On Saturday, August 1, Ross County FC travels to Celtic Park for its 2015-16 Scottish Premiership opening match. Besides having 60,000 supporters in the stands, the Celtic lineup will also have another huge advantage over the Staggies. Money. And lots of it.
Sporting Intelligence’s Global Sports Salaries Survey 2015 analyzed the 2013-14 team payrolls for the most popular sports leagues in the world. In the Scottish Premiership, Celtic was the highest paying club, averaging an annual salary of £901,943 per player. Ross County was the lowest at £36,000 annually per player.
Therefore the top payroll in the league, Celtic, was a staggering 25 TIMES HIGHER than that of the bottom club, Ross County. This ratio was larger than any other surveyed league IN THE WORLD.
In addition, Celtic’s average salary per player was more than the other 11 Premiership sides in the 2013/14 season COMBINED, which was £822,689.
Meanwhile, across the pond in America – that land of greed, sharp-elbowed capitalism, and so-called Yankee Individualism – their version of football has an entirely different financial model.
The National Football League (NFL) has very strict rules for revenue sharing amongst all 32 member teams and a team salary cap that cannot be exceeded. The result of such “socialism” is that the NFL team with the largest payroll in 2014, the Miami Dolphins at $135,313,936, was a mere 1.4 TIMES GREATER than the team with the lowest, the New York Jets at $95,428,443.
We wish Ross County manager, Jim McIntyre, the best of luck in Glasgow on August 1st. But if the Celtic lineup was worth just 1.4 times more than that of the Staggies, and McIntyre could afford to pay an annual salary of £644,245 per player, perhaps he wouldn’t be in need of much luck in the first place.
Statement of interests: Paul McCarthy is an American “geek” with a keen interest in British and Scottish politics, business, and current events.