Financial Worries for Scottish Football Clubs

A survey by business consultancy PKF has found that Scottish football clubs are more worried about the state of their finances than their English counterparts.  They are beset by falling attendancies, worries about attracting sponsors and the prospect of falling television revenues whereas in England revenues have been increasing.   Only 17 per cent of Scottish Premier League clubs though that their financial footing was very healthy compared w

A survey by business consultancy PKF has found that Scottish football clubs are more worried about the state of their finances than their English counterparts.  They are beset by falling attendancies, worries about attracting sponsors and the prospect of falling television revenues whereas in England revenues have been increasing.   Only 17 per cent of Scottish Premier League clubs though that their financial footing was very healthy compared with 50 per cent of English Premiership sides, although in my view that is a rather optimistic interpretation.

Only one-third of SPL sides expected to make a profit in the coming season and 17 per cent admitted to being late with some form of tax payment, although I do not think the figure for English clubs would be that dissimilar given that, as the Revenue has just complained, many of them seem to regard paying tax on time as an optional extra.

Interestingly sales from catering were ranked ahead of tickets sales and well ahead of other forms of merchandising.   This may simply reflect the lack of a broad support base for many clubs in terms of merchandise sales, but it still rather surprising.   If the attendance base is low, why is catering revenue relatively high?

On the bright side half of all SPL sides said there had been no added pressure from their bank in the 12 months, although this presumably means that half of clubs did feel such pressure.   No SPL side admitted to a wages-to-turnover ratio of more than 65 per cent, whereas player wages are a big concern in England.   What the report as a whole points to is a welcome degree of realism among Scottish clubs.