Open Goal – “Celtic’s business model is incredible,” David Martindale

Can someone just give David Martindale a trophy and the respect he craves? The ‘Points per Pound’ Cup should do for a title for his silver bauble – and perhaps the governing bodies can have it specially made by the company who supplied Steven Gerrard’s ‘if the game lasted 80 minutes’ trophy, he too was so keen to get a hold of while Celtic were scooping up the majority of the actual trophies contested for.

The Livi manager discussed his side having the lowest finances in the division and also stated his side would be top of the league based on their lack of spending power when compared to their actual achievements and results.

David Martindale, Head Coach of Livingston, looks on prior to the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Livingston FC at on December 21, 2022. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

And he revealed his reasoning behind the claim this despite having no clue what Celtic’s budget is or indeed those around him in the league. Not that it has stopped him tying himself in knots trying to explain his thinking to Si Ferry’s Open Goal podcast.

When Martindale stated, ‘what do you think Celtic’s budget is? £20m you think so? I genuinely don’t know’, admitting such ignorance of the necessary facts would probably have been a good place to stop. Instead, we had to endure the Lions boss tediously laying out his workings. See if you can get your head round this one.

“That’s the thing for me can I compete with Celtic and (the)Rangers financially? Not in a million years. But can I do all of this as well as them? I can. I might not have the same resources but I can do all the same things it doesn’t cost because it is hard work on our part.

“There’s a top manager in England now – I won’t name the club but for a well-known fact a manager was recruited on the money they had spent on their budget – let’s say in England £10m and he managed to get 50 points. So for every point he got it equated to so many pounds.

Celtic v St Mirren – Celtic players celebrate after the Scottish Cup fifth round match at Celtic Park, Saturday February 11, 2023. Photo Steve Welsh

“If you flip that in the Scottish league and we all have a rough idea of everyone’s budgets. What you get for finishing 12th in the Premier League is my budget next year. It’s guaranteed money because the SPFL are giving you it. It’s roughly £1.3m for us so just using Celtic and (the)Rangers – they are a wee bit different – what do you think Celtic’s budget is? £20m you think so?

“I genuinely don’t know but I know what certain players are on and Celtic and (the)Rangers have earned the right to do that. Celtic’s business model is incredible. They have earned the right to spend x-amount on players. Why would they not?

“So if you were to divide Celtic and (the)Rangers lets say £35-40m budget with the points they get that gives you how much it costs them per point. We all knows this and you can get information through the accounts. If you do that every year it spits out a number.

David Martindale, Head Coach of Livingston, looks on prior to the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Livingston FC at on December 21, 2022 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“The year (the)Rangers won the league they were something like £425,000 per point…Celtic’s that season was something like £750,000 and if you come down to us it was about £27,000. By a country mile [have the lowest budget in the league]. I know for a fact I’ve got the lowest budget.”

For what it’s worth I agree David Martindale has done a more than decent job at Livingston, but there is something about his whining about budgets that simply grates. Probably because thankfully, we don’t hear about it from all the other managers (except Micky Rookie of course who described the Celtic boss as a ‘lucky man’) as, in the main, they don’t seem to crave the recognition that Martindale clearly feels he does.

Nor do the majority of them have the big advantage that Martindale refuses to acknowledge plays a big part in his points total every season -the fact they play 50% of their league games on a plastic pitch.

Perhaps Martindale also has the workings for how many points he gains from his team playing on that hideous surface at Almondvale and how much less he could count on if his team played on grass.

I’m not hanging around for the results of that one though, having David Martindale try and defend it would be just too much for my brain to cope with.

Niall J

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About Author

As a Bellshill Bhoy I was taken to my first Celtic game in the summer of 1987. It was Billy McNeill’s return to Celtic Park as manager and Celtic lost 5-1 to Arsenal . I thought I was a jinx, I think my Grandfather might have thought the same. It was the finest gift anyone ever gave me when he walked me through Parkhead's gates.


  1. David if it’s shots on goals repsents points against glagow pair you’d 3pionts you defend with 10 men behind the ball tell your players to waste time try and win free kicks long throw ins you waste the game for the supporters coaches like you we can do without but there are 8 of you in spl where a points a win

  2. I actually don’t mind Martindale.He has respect for us and is not afraid to show it. Refreshing given that other Hun minded managers do not