David Low has been in and around Scottish football for decades.
He’s a guy who has real heft.
He is a guy people listen to, if they are sensible. One of the most sensible, successful, and pragmatic men in the history of the game here – Fergus McCann – trusted him and relied on his advice. That’s as ringing an endorsement of his credentials as you can get.
And today he sent a very dark message to Sevco and it’s one that will be familiar to readers of this blog and others; chasing Celtic is going to kill them.
“(They) have failed to make a profit since they imploded six years ago,” he said. “Never mind the football side of this, as a financial guy looking at their accounts, their business model makes no sense. Spending more than you earn year after year…how do they get their money back? Their cash is due to run out again early in the New Year … yet Steven Gerrard is talking about signing more players in January.”
Yesterday, when I wrote about the Sevco accounts, I mentioned the complete lack of reason in this apparent belief that there is a magical money tree at Ibrox somewhere … Low knows how dangerous that kind of thinking is, and he heard from Fergus’ own lips how our former chairman viewed taking those kind of existential risks with the club.
This site has been fulsome in its praise for Fergus and what he did, and in particular the courage it took to put in place a business plan that was dispassionate and paid no heed to clarion voices in the stands calling for big spending at a time when there was an entire club to rebuild. Low confirms that Fergus was not interested in Rangers hitting eight, nine or even ten in a row … he wanted to lay the foundations that would ensure our success far beyond the horizon.
Fergus was a genius, but he also had a big set of brass ones.
“When Fergus took over at Celtic, a lot of fans didn’t like how he dealt with Rangers being on top,” Low said. “They wanted us to go into the red to strengthen the squad but he refused to do that. He told me: ’I can’t get hung upon this nine-in-a-row thing. We have a stadium to build and a long-term plan we need to stick to. This club is going to be around for the next 100 years and I’m not going to put that at risk just to stop Rangers reaching 10.’”
There speaks a man who cared more than many give him credit for.
And Low reckons that without similar thinking at Ibrox, Sevco is pretty much dead and buried already. Low pointed to Celtic’s record smashing turnover … and the fact we spend double on wages than the Ibrox club actually makes in turnover … an advantage he says is “unassailable.”
“The fact is that, unless some oligarch buys the club, (Sevco) cannot compete with them …. How does it end and at what cost? … I can’t see the logic in their approach … Financially, Celtic are unassailable. There’s no glimmer of light for (Sevco) – it’s as bad as it’s ever been for them, which is why they need to rein in the spending.”
Those who will dismiss Low as a “Celtic man” rubbing Ibrox noses in it would do well to think again.
This is a serious player, a man who has forgotten more about business and finance than most of those who will knock him have ever known or ever will. When he says that we can’t be caught and that Sevco is risking its very existence trying, they should listen.
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