BBC Scotland pundit Michael Stewart has painted a bleak picture of the finances at Celtic’s closest rivals Rangers, speaking on Sportsound yesterday.
With an ongoing shutdown of Scottish football continuing for the foreseeable future, clubs are facing financial certainty up and down the leagues in Scotland.
Down Ibrox way, this is also coinciding with the exit of Dave King as chairman and a new regime taking charge.
In the midst of such a tumultuous period, it’s a fairly dramatic turn of events and Stewart reckons that anyone coming into Ibrox at the moment will have to shell out with millions and millions of pounds of their own cash, simply the plug the financial gap that the ongoing public health crisis has caused.
Speaking on BBC Sportsound, he said: “Aberdeen have said they have £5m of a gap and Rangers costs are going to be substantially more than Aberdeen’s. And no matter what club you are, you are going to have no real income coming in. No matter what club you are, there is going to be a gap there, and we already knew there was going to be £10m gap to get through the season.
“So a lot of praise for Douglas Park and John Bennett for stepping up. They are going to have to find some finance from somewhere to mitigate what is going to be a very difficult time for everybody in the next couple of months. But it is a huge ask. Douglas Park has obviously put his hand in his pocket substantially over the last few years but it is a huge ask.
“We don’t know what is happening behind the scenes with regards to fresh investment but I’ve got to imagine at this time when things are so uncertain I’d be astonished if anyone can find fresh investment from anywhere right now.”
Stewart would also go on to express his surprise at King leaving Rangers when he did, suggesting he should have stayed on to guide the Ibrox club through the current crisis.
It’s a pretty grim scenario if you’re of a Rangers persuasion and, hopefully, jobs are protected as much as possible amongst the behind-the-scenes staff.
From a footballing perspective, it’ll also be interesting to see if it impacts their ability to spend on new players and compete with Celtic next season, whenever that comes.
Celtic of course are not immune to the challenges ahead. The club hasn’t set out the exact challenges being faced financially but it’s clearly not great that we could have no real income for a number months.
However, having posted a robust set of interim results recently that showed we have money to spare, there’ll be a hope that of all the teams in Scotland, Celtic are better placed to navigate rough waters.