Einstien’s fifth law: Football needs a crisis


A friend of mine who has lived on-and-off in the US watches their sports, but he is clear: the biggest US sport, American football, has vastly less significance to that society that football does across most of Europe.  In every city, town and village across Europe people gather in often miserable stadiums to bond with their neighbours and the generations gone before them.  Football defines us, in many cases more than our nationality does.

But look at US sports, even basketball and baseball, who are forever trying to compete with football, the money flowing through these industries is disproportionately high compared to the European game.  And it is not just the flow of money – it is the profits.

Without fear of relegation, or the need to perform in order to reach the profitable stages of competition, clubs can retain significant profits.  Sure, the players earn lots, but it is the shareholders who make the real money from sport in the US.

If you look at European football purely as an industry, you will come up with a plan that looks pretty much like the breakaway European Super League (ESL).  The ESL has the potential to propel the value of shares (when traded in quantity) in each of the proposed 15 permanent members (only 12 have so far committed, leaving space for Bayern Munich, PSG and Borussia Dortmund) by a factor of 10.  Your billion euro club is now worth 10 billion euros.  Do not for a second think you can appeal to their sense of tradition or decency.  I have never met anyone who has chosen not to become 10 times richer and none of these club owners are going to buck this trend.

Uefa has slowly eradicated meritocracy in the European game by conceding territory to these clubs for much of the last 20 years.  It was never going to satisfy them, all it did was rob European giants from small countries of a chance of competing at the highest level.

And while this proposal is for a midweek competition, be clear, Manchester United do not ever want to play Burnley on their weekends.  A game like this provides no commercial value, in fact, playing small English clubs denies them the opportunity cost of playing Real Madrid at the weekend.  A proposal to leave domestic football is in the post.

Sepp Blatter used to throw around that hoary old phrase “the football family”, which seemed empty until this week.  The response across the game has been universal, impressive and surprising.  The EPL, FA, Uefa, Fifa, national associations, the European Club Association and clubs across Europe were forthright in a combative response.  The football family found its voice.

The current landscape does not suit fans like me (or you, if you are reading this).  We lost an era of great clubs from small nations because our TV markets are not as valuable as other TV markets.  Titans became filler depending on which side of a border their home ground sat, it was that arbitrary.

Our ambitions are limited to hanging onto coattails of clubs who 20 years ago had scarcely won a domestic title; never mind won admiration and respect across Europe.  I want to see this changed and a return to meritocracy, where well-run clubs across the Continent can aspire to great things again.

The sovereign wealth and hedge funds that are behind this move will have run through every scenario.  This is a time to be a sports contract lawyer.  There will be money on the table to see them through some turbulence.  The rest of the football industry have legal and commercial options.  Fifa, Uefa, the ECA, the FAs and leagues of the ‘big five’ leagues must act in unison; a contractual obligation to block and ban would be a handy first step.  The game needs leadership of the Jules Rimet calibre.

It was Albert Einstien who said “every crisis in an opportunity”.  Most of our clubs need an opportunity to break free of the hegemony of these predatory clubs, so maybe Einstein’s fifth law would be ‘Football needs a crisis’.

Bring this decade’s long slide into the pockets of the hedge funds to an end.  I want a European Super League, but one based on merit, open to great and innovative clubs, that would inspire kids across the Continent to dream about winning the European Cup for their team the way I did once.

As an addendum, back in November 2004 CQN published a Plan for a European League.  The online version perished on our move away from Blogger, and I’ve not read it in 15 years, but here it is.


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  1. The racist apologists Brewer and Graham will be in mourning this morning on Talk Nazi.

  2. Can anyone explain to me why school teachers assistants in Scotland are not being funded properly? I can’t understand why the SNP are putting laptop provision ahead of funding for teachers’ assistants especially in socially deprived locations where teachers’ assistants are needed most.


    Votail SNP, Ave Ave

  3. There has to be dual consent to a United Ireland. The North East should not be allowed to join the rest of Ireland until the European Union sez so.

  4. HOT SMOKED on 20TH APRIL 2021 7:51 PM


    What EXACTLY has JHB said that makes some strongly doubt his Celtic credentials?




    You, me and all the dogs on the street know that is just a curve ball. A ploy if you like to discredit the poster rather than play his posts.


    Can you name any other poster who continually gets his Celtic credentials questioned?



    This is about his political views and some don’t like it.



    We have had political posts throughout the night. Where is the outrage ?




  5. The grovelling “apologies” from the so called big 6 is so nauseous and insincere.



    What will be the aftermath since the owners are so discredited?


    Big changes ahead.






    PS : Where is oor manager.?

  6. Good morning cqn from a dry and bright Garngad



    As Howe has not been announced after Dominic we can take it that it’s not him and if we are waiting on him until Juhe or whatever then this is managerial suicide. Honestly our board are so far removed from fan reality it is hard to believe.



    If it’s a natter of compensation fir Howe and his backroom team go and feckin pay it if not move on ffs.



    This is more embarrassing by the day and will not end well. If Howe wanted to come he would be here so when he moves to another club it wont end well for our board.



    D :)

  7. Russian money has bought the Conservative party as a consequence of that Russians are in the parliament and have access to the UK Govt, laughable Boris objecting to the ESL…………. JP Morgan like to employ Tory politicians, Wall Street giant JPMorgan has hired Britain’s former finance minister Sajid Javid as a senior adviser,






    15th May players last game no new management staff or structure will be in place in a matter of weeks as players depart for their holidays



    Peter Lawwell will be making all the decisions on Celtic FC playing staff, carrying out all the negotiations with agents and players, asleep at wheel with no roadmap……………….Who would want to run in to a burning building

  8. What is the Stars on

    Who needs a manager


    Why do we need a manager


    How is a manager to manage


    When will there be a manager.

  9. GREENPINATA on 21ST APRIL 2021 5:41 AM



    HOT SMOKED on 20TH APRIL 2021 7:51 PM



    Cheers for your comments, and of course you are right.



    Those on here who behave in the way you outline are your common, or, garden. CyberNats.



    Constant and repetitive name-calling & abuse is their weapon to discredit anyone with a different political view. It’s a Goebbels-like strategy – ” if you repeat the same lie often enough it becomes the truth”.



    These people add nothing of substance – they are SNPcult shock-troops.



    Of course one expects, even welcomes, counter arguments from other Celtic people – this is not what they are about.



    My position is, and will always be, that I find astounding any of our ‘kind’ can, on an intellectual level, vote for the SNPcult.

  10. The value of the German system of 50+1 rule has been self-evident in the last 24 hrs, I have no faith in the Torys changing ownership models of the UK’s football clubs, talk is very cheap with Boris, the action never follows, the German model comes from the social-economic system in Germany, workers have a stake, those clubs started in their communities continue to have those fans having a strong influence in how the club operates, and more importantly who owns the club, Celtic are vulnerable to a hostile American (Glazers)take over with a large fan base to exploit, we have to be ever vigilant time for many of you to consider a balanced model of our clubs’ ownership before that ship sails.

  11. GREENPINTA @ 6:06



    The grovelling “apologies” from the so called big 6 is so nauseous and insincere.




    Exactly – and the same reason “we were afraid to be left behind” being rolled-out.



    These 6 are members of the richest national league in the world – a league so awash with TV money, that almost every club could allow their fans free admission to games and still make a profit.



    They were involved in a conspiracy to ride roughshod over the game of football in order to further enrich themselves. That is a crime against the vast majority of clubs and all football fans, and should be punishable whether their scheme worked, or, not. There was premeditated intention to do harm for purely selfish reasons – they MUST pay a price for that.

  12. Far from having any punitive sanctions imposed, I believe the super league wannabees will secure greater concessions on champs league set up.


    Money will continue to flow uphill.


    Celtic should maintain a watching brief here.



    Of far greater importance is our search for our next management team.


    Our last appointment was made during a shower, this one feels more like a drought.



    The situation is beyond urgent.


    We are asked to be patient now, though we know we have players who’ll be moving on. Getting 11 players for our first game is already a challenge.

  13. This site used to be educational, informative, and humorous, the broad spectrum of contributors made it the go-to place for Celtic chat, I have chatted with many fellow true Celtic people who have fought and oppose the SNP vehemently and still do, never heard “our kind” being said ever…………………………..

  14. LIONSROAR @ 7:22



    Celtic are vulnerable to a hostile American (Glazers)take over with a large fan base to exploit.




    Got to disagree with you – there is absolutely no value in the Scottish set-up to encourage any “Glazer-like’ intervention. Sure our fan base is big, bigger than anyone outside the “big six’ bandits – but the environment in which we play and the interest in it, is ‘small potatoes’.

  15. GuyFawkesaforeverhero on

    Lionroars67 on 21st April 2021 7:22AM



    Celtic vulnerable to a hostile takeover is a common myth spread around the Celtic internet. So common, the phrase even appears in the self-promoting page of the Celtic Trust website.



    I say a common myth to be charitable to those individuals who parrot the words without comprehension. From people who know the term, it’s a lie used to foster alarm in the general support. No doubt, in an attempt to gain financially from stirring the general support into some action that involves its money.

  16. Who owns Aberdeen ? Who owns Dundee Utd ? …………..The yanks are here, how many UK clubs have American corporate control



    Name Equities %


    Dermot Desmond 32,772,073 34.7%


    Lindsell Train Ltd. 17,557,438 18.6%



    Buy these two shareholdings and you control Celtic, it could be all done and dusted in 24 hours



    Fact not fiction

  17. Constant and repetitive name-calling & abuse is their weapon to discredit anyone with a different political view. It’s a Goebbels-like strategy – ” if you repeat the same lie often enough it becomes the truth”.



    Surely your tongue was firmly in your cheek when you posted that? The daily warnings of ethnic cleansing on the “17%”, the non stop name calling, the scare mongering every single day!!! Seriously get a grip. Your faux honest man persona is just that, you are honest and truth telling in the way that Boris Johnson is. You are on here to stoke the flames of sectarian hated in the hope that it will drive people to vote for right wing parties and as long as you do that I’ll call you out.


    I couldn’t care less what your politics are, your constant sectarian hatred sniping and references to your “kind” are what drives my forthright responses. Its straight forward sectarian hate speech nothing to do with policy or party politics, your kind of religious “cult” will never accept a fully integrated Scotland.



    Oh and by the way you never respond to anyone who directly disagrees with you because your arguments are based upon pure propaganda.

  18. UNCLE JIMMY on 21ST APRIL 2021 7:34 AM


    Far from having any punitive sanctions imposed, I believe the super league wannabees will secure greater concessions on champs league set up.




    I fear you may be right, although I hope not.



    We at Celtic have turned into a cul-de-sac it seems. Can we re-assess, re-group, rebuild & turn things around quick enough to challenge for the riches that next season’s title offers – not the £3m usually on offer, but c£40m with automatic CL qualification.



    We are currently also-rans with a new CEO, no manager and a disgruntled & demoralised squad – the signs are not good.




    Celtic trust has David Low as Chairman, I think the Trust has some knowledge of takeovers within its trustees board wouldn’t you say ?



    you can still buy his book “The McCann takeover” clue is in the title



    BTW Your slur on people who gain financially is a lie, CT is a voluntary organisation that employs no one!!! no one gets a penny in payment…….. no multi-million-pound salaries! no multi-million-pound bonuses! all money from memberships goes into buying shares which the trust is committed to buying as per its constitution, the CT is open AND accountable to its members, its fully democratic, can the same be said for Celtic PLC…………..Ian Bankier was a Rangers investor FFS



    Whisky boss becomes Rangers director for #1m


    Burn Stewart’s managing director, Mr Ian Bankier, backed up Mr



    Murray’s view that the associate directorship was a good business move



    for his company.



    Mr Bankier said: ”We have had an association with the club for a long



    time and that association was the platform on which the success of the



    Scottish Leader brand has been based.



    ”We have had a box at Ibrox since 1989, have had trackside adverts at



    the stadium, and our products have been put into the stadium bars.

  20. GuyFawkesaforeverhero on

    Lionroars67 on 21st April 2021 7:53AM



    I think your post refers to mine.



    DD sits on the Board of the plc. He shares a collective responsibility to act in the best interest of all the shareholders. His personal position is protected by a waiver held to avoid a compulsory offer to buy 100% ownership.



    Sitting at AGMs I’m well used to side glances towards me when I raise my card in support of his re-election to the Board. Off the Board, DD’s powerful shareholding makes Celtic vulnerable to a hostile takeover.



    In point of fact, by voting for his removal at AGMs your friends at the Celtic Trust act contrary to the stated aims of their own organisation. It’s not my fault if you’re not aware of this fact.

  21. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Just seen the initial report by Minneapolis police on George Floyd,talk about collusion? A whole trail of cops who should be charged, specially the ones who stood by and watched Chauvin,if it wasn’t for a young girl with a smartphone, the report would have probably stood.

  22. GO TELL THE SPARTIM on 20TH APRIL 2021 10:05 PM


    I occasionally had the company of Nevins Dad at the Celtic games, he’d always regale the tale of the 7-1 game, like he’d just came back from it, a nicer man you couldn’t meet. As for Pat I think we can all make our own minds up, tries too hard, and fails, the be interesting or intellectual




    Your post caught my eye, as you 100% CORRECT, Mr Nevin Snr was a VERY good man and father. I doubt that young Pat would have made it as a Pro without the Coaching and Dedication and Help of his Father.


    Although I was born in ” The Toonheid” my grand parents soon moved to Easterhouse which was just being built at that time. NO Shopping centre, NO Community centres etc …it was just some houses and Open Fields. I can clearly remember going ” Tattie Picking” with my Granny ( I called her Ma), with a Wheel Barrow, and trying to help ” My Ma” wheel it home full of Tatties.


    As I grew a bit older and has some Hun Pals of around the same age ( 12/13 ?)…we played fitba to gether on the streets of Easterhouse, and a New School has been built across the road from my Hoose.



    We often played Fitba there on the Pitch and/or some Green grassland next to the School. It was just me…against THREE Huns every time….they didnae stand a chance ! LOL.


    Very soon Mr Nevin and his wee son Pat would often be kicking a ball about next to us and sometimes wee Pat and his Dad joined in with us.


    I think wee P[at is about 4/5 years younger than me, and he was a Tiny wee skinny Kid…I was a Big Skinny kid.


    My Pals and I would often just stand back and ADMIRE Mr Nevin and wee Pat…as Mr Nevin ( in an old Tracksuit and Sannies), would be Coaching wee Pat on how to Dribble, Control, Pass and Shoot.


    It was obvious to me way back then ( Mid/late 1960’s), that wee Pat had some REAL Raw Talent.


    Mr Nevin would be out there Coaching his Boy NO MATTER the Weather, including Downpours of Rain and Snow ( Me and my Pals were also comfortable playing in horrible conditions)…i think many youngsters back then were the same ?



    One last thing…Wee Pat and his Dad would sometimes be using the old Laced Up, heavy Bladder Ball…although a Lighter version of a Ball was also sometimes used, Leather ones and the Old School MOLDY’S !


    We used to be amazed at how this Tiny Skinny Kid ( Wee Pat) could Conrol and pass and shoot some of the Balls. The Kid had Talent…and I sometimes wished that I had a Dad like Mr Nevin.


    When I was 19, I was also on an SFA Coaching Course with Mr Nevin and he still remembered me. A real GENT.



  23. Mourinho, the latest name to be linked. Putting two and two together here and coming up with five.



    His wages and budget expectation would be astronomical.




    Desmond could resign from the board and sells his shareholding all within 24 hours



    You really are paranoid about CT what was that all about ? AGM people looking at you ?



    I get it your opposed to CT fair enough BUT, your clearly ignorant of the organisation, how it works, and most importantly ignorant of the honesty and integrity of the people who run it voluntarily, they are committed Celtic fans, Celtic FC, not PLC


    Jose Mourinho, who was sacked as Tottenham Hotspur boss on Monday, is in the running to be named the next Celtic manager. (Sun)




    This is from HOTSMOKED .s favourite site.

  26. FAVOURITE UNCLE on 21ST APRIL 2021 8:25 AM



    They seem to be basing it on the fact that his odds have shortened with PaddyPower. Great journalism :)


    GEEBEE1978 on 21ST APRIL 2021 8:27 AM


    FAVOURITE UNCLE on 21ST APRIL 2021 8:25 AM







    They seem to be basing it on the fact that his odds have shortened with PaddyPower. Great journalism :)



    BBC and JOURNALISM …………………………………………………

  28. SIONNAIGH on 20TH APRIL 2021 11:59 PM


    ‘A Polish family has just moved into the street. Seem liked a lovely family. Invited over for dinner tonight. Nazi scum. Has anyone ever met anyone Polish that isn’t a racist?’









    But it would be naïve to think that the views of the average Pole on matters of race are the mirror image of those of the average Brit. Probably no different to any other nationality in that regard.

  29. FAVOURITE UNCLE on 21ST APRIL 2021 8:25 AM


    ‘Jose Mourinho, who was sacked as Tottenham Hotspur boss on Monday, is in the running to be named the next Celtic manager. (Sun)’







    Is Arlene still in the running?