Selective Quotes From A “Finance Expert” Will Not Bridge The Celtic-Ibrox Money Gap.

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I love it when Kieran Maguire is referred to as a “football finance expert.”

He’s a glorified accountant with a Twitter feed who has somehow made himself prominent in helping the media put together Ibrox feel-good fluff. In the main, the man talks nonsense.

If you were to ask actual finance experts what they think of a football club which has never posted a profit in the last 10 years, which relies on director’s loans to keep the lights on and which has spent more money than any other club in the land but one and, aside from their solitary title, has won less domestic cup competitions in that time than St Johnstone, and I think you would get a damning verdict and not all this media sycophancy.

He appeared on the BBC Scotland podcast the other day and in a bizarre portion where he talked about Ibrox’s ability to compete with us for individual players he pointed out that the wage bill differential is “only £4 million.”

But this is Scottish football. A £4 million differential on what clubs can spend on wages is not actually a small number. It’s a huge gulf. That’s the equivalent of us being able to afford three extra footballers on £25,000 a week so even if his comments are being presented in their full context – which they aren’t – it’s not a small thing.

But he also asks whether their spending is sustainable, and that he even has to comes off as fairly ridiculous to me. You don’t need to be a weather man to know which way the wind is blowing there.

They should be in the midst of a blockbuster season in terms of their finances … but we know that they’re not because they are still doing those equity confetti deals.

There’s another thing that doesn’t get discussed.

Are they actually getting value for that swollen wage bill?

They have a lot of players over there earning far more money than they ought to be, so just closing the wage bill gap doesn’t necessarily mean anything good. In fact, it’s a highly misleading metric and he virtually confirms this by saying that Ibrox’s wage structure is “incentivised” more than ours.

There must be big bonuses over there for finishing second, right?

The basic point of the piece was that if the two clubs are going for the same player they have as much chance of getting him as we do.

Which is nonsense on any number of fronts.

If we’re a Champions League club and they aren’t, who has the best chance? If we are a stable club with a record of selling our players on and they are a mess whose only recent high profile big money sale is being lambasted by the Dutch media, what then? We could almost certainly offer a high transfer fee for anyone we targeted.

And all this presumes we’d ever be targeting the same players in the first place, a road we veered off long ago.

The media has occasionally linked us to the same players but the last Ibrox club still existed on the last occasion we actually did go head to head with them for someone both clubs wanted.

If memory serves me right, we got him as well. It was Scott Allan, not that it did us much good as that signing seemed to have been completely based on us stopping them getting him.

None of this does anything to close the finance gap.

Because the really important thing to note about our £4 million higher wage bill is that it’s affordable for us, and even taking it into account we consistently post profits whereas they do not.

And that is not something that looks as if it will change.

An Ibrox club which has to live within its means will be miles behind us in terms of the quality it is able to put out on the park on a sustainable basis, and that will become more evident, not less.

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  • Johnno says:

    The key word in the scums financial shitshow as in a FSA currently in play is “sustainable”
    This can’t be currently maintained still with yet more confetti needed to keep the lights on still.
    So why no questions answered still as to the possible consequences of potential rule breaks, obtaining a European licence to play in Europe, FFP etc etc.
    I still suspect that all the scum are trying to avoid is another administration as surely another liquidation would follow especially with fuck all assets to speak about still.
    With the amount bought in on transfer trading with CL money and still won’t meet the deadlines for accounts to be released, then is it fair to assume that the financial situation still remains dire for the scum still?
    A total squad rebuild required and without a pot to piss in still and trying to talk about ourselves on a financial comparison?
    Still no end to the shite talk within that shithole then?
    Any surprise that they use Glasgow Derby week to try and deflect from the current financial shitshow?

  • Johnny Green says:

    Celtic do like a bargain, but we have a bit more savvy than to shop at ‘Poundland’

  • Benjamin says:

    James, I think you’re being overly harsh here. I think his main point, and it is factually correct, is that the overall wage bills between the two clubs are not that different. And we know that Celtic has a much bigger (and professional) back room setup in terms of medical, scouting, etc. So the wages available to players between the clubs actually is pretty similar. And moreover, whatever difference does exist isn’t being spent on an extra 4 players at £25k/wk each. It’s being spread around the full squad and amounts to around £3k/wk per player (if we’re assuming the full £4m difference). So that’s like saying they’re players fit in a bracket of £7k-£32k, and Celtic’s fit into a bracket of £10k-£35k. In the context of wages on offer for player recruitment, which is what he was addressing in his comments, those brackets are nearly identical.

    Where Celtic really blows them out of the water is on transfer fees. Simply put, Celtic are shopping for good players regardless of contract status, whereas Rangers, because of budgetary constraints, are being forced to focus on guys on free transfers or available at very small fee.

  • Thomas Daly says:

    The ard skint,living on borrowed time waiting for a sugar daddy to come and rescue them,UEFA SHOULD START AN ENQUIRY,INTO FINANCIAL GOINGS ON

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