When the Gerrard to Newcastle talk was at its strongest, the speculation was about the money, about the fact Newcastle are suddenly super-wealthy and have to be considered early contenders for the title next season, purely on their newfound ability to more or less buy a new team.
With Stevie voicing his frustration recently that he’s been unable to spend this year (only spent £300,000 on Scott Wright the whole of 2021) it did seem like the filthy lucre on offer in the north might have been of interest to him.
But there’s a twist of course.
There are £45M reasons for Steven Gerrard to remain in Glasgow not only till the end of this season, but till at least the end of next too, and it’s pretty clear what that is:
The Champions League.
Next summer, should Rangers win 56, and obviously there’s still much work to be done there, then if all is pure and holy the club will be installed automatically in the group stage of the CL.
Which changes everything.
The baseline money here is unbelievable – the world has changed since the days of Rangers nailing £10M total in 2010 for getting to the group. Nowadays it’s a guaranteed £15M simply for getting to the group. There’s also each win and draw, which are around £3M and £1M respectively. But then you have the gate receipts for each home match. Let’s face it, Rangers will charge heavily, around £50 a ticket or maybe £120 for three. So crudely put that’s £2.5M per match which obviously is £7.5M.
But the real beauty is the TV money. This is where the filthy cash really spills in, especially if Celtic don’t get to the group stage. Scotland, because of our location and how the working out is made up, due to Scotland not having its own exclusive UCL broadcaster we get a share of the TV money the PL clubs get (Sky and BT), and that is up to around £20M alone.
So final total just for getting there? Around £45M. That is before each result, which could well add millions on top.
Furthermore, Rangers would be awarded this cash instantly, as opposed to having to wait for staggered payments.
Meaning Stevie would definitely have an instant jackpot up to £45M just for winning the SPL, plus the standard £3M prize money for winning the league, which increases the kitty to close to £50M.
Steven Gerrard definitely wants a shot at the CL, and he wants it with the chance to buy in some quality new additions next season.
He knows, in the UK at least, only realistically 6 clubs can get to the CL group stage next season, and Rangers are one of them and Newcastle are not.
Having a budget of £35M-£55M to invest in his squad next summer is tantalising for our manager.
It’s what we at Ibrox Noise said we had to spend THIS summer to keep us going – but doing so was dependent on either being in the UCL or selling a big player – neither happened.
So next summer is now all about the CL and the money it opens up.
But, of course, let us not forget SPL is absolutely 100% critical. It’s a must-win.
And that’s why 56 this season is maybe even bigger than 55 was last.