“Hang on, pal,” the baker chuckles. “My boss says I’ve got to take the money off you first.”
Underneath his big white hat, the chef’s strained smile speaks volumes. It’s been like this all week for Rangers staff, their club in administration, with debts of perhaps £90 million.
That kind of figure spells potential disaster for the community around Ibrox stadium. In this tough neighbourhood, south of the Clyde, thousands of lives are nurtured by the football club, nourished by a river of fans that pours up Paisley Road West every other weekend.
It’s not just the match-day scarf sellers or the Sportsman chippy who make money from football. Even the local hardware shop can cash in on Rangers.
Among the paint ponts and drill-bits that fill up Harjit Singh’s window, are Rangers key rings and fridge magnets. A cardboard mask of the club manager, Ally McCoist, is pressed against a window pane.
“I got them in for the Christmas party season, but demand has slipped a bit recently,” lamented Mr Singh. “It’s been strange round here this week. For the first couple of days after it happened the whole area seemed really depressed, people were genuinely affected.”
Not from the pampered players, she pointed out, but from fans who come along on Saturdays, long before kick-off, stamping up the steps from Cessnock station for a £6.50 trim, before they head off for a pre-game pint.
“Aye, it’s good for trade,” she said, before she addressed the most popular topic of the day. “Rangers got £24 million in advance season tickets sales just before they went broke. Where do you think all that money went?”
Other businesses feed off the club, like tick birds on a rhinoceros. Susan Dawson works in one of five burger stalls, each emblazoned with the Rangers crest, stationed round the stadium.
Wasn’t she worried that Rangers will go out of business? “Oh no. Definitely not,” she said, shaking her head. “Celtic couldn’t survive without their arch enemies. Scottish fooball needs Rangers.”
Barman John Davis struck a similar note of optimism, from inside the Louden Tavern.
“At first, when we went into administration, there was a lot of anger among the regulars,” he recalled. “Since then it’s changed. People are saying, if this is the road we have to go down, then that’s what it will be. We’re Rangers and that’s it. We’ve got to back them 100 per cent.”
Mr Davis is adamant: “The city knows that there is absolutely no way we can let Rangers go out of business. That’s 140 years of history right here. You can’t just let that die.”
All the excellent photos are by James Glossop.