Graham Spiers reacts to 'sobering' Rangers financial analysis as huge gap opens up behind Celtic
Analysis of the Rangers finances by Swiss Ramble is a “sobering read” for Light Blues fans after a major gap opened up behind Celtic, according to Graham Spiers.
The journalist reacted via Twitter on 17 November after the renowned football financial analyst had run through the numbers in the recently-released Gers accounts, to show the two sides of the Old Firm rivalry were at the “opposite end of the spectrum” on profitability with the Hoops making £41million pre-tax profit while Rangers ended up with a £3m pre-tax loss.
That was noted as a “surprise” since both sides were in the Champions League last season, with the revenue at Parkhead £36m greater than at Ibrox, only partly offset by the improvement in player trading from the Light Blues.
The gap between the two clubs’ revenue had been down to just £1m a year earlier but has ballooned again in size, despite Rangers’ profit from player sales surpassing Celtic’s for the “first time in ages”.
Additionally, the fact that the Gers’ wage bill is higher than the Bhoys’ is also “somewhat surprising” after seeing a “massive swing” since 2018.
In reaction Spiers wrote: “Goodness me this is a sobering read for Rangers fans, written by an ever-reliable and reputable source.”
While the finances aren’t especially concerning in terms of the state of play at Ibrox in isolation it looks far less encouraging when compared to the other side of Glasgow.
Since bridging the gap on the pitch is the primary objective at the moment, and now sees the club reach their third permanent manager tasked with doing so since Steven Gerrard left after title 55, this analysis is clearly not cause for celebration.
The hiring and firing of manager’s each season is necessarily going to factor into the costs the club have to put up with, but an explanation for why the wage bill was higher for comparatively little success would be helpful.
A couple of Champions League draws where Rangers collapsed in a particularly strong group will also have contributed, but millions more at Parkhead in terms of match-day, commercial and broadcast revenue has added up to total a major difference.
Clearly the new-look Ibrox hierarchy will need to address matters on all these fronts, while somehow finding money to back Philippe Clement’s attempts to turn around Michael Beale’s failed summer rebuild.
The manager has done a good job so far and there is some new-found belief in taking advantage of Brendan Rodgers’ slips, but the bigger picture isn’t great in terms of operating on a level playing field.