Well, folks, it’s all there now in black and white; the Ibrox financial results have been published and the hole is every bit as deep as we predicted.
Losses, for the last year, of £23.5 million bringing the overall losses since the club was founded to well over £100 million.
Can you imagine what they’d have been without it? On the level of an Aberdeen.
Our club has, once again, lost a title to a team carrying monumental levels of debt, being funded God knows how and from God knows where, a club which doesn’t offer any explanation for its sources of financing because they know that the people who are supposed to care don’t.
They have posted those accounts along with a Going Concern warning.
They are admitting, in effect, that they are on the brink.
That they are trading whilst insolvent.
Their conduct endangers not only their own club but the whole structure on which Scottish football is built; its commercial deals, its standing at UEFA, its credibility with its customer base. They are the precise model of what Financial Fair Play is designed to prevent.
Please understand this; FFP regulations exist for two reasons.
The first is to ensure sporting integrity.
You cannot have a club funded from external sources in a way that enables them to outspend all the clubs around them. The principle of fairness in football is the meritocracy. Clubs can only spend what they earn. If you grow your club organically in the proper way you will reap the rewards.
UEFA and the domestic leagues of Europe long ago realised that with sugar-daddy clubs becoming if not the norm then certainly more common that these were, in effect, attempting to buy success. The clue is in the name; Financial Fair Play.
But as I wrote in a lengthy piece not that long ago, it also exists to protect the sport itself.
It exists to prevent clubs going to the wall, clubs like Gretna, clubs like Rangers.
It exists because the behaviour of these clubs destabilises football. Imagine for a minute that Barcelona and Real Madrid cannot refinance their debts and both collapse … the impact would vibrate through every league, in every country.
This is why those clubs should never have been allowed to get that way in the first place. Our own domestic example – the last Ibrox club – was the warning this game ought not to have needed after the collapse of Gretna.
Ibrox’s selfishness is incredible. The Going Concern warning in those accounts means that their gamble once again risks throwing the rest of the game into crisis. That the rest of the clubs have allowed this is remarkable, and shocking.
That Celtic has never spoken up and publicly backed FFP has effectively tied one hand behind our backs.
If the club at Ibrox collapses, we will suffer huge consequences.
So not only have we allowed them the natural advantage that all cheats have but we’ve actually assumed part of the risk if their gamble fails.
Think about that for a moment.
We have watched as they continued down this track, seeing quite clearly that it was heading one of two ways; to the Second Death or to a financially doped league title. Indeed, I believe we could end up witnessing both.
Whatever our custodians tell themselves when they take their seats in the stand, these people have lamentably failed not only Celtic but the wider game.
If we had publicly taken a lead on the issue of FFP I cannot imagine that it would not have had the support of the other clubs. They all more or less voluntarily subscribe to its basic philosophies anyway … all but one. This failure has only helped Ibrox.
They have been allowed to do what they did post 2012 and I would say minus the EBT’s but we have no idea what other arrangements might exist behind the scenes.
Our directors think that because our club is a model of probity and financial security that this is some kind of triumph.
But it is not triumph to be cheated and humiliated when that possibility was written in neon flashing letters 100 feet tall for a decade and you either failed to see them or ignored them.
It is not a victory when you repeat the same mistakes. It should embarrass you to find yourself on the wrong side of history repeating itself.
Ibrox’s title triumph, amidst those momentous debts, was enabled at Celtic Park and I don’t care how many board apologists wail and whine and moan about that statement.
Our board had a duty to protect our club from exactly this outcome, and they did not do it.
They had a responsibility to the wider game in Scotland to work towards robust regulations in 2012 after the collapse of Rangers and the lessons that should have been learned from it and they didn’t even try.
That is a failure without precedent in our history.
It is a disgrace for which they ought to be held to account.
Neil Gallagher says:
November 5, 2021 at 9:38 pm
Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:
November 5, 2021 at 11:09 pm
Jim Duffy says:
November 6, 2021 at 1:25 pm
Mark B says:
November 6, 2021 at 7:42 pm
I agree completely with this statement, the Celtic board have allowed this club to cheat its way too long, time to show some spine or is it all about allowing a rivalry to keep our club in a better financial place, I am a small shareholder and I am not happy living on the other side of the world watching the club I have loved and supported since birth enabling a lying cheating rival to blatantly bully its way to success so we can sell more tickets. Time to speak up and make it an even playing field for all.
Today explains clearly and vindicates (to me anyway) my decision to refuse to fund a bent football country and therefore lose out on going to Paradise as a consequence of that…
It’ll take a helluva lot of cleaning up of The Celtic board and The SFA / SPFL to entice me back in the future…
Not a worry regarding Scotland as I never went to even one match of the country of ma birth in my life and given the way The SFA have treated Celtic and it’s players over the decades I’m content with that…
In fact if Scotland don’t qualify for the World Cup finals I’m fine with that as it’s rest for Cal Mac and Co.
Scotland could and should be a different country and might still be given the demographics of our youth (a certain percentage of Sevco ones apart) in their intended voting intentions…
But when there’s Celtic supporters still buying The Daily Record like I seen today then we’ve still a helluva long way to go given that they are among the worst promoting the survival lie (Thank you James for always informing me what’s going on in the lying MSSM as I’d never know otherwise)
Brilliant response clachnacuddin you have took the words out of my mouth ,if more Celtic fans responded like this maybe our board of charlatans would act against Sevco but I fear not ,I sometimes wonder if the SFA and Sevco have got a hold on our board because of our failure to take them to task,I just wish we had Fergus ” the bunnet” McCann as our board chairman ,that scum at ipox would never have got away with the survival lie.
Our board is a disgrace full stop. this is one of several issues but the most significant is letting our superiority be frittered away and losing ten. We should back FFP. The board at Ibrox gambled on stopping ten and won. They are now gambling on winning the league and subsequent CL. They overspent by 100m while we gathered transfer fees of 100m that is the difference right there. The Ibrox board back their team and manager digging deep. Ours take huge salaries and disinvest in the squad.
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