Former Celtic defender Mark Wilson’s Brechin City have today sent an urgent plea as they face serious financial pressure.
Wilson, who spent six years at Parkhead between 2006 and 2012, is currently the manager of the Glebe Park side. And it looks as though there are some difficult times ahead for the League Two outfit, who are currently seven points adrift at the bottom of the division.
Football in Scotland has been postponed since mid-March, with clubs being robbed of gate receipt money and matchday revenue. Hospitality events also can’t go ahead, leaving certain clubs struggling for income sources.
For clubs such as Brechin, that income is vital for their existence, and in a statement to their supporters, they said the following this afternoon:
“A serious financial situation will become increasingly precarious very soon as all income has effectively ceased – with no known re-start date. Gate income and revenue from matchday hospitality simply stopped without warning, and crucial fundraising social events had to be cancelled too – namely the Ladies Day and the Sportsman’s Dinner. This week also saw the suspension of our long established club lottery, the Glebe Gamble.
“Acknowledging that some clubs have recently introduced their own versions of a “Fighting Fund” clearly Brechin City fans are well familiar with the concept. The Management Committee, already humbled by the generosity of fans at the turn of the year, are reluctant to simply ask supporters to dig deep again.
“Unless government interventions materialise, we simply have to manage through with the money we’ve got. That said, the fund remains open for donations, so – being mindful of no forthcoming club revenues – anyone who considers themselves to be in a position to willingly contribute is clearly welcome to do so.”
Should Celtic give a helping hand?
As a Celtic supporter, I would personally have absolutely no problem in us helping out clubs such as Brechin.
The Hoops have set up a scheme called the “Football for Good Fund”, focused on helping vulnerable communities during the current health crisis. However, it would be ideal if we could make an impact on some of the lower-ranked football clubs in Scotland too.
The likes of Brechin aren’t in the position they are due to financial mismanagement. It’s not something that’s been done wrong on their side. This is simply down to an unforeseen and sudden health emergency.
Sure, Celtic can’t go about bailing out every club in Scotland. But we can certainly do our bit. Today, the club received a payment of £395k from the SPFL. League Two clubs, meanwhile, raked in only £1,350k (BBC). Now, do we really need that more than the likes of a Brechin?
Couldn’t some of that money perhaps be put away to help clubs struggling with a lack of matchday revenue? It would be devastating to see clubs like Brechin go under due to this crisis and think we as a club could’ve done something to help.
It remains to be seen what happens in the future with everything football-related. But as a firm supporter of the club, it would make me proud if we did our bit to help fellow Scottish clubs more affected by this crisis than we are.