Hearts score zero in Equifax credit league table as forecast for SPL is bleak

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AS THE new football season kicks off, business information provider Equifax has revealed the latest credit scores for clubs in Scottish Premier League.

Many have seen their scores stabilise since the last review of scores was made in May 2009, but Equifax is warning that a number of clubs are still technically insolvent and could be financially vulnerable in the coming months.

The body is especially concerned by the impact of the current transfer season will show in their next set of accounts, as well as any downturn in sponsorship and ticket sales.

The latest Equifax ScoreCheck figures show that all the SPL credit ratings have stayed the same since June 2009, with a quarter of the clubs still listed as technically insolvent.

"It's interesting to see that many of the SPL teams are faring better in our ScoreCheck table than the English Premiership teams, with just three out of 12 clubs in the SPL rated as technically insolvent," continued Neil Munroe of Equifax. "Seven out of the 12 SPL clubs listed scored over 70 points, compared to just four from the English Premier League.

"In addition, two clubs in the SPL scored a perfect 100, whereas only Manchester United has managed the same among the English teams.

"But there are some clear financial pressures on the Scottish League which make them more vulnerable. The SPL was hit hard by the loss of its television deal with Setanta worth 125million and despite striking a new deal with Sky and ESPN, it is only worth 65m and covers two seasons, as opposed to the original four.

"Clubs rely on revenue from ticket sales and merchandising, but many consumers will be looking to spend less as jobs are threatened and household budgets are stretched.

"Even the most successful clubs in both leagues need to make sure they're match fit on and off the pitch to ensure they make it through the recession," Munroe went on. "The combined loss of revenue from season tickets, corporate hospitality and commercial hospitality all take their toll."

CREDIT LEAGUE TABLE

St Johnstone 100

St Mirren 100

Hibernian 87

Rangers 84

Celtic 79

Aberdeen 78

Kilmarnock 71

Falkirk 57

Dundee United 42

Hamilton Academical 2

Hearts 0

*Motherwell 0

*Motherwell automatically given zero points and insolvency rating