The Magic Money Tree


It might be afternoon by the time this gets published,right enough! Theresa May famously lambasted Labour’s manifesto spending plans of 2017 by telling everyone that there was no magic money tree. How strange that a future Conservative chancellor should prove her wrong,and that there is some basis after all for Modern Monetary Theory. But we don’t do politics here,that’s just an explanation of the title of today’s article.

It concerns Joan Laporta,president of FC Barcelona. He inherited a train crash of a club post-pandemic when he was voted back into office,granted,but he seems to be going out of his way to make things worse. At that time,Barca were reported to be around 1.5 billion euros in debt,and had had to ask various players to take a wage cut or deferral just to stop the club from folding. And indeed,they still are. Gerard Pique for instance is owed vast sums since his own deferral over two years ago. As too is Lionel Messi,who no longer even plays for them!

Their situation is further complicated by the fact that each club has a total salary cap imposed on them by the Spanish FA-and this year it is set at MINUS 122 million euros. No,I have no idea how that works either. 

Now that huge debt didn’t arrive overnight. It had built up over the years,mainly due to their profligate spending on new players. Real Madrid had their Galacticos,and Barca weren’t for being left at the starting gate. Their big spending really took off when they signed Neymar and Suarez about eight years ago for combined fees of around £125m,and continued since. True,they took in 222m for him from PSG four years later,but I reckon that they spent much of that on his transfer fee,agents fees,his Dad and of course wages. There was certainly little profit overall from the sale. 

So,given the clearly parlous state of the club accounts,did they bank the money? No,this is Barcelona we are talking about. They went out and spent all of it and more on Coutinho and Griezeman,then added a few others for good measure. And I can’t think of a single one of them who was successful during their time there.

So with all that red in the accounts,and a negative salary cap-and given that they couldn’t even offer Messi a new contract last year because of this-it really shouldn’t surprise me that they are signing players like Rudiger-admittedly for free,but think of the signing on fees and wages,etc-and even chasing Raphinho from Leeds and Lewandowski from Bayern at jointly over £100m,with signing on fees and wages still to come. It really is like the magic money tree,but that Modern Monetary Theory I mentioned only works if a country has a sovereign currency,one which is known as a reserve currency. Like the euro,pound,dollar,yen and Swiss franc.Try printing your own notes,Joan,and see how far you get.

Speaking of Leeds,about twenty years ago it became clear that it too was a basket case,due to overspending. The best example being £6m on Seth Johnson from Derby,then TELLING him that the club wage structure demanded that he be paid more than twice even his agent’s wildest dreams. The club soon had to sell its better players at fire sale prices-they only got £3m of a reported £5m for Harry Kewell,for example. They had turned down £20m for Viduka months earlier,and were forced to sell him to Middlesborough for £6m. Robbie Keane was about the same to Spurs,and yet none of these sales was enough to keep the company from going into administration after their second relegation a few years later. They spent years in the wilderness,rebuilding the club and its finances before returning to the EPL two years ago. I’d say that they are now a very well run club,stable and moderately successful.

Rangers took the opposite approach,a similar one to that which Barca are following at the moment. Stuck their fingers in their ears,went LA-LA-LA,I can’t hear you. All the way to the oblivion of liquidation. They even refused to sell players,and worse,attempted to sign some while in administration! Murray,famously,DID actually print his own notes,after a fashion. He got the Bank of Scotland to print them for him,then lend them to him. Didn’t do him much good really,though a stronger creditor than Lloyds would have cleaned him out for their debts,rather than allow him to cherrypick the better parts of his liquidated companies.

Barca,then,are treading a very dangerous path. And the latest version of EUFA FFP regulations is likely to prove that-if they are applied! And I doubt that the Spanish FA will be looking too kindly on their summer spending spree either. But what has all this to do with Celtic,I hear you ask? Well,a lot of us are fed up to the back teeth of being drawn against them in the Champions League. I know I am,even if THAT night ten years ago was magical! As was the Marshall/Kennedy Show in 2004. So,if we draw them again,we should point out that their squad has been illegally assembled. Let’s see if their lawyers are as good as the ones at Manchester City. And let’s also see if these regulations are worth the paper they are written on.


Above article by BMCUWP

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
July 12, 2022 12:28 pm

Apologies for the lateness of the article. Had a puncture in the middle of nowhere. After playing a game of hide and seek with the German designers over where the jack was,how to get at the spare,pumping up a hydraulic jack a millimetre at a time,I then found two of the wheel nuts were over-torqued. Two bloody hours,followed by another hour of filling in Accident/Damage reports-the van lurched violently to the left and scraped a wall.

Next time,I’ll just call the AA. Oh,wait-that didn’t work too well about a month ago,their 24 hour service referring in fact to how long it takes them to turn up!

July 12, 2022 12:49 pm

Obviously,I hadn’t read this before I wrote the article,but I think it is disgraceful that Barcelona are demanding wage cuts from their players while signing new ones.

July 12, 2022 12:57 pm

Love the new background,ASWGL!

Re your suggestion about the “like” facility,I have to agree with TLR on this one. We had it originally,installed as default,and quickly removed it. Mainly for the reasons that TLR sugests,but it also can be very disheartening to put up a comment and find that it is far from popular.

I too lament the loss of FRODSHAMBHOY,and for the reasons he stated,but I honestly don’t think that he was being ignored. I think that we are likely,if I’m honest,to have lost many others for this reason,though generally they didn’t say so. Many posts don’t solicit a response,as they are so obviously true in the point they are making. Having worked in sales and in sales training too,there is a parallel to be drawn between leading and closed questions.

REBUS67 wasn’t being entirely facetious with his suggestion that controversy works-yet there is such a thing as going too far. That means people are likely to scroll on by. Like everything else,it’s about getting the balance right.

July 12, 2022 12:59 pm


My Papa always told me that I was the luckiest boy in the school,because the bands came out to play for my birthday.

July 12, 2022 1:00 pm


Ms SOLKITTS!!!!!!!!!!

Prestonpans bhoys
July 12, 2022 1:08 pm

‘And the latest version of EUFA FFP regulations is likely to prove that-if they are applied!’

That’s the problem with FFP, they are cherry picked by EUFA whereas our own esteemed authorities don’t even bother their arse to apply any. It encourages basket case economics, Old Firm FC are not the only ones, as Bobby explains above.

Oh and hoopy birthday to solkits too👏👍

July 12, 2022 1:45 pm

Thanks for the article, another most enjoy read.
That’s so frustrating about the puncture. Aaaaggghh! Is all I can add.

Thank you for your kind comments, last night, very much appreciated.
In case anyone was thinking why would you cross this burn, when folks are throwing stones and bricks to splash you and try to make you fall in.
The alternative was a detour of 7/8 mins, which would have made you late for school and the sadistic teachers would be waiting, for you, to belt you for being late, so a kind of Hobson’s choice, belted or wet.
Take your pick!!!
Of course, another game of chicken would, sometimes, take place, where some would wait until the bell had gone to cross, hoping they would still make it in time, before being belted.
Those throwing the stones had to time it right, also, or they could end up late.
It was only years later, that it occurred to me, that never once, when I was there, at either side, did a teacher come out and stop it. I can only assume they enjoyed the entertainment, also. 😂

July 12, 2022 1:58 pm


Cheers,old son.

I enjoy your tales about watching the birds go by,I have a similar hobby,but really only as a twitcher nowadays!

My work is infested by gulls,despite being about 70 miles from the sea. I have long wondered how long they will take to evolve without webbed feet. I saw three last night on the way in,which certainly weren’t gulls,and which I didn’t recognise. Sadly,my phone was switched off at the time-my Nokia was on!-so I’ll try to take a photo tonight,and ask you what they are.

As an aside,I think the red kite was only reintroduced to the UK about 25 years ago. They’ve colonised the M4 between about Slough and Windsor!

July 12, 2022 2:15 pm


When I moved back to Kilwinning in 1996,I had been away since 1972. Not easy,but it didn’t take me long.

My Dad and I went to a Burns do soon after,and while I was at the bar,the chap who piped in the haggis was talking to him. Turns out his wife was my nephew’s teacher at primary.

Sits down,he says-I know you,don’t I? Yes,from St Andrews. Ah,I taught you art. Nope,I hated art. Could not draw a straight line with a ruler. Class was too big,I volunteered to take extra science instead.

In sixth year,a lot of us had decent income from supermarkets and paper rounds. I’d cleaned up three hands in a row-I got DEALT four nines in one of them-and everyone wanted their money back. They were all subbing my sole remaining opponent,who as it turned out,had a full house with kings and eights.

The pot was piling up,but I had the bank. I also had a royal flush-in hearts,the highest possible!

Then along comes Mr Butler. Caught rotten. Two each for gambling and for being above the ground floor during a break. All money confiscated,apparently for The Black Babies,and I’m prepared to accept his word on that.

Ah,yes,I do remember that,he says. Well,you’ll also remember belting out six of the best,then. Oh no,I never did that,and get this-I was far too good with the belt to give anyone six.

Well,you gave me six. No,why would I do that? Language violations,apparently.

I went f…..g ballistic! I must be the only person in history to have a royal flush of hearts and f…..g lost money! And been belted f..k out of into the bargain.

Suffice to say,he didn’t hang around too long.

July 12, 2022 2:24 pm

BMCUW that’s fine about a no to the like button, I only mentioned it as I wasn’t sure if yourself and Mahe were aware it was an option, I’m in the no camp more myself as it can become a lazy way of responding to a post.
Red Kites were first introduced in Buckinghamshire they are well spread out now I saw plenty in Wales a few weeks ago, they also have a kite centre in Powys.
I see them on the Lake of Menteith regularly where the ospreys try unsuccessfully to harass and chase them but the kite is 10 times more manouverable.
They have a feeding station at Argaty where you can see up to 40 at a time.


July 12, 2022 2:27 pm

Thanks, M, appreciated.
The Red Kites have been an amazing success story, they estimate there are now 10,000 in U.K.
An incredible stat, when most bird populations are in freefall.
At Argaty Farm, in Doune, one of the reintroduction places, they have been so successful, they don’t count, the nests, anymore.
It’s incredible how life turns out, the birds were supposed to be reintroduced at a nearby farm, but they decided they preferred Argaty Farm.
Tom Bowser is the owner of the working farm, I would be a liar to call him a close friend, but we D.M.each other on Twitter.
Tom’s and his family’s lives have changed from being farmers to being farmers/conservationists.
He told me a story of how when he goes to Farmers meetings, they call him a leftie and when he goes to the conservation meetings, they call him a right winger. I guess he’s doing something correct, then.
Beavers have been relocated to his farm and they have just had their first kit, he has a live cam, on it.
There was also a live cam on a Goshawk nest, they raised one chick.
Plenty of other raptors and you can book a hide and watch red squirrels, nuthatch etc, as well as the feeding of the wild red kite at 2.p.m. This is just a top up of their natural diet, obviously more birds appear in winter. Tom uses offal from his farm and neighbours farms, to feed them.
A great place for a wee day out.
As an aside, I forgot to mention, the 5 bungalows at Osprey Hideaways all have at least one active House Martin, nest. Its such a normal occurrence,for me, now, that I forget how lucky I am, to watch these birds, who travel from Africa to breed.
Of course, the fact they swarm around the loch and eat midges, how could you not love a House Martin.

July 12, 2022 2:33 pm

That’s brilliant, what a kick in the goolies, when the card game was broken up, though.
I would love to have been there, when you challenged the teacher later, his face would have been a picture.

The Leopard’s Rimshot
July 12, 2022 3:32 pm

Happy Birthday to young Ms. Sol Kitts!

And cheers to JNP for last night, also to ASWGL for the clip of the Red Kite from the Lake of Menteith.

I think all this talk of birds and fine fresh air will have to see me rewatching Weir’s Way from start to finish! 😊

And for Mick’s agreement on the Like button!

Sigh of relief …

Sol Kitts
July 12, 2022 4:10 pm

Prestonpans Bhoys
I have enough birthdays without you awarding me an additional one 😃😃. At the rate of 2 per year, it wouldn’t be long before I am as old as Big Packy. No, not my birthday, but it is my daughter’s. Anyway, thanks for the sentiment. 😎😎

Prestonpans bhoys
July 12, 2022 4:19 pm

Ah didn’t notice the Ms, hoopy birthday to Ms Solkitts😂😂😂😂😂😂

July 12, 2022 4:19 pm

TLR that was a Sea Eagle on the Lake of Menteith, I admit to being rather much like yourself, with my bird knowledge, what I know about our feather friends I could write on an ants ghoolies, however I do try to take a break when in the boat fishing to enjoy the Kingfishers, swifts, martins, ospreys, kites, and falcons at some of the venues.

One of the guys I go fishing with is the birder, he has a vast knowledge of them, and I’m slowly picking up some information.


big packy
July 12, 2022 4:20 pm

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to mrs sol kitts 👍 only lurking at the minute on wee joans orders, H.B.P, ffs only been married to her for forty two years and now suddenly she is worried about my health😎,another true story,,back to lurking👍

July 12, 2022 4:44 pm

big packy sit there and sook an ice-pole, then get a big bar of McCowans Highland toffee, and a wee drink of Tizer, you’ll be right as rain, in no time.

big packy
July 12, 2022 5:06 pm

ASWGL yes mcowans highland toffee and the penny caramels, used to go into maggie robertsons wee shop in glenboig and say how much are the penny caramels mrs robertson 🤩another true story, anyway im off before wee joan catches me, luv to all sentinel celts 👍

Bada Bing
July 12, 2022 5:34 pm

Bolingoli to Mechelen …..permanently….

July 12, 2022 5:41 pm


That’s a start.

Still a lot of deadwood floating around picking up wages, and need offloaded.

Hope there’s incoming also 👍

July 12, 2022 6:25 pm

Packy, How much are your penny caramels? LOL 🙂 🙂

July 12, 2022 6:57 pm

Evening all…ASWGL wrote “TLR that was a Sea Eagle on the Lake of Menteith, I admit to being rather much like yourself, with my bird knowledge, what I know about our feather friends I could write on an ants ghoolies”
ASWGL…if yer aunt had ghoolies she’d be yer uncle!! 🤣🤣🤣

Bada Bing
July 12, 2022 7:38 pm

Seems the Circus Parade in Norn Iron, was live on Sevco TV today, anyone confirm?

Bada Bing
July 12, 2022 7:52 pm

ITV News just done a piece on England Wummans team,a lassie scored and……”that puts her just 1 goal behind record England goalscorer Wayne Rooney….” fk me……someone better tell them…….🤦🏻‍♂️

July 12, 2022 8:41 pm

Watching Spain v Germany Women in the Euros.

Having gifted a Joe Hart goal to Germany early doors ( you could see it coming that early) Spain got their game together to make and miss chances.

Germany then break upfield to win a corner from which they score.

So much like the men’s game in respect of how it is unfolding.

Sol Kitts
July 12, 2022 8:49 pm

I got slated on Facebook when I said if the Women’s Euros were playing in my back garden I’d shut the curtains. Maybe a bit harsh, but I can’t watch it with any enthusiasm.

Bada Bing
July 12, 2022 8:54 pm

Sol K-ditto

July 12, 2022 9:08 pm

This appears to be from 2019, I heard it on Sunny G today, worth a wee listen and the video is no bad tae!…

July 12, 2022 9:13 pm

Womens football is becoming big business

Personally I cant get over enthused

Like tribute acts….kinda similiar just never as good.

Sol Kitts
July 12, 2022 9:15 pm

It’s a bit quiet on here tonight, which is as good a reason as any to watch some refs making an arse of themselves.

July 12, 2022 9:22 pm

Evening all…yeah, it’s quiet Sol so let’s have some controversy, see if it stirs some conversation! I had a discussion recently with a mate. I believe a female footballer will play professional football in a male team in my lifetime! He disagreed but I think the world is changing quicker than us auld codgers realise.

July 12, 2022 9:28 pm

World cup level save from German keeper from a volley.

Sol Kitts
July 12, 2022 9:33 pm

Everyone’s watching Love Island 🤮

July 12, 2022 9:34 pm

Have you already seen this one, Sol? 😘😁

Prestonpans bhoys
July 12, 2022 9:35 pm

‘World cup level save from German keeper from a volley.’

That would be interesting to see, as I’ve always said women keepers are certainly their weakness link. Anyway watching midsommers murders😱

Sol Kitts
July 12, 2022 9:36 pm

I think it’s more likely that a lower league male player will decide to transition to a woman and play in a ladies team. How FIFA would react to this would be interesting.

July 12, 2022 9:39 pm

On the subject of ladies fitba…we had one girl in our boy’s team. She was an excellent left back and her throw ins were extraordinary for a wee lassie, better than any of the boys by a mile! Anyhoo, she’s re-signed for Motherwell U19s (I think) on a 1 year deal. She asked my wee guy to make sure I go along to see her at some point this season, which I will, to see how she’s doing.

July 12, 2022 9:42 pm


Thought that was 3 0 there.

Good to see the officials are up to par too.

Watching the grand weans overnight ,one plays football and watchies any game with her dad.


Transgender league next?

Sol Kitts


St tams
July 12, 2022 9:44 pm

Sol Kitts
@ 9.48
Same here .

July 12, 2022 9:44 pm

Sol, you might very well be right but my thoughts are that, other than in USA where there is comparable pay in the National Men’s and Ladies’ teams, across the world the discrepancy in pay will lead to a challenge to allow wummin to play with men…like a soccer version of Love Island!!
Sol, as a former ref you would also agree, I think, that the game is less physical ( although more athletic) and that women are better equipped than ever in history to compete with men.

July 12, 2022 9:45 pm

Nobby Styles your hair

Sol Kitts
July 12, 2022 9:56 pm

The pace and power of the men’s game would make it difficult for women to hold down a place in a male team at the top level.
I’ve reffed women’s games, and I have to tell you, their use of foul language is extraordinary, I heard swear words that I never heard before. If I had followed the laws on foul and abusive language the games would have been over in 10 minutes.

July 12, 2022 9:58 pm

Sol Kitts/McCaff

Tasty 50 50 challenge in the middle of the park?

July 12, 2022 10:01 pm

Yeah Sol..our boys’ team was part of a local junior team that had a wummins’ team. Physically they were miles behind men. Including some being obesely overweight but at that level they could get away with it. Moving up a couple of levels to professional obviously the demands are much higher.
My point is only relevant with regards to how the game is developing, and at the rate its’s developing. It’s unfair to compare the two games at this stage but the day will come when one sex/gender will be permitted to play for the opposite.

Sol Kitts
July 12, 2022 10:03 pm

Big Packy, if you can tear yourself away from Love Island, did I tell you that when Mrs Kitts and I went to Barbados last year she decided to have a swim in the hotel’s infinity pool. Took her forever to manage a length. That might be a true story…….you decide.

Sol Kitts
July 12, 2022 10:06 pm

Early start for work tomorrow, so aff tae ma scratcher. GNAGB

Cosy Corner Bhoy
July 12, 2022 10:32 pm

Prestonpans Bhoy: Interesting comment re women goalkeepers; Over thirty years ago I used to go and watch ATOB playing Sutton Ladies and Surrey County and I used to tell her to shoot from thirty yards and keep the ball high as ‘ the goalkeeper(s) can’t get off the ground ‘! She could put a rugby ball over the bar from thirty yards, by the way. At one of her games I was told off by the referee ‘No coaching from the sidelines ‘ and he was a bit unhappy when I replied in my best Glaswegian accent…. I’m a fn spectator ya numpty. ATOB wasn’t a happy bunny and I had to move behind the goals.
Love the backdrop. Weel done ASWGL.

The Real McCoy
July 12, 2022 10:56 pm

ASWGL 👍🏻👏👏👏
The Prince Of Goalkeepers 🍀💚
A song played often in my childhood 🙏🏻