The best article of 2020 so far – and what I’m sure will make the top ten for the year as it unfolds – was published on Celtic Quick News last week.
It is a storming piece, the sort that ought to be saved, bookmarked, shared and used as a reference point for a long time to come.
It dissected the financial situation at Ibrox in forensic detail, and in particular as that situation relates to UEFA and Financial Fair Play. There will not be a better article written on that subject until Europe’s governing body imposes sanctions on the Ibrox club.
Trimmed down to its basics, that article points out that Sevco has gilded the lily on FFP about as much as UEFA’s regulations will allow them to. The debt-to-equity switcheroo was a one shot deal and the club has now played that card.
In spite of this, they are still several million pounds over the licensing line. The SFA will be aware of that. So will UEFA.
As Paul67 points out, there will not be any sudden ban from Europe. What UEFA will do instead is make a demand that Sevco moves towards “breaking even”. This means cutting. It means reducing their spending. It means that the £10 million “investments” in the team over the last two summers are over with. It means that, finally, the cupboard at Ibrox is bare.
It’s clear that King knows this full well, and it’s one of the reasons why he wants out. Mark Allan was sacked for failing to drum up interest in their dreck last season; his replacement is already being primed for offloading top players in the summer.
Amusingly, this is why the unravelling of Morelos is so damaging to them. As self-inflicted wounds go this one is a beauty. They fed his ego, making him unmanageable. They inflated his price tag, making him unsellable. Now, with it all crashing down, his stock is plummeting and the club has very little hope of getting even modest money for the player.
On top of that, Barasic is angling for a move and neither he nor his agents will accept the club pricing interested parties out of a deal. This is the downside of their stupid insistence on getting Celtic style cash for their players who simply aren’t worth that outlay.
So if player sales look unlikely to bring in cash, where can Sevco turn for it? The short answer is nowhere at all. Because Paul67 also elaborates on what it means for the club to have crossed the FFP threshold, and I’ve been telling folk this for years, whenever there is talk about Murray coming back or the mystery “investors” from beyond these shores.
It means that even if such people existed and were willing to deposit tens of millions in the Ibrox bank account that the club would not be allowed to spend the money if it meant accruing more losses. UEFA FFP regulations exist specifically to prohibit this, and Manchester City’s current troubles have come about because they tried to get around those regulations via massive “sponsorship deals”. That is a path entirely closed to the Ibrox board now too.
In short, the fantasy that Sevco fans cling to is a non-starter even if it had some basis in reality. Nobody is going to sink tens of millions into their bottomless pit, and even if someone were so inclined UEFA will never allow them to benefit from it.
Austerity is finally coming to Ibrox, years after the club was first established out of the wreckage of OldCo Rangers. It will be forced on them from Europe, which we all thought was probably the most likely outcome, as the SFA were never going to do it.
Tomorrow I’ll write about why Ibrox is facing a confluence of events which casts the future of the club into doubt. But for now, well done to Paul67 for his excellent piece.