Is Another Ibrox Club Heading For “Death By Early Euro Knockout”?

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Today The Daily Record helpfully put together a wee bit of information I was looking for earlier in the week, before events side-tracked me and got me onto other things. They have laid out what the Scottish clubs competing in the Europa League can expect if they can pull off the miracle of the ages and actually qualify for the Groups in that tournament.

I’ve speculated about how Sevco intends to save itself from the financial consequences of the decisions they’ve taken in this window; those consequences will be severe should this gamble go wrong, and in spite of a lot of media big talk there’s nothing particularly exceptional about any of the signings they’ve been able to make thus far. The manager remains a deluded nutjob who gave his players just a fortnight off for pre-season.

They are in deadly peril, and it’s made worse by a support that is swept along in typical pre-season euphoria and optimism for which there is no rational grounding whatsoever. They have no idea whether these guys can play or not; they’re relying on reports in the same newspapers which told them Whyte was a billionaire and that Warburton was a tactical genius. They thought Caixinha was too, and the 5-1 hiding at home has not dissuaded them of that view.

There is something in the psyche of the Peepul that leaves them shocking unprepared for calamity. And calamity is exactly what’s coming for them if this great gamble goes wrong. With only Joe Garner leaving the club for a transfer fee – forget this £1 million nonsense the media is pushing; Sevco will have been lucky to get half that – an entire squad of misfits and pretenders remains on the books. Guys like Forrest and O’Halloran aren’t for shifting.

These guys will be sucking up money for the whole of the campaign … and if Caixinha turns out to be the disaster that performances last season hinted at, any new manager will have to make do with what’s at the club.

If Pedro has signed dreck, then the club will live, and die, by what happened this summer.

The margins are so fine, I don’t know how they’ll survive if it goes wrong.

The prize money on offer should Sevco make it to the Fourth Round, one short of the Groups, will be less than a paltry £1 million in total.

Will they fill Ibrox for those games? Who knows, but the level of opposition in the first of them will not be the sort full houses are made of. But let’s say they do. Sell tickets at £20 a pop and filling the ground nets you £1 million per game. Even with “volunteer” stewards – i.e. unpaid ones, a violation of UEFA regulations on health and safety, by the way, but who in the SFA cares about those, even with Grenfell still smouldering, right? – the costs of putting one of those games on are pretty extensive. I wonder if a club could even make £500,000 from it.

Certainly, the financial prize will be no greater than some of the cup ties they hosted last year, and we know they will post losses in spite of incredibly generous draws.

Nevertheless, imagine the £500,000 figure.

That would bring the total take to near enough £3 million, even accounting for a fourth round exit.

Decent money, by anybody’s standards. But not serious money. Not game-changing money.

Factor in player bonuses and those for the management team and I wonder if they’d see half of it. Getting to those Groups is vital. Three more home games. Nearly £2.6 million in bonus money just for appearing. And £120,000 per point.

That’s not game-changing money either; let me put it this way, if you subtract all of our earnings apart from season ticket income the ten thousand extra seats at Celtic Park allow for us to earn around £5,000,000 more than they can every single year … and that cash, alone, beats the prize money “advantage” they get from reaching those groups.

Yet without that cash I think they’re done for.

This is what the grand gamble is all about; they are trying to fund a spending spree with European football income; yes, it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the vast riches we’ll get if we make the Champions League groups, but at their level you take what you can get. That money would bootstrap Aberdeen’s full season. It would be miracle cash for a club like St Johnstone. For Sevco it will just about pay the bills.

Their fans have yet to grasp the seriousness of not getting it.

They better pray for easy draws.

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