I understand he’s not been well.


    He would enjoy the latest revelations.

  8. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon..!!..Truth and Justice will always prevail on

    ….and they want to retain THIS history ……would you..??

  9. Kit….you sound surprised….


    the future is bight….its green and white!!


    hail hail my friend



  10. Auld Neil Lennon heid on 18 May, 2012 at 15:41 said:



    The phrase “will stop at nothing” comes to mind, it’s a logical conclusion to knobble everyone in sight, think of Michael in the Godfather!!

  11. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon..!!..Truth and Justice will always prevail on

    Dontbrattbakkinanger on 18 May, 2012 at 15:42 said:



    He would indeed like it a loater…..

  12. Paul



    A truly amazing piece of work. This is what we should have been reading on the front pages of newspapers over the past couple of months but lets be honest they havn’t got the balls to print it. I have to agree with some of the earlier posters on jete today and say that this is the finest article you have written and there have many!




  13. dessybhoy on 18 May, 2012 at 15:40 said:



    Just sitting thinking what if the payments via EBT’s were not just to their players and directors, you know to refs journos, maybe just my fertile imagination.




    Can you imagine what Paul 67 will be like when he get a big shovel ? :)))


    Hail Hail

  14. Just re-read the article Paul, a magnificent effort, there’s so much in there I need to read it again..



    I am really hoping that next week brings some inroads into the crime and punishment of the gangster fitbaw team..

  15. RalphWaldoEllison-is Neil Lennon Season 2011-12 on

    Mr K


    Hope yer gettin well, still laughin and listening to Collie.




  16. RaRaRasputin on

    Nice analysis Paul, but I fear it makes the wrong point.



    In effect, you’re demonstrating how much money would have been gained by the other clubs had Rangers lost every game over the period 3-0. The more pertinent point is how much money would have been gained by other clubs had Rangers not made illegal off-book payments to players. Obviously this is more speculative as we don’t know which games they would have won or lost, but would present a more true assessment of the impact of their untoward financial practices.

  17. Ramie,



    Not surprised, I have seen what has gone on but if you go to court charged with stealing a thousand pounds ten times when you only stole one pound ten thousand times….

  18. Have to agree with Rararasputin on this. Seems a bit of a nonsense to claim that the clubs have lost out on all this money that they would have potentially gained had Rangers lost every match 3-0 for the past 10 years.

  19. CultsBhoy loves being 1st forever & ever on

    Two Questions



    If a Hun buys a season ticket and the club subsequently goes NEWCO is that season ticket valid? If not nobody is buying I suspect.



    Re Ticketus


    The courts have prohibited this previously but even if the contract isn’t terminated the effect is the same – Ticketus are creditors in a line…unless they go after C Whyte? In which case C Whyte punts Ibrox to pay for it?



    I think this could go on a very long time – CVA or NEWCO…?

  20. It don’t think Paul is speculating how much money the other teams MAY have won if Rangers had been operating legally.



    He is saying, when the ruling comes out and Rangers are shown to have lost every game 3-0 then the figures quoted are valid.



    Anyway, had Rangers been found out in the very first season they operated dual contracts and all scores were set a 0-3, they would have been relegated.



    So I think the principle is sound.

  21. Kev jungle


    I wonder who will stop digging and when, cant see P67 giving up anytime soon thankfully

  22. lochgoilhead bhoy on

    SuperSutton on 18 May, 2012 at 15:59 said:



    I agree with you. This is what it is about.

  23. RalphWaldoEllison-is Neil Lennon Season 2011-12 on

    On CQN, we are a very broad church, and thank goodness for that.

  24. johann murdoch on

    Great piece of work Paul,quite astounding really.



    Now that you know , that we know, Mr Doncaster..over to you

  25. CultsBhoy loves being 1st forever & ever on




    I made this point earlier – getting excited by the figures mentioned in P67 post is niave – but it proves the concept if you like and establishes the principle. We should stick to principle when engaging ‘outsiders’ on this as it reduces our exposure to challenge around (largely irrellevent) detail…

  26. tomthelennytim on

    Gordon_J backing Neil Lennon on 18 May, 2012 at 15:47 said:


    A bloke on RTC thinks Mazen is the brother of the rather defiant Ewen Houssami.

  27. Well done Paul, another salvo and one methinks that’ll destroy whatever is left of the defences erected by Rangers and their allies.



    I don’t think the timing of this article was left to chance, it’s too powerful and now I’ll just sit back and wait for the fireworks, jelly and ice cream at the ready.



    Thanks Paul.

  28. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    Surely if you buy a season for Rangers and then they go into Liquidation you have lost your money if a newco are formed they cannot get any monies over the creditrs from old Rangers as they are two seperate individual clubs.Now that is if the rules are followed but I have said previously normal rules will not be followed as we are talking about the peepil.H.H.

  29. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    ole Sandy Jardine’s feet are itchin’, itchin’,itchin’ to start a march down the ole information super highway

  30. Paul 67


    Excellent work best since Dallasgate!



    As we live in a more transparent world ( even in Scotland) , I am expecting Dignity to get filleted with this info. Doncaster will change tack when the mood music changes. However, he is playing a dangerous game and if he hacks off the SFA too much then it will lead to either him getting the push or the SPL being wound up by the SFA, or indeed both.



    If the rumours are true then the only disreputable aspect that the Shame ( new name for Dignity) have yet to be accused off are :match fixing with refs and opposition mgrs & players.



    This last aspect would take a considerable amount of cash to buy the story but hey would be worth it.



    A progress update from Doncaster on the Harper MacLeod work is required now, it may need to be delivered with a hard hat on from a deep bunker, but if you take the coin you need to provide leadership , that time is virtually past. It will be humiliating for the football authorities if they are again in the position of reacting to a BBC documentary.




  31. talking about a broad cgurch


    I was in St Patricks anderson today and noticed the bhoys guilde strip in season 1951/52 was non other than white sttrip with the shamrock…

  32. RaRaRasputin on

    SuperSutton, Cultsbhoy,



    I partly agree, but if trying to establish the principle, it should be as conservative as conservative can be, and I don’t feel this analysis is particularly conservative. To address the direct point made, if Rangers lost every game in the period 3-0 then they would have been relegated in the first season and would therefore not have influenced any SPL matches thereafter.

  33. any Falkirk area bhoys about tomorrow..


    my nephew playing in cup final at the tulloch stadium 2pm ko…


    1998’s Celtic bhoys….

  34. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Kittoch-Yes,NT and I have put together a Charity Quiz(but don’t like to talk about it mate)in the bar 7.30-7.45 ish

  35. CultsBhoy loves being 1st forever & ever on




    good point – which is why the detail is a red herring to a degree – but the broad principle holds – they cheated clubs out of income directly and oppprtunity of income indirectly – I feel it is very difficult to quantify exactly how much without being highly speculative given your shrewd observation re relegation in first season….

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