Survey: Finances Of Scottish Clubs Worsening While England Shows Improvement
A survey by football restructuring specialists revealed that "the financial plight of Scottish football clubs is worsening just as the health of their counterparts in England is showing signs of improvement," according to Roger Blitz of the FINANCIAL TIMES. Scottish Premier League club Heart of Midlothian "became the latest Scottish club imperilled by financial crisis." Research from Begbies Traynor found that "six of the 32 clubs in Scotland’s top three tiers are in financial distress, two more than were reporting acute problems six months ago." Begbies Traynor Partner Ken Pattullo said, "The plain fact is that if a club is in trouble at this stage, it looks very bleak for the prospects of financial survival when cash flows are really put under pressure in the spring and early summer." He attributed part of Scottish football’s problems to Rangers’ relegation but said that "lower attendances and reduced television income were also adding to clubs’ financial problems." In contrast, English clubs "are looking financially healthier than in recent years, with only two out of the 72 clubs surveyed in the three tiers below the Premier League reporting severe difficulties" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 11/8). In London, Tony Evans reported that "the knock-on effect of Rangers' demotion to the fourth tier of the game has hurt Scottish football and stripped the nation of its most explosive and marketable match, the Old Firm game." Many observers felt that Glasgow’s big two "were the Siamese twins of spite: they may detest each other, but they were so inexorably linked that ripping them apart could be fatal." Financially, at least (LONDON TIMES, 11/8).
LEGAL ACTION: In Glasgow, Keith Jackson reported that former Scotland national team Manager Craig Levein has threatened to sue the Scottish FA over his sacking. Levein said, "I’m extremely disappointed by the process of the last week. I note the position as stated by the Scottish Football Association but do not concur, and I am taking legal advice as to my options. I will make no further comment" (DAILY RECORD, 11/8).