By George Overhill

20th Nov, 2023 | 8:40pm

Rangers situation 'should ring some pretty serious alarm bells' as news emerges amid Celtic reversal

The news that Rangers saw their wage bill surpass Celtic’s and reach a record level should “ring some pretty serious alarm bells”, according to Alison McConnell.

The journalist wrote for PLZ Soccer on 20 November that the recent Ibrox accounts should “scorch the theory” that the Light Blues were the “poor relations” of Glasgow given the money now being spent.

With a financial performance showing a major gap re-opening up behind Celtic, and a comparative lack of success on the pitch despite paying the squad more, the situation has been highlighted as a concerning one.

McConnell wrote: “The news last week that Rangers are operating a £64m wage bill – £3m more than Celtic and a record amount – should ring pretty serious alarm bells.

“At the very least it should scorch the theory that the Ibrox side are somehow operating as Glasgow’s poor relations when they are held up to the light with Celtic. 

“A £4m loss on the back of a campaign that delivered Champions League football and the sale of a player for just shy of £20m should not slip under the radar for anyone.”

Meagre returns

It is obviously valid that Celtic haven’t had to build themselves back up from the lower leagues over the past decade, but the most recent numbers don’t paint the Gers in an especially encouraging light.

In isolation, for a club that has experienced extensive financial turmoil in recent memory, the accounts could be a lot worse.

But when the primary objective is to get back to the top of Scottish football and past their Old Firm rivals it is concerning that a major gap in revenue has opened up off the back of a year where both were in the Champions League.

And what Rangers have been paying the players that much extra for in that time is an obvious question after a season where the club went empty-handed in terms of trophies while Celtic picked up a domestic treble with a lower wage bill.

This season was supposed to be when Michael Beale, armed with a newly restocked squad, took advantage of Ange Postecoglou’s exit at Parkhead and re-established dominance in the SPFL.

But instead the big money spent in the summer has only set the club back further, just as the cost of sacking Beale will have done.

Philippe Clement has shown some very encouraging signs so far but they come in a depressing context of rising expenditure and falling returns on the pitch that need to be addressed long-term.

In other Rangers news, a Lawrence Shankland makes him a “certainty” to be selected for the Euros after his late Scotland equaliser.