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Scottish Leagues

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Celtic's success hits SPL attendances

Celtic's runaway success in the Scottish Premier League may be hitting attendances as fans lose interest in a one horse race.

A critical match for Hamilton Academicals with Aberdeen saw just 2,006 fans in the 5,500 seater stadium with just two lonely souls in the East Stand.   Hamilton's average attendance this season has shrunk from 3,024 to 2,584.

Motherwell in fan ownership

After a process that began in 2015, Motherwell FC have gone into fan ownership.  As some of those involved point out, the challenge now is to make it work.   It will require additional financial support from fans.

AFC Telford recently abandoned fan ownership, becoming the fifth club to do so.  Notts County, York, Chesterfield and Stockport County also revered after failing to make a success of supporter ownership.

SPL clubs in financial trouble

Clubs in the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier League are facing increasing financial difficuilties according to the latest annual survey of finance directors by accountants BDO.   There is a stark contrast with the situation of English Premier League clubs, three-quarters of whom state they are in a very healthy financial position.

Jam tarts kit disaster

I have just returned from a visit to Scotland and there has been much attention given in the media to the new away kit for Hearts.

Relegation challenge for Dundee United

As relegation beckons for Dundee United, this report looks at the financial challenges faced by the club. The club's external debt is now down to £1.25m.   However, that is secured against the stadium.  Although fans have expressed fears about going into administration, this seems unlikely, as the club's home would be at risk.

European super league 'inevitable'

A European super league is 'iinevitable', according to Rangers manager Mark Warburton.  He is convinced that the globalisation of sport and an increasingly competitive TV rights market make it a certainty.

'If Bournemouih are competing with Bayern Munich for players it tells me that the market is skewed, and a European Super League can't be far away,' he told The Times.   'The big European clubs won't want to be left behind by smaller ones in England and if you're a broadcaster, which game would you rather show: Norwich v Leicester, or Arsenal v Rangers?'

Hibs fans urged to give bigger backing to buy out

Hibernian fans have been urged to give greater backing to their buy out vehicle, Hibernian Supporters Limited.   So far they have contributed £250,000 and own seven-and-a-half per cent of the shares.  It is hoped that by the end of the year they will have raised £500k.

Rangers ends joint venture with Sports Direct

Rangers is ending its joint venture with Sports Direct having seen off a legal challenge from the chain. Rangers gets just 4p in the pound from merchandise sold from the deal.  Unfortunately, there is a seven year notice period so disentangling from it may not be easy.

Relegation would hit Dundee United hard

Relegation from the Scottish Premier League would hit Dundee United hard, chairman Stephen Thompson has warned.   His family would not go on ploughing in money into the club in the long term.

The club has the 3rd biggest wage bill in the Premier League and has spent £650,000 on transfer fees in the last 18 months which is, of course, a small sum by the standards of the English Premier League. Thompson blames their present plight on poor player recruitment last summer.

Losses down at Hibs

Hibernian have reported losses of £840,000, down on £1.2m the previous year.   The club insists that underlying finances are in good shape with a debt restructuring successfully completed.  A share issue raised additional funds and 19 per cent of shares are now held by supporters.