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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 September, 2003, 16:37 GMT 17:37 UK
SPL posts record losses
SPL logo
Most clubs have been taking action to cut their costs
Scotland's major football clubs have posted record losses and have their biggest ever debts, accountants have revealed.

It shows that combined losses from the 12 Scottish Premier League (SPL) clubs sustained during the 2001/2002 amounted to a record 60m.

The combined net debt of the clubs has risen for the 14th consecutive year and now stands at 144m - up from 132m last year.

The total wage bill for clubs also hit a new high of 113m, with 70m spent by the Old Firm.

Stem the loss

Accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers, who prepared the report, said that, on current figures, five of the major clubs are insolvent - Dundee, Dunfermline, Hearts, Hibs and Livingston.

However the figures also show there has been a 25% reduction in the cash outflow by the clubs from 77m to 58m from the previous season.

David Glen, of PricewaterhouseCoopers, said there were signs that clubs were taking action to turn their finances around.

"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," he said.

He added: "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."

BBC Scotland's Bob Wylie
"The report makes for grim reading"

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