The Daily Record article:
Rangers & Celtic in £300k bust-up over Ibrox derby ticket agreement
Feb 28 2012 Exclusive by James Traynor and Keith Jackson
THE Old Firm are locked in a cash feud after it emerged Celtic have reneged on a deal to hand over a £300,000 advance on tickets for next month’s derby clash.
And Record Sport understands anxious Ibrox staff fear the move may force more job cuts at their stricken club at a time when administrators are trying to unearth enough money to keep the business running.
We revealed on December 6 how Celtic were breaking with tradition by demanding Rangers pay up front for their fans’ tickets for the derby match at Parkhead at Christmas.
With the Ibrox finances unravelling under the disgraced Craig Whyte regime, Celtic feared they might be left out of pocket if Rangers went into administration.
Whyte reluctantly cobbled together the cash to avoid having an 8000-strong travelling support locked out of the biggest fixture of the festive period.
And according to sources, a verbal agreement was reached between the clubs that Celtic would also pay up front before their second visit of the season to Ibrox on March 25.
But last night that deal appeared to have broken down, just as Rangers’ need for cash was becoming even more desperate.
The Parkhead club are due to receive 7300 tickets for Ibrox with their fans set to stump up £42-a-head for the pleasure of celebrating this season’s title cakewalk at the home of their
That adds up to a sum of just over £300,000 and it’s money Rangers need to get their hands on as quickly as possible.
Administrators Duff and Phelps are still trying to track down the missing millions from Whyte’s £24.4m deal with Ticketus as they attempt to find enough money to cover next month’s wage bill. And, as if the financial carnage at Ibrox was not already chaotic enough, the club was yesterday hit with a £50,000 fine from the PLUS Market due to Whyte’s failure to disclose his seven-year directorship ban.
Head administrator Paul Clark is expected to hold a further round of crisis talks with manager Ally McCoist today as the club braces itself for even more bad news.
The fear among players and staff is that the axe is likely to fall tomorrow unless more funds are found immediately to cover the running costs.
McCoist, though, despite the latest in a long line of misinformed reports in Whyte’s pet paper, the Scottish Sun, will refuse to select which players stay and which go.
Instead, the manager will attempt to broker a deal to save jobs by slashing his own salary and asking his first-team squad to do the same to help the club survive without the need for job losses.
Rangers had hoped the £300,000 from Celtic would help tide them over but the administrators will have to find cash from elsewhere if swingeing cuts are to be avoided.