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Scots clubs exclusion from UK market ferments disaffection

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Amid all the debate about oil, currency, pensions and a million other items, I’m surprised higher questions have not been asked about our cultural identity.  I’ve never said I’m British in my life, I’m Scottish, but the full story is more subtle than that.

Despite being a football fan, a Scot and a Gordon Strachan fan, I watched another channel when Germany-Scotland was on.  My sense of personal identity, the anthems I cherish, the emblems I’ve always worn, my ‘national’ community, is the one I share with you.

I know we have a large number of England-supporting, English-Celtic fans here, just as there are Ireland-supporting, Irish, and Scotland-supporting Scots, but some of us feel our strongest affinity among our urban, west of Scotland-based, Celtic community.  This community will only ever march behind a green flag.  There is nothing wrong or unpatriotic about this, finding your own identity is what multiculturalism is all about.

There are a thousand more national identities than actual nations, but why do many of us feel more like sons of Jock Stein, than Jock Tamson, or (cough) John Bull?

I don’t think there is a single British, or Scottish, cultural institution I feel an attachment to.  I was really caught up with the whole Mo Farah/Jessica Ennis-inspired Super Saturday at the Olympics – delighted at the success of British athletes, but later that day, when Ki stepped forward to take the decisive kick for South Korea against GB, I punched the air with joy. The whole Burns Night thing feels like someone else’s party.

In fact, it’s worse than not having an affinity with a British cultural institution, our Celtic community is marginalised by competitors in the south.  If Scotland, which is perhaps more bound-up in tribal football culture than anywhere on the planet, had EQUAL access to the UK’s cultural markets, would we feel so excluded?

I know there are many who are happy with the way sentiment is going right now, but if those intent on saving the union want to get busy on some urgent nation-building, they should set about removing the two-tier cultural divide which keeps our club, our community, from the top table.  We pay an obligatory BBC tax to subsidise an England and Wales league, our non-tax-based pay TV money goes the same way.  This is a distorted market, with Scotland obscured by an England-Wales cartel.  As a result we’ve been drained of talent and financial muscle for a century.

Football is not controlled by politicians, but it can be, and is, influenced by them.  Westminster is speaking with a more unified voice than I’ve ever known right now.  Its voice should be clear: Scotland needs equal access to the UK’s cultural markets, including football.

Our exclusion is intolerable, unfair, has fermented disaffection and must end, irrespective of what happens next week.  Why would Westminster politicians be unable to say this?

Let’s hear you.

The fantastic new edition of CQN Magazine is out today. You can read it, for free, here, at it’s dedicated site (don’t try to read on the graphic below).

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  1. The Battered Bunnet on

    The BBC spends more than £90M each year broadcasting the EPL to the UK audience. This figure comprises TV Rights, Production costs and Presenter fees amongst others.

     

     

    There is a further undisclosed amount spent broadcasting the English Football League to the UK audience.

     

     

    The cost of broadcasting English football is borne by the £400M per annum central Sports Rights budget.

     

     

    Fans of Manchester United living in Motherwell, and fans of Northampton Town living in Newton Stewart, thus get the benefit of the BBCs full nationwide platform to watch their teams each week.

     

     

    English football fans are well served by their licence fee.

     

     

    Equally, the EPL and EFL get national promotion and marketing, the EPL particularly benefiting from the high production value Match of the Day show, broadcast ‘live’ twice per week for 38 weeks.

     

     

    The BBC spends less than £90M per year on the entire output of BBC Scotland, including TV News, Drama and Sports, plus Radio output and digital content, plus Gaelic language output. The cost of covering Scottish football is borne by the BBC Scotland budget.

     

     

    Despite there being more fans of Scottish football clubs living in England than there are fans of English football clubs living in, say, Manchester, the Scots fan is not served by the BBC’s national platform, because Scottish football is broadcast only in Scotland.

     

     

    The BBC’s income comprises 2 key streams:

     

     

    1) Licence fees

     

    2) Overseas sales

     

     

    Of the £3.5Bn raised annually from licence fees, some £300M is raised in Scotland.

     

     

     

    £90M for Match of the Day, and £90M for a year’s BBC Scotland output.

     

     

    There’s some ‘cultural market’ distortion for you.

     

     

    But hey! We’ve got Strictly followed by Match of the Day. Followed by the Football League show. Every Saturday night.

  2. TBB

     

     

    ““The jingoistic, fervent nationalism. The triumphalism.”

     

     

    I just haven’t seen it, save the odd deluded individual, which does not a general truth make.”

     

     

    A supposed comment from one Scottish Labour MP, advanced by the reliable source Sammy Wilson of the DUP, was enough to spark an article in the Herald, written by a Yes voting journo (from that there hostile to the Yes Campaign press), linking the Orange Order Parade to Scottish Labour. The comments section is full of Nat voters buying this scam. After all, it is a scam that has been advanced on CQN where Gordon Matheson was alleged to have a written agreement with the OO in order to “persuade” them to vote No.

     

     

    If you are prepared to swat away each and all of the Project Fear tactics from your side of the debate but reserve the license to associate with the No link to the OO, BNP, and UKIP side then I think you are capable of as many intellectual somersaults as Irvine Welsh. The telling line in Irvine’s narrative was his repeated sympathy for the “working class” kids that cut cocaine and sell that poison to their mates. He has made a lot of money from that “Social Worker- down with the kids” type of morality, has the bold Irvine.

     

     

    P.S. I did not see your reply to my post about claiming that ernie was a plant/machine/troll/virus kind of poster with an agenda? I know it was not jingoistic or triumphalist but it was a wee bit diminishing and dehumanising.

  3. Paul

     

     

    A fascinating piece.

     

     

    Regarding its central theme, I recall the comments of a wise old Celt of my acquaintance many years ago.

     

     

    “I’ve tried Catholicism, Socialism, Communism. The only one that still matters is CELTIC-ISM”.

     

     

    The only thing British about me is my passport. I see my identity as Glaswegian/Irish, but when in Ireland (my roots are in Wicklow/Dublin as opposed to Donegal) I don’t feel Irish.

     

     

    I don’t feel particularly Scottish – less so than all my peers – but still feel motivated to vote to remove Scotland from a union I don’t believe meets the aspirations of its people.

     

     

    What unites us on here is Celtic and we shouldn’t lose sight of that.

     

     

    Your wider perspective is particularly relevant at the moment – what would Better Together give for the block vote of 100-200k Celtic supporters?

     

     

    Even more relevantly – would we believe anything they told us?

  4. Ellboy - I am Neil Lennon, YNWA. on

    Enjoyed your article Paul and I empathise with this bit especially.

     

     

    “I don’t think there is a single British, or Scottish, cultural institution I feel an attachment to. I was really caught up with the whole Mo Farah/Jessica Ennis-inspired Super Saturday at the Olympics – delighted at the success of British athletes, but later that day, when Ki stepped forward to take the decisive kick for South Korea against GB, I punched the air with joy. The whole Burns Night thing feels like someone else’s party”

     

     

    Though keeping this about football & from my reading you appear to be suggesting a Yes vote will scupper Celtic’s inclusion to any future League reconstruction down south. Though there is a possibility that the mere threat of a Yes vote could somehow bring “EQUAL access to the UK’s cultural markets” Perhaps including access to The EPL?

     

     

    If I picked you up right then it’s a no brainer. We desperately need out of this league and the poisonous culture of our game, a Yes vote will keep us in shackles forever.

     

     

    Paul yours is the best argument I’ve heard for a No vote yet.

     

     

    It’s definitely a No from me :)

     

     

    HH!

  5. The up-coming vote is certainly bringing out the beast in some of those who populate this place, it is disgusting to read and it certainly has me re-evaluating my perception of some of the posters whom I’ve read for many years.

     

     

    Some of the behaviour is absolutely disgusting and you dare to call yourself Celtic men. And I assume you are all sober too?

     

     

    Ernie’s logon can easily be replicated and most of you know that.

     

    If you can’t conduct yourselves like Celtic men then maybe the label just wasn’t made for you.

  6. Been out on my bike for a while and now back home and been listening to the radio all morning,the westminster parties are bricking it,Cameron,Clegg and Milliband all coming to Scotland!!! WOW cancel project fear now its project sh***ing ourselves.

     

     

    The sight of Cameron and Clegg lecturing the Scots will surely add a few % to the Yes vote.

  7. nick griffin on twitter….

     

     

    @nickjgriffinbnp: Disappointing that no British Nationalist websites have run calls to save the Union. Much of ‘Scots’ Yes pressure comes from Marxist Fenians

     

     

    Arse

     

     

    P

  8. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    SETTINGFREETHEBEARS

     

     

    Any bets the MP involved was Brian Donohoe?

  9. weeminger

     

     

    I was already aware of the ability to change my log in posting name.

     

     

    Why did I need your post to do that?

     

     

    Why did you not announce that it was a “false flag” as you did it?

     

     

    And why the need to present ridicule in the poster you were attempting to imitate?

     

     

    You only outed yourself after the poster presented the facts to Paul.

     

     

     

    On the surface, it looks like a fairly sordid attempt to impersonate and ridicule. You are not one of the posters that I would have suspected would do that.

     

     

     

    P.S. To anyone still biting, that Ronny Rules moonhowling poster, is another “false flag” dreamt up by TSD or Chris Torey, and following in the footsteps of Fried Galza etc; in spouting the same pish.

     

     

    On the surfa

  10. Gordon_J backing Neil Lennon

     

     

    13:07 on 9 September, 2014

     

     

    Valid point/assumption. I’ll SKYPE my daughter tonight. She is somewhat involved and will probably have an opinion on horizon possibilities.

  11. Squire,well said as you know I started from your position but over the years have gradually moved 100% to feeling like a Scottish tim,I’m extremely proud of being both and glad that many of us now feel the same way.You would have been amazed at the number of guys in Heraghtys on Sunday sporting YES badges,there has been a significant shift in the attitude of tims in the last ten years.Its great to be a big UFB Scot……..:-)

  12. the glorious balance sheet on

    There are a million and one problems that the politicians in Westminster and Edinburgh should be attempting to fix before they turn their attentions to Scottish clubs access to English football leagues.

     

     

    The reliance of many on food banks, the millions caught in the enslavement of zero hours contracts, the conditions endured by ill people forced into care homes run by private companies focused more on profit than care etc

     

     

    These are the real problems that the politicians should be addressing. So what if Celtic or any Scottish club can’t get to join the English premiership gravy train and fill their boots with millions of pounds in TV money that they quickly divert onto overpaid footballers in six figure weekly wage packets? There are bigger problems and injustices in the UK today.

     

     

    If any politician tries to get votes for either side in the referendum on the back of proposed treatment to football clubs then they should be drummed out of office as being detached from the real world and not properly focused on the life/ death issues that affect millions in Britain today.

     

     

    People have committed suicide over the bedroom tax and cuts to their disability allowance. That in my view is a more pressing matter for politicians to deal with rather than Leicester City getting more TV money than Celtic.

     

     

    I say this as a Celtic season ticket holder of 20 years standing. I’d like nothing better than for Celtic to be able to compete on a level playing field but the politicians have other priorities to sort out first.

  13. Good article Paul, my tuppence worth from over 20 years ago.

     

    Myself, Jimmy Reid (God bless him) and Gus (now Lord) McDonald where having a late drink and Jimmy said that he was thinking of writing a book on Scottish Football and so the discussion started, Jimmy, being a family friend, knew how I would play a straight question and him (being a mischievous soul) was I think winding Gus up, he asked why I felt such a strong bond with Celtic. My answer was simplicity itself, I said “where else can I go?”. Despite being the first of my family born here, I always felt Irish and therefore never was fully able to integrate as a Scot and because of this what other Club could I go to where my particular mixed nationality would not be the subject of ridicule and insult?

     

    I miss Jimmy but I am glad to report as I have grown older and circumstances around me have changed (for the better) I feel more at home and while I haven’t lost any of my feelings for Ireland, I do feel more of a Scot. I still couldn’t support any other team because I wouldnt want to support any other team but I only wish our club would be true leaders of its own large and varied constituency and get things like the Living wage right!

  14. BMCUW

     

     

    If there was anyone who did say it, that would be the prime suspect? But < I would still take the source with some scepticism.

     

     

    Even a Rangers supporting No voter would understand that OO parades are toxic and counter-productive.

     

     

    If I was as paranoid as some of the Nats who think that the Jim Murphy egg-chucking was a MI5/Special Branch co-ordinated exercise, I would suspect that the Scottish Labour wel-wisher was called Alex and had a fishy sounding second name.

     

     

    Unfortunately, I reserve my paranoia for Scottish refs.

  15. traditionalist88 on

    See this kite flying about amalgamating us with the FA in England – never going to happen.

     

     

    The Welsh clubs are in on a technicality – they were there before the current regulations were drawn up.

     

     

    FIFA are uneasy enough about the whole setup with 4 separate national sides and this would lead to further embarrasment.

     

     

    How about we come up with more realistic strategies to boost our game and provide the addiditonal revenue it needs?

     

     

    We have the fan power amongst our biggest clubs to make a massive difference – the question is how to we harness that to OUR benefit and not to the benefit of Sky?

     

     

    Difficult yes but surely more realistic than joining some sort of superleague with the most overrated league in the world?

     

     

    HH

     

     

    HH

  16. Really looking forward to seeing one or both our new strikers on Saturday. It will be my first live sighting of the Green Brigade as well.

     

     

    Bring on the dandy dons.

  17. setting free the bears for Res. 12 & Oscar Knox but saying no to CQN racists

     

    13:11 on

     

    9 September, 2014

     

     

    Calm down.

     

     

    I was pointing out that it isn’t a sinister hack. I don’t think most people are aware that it’s possible. Certainly some seemed to think it was more underhand. The ‘Epic fail’ was on my part because the first time I tried to do it I forgot to save the profile update, and so it was posted under my correct name.

     

     

    I didn’t make the Jaws in the bath post. That’s far funnier than I’ll ever be.

     

     

    It’s the first and only time I’ve done it. It’ll also be the last.

  18. pedrocaravanachio67 on

    Happy anniversary bro, to u and yer good lady.

     

     

    JAWS……what a great book and film, although I don’t remember the bit Ernie’s re enacting in the bath!!!

     

    Ach well something’s got to cheer him up.

     

    YES, YES and thrice YES.

  19. leftclicktic

     

     

    12:59 on 9 September, 2014

     

     

     

    Did you see the UKIP tweet having a go at Celtic fans as all being terrorist supporters.

     

     

     

    Trying to copy in here with no success.

  20. setting free the bears for Res. 12 & Oscar Knox but saying no to CQN racists

     

    13:11 on

     

    9 September, 2014

     

     

    You an ask Ernie yourself if he’s ever had reason to believe our online sparring has gone beyond reasonable debate. I certainly don’t think it has, and I’m sure he’s aware I wouldn’t attempt to ridicule him.

     

     

    I enjoy the tit-for-tat as much a I’m sure he does.

     

     

    Let that be an end to it. What I did was perhaps foolish but as I said it was to assuage any fears that Ernie was being subjected to a hack attack.

  21. weeminger

     

     

    13:21 on 9 September, 2014

     

     

    setting free the bears for Res. 12 & Oscar Knox but saying no to CQN racists

     

    13:11 on

     

    9 September, 2014

     

     

    You an ask Ernie yourself if he’s ever had reason to believe our online sparring has gone beyond reasonable debate. I certainly don’t think it has, and I’m sure he’s aware I wouldn’t attempt to ridicule him.

     

     

    I enjoy the tit-for-tat as much a I’m sure he does.

     

     

    Let that be an end to it. What I did was perhaps foolish but as I said it was to assuage any fears that Ernie was being subjected to a hack attack.

     

    ——————————————-

     

     

    Don’t worry, what you did was absolutely fine.

     

     

     

     

    Wee Minger….I mean, Davidopoulos

  22. setting free the bears for Res. 12 & Oscar Knox but saying no to CQN racists

     

    13:20 on

     

    9 September, 2014

     

     

    No problems.

  23. bournesouprecipe on

    Scotland can have anything it wants, as long as it doesn’t vote for Independence.

     

     

    David Cameron.

  24. southside

     

     

    13:24 on 9 September, 2014

     

     

    Why no send boris up anaw? That would really swing it.

     

    ————————————

     

     

    Ooft, that could only be trumped by summoning the ghost of Maggie

  25. weeminger

     

     

    11:51 on 9 September, 2014

     

    NegAnon2

     

    11:39 on

     

    9 September, 2014

     

     

    That is the situation now. A No vote maintains that situation. A Yes vote puts it into flux. The way it goes, depends on the motivation of people to change it. The best thing about this process is people are motivated, questioning what they’re being told and trying to inform themselves before making a decision. Long may that continue.

     

     

    Taking the OB Act, I’ve not seen a single fan forum where it’s supported, so it seems likely to me that it would be repealed (I suspect it’ll be withdrawn regardless of the referendum, neither the fans nor the police/courts like it).

     

     

    ——

     

     

    I think you’re 2/3 correct.

     

     

    Supporters detest it and courts are infuriated.

     

     

    The police, however, are delighted. It was them after all who were at the genesis of this Bill.

  26. ernie lynch

     

     

    12:15 on 9 September, 2014

     

     

    Paul67

     

     

    Could I just draw your attention to the fact that I didn’t post the following, which appears under my name

     

     

    ##########

     

     

    ernie lynch

     

     

    12:09 on 9 September, 2014

     

     

    I like taking 3 action men in the bath with a plastic shark and recreating Jaws, The one difference is that Hooper and Brody become lovers in the end, embracing each other on Mount Hairy (which is my leg).

     

     

    It’s a moving and powerful bathtime which leaves me sobbing every time.

     

     

    #########

     

     

    Is it possible you could find our who did post it and deal with it as you consider appropriate?

     

     

     

    ============================================

     

     

    Tell me you saved Quint this time round?

     

     

    Robert Shaw was great – use him in the sequel. ;))

  27. Bobby @1259

     

     

    I’m not arguing that Scotland has too many mps or not enough but the stats you posted don’t tell the full story.

     

     

    Country size and population play a huge part.

     

     

    Norway has about 1 per 30k and no doubt India has a huge amount per representative.

  28. setting free the bears for Res. 12 & Oscar Knox but saying no to CQN racists

     

     

    13:35 on 9 September, 2014

     

     

    Well! Here is one less insult we can throw around in the Indy debate

     

     

    Redundant insult

     

    ———————————————————–

     

     

    Can hold hot water for 2 mins? That is some weak tea. Insult re-instated.

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