CELTIC will be the biggest losers in the wake of Rangers drifting off to the lower divisions – financially and politically.
The absence of their biggest foes will have an immediate and obvious impact on the average attendance figure at Parkhead – last season 50,904 – due to the fact the Old Firm games are the only fixtures always guaranteed to be near 60,000 sell-outs.
No other visitor brings the same volume of supporters, with approximately 8000 tickets sold to Rangers fans who fill every seat not occupied by home fans on derby day.
While every other club in the SPL can bank on Rangers and Celtic swelling their average gate, for the Hoops, only the team from Ibrox can get the turnstiles clicking to the same extent.
A rough estimate of the cost of no Old Firm game would be £720,000, plus add-ons from corporate hospitality – which carries a premium for such games – and catering, programmes, etc.
While this only effects two dates in the calendar, overall, there is the reduced income from items including the downsizing of the payments from a TV contract which is almost certain to be renegotiated.
While the TV income is a smaller percentage of Celtic's turnover than it is for every other club, it is, nevertheless, significant, especially when the recession means that other incomes streams are already under pressure.
If the championship is less competitive – as it is reasonable to presume it will be, given the fact the only team that finished ahead of Celtic in the three seasons prior to this one will no longer be there, third-placed Motherwell finished 31 points behind the Hoops last term, and only Hearts have split the Old Firm in the league this century – will Celtic fans continue to turn out every week in the numbers they currently do?
While gate money may already be safely on board, in terms of season ticket holders who simply choose not to attend any given week, the cash they spend when they get inside the ground will be lost.
On the subject of season tickets, will they continue to be sold in the same numbers if there is a belief that what was traditionally a two-horse race for the title has just seen the contest reduced to a walkover?
The guarantee of a ticket for the Old Firm games was a compelling reason for many to renew their season ticket.
With no Rangers presence, and tickets available to buy for every other SPL match, some supporters may decide to take the game-by-game option, depriving Celtic of the up-front money which is so important to the smooth operation of the club, not least while the transfer window is open when the bulk of it comes in.
The fact is that Celtic's robust fiscal policy of the last six or seven years has placed them in a strong position to cope with any income impact Gers' SPL absence will bring.
While Rangers were, allegedly, spending money which should have been going elsewhere, ie, HMRC, the men controlling the purse strings at Parkhead were carefully establishing a strong foundation and rainy day contingency fund borne of a tight control on expenditure.
So, if it is one, two, three or more years without Old Firm games, Celtic will cope.
Indeed, the opportunity to rack up a series of titles will bring the bonus of commanding the single Champions League qualifying spot which will be all that Scotland can look forward to for the foreseeable future after this season.
That, in turn, will give Celtic the chance to get to the group stage where participation would more than compensate for a reduced income from the domestic football.
Of course, there is no guarantee of this, however, even though Celtic would be trying to qualify though the champions route, which has fewer major obstacles than the non-champions path through to the group stage.
So it would be folly – and, out of character – for the Hoops to budget on Champions League income for fear that failure to make the group stage would leave them with a huge black hole in their accounts.
More than ever, they need to keep tight control of as much as they can. And, ironically, that's where the biggest loss of all could be suffered.
With no Rangers standing alongside them around the SPL table, the 11-1 voting structure which for so long has allowed the Old Firm to hold the power will be seriously undermined, if, indeed, it survives.
The veto which, effectively, the Old Firm could use to block anything which threatened their position – or income – would be one of the first things the other clubs would seek to remove.
All of which Peter Lawwell and everyone else sitting around the table in the Parkhead boardroom will have been mulling over since the implosion and subsequent disintegration of Rangers FC as we know it began.
The fate of the Ibrox club in terms of the SPL does not lie in the hands of their ancient rivals as enough of the other clubs in Scotland's top division have decided a newco will not be allowed to play in their league.
That may have removed one very tricky situation for the Celtic board as a large number of their fans have made it very clear to them that there would be serious consequences if the Hoops voted yes to Rangers retaining their place.
However, an equally difficult situation now presents itself in terms of the on-cost to Celtic of Rangers' absence from direct competition, and the full ramifications will not be known for some time to come.