Scottish football has been warned by financial experts that club insolvency events are probably inevitable over the coming period due to the ongoing public health crisis, The Daily Record report.
With clubs in Scotland, including Celtic, reliant on ticket income to provide a large proportion of total revenue, the fact that matches may have to be played behind closed doors throughout 2020 is concerning.
There’s no real sign of clubs getting back to group training anytime soon, nevermind playing matches and the uncertainty could play financial havoc with sides up and down the divisions.
Accountants are predicting some could even be fighting for their survival.
Ken Patullo of firm Begbies Traynor said, as quoted by The Daily Record: “It’s the mid-size clubs without wealthy backers or lucrative television or sponsorship deals that are in the most perilous position.
“Unfortunately, the double whammy of significant wage bills and sizeable fan bases that make them heavily reliant on match-day gate receipts could prove fatal in this unprecedented situation.
“While I don’t believe we are looking at a doomsday scenario and most Scottish clubs will survive, I’m afraid that some insolvencies are probably inevitable among the hardest hit clubs.”
As this website reported in April, 36% of Celtic’s revenue in 2018 was made up of ticket income. That’s more than any of the other clubs in the European gate receipt top 20, of which the Hoops are a member.
Scotland-wide the proportion of ticket cash to overall revenue is a massive 43%, way beyond other major footballing nations. The next highest in the top 20 is Switzerland, at 31%, according to a recent UEFA study.
With virtual season tickets on the table and even regional, neutral stadium hubs discussed, the SPFL and Scottish FA are already looking at innovative ways for Scottish football to be viable behind closed doors or with severely reduced crowds.
Finding the one that’s most workable, as quickly as possible, is now what everyone needs.
With Celtic involved heavily in those discussions, having representatives on five of the six sub-groups set up by the overall joint response group, we know that the club are doing everything they can to help.