Celtic cup tie cash only had limited effect on Clyde finances

Ray Grant challenges Celtic skipper Scott Brown during February's cup tieRay Grant challenges Celtic skipper Scott Brown during February's cup tie
Ray Grant challenges Celtic skipper Scott Brown during February's cup tie
Clyde chairman John Taylor this week insisted the club’s Scottish Cup tie with Celtic last season was not the financial windfall assumed in many quarters.

As clubs have struggled to cope with the impact of the Covid-19 shutdown on their finances, there have been suggestions that the profit made February’s televised Scottish Cup encounter would help tide the Bully Wee over.

However Mr Taylor this week said he wanted to again dispel the notion the tie had made a significant difference to the club’s overall position.

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In a statement on the club website, he said that while the match had brought added income to the Bully Wee it had also generated extra costs.

He said: “Despite repeated public statements to quash this myth, this still appears to linger in the minds of some of our fans.

“Had the game been played at Celtic Park, in front of 50,000 fans, the financial outcome for the club would have been transformational. As it was, we squeezed 7,500 into Broadwood on lower admission prices than we wanted to charge, and incurred massive costs of delivery.

“The level of resource required to deliver a game of that scale, is out of proportion to the modest income generated.

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“One small example was the level of stewarding. Our bill for the Celtic game was for 135 stewards rather than our customary 16, and that scale of increased costs was repeated in other areas of our operation on the day.

“The surplus from that match merely had the effect of negating our trading loss for the season and, alongside the very generous response to our Covid-19 donations appeal, prevented us from being in a critical state already.”

Clyde last week launched a new 1877 Rewards scheme to give supporters a new way to donate to the club.

And the chairman John continued with a stark message on how crucial financial input from fans will be.

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He said: “Most businesses have been affected by this pandemic and individuals who have supported the club extremely generously over many years are no exception.

“However, in terms of the club’s financial strength going forward, we can’t pretend that Covid-19 has suddenly thwarted our upward trend on the football field. It hasn’t. The downside of improving our league status over the last two seasons has come at a significant cost, and one that is not sustainable.

“We had planned to launch a fundraising campaign at the Q&A event, scheduled for March 5, which had to be cancelled on the very day we received news of the cessation of football in this country.

“As owners of the club will be aware, we had incurred losses of £68,000 and £94,000 in the previous two seasons. That trend simply couldn’t continue. The strategy of recruiting a highly capable management team and a talented squad of players had achieved our on-field objectives, but a major rethink was required to maintain the growing ambitions of our loyal support.

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“Therein lay the problem - and the solution - and that was to be the basis of our presentation to fans that night.

“Only by increasing the level of financial support from the fans through a programme of regular monthly donations, can we achieve what we all want for our club. Without that we will have a playing budget that will eventually see us scrambling to avoid play-offs at the wrong end of League 2.”

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