Accountants predict bleak financial future for Scottish football

According to a top football finance analyst Scottish Premier League clubs face going bust if the fans continue to stay away.
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According to a top football finance analyst Scottish Premier League clubs face going bust if the fans continue to stay away.

Attendance figures show that almost 600,000 fans have stopped attending SPL games in the past five years.

David Glenn, from accountancy firm Price Waterhouse Coopers, told BBC Scotland many clubs will not survive.

However, the 2011 annual report on Scottish football finances shows clubs overall making a small profit.
"Each club gets around £1m a year from the broadcasting deal, therefore the majority of the income for Scottish clubs is actually coming from fans coming through the turnstiles," said Glenn.

"Clearly the doomsday scenario is that the clubs just cannot survive and some may go under.

"It is all about clubs continuing to cut their cloth accordingly and they are probably going to have to be selling clubs just to balance the books.

That is not a good message for fans who will be wondering about club ambition.

"My message to the fans though would be - if you want your club to survive, you are going to have to accept that they have to reduce the wage bill and sell their best players when they become of worth," said Glenn.

The SPL remain upbeat, despite the grim forecasts.

The league's chief executive Neil Doncaster says Scottish football is posting positive results in a very tough market.

"We are in the middle of a world economic downturn. That is the reality," he told BBC Scotland.

"It is hitting supporters in the pocket but our clubs are responding to that with competitive pricing packages.

"The facts are that this report shows our clubs making a profit for the season before last.

"That is incredibly positive."

 
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