Scottish football finances in terrible state

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According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, who carried out the survey, the combined net debt of the 12 clubs in the SPL rose for the fourteenth consecutive year, as losses for the 2001/2002 season hit a staggering £60m.

Rangers alone piled up debts of £35m for this season.

The wage bill also climbed substantially hitting a new high of £113m, although £70m of this was spent by the Old Firm. Just one club, Celtic, managed to keep its wage bill at the recommended level of 60% of turnover, with Dundee, Dunfermline and St Johnstone continuing to spend more on wages than they earn in income.

The state of Scottish premier football does not compare well with that of its English rivals, which revealed a far healthier financial state.

David Glen, partner at PwC and author of the report said: ‘It’s been another terrible year for the clubs financially, though the chairmen and chief executives are now seeking to address the situation and attempting to stem the loss of revenue.

‘Further analysis since the end of the 2001/02 season shows that the SPL clubs’ losses (excluding the Old Firm) are finally beginning to plateau with squad sizes and wages being cut. This remedial action should allow the clubs to break-even and halt further dramatic increases in debt but this won’t necessarily enable the clubs to repay the debt they have already accumulated. Overall, our financial ‘patient’ remains in intensive care, but signs are emerging of an improvement in its health.’

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