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Last Updated: Sunday, 27 June, 2004, 11:02 GMT 12:02 UK
Football clubs in 'sorry state'
Dundee and Livingston are both in administration
Dundee and Livingston are both in administration
Scotland's top football clubs are living beyond their means in their search for success, a financial analyst has warned.

David Glen, of PriceWaterhouseCoopers, said the latest financial statistics made "depressing reading".

Predicted losses for the year are estimated at 55m, with the cumulative debt of the clubs likely to be 190m.

Mr Glen told BBC Scotland's Sunday Live programme that almost half of the clubs are technically insolvent.

Scottish Premier League (SPL) sides Dundee and Livingston are in administration, Motherwell came out of administration in April, while Dunfermline slashed their wage bill to avoid a similar fate.

Mr Glen, who compiles the annual audit on the financial status of the SPL, said clubs faced anxious times.

"If you look at the balance sheets, their liabilities exceed their assets so it's a bit of a sorry state," he said.

The SPL earns about 150m a year, but 110m of that is generated by the Old Firm
David Glen
PriceWaterhouseCoopers
He said Partick Thistle and Celtic were the only clubs to live within their means.

"In the year we looked at, Celtic posted a 5m loss despite reaching the Uefa Cup Final.

"But they can afford to lose that kind of money, other clubs can't."

He said the SPL was effectively a two-tier competition, with the Old Firm dominating the top two positions and the other clubs battling below them.

"The SPL earns about 150m a year, but 110m of that is generated by the Old Firm," he said.

Media income

"The rest of the clubs have to survive on 40m, an average of 4m for each club.

"Yet they try and compete with the Old Firm and to spend similar wages on players, but they simply can't afford it."

Other Scottish clubs would compete on a level playing field if Celtic and Rangers left the SPL for the English Premiership or a European league, Mr Glen said.

He said: "I think you would see a more competitive league and clubs would look better financially.

"Clubs could attract fans back because they had a chance of winning something."

Mr Glen said clubs in Scotland were at a disadvantage because they have never had their fair share of media income compared with other European leagues.


SEE ALSO:
Report shows football cash divide
04 Jun 04  |  Scotland
Stadia requirement to drop
01 Jun 04  |  Scot Prem
Record number face dole
01 Jun 04  |  Aberdeen
SPL posts record losses
23 Sep 03  |  Scotland


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