“So, you’ve decided on a killing. First you make a stone of your heart. And if you find that your hands are still willing, then you can make a murder into art.”
So started one of my favourite songs ever, by The Police.
It’s called Murder By Numbers.
It’s the first thing I thought of when I read King, last night, conjure magic figures out of the air to deduct that Celtic had only won two titles in a row. His logic is that of a guy who’s been riding the rock. There’s little point trying to make any sense of it.
I’ve covered it in a major blog for Fields which will be up shortly, but that’s a weighty piece.
Here I want to do a quick demolition job.
He is barking. But let’s try to deal with him on the level for a moment. Let’s take every other club out of the equation, the way this egocentric halfwit has. Where do we stand?
Let’s do this first; King is always making these bombastic claims about “Rangers” being bigger than we are.
It’s cobblers. It doesn’t add up.
I’ve done the financial returns article three times for this site alone, and twice for Fields and every time the numbers come out the same, because numbers don’t lie.
They are solid.
King of course is always playing fast and loose with them. It’s no surprise to see that he can diddle the figures here and turn six into two … the trouble is, it’s even more blatant, and fraudulent than the crooked tax returns that almost sent him to jail.
This is an odd trait at Ibrox, it seems to me.
His manager obviously caught his brand of madness, and he tried it on with his “I created a min-league when I took over and we’ve done well in it …” garbage.
Yeah, that worked out so well that they couldn’t even finish in the top two there anymore than they did in the real world.
So, strip this down to a two team league, like King wants.
Let’s see if his grasp of reality holds up.
It doesn’t take you long to realise how flimsy it is, like anything else that pops out of this eejits stupid, ignorant mouth these days.
Furthermore, let’s equate his toxic NewCo with Rangers; let’s assume that we live completely in his delusion and they are one in the same thing.
Last season, we played them 4 times in the league, with three wins and a draw.
Points wise, no contest. Ten to one. The title went to Celtic. Sevco were relegated.
In Lennon’s title winning season, we played them four times and won twice and lost twice. The wins, we secured by 3-0 and 1-0. The defeats we suffered were by 4-2 and 3-2. Their seven goals weren’t enough to take the title that was duly ours; we scored eight. Victory by acclaim and by goal difference. So there you have that. Two in a row.
But the season before that, when the Ibrox club won the title, we’re just going to ignore that, as King has ignored every other club this time around.
Because only two teams matter; them and us.
Hey, if he’s allowed to just make shit up, then I’m doing exactly the same.
And what do you know?
When you add up the points totals, we win again, courtesy of a 0-0 draw, a 3-0 win and a 2-0 win overcoming their 3-1 win at Parkhead in October 2010.
Three in a row.
So King’s argument is in the toilet.
Although there would have been no four in a row (they got two wins and a draw whilst Mowbray was in the manager’s chair, whereas we got one win from Lenny’s team), it wouldn’t have mattered anyway because courtesy of their failure to win the 2010-11 title, based on what we know now, their team would have missed out on the Champions League and would have circled the drain and been gone a whole year before they finally collapsed.
And the world would never have heard of Craig Whyte.
See, this fantasy stuff cuts both ways. As I said in a piece once, people who believe in fairytales should always be frightened of dragons. If you can invent a world outside of reality then great. I’ve been polishing my creative skills for years and I’m game for it.
Here’s an example; had we lived in King’s reality, Rangers would never have done nine in a row.
Tommy would have stopped them dead in 1994-95 with two wins and a draw in the league.
So let the history books be re-written, and stop your pish about “going for 55”.
Even if you were Rangers, you’re clearly nowhere near it.
This guy … I don’t know.
But I’ve got to hand it to him, his does have a sweet PR operation going at the minute.
And again, it manifests itself in Murder By Numbers.
Reports suggest that Sevco could make “up to £5 million” from their new “improved” merchandising deal. That’s pretty good going … if indeed it proves accurate. But of course, it’s the high end of the scale. And how did they get there?
Easy. They based those numbers on Celtic’s figures.
Yes, they actually took what Celtic made in the last full set of accounts – £4.6 million from a total take of £12.4 million or thereabouts – and used that as their baseline. And as you’ll have gathered, not content with doing that they rounded it up.
But King and Sevco won’t get Celtic’s numbers, not even close to them, partly because their last couple of seasons have been such an utter shambles and they’ll be lucky to get any kind of manufacturing contract at all …
And partly it’s because King himself thought it wise to leak some of the details of this contract, which let us do some extrapolations and actually take a stab at the likely figures.
I used Man Utd’s Ibrahimovi? shirt-sales as my template because there was ample available information on those deals. 500,000 of them were sold.
Manchester United’s take from that, after the merchandisers took 85% – the industry average, bear in mind – was £5.6 million.
First, those numbers are ridiculous. Sevco won’t sell 500,000 shirts and Manchester United’s take is based on a sales price of £75. If King starts charging that, I swear I will laugh myself to a double hernia, and even more so if the Peepul go out and buy them.
Yet even if Sevco gets that, they will have to give Ashley a percentage of anything sold in the Sevco store or on their website – recently transferred back to the control of Sports Direct, not that you read that in the papers or anywhere else – in a deal where King describes his club’s take as “substantially more” than what the SD take will be.
Say it’s 70-30 in their favour … then they have to pay half of what’s sold in Sports Direct’s own outlets … so split the difference.
Half their shirt sales go through their own website (or is it?) and their superstore and the other half go through Sports Direct … total?
Around £3 million. Minus costs. Which Ashley calculates.
Let’s try to put a value on those costs. Be generous to Sevco and hope Ashley is too. That’s £500,000 that won’t be available to pay off Pedro when they fire him.
Total take, £2.5 million … if they are lucky.
In 2011 – and this is easily verified – Rangers received a £3 million payment from JJB, under the terms of that particular contract. The accounts also referenced an amortised payment as part of the original terms of the deal, thought to be worth another £1 million.
That was a merchandising deal on terms that were extremely generous to them, with top flight football, including Champions League games. That was a club operating at its peak, selling a home top, an away top, a third kid and all the assorted training tat that went along with it. It’s not £5 million. It is less than what Celtic posted last year.
And Sevco won’t get near that kind of money, especially not when they have to split it with Ashley. That’s the part the press doesn’t like to talk about.
Here’s the other part, and this is where he’s really floundering.
From 2000-2005, Celtic’s earnings outstripped those of Rangers by an average of £8 million per year, every single year. That’s a hard number, backed by weight of evidence, impossible to ignore. And that was before we were operating at full capacity.
From 2006-2010, Celtic’s average earnings were higher than those of Rangers by an average of £15 million, every single year. That, too, is backed up by evidence.
The ten year average is £11 million, in our favour.
And Sevco will not come close to earning Rangers’ kind of money for years, and as they struggle to get there we’ll be moving ever onward, even further ahead.
Sevco’s turnover, in their last published accounts, was £22 million. Rangers’ average for the ten year period 2000-2010 was £51 million. Even with European football, that number is going to be virtually impossible for Sevco to get near in the next decade.
Celtic’s average for the same period ten year period was £63 million.
In the last published full year accounts, those for 2015-16, our turnover was £52 million, in a bad year, when we failed to make the Champions League.
I can’t conceive of circumstances under which our turnover will fall below £50 million, barring a calamity, at any point in the foreseeable future. We haven’t done that since 2001, when we posted £42 million to Rangers’ £47 million.
And all this is to say nothing for the statistics for the season just past. We don’t know how those shake out, what’s in the profit and loss columns (profit for us, losses for them) but we can look at the hard numbers in football terms to see where the power lies.
Trophies? Three to one in our favour. A gap in the league between the clubs of 39 points, or if you’re playing “only games against each other count” it’s 9 points. In four games. Throw in the cup ties, pretend they are league matches … out of sight baby. A fifteen point gap in six matches. Want the stats on goals? We’re 69 ahead in the actual league. Head to heads, in the SPL? Eight in front. Add the cup games? Make that eleven.
How big does this guy think the gap should be? Was last season’s pain not hard enough on their fans? What do they think listening to this delusional basket case talking this tripe? Nothing good, I’m betting. Nothing good at all.
All of this is to say that for a guy with an accounting degree he has a very poor grasp on his facts and figures. Demolishing them is as simple as blinking.
It’s Murder By Numbers, 123.
It’s as easy to learn as your ABC.
But, as you’ll have seen in the papers this week, it’s too much for the hacks to wrap their arms around.
Funny that, isn’t it?