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> Scottish Football In A Sorry State, clubs being crippled by debt !
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Iain A.D. 
Posted: 04-Feb-2004, 06:17 PM
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This week brought the news of a 3rd Scottish Premier League football team being forced into administration as a result of heavy debts.

Livingston FC have been told by their major creditors (The Bank Of Scotland) to call in the accountants to take control of the club and try to reduce their current 10 million pounds debt.This will lead to the club losing a number of its players.
They are the latest club this season,after Motherwell FC and Dundee FC to admit that they cannot continue with the current level of debt.

Scottish football is in a terrible state and there are real fears that one of its major clubs could go out of business this season.

Celtic have debts of about 16 million pounds (although they do have a financial policy in place to reduce this over the next few years).

Rangers currently owe a whopping 68 million pounds as a result of over ambition and under achievement in European tournaments. How they turn this around,god knows ?

The remainder of the Premier league are ALL in debt from a minimum of about 4 million up to 17.6 million (Hearts) and 20 million (Dundee).

The problems mainly stem from clubs paying averagely talented players inflated salaries which combined with poor attendances going to watch games has led to those same salaries exceeding the level of turnover generated by the clubs.
On top of this was the collapse of a highly lucrative TV deal (SKY) which fell through as a result of a mis-informed league committee, who felt they could set up their own tv channel which would generate more money than SKY were offering. When this idea went "belly-up" SKY refused to step back in and the league had to go begging to the BBC to get a tv deal which was vastly inferior to that which SKY had previously offered.

My own team, Hearts, are trying to convince our fans that the only way out of our current predicament is to sell our ground (hoping to make about 15 million pounds) and rent Murrayfield Stadium from the Scottish Rugby Union.

We are so desperate that this looks like it will now happen, with our "home" of 100 years, Tynecastle Stadium, being demolished and sold to a property developer / house builder. This is something the Hearts fans would reluctantly accept if we felt we had the right board of directors in place to lead us out of our predicament but sadly we have absolutely 0% faith in those people and whilst the move will happen moves are being made to get rid of the current "custodians" of our famous old club.

Sad times for all who love our game...........

And the irony of the Livingston situation is that they qualified for their first EVER major Cup Final the day they went into administration !!



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Catriona 
Posted: 04-Feb-2004, 06:38 PM
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Iain
It will be a sad day for Edinburgh if Tynecastle is sold (spit, spit, spit - I CANNOT believe I wrote that!).....

As for 'sharing' Murrayfield....? Well, I was a rugby fan before I even learned that football teams were not playing 4 men short.... Hearts should have their OWN ground, and that is Tynecastle.

Sad days.
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MDF3530 
  Posted: 04-Feb-2004, 06:42 PM
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Isn't this why Celtic and Rangers are moving to the English Premier League?


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Catriona 
Posted: 04-Feb-2004, 06:48 PM
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I think both Celtic and Rangers would like to do so - but opinion I've read is that the English premier league is not so keen to have them!


After all, it would mean two teams being forced out of the English Premier to give their slots to The Bhoys and The 'Gers...

Money has been spent in a ridiculous fashion in football in recent years. The management of most clubs has proved itself incapable of running a large-scale business - and this is true from Chelsea downards (Chelski as it is now known!)
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Aon_Daonna 
Posted: 04-Feb-2004, 06:58 PM
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I think it's pretty bad that the SPL is so unbalanced.. it makes it a wee bit boring, especially this year since it decided itself this early....
I think with Gers & Celtic would have alot more to look for in the English Premier league than in Scotland...


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Iain A.D. 
Posted: 05-Feb-2004, 03:17 AM
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QUOTE (MDF3530 @ Feb 4 2004, 11:42 PM)
Isn't this why Celtic and Rangers are moving to the English Premier League?


The "bigot brothers" want to quit Scotland because they believe they have outgrown Scottish football. This is probably true,however it makes a nonsense of having a "national league" if clubs are allowed to choose which league they wish to play in!

Having said that, I believe in the longer term that it would help Scottish football be more competitive. As Aon has said, it does get boring when the big 2 are so far ahead of the rest.

In this respect, good riddance ! cool.gif
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Catriona 
Posted: 05-Feb-2004, 04:15 AM
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Well - that would leave the way clear for the Hibees, Iain angel_not.gif cool.gif laugh.gif
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Iain A.D. 
Posted: 05-Feb-2004, 05:02 AM
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QUOTE (Catriona @ Feb 5 2004, 09:15 AM)
Well - that would leave the way clear for the Hibees, Iain  angel_not.gif  cool.gif  laugh.gif

Such blind optimism ! biggrin.gif

Good luck tonight Mrs Hibee, think you may need it !! tongue.gif
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tartangal 
Posted: 05-Feb-2004, 07:08 AM
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The thing that I find hard to understand is the clubs who have made large numbers of their players unemployed , yet a couple of weeks down the line they buy new players. This just seems to be a very unethical and low act.
As for celtic and rangers moving to the English premiership, while it would make the league a more balanced one,the smaller clubs would lose out on the revenue that the large numbers of fans that the old firm bring to their games. The fan base of the old fim ensures a good turnout for the smaller clubs, and lets face it , more of the home fans turn out to support their team if a member of the old firm is involved.


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Catriona 
Posted: 05-Feb-2004, 08:38 AM
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Jules
You're right - any match with one of the Auld Firm generates a lot of revenue!
Still, Glasgow's loss is Edinburgh's gain (ever the optimistic Hibee supporter!) biggrin.gif

Iain
Awa ye go, luck isnae needed..... They'll dae it, nae tother abaw! tongue.gif
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Catriona 
Posted: 05-Feb-2004, 05:49 PM
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Iain A.D. 
Posted: 05-Feb-2004, 06:18 PM
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Livingston v Hi****ian in the League Cup Final - March 14th.....

As I was saying,Scottish Football is in a SORRY state.

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MDF3530 
  Posted: 05-Feb-2004, 06:51 PM
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There are four soccer teams on your side of The Pond that I follow from afar via email: Celtic, Hibernian, Liverpool and Manchester United.
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Catriona 
Posted: 05-Feb-2004, 06:56 PM
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Well, Mike - you should ditch the other three..... Hibs is my team....! cool.gif In terms of English teams - I give a little 'gentle' support to Arsenal cool.gif

It was a good match tonight, Iain..... thon penalties..... nailbiting...

mind you, I must be getting OLD.... those Hibs players looked as though their Mammy's shoulda bin in the stands, tae spit oan their hankies an wipe their laddies' faces.....!!!

C'mon.... even a diehard Jambo must admit....... WE DUN GREAT! biggrin.gif
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MDF3530 
  Posted: 05-Feb-2004, 07:01 PM
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A bit of belated news for my hometown soccer team the Chicago Fire of Major League Soccer:

QUOTE


Swan song: Sweet Home, Bridgeview

January 26, 2004

BY LEN ZIEHM Staff Reporter

The Fire made it official Sunday: The Major League Soccer club is bolting Chicago for a new home in Bridgeview.

A $70 million stadium, to seat between 20,000 and 25,000, will become the team's home in 2006. Bridgeview beat out 12 communities, including Chicago, that submitted proposals for the stadium.

"Bridgeview made our short list of 12 because of its location,'' Fire general manager Peter Wilt said during the announcement, made on the proposed stadium site at 79th and Harlem. "It's easily accessible from all parts of Chicagoland.''

In June, the Fire whittled the finalists to Bridgeview, Chicago, Hanover Park, Hoffman Estates and Elgin, which later withdrew its offer. The field narrowed further in October, with the Fire announcing that Bridgeview and a site on 39th Street in Chicago, near U.S. Cellular Field, would be considered for the new stadium. The team also said staying at Soldier Field remained an option.

After that it came down to a decision by team owner Anschutz Entertainment Group, and little Bridgeview -- with only 14,000 residents -- won out over Chicago's two options. Mayor Daley, who led Chicago's successful bid to land World Cup games at Soldier Field in 1994, couldn't sway AEG chairman Phil Anschutz and president Tim Leiweke.

Anschutz, a Denver-based billionaire, traditionally maintains a low profile and never grants interviews, but he was involved personally in the negotiations.

"We met with Mayor Daley four or five times, and Mr. Anschutz actually came in for a few of those meetings,'' Leiweke said. "Chicago was great. We have nothing but good things to say about the way they treated us. They were well aware of our progress here. They were well aware of what we were trying to find. At the end of the day, they didn't have the land or commitment that Bridgeview was prepared to make.''

Leiweke said the Fire would be "good tenants'' for its next two seasons at Soldier Field and didn't rule out bringing big international matches to the stadium in the future. Bridgeview, though, will become the heart of Chicago soccer. Its 60-acre facility will house the Fire offices, and the team will leave its training site at Lake Forest College to use practice facilities on the new site.

Bridgeview's campaign, led by Mayor Steve Landek, wasn't all about money and space.

"We looked at many locations,'' Leiweke said. "We were overwhelmed by the number of people who were interested in building a soccer-specific stadium. Quite frankly, we own teams in a number of other markets, and we never saw this much interest.

"Of all the sites, it was the passion and vision of Mayor Landek and the people of Bridgeview that impressed us. This was more than a great public-private partnership. This was a vision they shared, a passion they shared and a commitment they were willing to make that was extraordinary.''

A "memorandum of understanding'' between AEG, Bridgeview and the Fire was announced Sunday. The village will own the stadium, and the Fire will get a favorable long-term lease. AEG and the village will put up $15million apiece, and the other $40 million will come from bonds sold by the village, to be repaid over 30 years.

The next step in the building process is securing the land, now being used as a shopping center. Then design work and development can begin. Wilt said two companies have approached him with an interest in buying naming rights for the stadium. His dream is to have a brick stadium characteristic of Chicago's old-style fire houses. Parking for 6,000 vehicles will be available on site.


Source: Chicago Sun-Times
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