ECJ ruling will breakup national leagues


The European Court of Justice (ECJ) this morning ruled that Fifa and Uefa acted illegally in blocking the proposed European Super League (ESL) in 2021.  The ESL was a ham-fisted attempted cash grab by a group of ‘elite’ clubs who despite operating in the world’s most lucrative football cartels, wanted more money.

Uefa responded today with a statement saying they updated their rules in 2022 to reflect European law and assert the football pyramid, although they don’t explain how they accommodate the ECJs central point that this is a restriction on trade.

None of that matters now.  What happens next may not be the ESL, but you can be sure football is about to change more radically than it has since the introduction of the offside rule.  It is inconceivable that this ruling will not lead to the breakup of the national league structures in their present format.

The ESL was opposed by virtually all football fans for one reason only – it subverted the meritocratic principle that football was built on.  A group of ‘elites’ would never be relegated and would forever be assured a wealthy financial dividend.  This was unnecessarily greedy and betrayed a lack of understanding of what the game is all about.  The next proposed iteration may or may not make the same mistake.

US Bank JPMorgan Chase were to be the source of ESL funding.  Such funders now seem twee.  Since then, LIV Golf, the Saudi Pro League and the pending award of the 2034 World Cup to Saudi Arabia (they are the only bidder) has seen a wealthier-still actor invest in the sport.

What does any of this mean for you and me?  On Saturday, Liv Football means 10 men behind the ball for 90 minutes, as Livingston try to resist Celtic’s attempt to win the league and compete again in the Champions League.  The domestic environment feels like a sub-par preparation for the European objective.

In European football, meritocracy only really exist in the abstract sense that teams from Budapest, Vienna, Prague or Glasgow can theoretically compete at any level.  In practice, a series of national cartels exist to deny competitors access to lucrative TV markets.  In the UK, it is not even a national cartel, we have a dominant England and Wales regional cartel that denies access to competition from clubs in Scotland.

You and me?  We are enjoying an unprecedented period (generations) of domination in Scottish football and the breakup of national cartels threatens this. So potentially fewer wins against Livi.  But can you think of any club in the world with more potential upsides from the breakup of the national cartels?

The game we know was shaped more by the son of a French grocer who never played, than Pele, Cruyff or Messi.  He was an administrator with a plan, they named the World Cup trophy after him.  Oh for an administrator with Jules Rimet’s vision now.

Click Here for Comments >

About Author

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6

  1. reoccuring theme ,we blow the 10 in a row season ,when we could have finished them once and for all ,but we collapsed like a pack of cards,



    now we are blowing this season when the rewards for winning the title this season are enormous ,think somebody needs the dosh more than us as we have £72m in the bank , once again it looks like we are collapsing like a pack of cards.


    and add to that the banning of the GB.

  2. Reading it Paul I share your feeling that this way, we get what we want and need, namely to leave Scoddish fitba behind for potentially greener pastures.



    But with an unpredictable commercial setup ahead for big fish from small pondlife clubs, our execs will need to show their world class mettle to ensure our player trading model melds into possible new telly dosh, so that we don’t become the Livi of whatever new leagues emerge and form.



    Also, what will it mean for fan participation at away games ?



    Guess we know who’d win a fight between the House of Saud and House of Pain !

  3. Siempre Celtic (formerly Traditionalist88) on

    AN TEARMANN on 21ST DECEMBER 2023 12:04 PM



    When he goes against what we stand for(continually) you have to draw the line.



    If he is not comfortable with being a Celtic supporter then he shouldnt keep up the pretence.




  4. As I posted after the Feyenoord win and before the Hearts defeat .



    If we do not win this seasons SPFL .


    It may be many years before we see Celtic perform at the top level of European football.



  5. If UEFA & FIFA can’t legally block the creation of an elite pan-European (or even global) competition for a bunch of self-serving clubs, then how can anybody legally block any cross border participation? Surely this gives Celtic an opportunity to push for entry to the Premier League, and if they’re potentially going to lose several of their “top” clubs, there will be space, and presumably a desire, to generate a bit more appeal for what is left…

  6. Siempre Celtic (formerly Traditionalist88) on

    Read ‘The Deal’ a while back, an autobiography by a former agent who gave a fascinating insight into not just transfers but his life and work in theatre and the doors that opened by being a football agent. Helped deliver the EPL and got much other varied work as a result. Anyway towards the end of his book he noted as far as the future goes that cross border leagues were likely and the Australian FA (in ~2015) had contracted him to help them deliver meaningful growth in the game there. It was concluded that this would be difficult in that there was no obvious open goal – every big city had a club already and there was no real potential in opening one beside Ayers Rock! So the next logical step was to look into the possibility of a South East Asian League, with all partners theoretically were in favour and even the regulatory bodies did not immediately oppose the idea, which was parked but remains very likely to happen. More info here:




    The book is excellent reading too.







    Or as part of a more cosmopolitan and sexier league-cum-TV setup, it may relieve our toxic codependency on the blue pound and theirs on a benevolent co-operative sibling ?

  8. Siempre Celtic (formerly Traditionalist88) on




    Also, what will it mean for fan participation at away games ?





    We might actually get some tickets!




  9. An Tearmann earlier,



    The figures don’t lie.


    Of course we will find it more expensive and difficult to incentivise proven first team players players to come to Scotland.



    If you read earlier, I stated that the posts were from a Celtic perspective in attracting players I specifically did not question the pros or cons of the budget.





    Hail Hail.



    PS : Of course Burnley 78 is a top class Celtic supporter who puts his time, effort and money into supporting Celtic. Much more that many if not most of us on here. I have disagreed with him many times , but for anyone to suggest he is not Celtic through and through is just ludicrous.

  10. Trad88 Siempre



    When he goes against what we stand for(continually) you have to draw the line.



    If he is not comfortable with being a Celtic supporter then he shouldnt keep up the pretence.





    Break down his points,break down his arguement,from its source to the way he expresses it,i would suggest he is totally comfortable viewing Celtic his way,as i am sure you are yours,


    ‘May not agree with what be says,but respect his right to say it’


    Thats all am saying






  11. Burnley 78.


    Not sure why some are criticising you and they are certainly reading something into your posts that I can`t see.


    I enjoy ( and agree with) your posts much more than I do those of most of your `critics`.


    Keep on keeping on.








    Also, what will it mean for fan participation at away games ?





    We might actually get some tickets!








    True. Of course, the price of these new glam-League briefs will naturally go up along. potentially, with the interstate and international travel that may present 😮


    May create a further divide between pie and bovril supporters and canapes and champers fans!!

  13. Siempre Celtic (formerly Traditionalist88) on

    AN TEARMANN on 21ST DECEMBER 2023 12:34 PM



    There is a difference between having a different viewpoint on particular issues and being absolutely diametrically opposed and absolutely uncomfortable with everything that Celtic stands for. This comes across in a large majority of this posters contributions. I’ve been posting here since ~2006 and theres been a few. He seems to have stuck. I don’t know what he gets from it, but embrace our traditions or otherwise whats the point? Our clubs and its values, its core support, will outlive all of us but particularly those who try to change it.




  14. Siempre Celtic (formerly Traditionalist88) on




    Absolutely, so many questions.




  15. Gotta say, I feel a bit of sympathy for the last lot of projects signed by us. Why, you ask ?



    well, these guys were never “first team” ready, projects, that’s it, and I am sure a good few will have good futures.


    For example, it’s like a young guy having just passed his driving test, and being asked to take part driving a Formula 1 car, he is doomed to failure. Just like our young projects in my mind.


    So I ask is when they do play for us we try to encourage them, nothing like praise to get the confidence up.


    It is not their fault they are being pushed into the team, BR , have a look in the mirror,eh !!!




  16. Greenpinata



    You cant extrapolate Celtic out of the wider Scottish economy,you can not isolate Celtic from the wider Scottish economy.I wish we could at times,alas on this we cant.


    We will,just like every other individual,have to deal with this method of redistributing monies from rich to poor.



    Ps The other evening you said B78 may be right? I asked with no reply what you were referring to,any indication?




  17. glendalystonsils on

    Whatever league we end up in our conjoined twin will be right there with us spreading their bile to pastures new , with their media lackeys slobbering on close behind .



    The more things change ……..

  18. Siempre Celtic (formerly Traditionalist88) on

    A couple of unsurprising mealy mouthed apologists supporting him – oh well he must be a real Tim then!

  19. Siempre Celtic (formerly Traditionalist88) on



    There can be some absolute rubbish written on these pages and





    Burnley78 being a hun is top of the list !






    Noting the irony of your first post, haven’t seen anyone call him a hun – happy to be proven wrong.



    The world is not made up solely of Tims and Huns you know :)



    You’re welcome.




  20. AT,



    Hope you are well



    From earlier, I was talking about what they are proposing now which looks like a replacement for the Champions League, just watched the video and it looks complicated but opening it up to 64 clubs may entice more to apply.

  21. T88 Siempre



    Fair enough T88:-)


    His is easily an arguement broken down once scratching its surface,be it slandering Celtic fans over drug taking or criticising songs of the “800 year dirge”(irish history) out of which our club arose,or politics and sport dont mix,a stupid assertion from the start when you look how&who Celtic was founded for here in the land of the reformation its his view,incorrect,but his Celt is of more/less value than any other imo



    Good to see you on.




  22. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on




    When he goes against what we stand for(continually) you have to draw the line.






    Interesting post SC.



    Can you remind, or even perhaps educate, us ….



    …. What do we (Celtic) stand for?

  23. Siempre Celtic (formerly Traditionalist88) on

    AN TEARMANN on 21ST DECEMBER 2023 1:10 PM



    Well put, its just comments like that are par for the course from our rivals but we need a united front more than ever and being comfortable with who we are and, as you say, where we came from, is vital.


    Have a good one,




  24. European Super League, should be made up of teams who have won the European cup since it’s inception, easy



    Bonus point, no huns




  25. Camusbhoy.





    Just listening to Uefa’s addendum now on news thanks,when talking originally it was of the original breakaway proposal which did not include promotion/relegation



    I think as soon as enough games are included to change the basis of our budget from spl to euroleague we will be in there.



    Hope Santa is good to you and yours :-)




  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6