We all know that our rivals posted their accounts last week, and we all know that they were absolutely dire. In some ways they were what we expected.
In others they were far worse.
One of the things that isn’t getting as much ink as it should be is the news that they will need £7 million to get through this campaign, which tells you that on top of the big losses from last year that they expect to make another multi-million-pound loss in this one.
Aside from the promises from the board that the money will be there, there is no good news in those figures, not one bit of it.
The media may sing a different song but the truth is that they are a disaster and that club is a disaster, floating on a sea of loans and debt for equity swaps without which they would not be able to afford half of their current squad.
Everything in those accounts is frankly awful, but one hard number stands out as the most awful; the figure for merchandising. In our accounts, we posted an incredible £22 million in merchandise earnings for the year of the virus lockdown.
Their number was a mere £9.2 million. What’s more, that was the figure for merchandising and “other commercial activities.”
Those “other commercial activities” are not included in our £22 million figure.
Their number is for “sponsorship, advertising, commercial and retail.”
Which covers a lot of ground.
And yet it was still £13 million lower than our total for just one strand of that.
These figures are courtesy of Paul Brennan at CQN who knows his stuff on this, but it was borne out by reporting in the mainstream press too where there was yet another amazing figure.
According to The Record (yeah I know) the Ibrox commercial director, James Bisgrove, who they are always touting as some kind of genius, has signed almost 9000 – yes, that’s nine thousand – commercial contracts in the space of just a few years.
And they aren’t near us.
Not even in the same ballpark as our figures.
For a while now some in our circle have speculated that perhaps we’re missing a trick by not having a jersey full of sponsors, or in not going for the cryptocurrency hook ups or all the rest of the stuff he gets a lot of media praise for doing.
But as these figures reveal, the income from these schemes is not only insignificant, it is laughably small.
The idea that these people are anywhere near breaking even is ridiculous. Their much praised business department isn’t generating anything remotely comparable to what ours does. They are, in fact, scrabbling around for the sponsorship equivalent of spare change.
What it makes plain is that even a season of Champions League income is not going to significantly change their situation. An injection of funds of around £30 million would make a difference, but one lasting a single season or perhaps two.
But they would squander it on new signings and even higher wages. It would not go towards growing the club.
Our biggest advantage over them is to be found in the size of our stadium, and what happened here is that the lockdown negated that advantage. It made no difference whatsoever. We outperformed them by every available metric and we can, and will, continue to do so.
If financial fair play rules were in place this club would be behind us to an extent that they would never be able to make up.
Even without them, they face the tough choices now that have been long delayed. The press may want to paint the garden over there as being all rosy and to pretend that they have closed the commercial gap … but it isn’t true.
Every break-even projection – and the one offered by the hilariously poor “finance expert” Kieran McGuire, and which was written up as gospel by the ever gullible Matthew Lindsay in the Evening Times, in a piece headlined “Why Rangers are on track to achieve self-sustainability – despite posting losses of £23.5m” is especially bad – depends on European football income that isn’t a sure thing and player sales which they might not ever realise.
It’s funny money, pulled out of the ether and not in any way connected to the real world.
But the facts do not lie. The numbers can be spun but they cannot be denied.
They are solid. They are real.
And for Ibrox, they are dreadful.