The news has finally been admitted, Sevco will not be eligible to qualify for European football because of Financial Fair Play.
Even this dim hope that there’s an avenue due to a “special dispensation” doesn’t look as if it will help, as James will explore in detail later.
STV and The Record’s assertion that they will “probably be granted a licence” sounds lacklustre and weak.
It is time that everyone connected to this shambles – and I include the media in that – accepted what must happen. This club must get its house in order and learn to live within its means, no matter what that means to the notion of “catching Celtic.”
It will take years. It will require pain, but pain is their future whether they like it or not.
For too long everyone at this club has wanted, demanded and expected a quick fix and help from as many people as possible.
It is not going to happen.
When we went through our own difficulties Fergus McCannn implemented a financial strategy, which has been continued by Dermot Desmond. These guys were building for the future. There’s a famous story about Tommy Burns looking for £1m for a striker and Fergus telling him he could turn that £1m into £1m a year from a restaurant.
It took years before we could spend seriously on players.
It took us 4 years to win the title after the issues the old board left behind, and it has taken us 22 years to get to where we are now.
Their club won’t survive the next 22 years.
Sevco and their fans seem to think they can do what we have gone to great lengths – and suffered – in 5 years or less, and a time when trying to do it is even more complicated than it was before, due to the financial fair play rules.
Sevco seem to think they are above these rules.
This is their old arrogance again; “We shouldn’t have to play by the rules”.
It is time they faced that they are where they are through their own fault, and no-one elses.
Last night it was Hearts who dismantled them, Hearts who came to as honourable an agreement with their creditors as they could and who did everything right in the last two years, from building a young team to refusing to over-extend. Their parsimony has probably cost them their manager, but they are sitting today in second spot in the SPL … proof that you don’t need to sign 20 odd players and have the second highest wage in the country to do well.
Sevco doesn’t think that way; to them, there’s no glory in doing it right.
Their obsession is with catching us.
And because of that, and that arrogance, they’ve never kissed and made up with Scottish football. No-one has ever given a genuine apology for the things that happened at Rangers; indeed, they don’t even accept criticism. Instead they deflect it; it’s always everyone else’s fault, never about themselves.
It is going to get harder, who wants to sign for a club that cannot play in europe? This reduces the market in which they operate and even in the larger market their manager’s choices hasn’t been great.
Even the inevitable push that the media and the SFA will make to get UEFA to allow them in will now be questioned by others.
Aberdeen and Hearts will be looking at this as will any other team who finishes around the European qualification places.
All this assumes, of course, that they do finish in a European place … on the strength of last night you wouldn’t bet on it.
The pain is only starting.
That’s all their future is.
David Campbell is a Celtic fan from Glasgow. He’s enjoying the Ibrox side-show.