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. West Wales Celt on

    The moral wrong rests in the action of cheating and punishment should rest on an appraisal of that action. We might fairly argue for recompense for victims of the action but I’m not sure of the value of attempting to empiricise the fiscal extent of what are subjective losses (perhaps apart from their dramatic effect)…

  2. Paul a momentous piece of work. Let’s forget about opinions. The fans of every club in the SPL thould adress their chairman,”Let’s look at the bottom line here. If our club had this money at this time what difference would it make to us?”


    Then they might reflect and ask if this had not happened where might the club be today.


    I don’t think there will be a queue of people to dispute your figures. Facts are facts.


    Well done!

  3. fergus slayed the blues on

    ra ra cults


    You seem to forget RFC cannot be relegated ,there would have been 10 yrs of rule bending and others falling on their sword to make sure ragers were at the top table .


    hail hail

  4. up_over_goal on




    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.



    Not at all.



    After the ’88 Olympics in which Ben Johnson cheated using steroids, the officials didn’t project where he may have finished if he hadn’t used them; they simply wiped his name from the record books for being a cheating b*****d. .



    Of course Rangers would have been competitive if they had been living within their means. That’s beside the point. It is reasonable to assume that, but for financial doping, Rangers would have finished lower than 2nd from time to time, as happened in the eighties.



    How would you feel if you were an Aberdeen or Dundee Utd fan, scanning across rows of empty seats in what was once a well-attended stadium, if you knew that the destiny of your club has been shaped by another club’s nefarious exploits? Don’t forget that double contracts are likely to have started at the beginning of Murray’s tenure, based on Hugh Adam’s interviews (although the SFL don’t want to investigate for the time being).



    Paul67 has left out out other factors that are harder to quantify, such as potential for increased fanbase as a result of higher placing/European qualification. Many of these clubs had their best players bought by Rangers for suspiciously low sums (ask B,R,T&H for more info) to languish on the bench.



    This article is the only one I have seen which attempts to quantify dispassionately what SPL clubs have lost as a result of one club not playing by the rules.

  5. fergus slayed the blues on

    RE that bottler Doncaster


    Saying that any sanction from the spl enquiry will be carried on to a new club is IMO just complete nonsense and he knows it .


    It looks to me as if he is going to make sure the result does not come out til after the big L and the cheats are welcomed back into the SPL .The cheats will then threaten to take the SPL to court and the SPL will back down .


    How does it take so long to check 75 players regs .Complete and utter disgrace


    hail hail

  6. skyisalandfill on

    Do the RAF know something that we don’thttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/9274307/RAF-rescue-helicopter-makes-unexpected-beach-landing-so-pilot-can-buy-ice-cream.html?

  7. Billy's Bhoy on



    I was at the Falkirk stadium today for a meeting. It is quite tidy but for the big gap at the opposite end of the main stand.



    I was told that they are not allowed to put a stand there because it is in the blast zone from Grangemouth. I don’t know if someone was just ripping the pish coz I wouldn’t have thought having a stand there would make any difference.



    In bowels there are a lot of pics of yesteryear with quite a few of The Bairns playing Us (most with Us winning of course).

  8. stpatricksbhoy on

    Paul 67,great article.


    Season ticket renewed roll on August.


    Nae signings yet !!!!!!!!.


    Hail Hail

  9. RaRaRasputin on 18 May, 2012 at 16:11 said:


    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.






    While I can see the point you are trying to make, I disagree with it.



    The fact is they were cheating for many seasons as they did not get relegated because SFA official with Rangers connections did nothing! Also if they did get say get caught in the 1st season of cheating, I think its probable they would at worse have been thrown out of Football totally or demoted to the then 2nd Division. Who knows how long it would have taken them, if at all to get back and then to become a force again?

  10. !!Bada Bing!! on

    fergus-I fear you are spot on mate,they will try and bury as much of this by not applying sanctions to Newclub

  11. Neil canamalar Lennon hunskelper extrordinaire on



    I think what your missing is that regardless of what if’s, Paul67 has come up with figures which have been swindled throughout this crime, and it is a criminal offence, no?


    Paul67 has provided numbers which will likely be offered in court, and that’s how courts deal with money made illegally, by projection, hence recovery of assets made by criminals, estimate criminal income during the crime and recover it.


    As for the gravity of this article, second only to his own dougie dougie stuff.

  12. Sandy has read CQN I take it…



    RANGERS legend Sandy Jardine


    appreciates the frustration and anger of


    supporters following the recent decision


    to uphold the year-long transfer ban


    imposed by the SFA judicial panel.


    However, Jardine – who is spokesman for the


    Rangers Fans Fighting Fund – is urging fans


    not to disrupt tomorrow’s Scottish Cup Final


    at Hampden.


    He told rangers.co.uk: “I totally understand


    the frustrations of our supporters but we are


    still in consultation with our QC and will take


    his advice before deciding on our next


    course of action.


    “With that in mind, I would urge all Rangers


    supporters not to protest at the decision


    made by the appellate tribunal earlier this


    week at Hampden tomorrow.”

  13. RaRaRasputin on




    Like your post. I’m with you on the sporting point. If found to have fielded ineligible players then Rangers should get the Ben Johnson treatment. I think the financial argument is weak though. There would obviously be an impact but it’s like chasing financial recompense for someone diving to win a penalty in a game.



    To draw upon your Ben Johnson analogy, Johnson set a 100m world record in 1987 using steroids. Between then and his eventual disqualification at the Olympics in 1988, Carl Lewis presumably missed out on sponsorship money as the world record holder. Johnson might have been taken out to a few nice dinners as the world record holder. He might have got to meet the Queen.



    The resultant impacts of sporting victories are difficult to quantify and I think we would be best served sticking to maing sure the sporting penalties for cheating are applied.

  14. So Green is bringing investors to ibrox a mot.like a time share rep. I wonder if they lock the doors until you sign.



    stupid huns…



    Green has so far been unwilling to


    divulge the identities of those planning


    to invest in the club.


    But he revealed on Friday afternoon


    that Indonesian businessman Jude Allen


    and Middle Eastern lawyer Mazen


    Houssami are involved in the bid, along


    with a Singapore family trust.


    Green said at the weekend that 20


    individuals and families have pledged


    support and he claimed on Friday that


    interest in joining the consortium he


    fronts is growing on a daily basis.


    He told RangersTV: “I can now provide


    two names, as I have clearance to do


    so on their part, of investors who are


    on the list.


    “One guy is Jude Allen, who is an


    Indonesian investor, and the second is a


    lawyer from the Middle East, Mazen




    “These two are very prominent in their




    “It’s a great opportunity for us to build


    on their experience, their connections in


    those regions, because we want to take


    the Rangers brand into these areas.


    “There are other names but, for today,


    they are two very prominent


    businessmen who are backing the


    football club.


    “And, in addition to these two previous


    names, there is also a Singapore family




    Green explained his reasons for


    protecting the anonymity of those


    involved in the takeover, despite fans’


    demands for transparency.


    He added: “The reluctance to reveal


    investors initially was because a lot of


    these investors are offshore trusts and


    individuals who didn’t want their name


    in the press and media because they,


    like everyone else in the world, have


    been watching the Rangers story unfold


    through the media since February, and


    indeed before that, and these people


    are not publicity seekers.


    “They want to invest in the football club


    for the right reasons.


    “The other problem is that we have got


    an extensive list of interested parties


    and that list is growing daily.


    “Since the announcement was made,


    we have had a number of people who


    were not in my original contact list and


    some of those are local people that we


    are speaking to.


    “We have visitors today at the club and


    we had visitors yesterday – all of whom


    are interested in becoming investors.


    “That’s great news for me because, first


    of all, it shows there is a belief that this


    club can be rescued.”


    An unconditional offer from Green’s


    consortium, worth £8.5million, was


    accepted by administrators Duff and


    Phelps at the weekend.


    The group’s plan is to put a Company


    Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) proposal


    to creditors this month with a target


    date of June 6 for it to be decided, in


    the hope that Rangers can exit


    administration before the start of next




    Green, who told fans’ representative


    last night that investors have already


    committed £20million, said: “We read


    articles that the forecasts for the club


    were misleading.


    “To be honest we have looked at these


    figures and we have made our own


    assumptions and we have made our


    own assessments and we believe we


    understand this club.


    “Perhaps egotistically we believe we


    have the ability to resolve these




    “We have viewed historical numbers as


    a guideline and we have to set our own




    “Unfortunately for us, we don’t know if


    the CVA will go through.


    “We don’t know if we can get the


    transfer embargo overturned and these


    two things do have a material impact


    on budget.


    “So we’ve approached this with


    complete flexibility and we have


    approached it on the basis that this not


    a one-year or two-year deal, this is a


    five-10 year plan.


    “So I have to balance which of the


    investors are going to be best for this


    football club.


    “I can assure fans that it is very easy to


    raise money, even in this financial


    market we are in, for an institution like




    “Raising the real best type of money


    that’s going to help us expand the club,


    develop the club in the Asian markets.”


    Green has already indicated his bid will


    be unaffected by sanctions imposed on


    the club by the Scottish Football


    Association’s judicial panel.


    Rangers lost an appeal against a


    £160,000 fine and 12-month transfer


    embargo on Wednesday, meaning they


    will be unable to sign players over the


    age of 17 for a year.


    Green said: “As an outsider looking in,


    as I have been, I felt that the original


    ruling was wrong but I felt it would have


    been difficult for them to over-turn it.


    “We have got to now see the written


    report from the judge and sit down with


    our legal advisors and see what the best


    step is for this football club.


    “If that remains in force, we understood


    that there was a likelihood when we


    made the purchase, then we will deal


    with it and we will work with Ally


    [McCoist] and his team to come out of


    it the best we can.


    “My understanding – and I’m going to sit


    down with Alistair next week when he


    comes back – is that a number of


    players reached agreements with the


    administrators to take reductions in


    salaries and vary their contracts.


    “The payment, shall we say, in agreeing


    those variations is that they would be


    allowed to leave at a lower price.


    “What I would expect, notwithstanding


    those agreements are in place, is that


    these players will have the opportunity


    to sit down with myself and the


    manager so that we can explain what


    the plans are for the club, what we plan


    to do over the next two or three years.


    “Alistair has done a fantastic job this


    season with a 10-point deduction. To


    my mind, if we can’t sign anyone but we


    can keep the existing players, why


    wouldn’t we win the league?


    “So we need the chance to speak with


    the players.


    “Of course the big problem in all of this


    is the agents. I think the players respect


    Ally, they love the club and they have


    enjoyed playing here.


    “I had the fortune – or misfortune as


    the case may be – of floating the biggest


    soccer agency in the world a few years


    ago so I understand the market and I


    understand the pressure that is put on


    players by their agents and it is difficult.


    “However it is a challenge we will have


    to face.


    “We are going to do whatever Ally


    wants to do. We are backing Ally and he


    knows that.


    “I have had a number of meetings with


    him now and he understands where we


    are coming from and he is very happy,


    in my view, with what he has seen and




    “It’s about building up trust. Whether it


    is the fan on the street or the manager


    of the club, everyone is suspicious of


    anyone who comes through these big


    front doors at Ibrox and I would be


    exactly the same.”

  15. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    Sandy Jardine’s feet are itchin’ itchin’ itchin’ to start marchin’ to get Ben Johnson re-instated.

  16. fergus slayed the blues on



    Am I correct in saying that by them admitting to the small tax case ,they should have already had titles stripped and results changed .


    I think the STC referred to D Boer and Flo ,they are holding off from doing what is right till it’s too late ,whilst lobbying for the cheats to be sneaked through the back door into the SPL .


    They should hang their heads in shame

  17. RaRaRasputin on




    “courts deal with money made illegally, by projection”



    That’s exactly what this article doesn’t do. The “money made illegally” is how much more Rangers earned by finishing further up the table than they would have otherwise. The projected losses of other clubs are irrelevant. I think what you propose would be a better analysis though.

  18. !!Bada Bing!! on

    fergus- Damage limitation for the establishment Newclub,you’re right,this should have been dealt with weeks ago.HH

  19. Glendalystonsils likes a mr whippy with his lime green jelly on

    Latest , er,brainwave, from the berrrrrrz………. Boycott the scotland team and show that there SFA how much they need us.


    Well I suppose it’ll save a lot of phone calls from R@ngers players calling off with “injuries”

  20. Glendalystonsils likes a mr whippy with his lime green jelly on

    And the latest “brainwave” from Ffud and Ffelps is to cancel the deal with Ticketus.


    Aye , they’ll probably not want their £27 million back.

  21. traditionalist88 on

    I went to see a legend just the other night


    At the Yankee Stadium, underneath the lights



    I heard a man speaking after years and years in jail


    His name it was Mandela and he came to tell his tale



    The crowd they cheered him loudly, ah, but then the silence fell


    As he spoke about the hard years in a South African cell



    And though he was free, his heart was feelin’ the pain,


    For his country and his people were still a part of that shame



    He said he hoped that we would join him and walk down freedom’s path,


    And these roads would be the hardest, oh, but they would be the last



    And to join our hands together so that we might be as one,


    And to bring ourselves to the cause so his battle could be won



    I went home to bed that evening, went to sleep and I had a dream


    I was standing in the pouring rain, in an Irish field of green



    And all around the headstones were the martyrs of the past


    I stood there in silence, and they spoke to me at last



    “Kevin Barry is my name, and I died in a cell


    They wanted the names of my comrades, oh, but this I would not tell”



    “And I am Roger Casement. I was shot in London town


    For bringing German rifles to the lonely Banna Strand”



    “James Connolly is my name. The working people are my life


    When they shot me down in Kilmainham Gaol with strife”



    “And I am Padraic Pearse. I was shot down by the foe


    I read the proclamation at the steps of the GPO”



    And the last voice that I heard says, “My name is Bobby Sands,


    And it’s good to hear Mandela’s words a-ringin’ through the land



    “I want to hear them in Belfast, in Derry and Tyrone


    Maybe then those English soldiers will know it’s time to go home”



    I woke up in the morning. I remembered them all


    And who would believe that they’d knocked down the Berlin Wall?



    And I said “Mandela, could this really be?


    Maybe now we will see Ireland reunited and free


    Maybe now we will see Ireland reunited and free.”

  22. West Wales Celt on

    The figures stuff is all speculative. You could just as easily argue that the losses should be calculated from the huns’ winnings during the period. Suspect that approach would be slightly less dramatic. Again though, its speculative because we cannot know what proportion of the earnings would have been won had cheating not occured. Better to focus on the act rather than try to quantify consequences. Scottish football was cheated. End of. Punish them for the crime…

  23. Neil canamalar Lennon hunskelper extrordinaire on



    Maybe I mean restrospection then, but with projected annual incomes, and if the criminal can identify no legal income, everything they have is recovered. most of thei legal income is off the back of success.


    Time to get on the big iron bird


    Hail hail



  24. fergus slayed the blues on



    At the end of all this it will be worth looking back at all the actions taken to ensure ragers stay in the SPL .


    I wish the bunnet was back in charge the wee man would take the lot of them to the cleaners .


    hail hail

  25. up_over_goal on




    OK. First of all, fielding inelgible players is not a trivial matter, and certainly isn’t akin to diving for a penalty! If you want to a comparison, try match-fixing, something the SFA alluded to in their report on missed PAYE and VAT payments.



    Suing Rangers for lost earnings will be out of the question if they are a NewCo. What SPL clubs will be able to do is kick the club that thieved and plundered for 20 years into the 3rd division by voting accordingly on May 30th. The chairmen who vote will have their clubs’ and the league’s best interests at heart. Therfore, articles such as this should be uppermost in their minds when they do so.



    As you say at the end of your post, the SPL must make sure the appropriate penalties are applied – all the more reason to publish something like this. It’s not about crying over spilt milk, as you seemed to imply earlier. It is about giving SPL clubs a figure in £££s that attempts to illustrate the devastation this rogue club has wreaked, and why voting them back into the SPL would send out the worst possible message to their fans.

  26. Sheff Utd figures for lost earning after being relegated to the Championship due to West Ham fielding ineligible players (Tevez and Mascherano) was also speculative. That factor proved no obstacle to a £20m out of court settlement.

  27. CultsBhoy loves being 1st forever & ever on 18 May, 2012 at 15:58 said:


    ”Re Ticketus


    The courts have prohibited this previously”




    That’s not quite correct. The court declined to give a direction on the basis that it had insufficient information to make the order sought by D&P.

  28. fergus slayed the blues on

    Bet JJB sports are over the moon with Greens latest revelation ,has anyone told Green ragers don’t own the jerseys if they get a CVA .


    Then again new club will .


    hail hail