Scotland business

Most Scottish football clubs 'budgeting wisely'

Ibrox stadium Image copyright PA
Image caption The report suggests the financial collapse of Rangers has encouraged other clubs to be cautious

Most Scottish football clubs have brought their finances under control, according to a report from accountants Begbies Traynor.

In their regular monitor of financial distress in football, they suggested lessons have been learned from Rangers' collapse.

It found only one club in Scotland's top three divisions was showing signs of financial distress.

Two years ago, the accountants found four clubs out of 32 in this position.

Ken Pattullo, a partner with the accountancy firm and an expert in business recovery from crisis, said his survey showed a dramatic improvement in financial health.

Mr Pattullo commented: "The Rangers saga has dominated the headlines for years and recent loans from Mike Ashley's Sports Direct have kept the club on the front pages again. But Rangers isn't technically the most financially stressed club in Scotland, as a result of the recent cash injection.

"Overall an increased wariness among the other big clubs to spend heavily on transfers for fear of being the next big failure, and general good business planning in the boardrooms, has stabilised what was a really dangerous situation for the sport in Scotland."

He added: "With a lack of money in the Scottish game, due largely to Rangers' enforced exit from the Scottish Premier League, and the ensuing dearth of TV money, clubs have been wisely cutting their cloth accordingly and have largely avoided splashing out on players in the last two or three transfer windows."

Measures of distress include large debts, winding up petitions, high court writs and serious court actions against clubs and warnings over late filing of accounts.

The report points out that average attendances across the Scottish Premier, Championship and Leagues One and Two are down by 5% since the previous Football Distress Report, a fall that is due in part to the recent boycott of Rangers games by disgruntled supporters.

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