EPL TV deal: a way forward for Celtic


Some thoughts to the 70% increase in English Premier League TV income:

Our financial strategy

Stop feeling sorry for ourselves.  We are not part of the easy-money league, so instead of complaining about Burnley’s financial strength, exploit the massive inefficiencies in England.  Lazy recruitment strategies, unscientific risk-taking and chronic managerial processes put a lot of money on the table for those who know how to run a football club properly.

If your forward business model involves selling players, better to be close to a rich, lazy, unscientific and chronic league.

Player values

After the last increase in TV income in England was announced transfer fees appreciated markedly, even before the increase came into effect.  Forgive the impersonal language, but player commodities are more valuable this week than they were last week, not just in England, but in Scotland and everywhere else.

The goalkeeper we sold for £10m last summer would command a higher fee, if we sold him next summer.  A player we ‘hoped’ to earn £7m from selling should now have his target value adjusted to £10m.

More than ever, it is important to manage playing assets.  Buy assets with development potential, hoard their registrations if necessary – Benfica employ and loan-out players to top leagues who would easily get into their first team.  It helps build the player’s value, which helps build Benfica.

Player trading velocity

If player trading is important going forward, my hunch is that trading velocity should increase.  To do this properly, it is absolutely crucial we invest more in the scouting process.  Scouting and recruitment is as important to the club as tactics and team selection.  Resource it accordingly.

SPFL TV deal

I’ve read lots about what we should do next in Scotland with regards to our TV deal, some ideas have merit, some not.  What is perfectly clear is that the current deal is practically worthless.  We must change.  The potential downside is almost immaterial, as we’re starting from such a low point.

Bin SKY and BT, go it alone, or get one of the new media players involved, or better still, collaborate with the Dutch league, which has its own TV channel, have learned some lessons, have many of our challenges, and would benefit from the fresh content we could provide.  There are more leagues in Europe with exactly the same challenges, if a pan-European league is a step too far, a collaborative TV infrastructure is a good start.

In football TV terms, we are the Straw Man, with nothing to lose.  Lead a path away from Sky and BT, educate fans on how to link up with Virgin, Amazon or an equivalent, do something genuinely radical.

The Bubble

It’s a bubble.  Just because the English TV market has not burst, doesn’t mean it’s not going to. Ask yourself a few questions:

Is this level of contract affordable by Sky or BT?

Will this new cash make the downside of relegation from the EPL any easier?

Will this cash make EPL clubs any more likely to change their business model, specifically, will they be more likely to spend less because they no longer fear relegation?

No, no and no.  The downside of relegation from the EPL will become more onerous and clubs will fear relegation more.

Sky are enjoying enormous market power but the entrance into the market of Amazon Prime, Netflix and others, while the offerings from Virgin and BT have matured, leaves Sky open to competition in the TV and film market in the future which they have never experienced before.

You no longer need Sky to watch multi-channel TV, round-the-clock news, recent or legacy films.  Their failure to maintain future Champions League rights, together with the fact that they are legislated out of the World Cup and European Championship rights, reduces their assets down to one lucrative prize: English Premier League football.

English Premier League football is the asset they are betting the farm on.  They need this and as long as the ‘farm’ exists in the form of a nation uniformly consuming TV through them, they will pay whatever they can to retain these rights.

BT are in the process of buying market share.  They are vastly better funded than Sky and need a strategic place going forward (which traditionally telephony isn’t).

It’s not a case of if Sky’s ability or desire to pay changes but when.  Then the bubble will burst, then football will plunge into a reverse gear.

Until then, we play the system.

Busy week for CQN11 St Patrick’s Dinner bookings (Friday 13 March, Kerrydale Suite, Celtic Park).  Email me for booking details, celticquicknews@gmail.com

Click Here for Comments >

About Author

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. ...
  10. 34

  1. Sky doing a customer survey at minute re which league / team you favour watching. SPL not even mentioned in survey.


    Defo binning it. Tried to complain (saddo that I am) phone wait ages and no facility on line to do so.

  2. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Good article, Paul, and some very interesting points.


    Relegation from the EPL is bad, but the parachute payments are now so generous that it isn’t a disaster.


    Sky and BT subscription prices will have to go up. Now some people may cancel, but they are now wrapped up with broadband. Will people do without broadband? No!


    One final point. Having the EPL next door is a great way of getting players in. Do well and you hit the big time. I would like to see us getting really high sell- on %ages. If FF moves to Arsenal or Man Utd for £18m and we got 20-30% that’s good money.

  3. prestonpans bhoys on



    12:26 on 13 February, 2015



    I noticed that, it’s really funny. Back on the beating, you may recall that one of our CQN bhoys actually commented that it was not Celtic related and we would find out later……………………………

  4. I’ve maintained for ages that Celtic is being killed byTV.



    I’m not alone in binning two season books due to the games being shunted away from 3 on a Saturday.



    Celtic want armchair supporters, they got 2.

  5. viewfaethewindae on

    SPFL TV deal with the largest revenue going to the clubs with the largest number of subscribers. Did we look at this recently?



    Anyway 3 points tomorrow and apply some pressure to the Dons.

  6. It would have been great if we had control of our own broadcasting in this country but 55% of people voted No, so we remain a nation of forelock tugging dependants. Makes a difficult task almost impossible now to do anything on broadcasting rights.

  7. Potential fall out avoided.



    Celtic v Inter is on Italian cooncil tele.The Inter mad old codger from down the valley will be able to watch the game on his own tele.Mrs S of T comes from an Inter supporting family and is going out.Bliss !

  8. Celtic V tally’s is the choice for ordinary telly in the Bulgaian state.



    Volume down and CTV commentary…………………..magic !!!!

  9. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Oh, and another thing. Having more money has diminishing returns after a while.


    At some point you just end up paying more money for the same quality of player.


    Ten years ago an Adam Lallana would have cost 5m; five years ago 12m; last year 25m. Five years from now 40m. You’re still getting the same player!

  10. hamiltontim



    From the last thread. Good luck with that. I’m on the look out for spares already.

  11. smapmap


    12:37 on


    13 February, 2015


    It would have been great if we had control of our own broadcasting in this country but 55% of people voted No, so we remain a nation of forelock tugging dependants. Makes a difficult task almost impossible now to do anything on broadcasting rights.





    You nats don’t take a whupping well……….Do ye’s?

  12. Given that those who run Scottish football do such a bad job at running the football in this country, why on earth would anyone put them in charge of a TV channel to try to promote the game and earn revenue from it??

  13. Was out for dinner a couple of weeks ago with the wife and some of her family. One of the cousins (a guy I’ve only nodded to at funerals) starts engaging me in conversation. First about how I voted in the Referendum, a to-and-fro that quickly descended into loud exchanges of opinion, raised eyebrows and incredulous looks. We hadn’t had the soup at this point.



    After 5 minutes calm, he then pipes up with ‘Do you watch Sky John?’. ‘Nope. Don’t have Sky. Did have Sky but binned it. Can’t be @rsed with their obsession with their self-manufactured ‘best league in the world’. Cue another incredulous look, ‘I love it’ he says. ‘I watch all the games’. ‘All the games?. Including the few Scottish ones they show?’. ‘No I don’t watch them’. ‘Do you watch the Celtic games?’. ‘Eh, no’. ‘I watch the Spanish ones.’ ‘All the Spanish ones?’ ‘No, just Barcelona and Real Madrid.’ I just nodded. End of conversation.



    Unfortunately, he’s not alone.








  14. Paul, interesting and timely topic.



    I disagree that a pan-euro league is a step too far. Not taking a shot at you, but many folk in Scotland are content to stay well within the box. They don’t think outside it, and have no intention of going outside it.



    But I will leave that for another day. Cooperating on a tv deal sounds like a good idea. Even if it went no farther than the tv deal, we have nothing to lose. Who knows where else it could go?



    A few other things while I am here…..



    Scottish football clubs need to give themselves a shake when it comes to selling tickets and filling stadia. Celtic included. As part of the league’s charter, I would include a REQUIREMENT to take every measure (allowing for public safety concerns) to sell EVERY ticket.



    So, Motherwell, Kilmarnock, Hibs, etc would HAVE to move their fans to other seats to allow otherwise unsold seats to be sold to Celtic supporters, or any other club who can bring a big crowd. Some Celtic fans have to move seats for UCL games. Do it for a couple of seasons and it becomes the norm. And yes, this would involve Celtic selling more seat to Aberdeen if Celtic can’t sell them to Celtic Supporters.



    Same thing for the SFA re semis and finals at hampden. Release tickets to the ‘wee’ teams in slices, so that it easy to sell the balance to a ‘bigger’ team, or neutrals.



    The league charter should also require that every game possible, should be at Saturday 3pm. Yes, there are tv requirements. Yes, Thursday EL action requires the use of Sundays. However, in recent years, the EL teams get scheduled for Sundays, then get knocked out and the games stay on the sunday.



    And…’wee’ teams that have home televised games should be required to fill the stand across from the TV gantry before filling other sections. Killie spread their home fans between the stand you can see and tv and the one you can’t. Put the whole lot in one stand that is visible to tv viewers will make a much different impression. It will also make it easier to sell more away tickets as I note above.



    Scottish clubs have become very lazy and inefficient, happy to scrounge off the scraps of the big team. (See what I did there?)



    Anyway, at the risk of becoming lazy and inefficient myself….I am off to work.

  15. S o T



    God bless Italian cooncil telly, even ‘tho I hardly ever watch it.



    Will be tuning in next Thursday.



    Btw, I have just discovered that tomorrow’s game against St Johnstone is being shown on the ‘Sportitalia’ channel!



    …but it is not on live apparently.



    This morning they showed the recent game against the Jags!



    You learn something every day.



    Were you aware of this?



    Saluti n HH!!

  16. That s the Inter Away tickets falling through the door,face value 23€ but £25 plus £5 postage taken from account hmmmm

  17. prestonpans bhoys on



    12:39 on 13 February, 2015



    Someone pointed out some facts on here but can’t actually recall the contents however from my own observations, the continuing DR coverage without further reference to it, is good enough evidence for me.

  18. See some of the belfast bhoys having wee problems with printing off flybe return e tickets . I stayed in the holiday inn a couple of months ago . They have a printer in the lobby , which is available to use , even for people not staying . A couple of young lads came into the hotel and asked if they could use it . check in staff were very obliging .

  19. mullet and co 2 on

    The sky bid will cost £300m more than analysts forecast they could go to. This means they are stripping out cost from the rest of the business to pay for it.


    A lot can change in football and certainly in daily business that could mean sky’s risk is huge.


    In the interim we should do all that Paul says and we press Uefa to wake up and smell the coffee and see that they have an inferior product .

  20. mullet and co 2 on

    Mickybhoy. Thought you didn’t go to away games so that you could watch the tele and save money?

  21. Mullet,



    He was ripping up his home ticket application form (wassat by the way) earlier in the season and then a few weeks later he’s on here selling them for 70 buck each.

  22. And for those of you who want to break away from Sky for watching games, can I recommend downloading the (free) Mobdro app? :)

  23. gearoid 1998


    Dont phone the go on to their website and click on cancel sky you will be conected to a live chat, just did that myself about their new EPL deal

  24. Bawsman



    12:49 on 13 February, 2015





    12:37 on


    13 February, 2015


    It would have been great if we had control of our own broadcasting in this country but 55% of people voted No, so we remain a nation of forelock tugging dependants. Makes a difficult task almost impossible now to do anything on broadcasting rights.





    You nats don’t take a whupping well……….Do ye’s?





    I completely accept the outcome and at the same time, I wish people would stop moaning about what England gets compared to Scotland.



    We had a chance to change things, stand on our own two feet like every other country in the world, and control our national broadcasting rights, but no. The majority decided being part of Britain was in our best interest.



    I tell you what – its never has been, and it certainly isn’t in the interest of our club. This is reality dawning. Celtic will never be a force in Europe again until we address the underlying issues which are undermining our ability to progress – specifically broadcasting rights.



    Scottish Sky subscribers fork out the best part of £3-5bn to Sky over 5 years – and what do we get back? Buttons.



    We’re Better Together. Best of both worlds. Enjoy the scraps.

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. ...
  10. 34