"Let the others come after us. We welcome the chase. It is healthy for us.
We will never hide from it. Never fear."
- William Struth

How much did our demotion hurt us?

Written by: Nineteen-SeventyTwo
Wednesday, 4th May 2016

When I compared aspects of support and attitudes in Scottish football to our English brothers yesterday, the reference to the infamous 5 way agreement sparked anger once again at a shameful episode in the recent history of Scottish Football.

Of course, we at VB have covered the 5 way agreement before, and the shameful conduct of SFA Chief Stewart Regan during “negotiations”.


No one to date has effectively captured exactly what that decision to demote us has cost the club over the last 4 years, and I’m no mathematician, but I hope you’ll excuse me laying out some of the impacts as I see it.

At a time when Scottish Football should have pulled together for the greater good, those consumed by hatred and jealousy tried to damage our club beyond repair, regardless of the possible consequences for the game, or even for their own clubs.

The club is still here, it’s back in the top division, and it’s thanks to us as supporters, and the timely intervention of Dave King and the 3 bears, aswell as a fantastic football management team, that we are in a better position than we could have been, however, we do still remain at a disadvantage in August, due to 4 years of diminished earnings caused by the demotion of our club to the bottom tier.

So, what have we lost?

-As mentioned yesterday, the SPL 2011 prize money was withheld – (£2.1M)

-Loss of Euro Competition. Even counting for early exits, a minimum earning over 4 seasons in qualification rounds could have been in the region of (£4M). Had we had Champions League qualification, we would have earned up to (£40M)

-Value to sponsors. Our marketability to sponsors has been impacted heavily, with our current main sponsorship deals falling far short of our normal Premiership status would attract. Given our higher attendances and higher audience figures, we would normally be attracting similar figures to Celtic, if not higher. Celtic’s current main sponsorships with New Balance, Magners and Dafabet dwarf our deals with 32Red, Puma and Sports Direct, with next season’s delta likely to be in the region of £8M. The delta over the last 4 years with previous sponsors I estimate at approximately (£19M)

-Ticketing Prices. Rangers prices dropped by approximately a third and have remained 20% lower than Premiership prices this season. I estimate that, even with the fluctuation in attendances, this has cost the club approximately (£8M)

-Combined SPL/tv money. The TV deal was re-negotiated during our absence from the Premier league with a sponsor finally attracted in 2015, so the Premier League winners earn 2.8M, with second place earning approximately £2M. Rangers earnings were approximately £700k against possible earnings of £8-11M (7.3-10.3M)

-Loss of 2012 squad – With Rangers cast in to the wilderness in the summer of 2012, and later demoted to the 3rd division, many international players of value left the club, with said players advised by the SPFA to secure their futures elsewhere. The prospect of 3rd division football (or no football at all, given our status was not granted until 3 days before the season started) didn’t appeal, and we lost a conservative estimate of (£25M) worth of players

Looking at these numbers, it’s clear we have lost anywhere between £65M and £104M during this period away from the top flight, as well as 4 possible Premier league titles that have gone to our biggest rivals across the city.

So, it’s crystal clear that we have not just been punished, but we have been punished on an unimaginable scale, during a period that the club was possibly a victim of fraud not once but twice.

Those across the city, and within the SPFL that still agitate for further punishment for Rangers, have overstepped the mark by a considerable distance, and my view is that they should consider themselves more than fortunate that they have caused such damage to the club, and enabled a platform to be built for Celtic to dominate in our absence.

They could and should have put light years between the clubs, but that’s for Celtic’s management to ponder over.

For our part, my view is that we should be reminding the SPFL when they pursue a £250k fine, that we have a legitimate claim for loss of earnings of up to £104M.

Seems Fair?


by D'Artagnan
by The Ref


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