Getting what you wish for.

Over the last week we have seen various clubs come out and say that they are voting against Rangers being readmitted to the SPL and giving their reasons why.

Of those reasons the number one claim is “Sporting Integrity”, because it wouldn’t be right to let big, bad Rangers back into the league, they have to be punished for being naughty! However, in reality all the clubs are doing is making an even bigger mockery of the most hypocritical phrase in Scottish football.

The real reason for these clubs voting NO is simple, refusing Rangers entry to the SPL allows them to prevent Celtic vetoing any future changes the other clubs wish to force through by negating the current 11-1 majority.

So in return for refusing The Rangers application, it allows the clubs to implement the following changes:

~ Redistribution of all monies – TV, League Positions, Sponsorship
~ 50/50 Split of all Ticket Money, including ST’s
~ League Reconstruction – Probably Expansion to 18 teams

Now these changes may sound fantastic to some supporters, “but, I mean man, we’ll be getting half the money from the Septic supporters, so we’ll be fine”, the reality may well be somewhat different.

So we start to examine the figures released by the Motherwell board surrounding the best worst case scenarios for each vote and we find out the following:

The rejection of Rangers will most likely lead to a revocation of the SKY deal, now that’s currently £15m/year with clubs outwith Rangers and Celtic getting a minimum of 600k/year with additional monies from league positions.

The Rangers fans provide an additional 300k/year in ticket sales to the club

“The greatest fans in the world…….” only provide an additional 285k/year in ticket sales.

Now seeing as Motherwell’s income for last season was £4.3m, this equates to 27.6% of total income or £1.185m

So what would they gain from the new setup they so desperately crave:

Well they would gain a 50% share of all Septics ticket sales (which I assume would go into a separate pot and be distributed equally amongst all teams)

So based on the 09/10 figures this would equate to 11.25m (16m ST’s 6.5m Gate) split between the other 11 teams or 1.022m each per year.

Now this is still a drop of 160k/year for Motherwell, “Ah, but that’s awrite we all hear them cry”

But is it? In simple terms no, that gain of 1.022m/year doesn’t yet take into account 2 major factors:

1. All the other clubs with also lose 50% of their gate money, 0.82m (or 0.67m if you exclude the RFC sales and 0.385m excluding Septic) in Motherwell’s case
2. To get the additional 1.022m/year from the Sceptic tickets, you need “The greatest fans in the world……….” to continue buy their tickets at the same levels, and as we’ve already heard from mad joe, this isn’t going to happen.

So in return there’s a potential to gain 1.4m/year plus their 50% of the others gate money, which based on Motherwell’s figures could be 0.35m/year, so a total of 1.75m/year

So they are seeing 600k/year increase in income so that plugs the 500k hole in this years finances you hear them cry.

Whereas in reality they still have to account for the additional TV revenue based on league position being lost, probably another 350k/year for Motherwell this year, and the impact of any tim ticket boycot, and should even 30% refuse to buy any tickets for the Glitterdome moving forward that would equate to another drop of 240k/year so negating the 600k/year increase they were previously shouting about.

You also have to account for any league reconstruction that they want to introduce, by increasing the number of teams in the league you then dilute your share of the Celtic money, another 2 teams reduces it by 240k/year and another 6 by 440k/year.

Now these are simple figures, but the bottom line is that these clubs will be lucky to maintain even their current reduced levels of income/expenditure even with their new found share of ticket money. Currently they are pretty much guaranteed the money from TV and Rangers/Septic ticket sales, by removing Rangers and invoking a full on ticket boycott from the dhims (who wouldn’t think of the implications for their own club) they could very quickly find themselves in financial trouble.

I would also be brave enough to suggest that the smaller clubs that can fit in more away supporters or have a bigger fanbase may not want a 50/50 split of gate money as they would see themselves as subsidising the smaller teams as well.

The next few weeks are certainly going to be interesting, but if you take the view that they’d rather see us in Division 3, (which if we have to go anywhere I’d rather) by the time we get back to the SPL, there will be limited European opportunity available to clubs, and we’ll have seen at least half the existing SPL clubs starting again in division 3.

So let them get what they so desperately crave, the impending implosion will be messy to say the least, and will probably result in a total reconstruction with “Sporting Integrity” being completely thrown out the window in a desperate attempt to rescue what will be left of the game.

Nookie Bear