Scots clubs exclusion from UK market ferments disaffection


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. listening to 2 farmers from the north of scotland


    this morning ,1 yes .1no


    the farmer for yes stated that the e.u gave 234m


    euros towards farming in the highlands and islands.


    this was not denied by the no guy.


    i was shocked when he said that westminster only


    passed on 16% to them and kept the rest.


    again this was not denied by the no farmer


    how much more are we being ripped off by the u.k


    government that we dont know about



    charles green and craigy whyte would fit right in


    with the tory/labour alliance



    vote yes

  2. Tim Malone Will Tell on




    one thing to note about the last recession was that Iceland were the biggest basket case in the financial collapse – but have recovered far better than Ireland, Greece, Italy, Spain etc.



    The one and only reason for that is that Iceland has its own currency and can use monetary policy to navigate through difficult times without suffering prolonged austerity due to someone else calling the tune (like the Germans – or maybe the English?)



    There is a lot of crap talked about retaining the pound. If Scotland wants to be truly independent and autonomous then the pound has to be dumped and someone should have the balls to acknowledge that.

  3. j67



    13:58 on 9 September, 201



    Did anyone ask why farmers are being subsidised by the taxpayer in the first place?



    Or why it’s only the farming sector that’s treated that way?

  4. The Honest Cover-up on

    Tim Malone Will Tell



    In the event of a narrow No victory I think that would be a sensible next step. A ridiculous miscalculation by the Tories not to include a second question on the ballot for Devo Max. How they must regret not doing so now.

  5. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    Rangers legend Arthur Numan urges Virgil Van Dijk to leave Celtic at first opportunity to help provide cheer for Rangers fans



    THE former Ibrox favourite reckons his fellow Dutchman risks going backwards this season without playing against Rangers.



    ARTHUR NUMAN reckons want away Celtic star Virgil van Dijk must get out of Scotland as soon as he can to help provide cheer for depressed Rangers fans.



    Numan reckons his fellow Dutchman risks going backwards this season without playing Rangers four times a season at least to provide a challenge.



    A former international star with 45 caps for the Oranje, Numan is well qualified to judge what it takes to become an established figure in one of the world’s best sides.



    And while he reckons van Dijk has a chance to build on his call-up to Holland’s latest squad for the double header against Italy and the Czech Republic, Numan fears his development could be stunted if Rangers are not restored to the top level noncompetitive Scottish league immediately.



    The 23-year-old was frustrated when Celtic refused to consider bids from down south before the transfer window closed last week.



    “He was even dropped from a league game against Dundee United and told to stay away from the club’s Lennoxtown training ground to get his head straight while the hours ticked down towards the deadline. Except it was Dundee FC. But as I am Dutch and pay scant attention to the poor Scottish league. My ghost writer regularly makes these mistakes. He is related to Barry Ferguson don’t forget. So I apologise”



    Numan also reckons van Dijk must spend the next five months focusing on performing well in order to lure big English clubs into testing Celtic’s resolve again with bids in the next transfer window.



    He said: “If he gets the chance Virgil should go to England on January 1st or at the end of the season unlike me and the players that bankrupted Scottish football for good he is far too good for Scottish football.



    “If you are linked with some clubs in England it’s natural you are going to want to move away because you have Celtic in the top league here and not Rangers.



    “When a player comes to Scotland you spend a year or two trying to impress Rangers.



    “But when you’re there four years and play Ross County seven times a season it can be hard to motivate yourself. You can stay too long unless you can benefit from a good solid legally sound tax avoidance scheme.



    Maybe Virgil will think now he needs a good legally sound tax avoidance scheme. Going to England to play in London with one of the best clubs in Europe may be better for himself and for the national team and for his financial advisers. It is much easier in the UK capital to do business.



    “If the Dutch coach comes over to see him play against Ross County he will wonder how Virgil would do against top international players. It’s hard to judge him when he is playing against strikers from a smaller team. So the dutch coach would probably get fired for being so foolish for wangling such a wasteful jolly just to go Salmon fishing in the Scottish Highlands. This is what Virgil has to be careful of.



    “I think that was the reason he was never in Louis van Gaal’s squad for the World Cup. Van Gaal does not fish or shoot. I know he likes to Ski but Skiing in Scotland is like playing football in the Scottish league.



    “So in many ways he still has to prove himself. I always felt he was using Scotland as a stepping stone with Rangers not being present.



    “But he is good enough to play in England right now. However, Virgil has to stay focused with Celtic to make sure clubs in England show interest so that he definitely moves in the first week in January.



    “Then it comes down to how quickly the Scottish authorities can move Rangers into the top Scottish top league”



    The failure to qualify for the Champions League group stages is, in Numan’s opinion, the deal breaker that makes it crucial for van Dijk to escape in January if he can.



    Numan said: “You can prove yourself against the best players in Europe in the Champions League and that would have been a great stage on which to show himself to new Dutch coach Guus Hiddink.



    “He has improved as a player and the time is right for him to move to England. I don’t know the reason Celtic did not let him go but they will have to sell him in time, they missed out on a lot of money through failing to make it to the Champions League.



    “That is a shame. I don’t think the Europa League will attract a lot of supporters.”



    It wasn’t always like this. Numan was among a generation of Dutch players of real pedigree who flocked to Scotland having obtained first class tax avoidance schemes and while Dick Advocaat was still hormonal.



    Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Ronald and Frank de Boer, Michael Mols and even Bert Konterman for goodness sake – they were all attracted to the legal tax breaks, as it was then, and the big atmosphere of Old Firm rivalry and Scottish officialdom.



    With that gone, Numan fears there is nothing left in Scotland to attract foreign players if the Champions League dream falls at the first hurdle.



    He added: “Dutch players don’t view Scotland as a place to progress any more without Rangers



    “Ten years ago it was different. You didn’t just have the Old Firm, there was Hearts, Hibs, Aberdeen, Motherwell and the Dundee clubs and Dick Advocaat.



    “Everybody spoke positively about the Scottish league and they showed all the games on TV back in Holland. Now you don’t see the games due to there being no Rangers.



    “When I joined Rangers I also had the chance to go to Atletico Madrid. My decision wasn’t just down to the contract – I could’ve earned more money in Spain , but with the tax breaks offered by Sir David Murray and his charm nobody could refuse that.



    “The moment I arrived at Ibrox my advisers and I felt it was the club for me. It was warm, a family, and I was treated extremely well.



    “Dick Advocaat was running around with his open cheque book and he was trying to sign players to compete at the top level in Europe. Yes sure he failed but he did leave all of Scotland with great memories and Murray Park



    “But when I chose Rangers people still said, ‘Are you f****** kidding me? Is there some kind of unseen payment in your contract that we dont know about ?’ Yet Scotland was a good strong league, the Old Firm was phenomenal then with Rangers.



    “We got pelters at Celtic Park but it was just for 90 minutes and I enjoyed it, it was well worth it for that money.



    “When I come back and walk around Glasgow, Celtic fans say how much they miss the Old Firm games. I miss them too but not the Celtic fans.



    “When Rangers were put down to the third division people said, ‘That’s what they deserve’. But I said it was the end of Scottish football.



    “They used to sing, ‘Bring on the Hearts, the Hibs, the Rangers’. Now they have to change the words to fit in Inverness Caley Thistle and Ross County”



    “It amazes me that Hearts and Rangers found themselves in such financial difficulties. Just how could that be allowed to happen ?

  6. The Battered Bunnet on




    Not entirely sure where you’re going with this, but I’ve got a spare ticket for Saturday if you fancy the company of me and the youngster.




  7. Tim Malone Will Tell on

    The Honest Cover-up



    If “Yes” has a narrow win – is federation also still an option? – or does Alex Salmond just negotiate independence on his own terms with no further recourse to the Scottish electorate?

  8. dr ramesh and the love potion on

    Whilst it would be great for Celtic to have access to a bigger market I don’t think it’s a valid reason for voting one way or another. Celtic is a strange beast as it does represent a community but it is also a club open to all, a European and International local club, if that makes sense! Celtic should be pushing to get into a European set up and should forget about the English/Welsh market as it is also a restricted market, although a wealthy one.


    As far as voting yes or no goes, there are good arguments for and against independence but football isn’t one of them. Whatever happens Celtic will survive independence as will Scotland.

  9. traditionalist88 on




    If now isn’t the time/opportunity for those in power to allow Scottish clubs to federate into a UK structure, when is the time?



    Aren’t we wasting our energy when we should be concentrating our efforts on getting our own game back up to where it was?






    Soooo….Agent Philvis HAS…..Returned !



    To Put These Marxist-Leninist Yes-Men To The Sword….



    I Claim My £5….



    I KNEW That The ‘Jaws’ Post Could Only Be The Work Of A ‘Rusty’ Philvis…



    Viva Nigel & Douglas….



    Christ Torey Too..!



    God Bless Our IRON LADY..!!



    Bring Back Fargo & Collie2 !





  11. TBB



    Going nowhere with my line other than what I stated.



    There is nothing personal in my opposition to the political question.



    Thank you for the offer of the ticket. I will be happy to take it up but I cannot confirm until after Wednesday night as I normally take my mother out for a few hours after 5s on Saturday morning and I will need to re-arrange my plans before I could confirm.





    I always reckoned that ANTIFA was TSD effing about.



    That may or not be true,but RONNYRULES spouts the same garbage as ANTIFA did.

  13. SFTB @ 1.57



    Remember, the Yes campaign is made up of a younger, more vital, passionate, confident, fearless, handsome, athletic, tolerant, intelligent, and psychologically unflawed race of people as has ever walked the earth since the days of The Fianna.






    So you’ll have met mwd in person then!!



    HH jamesgang

  14. How to win votes and influence people



    1. Cancel PMQ’s (Avoiding awkward questions about about £1.6 million worth of bombs, bullets and military hardware to going Iraq) and look out the kilts.



    2. Get a Saltire over Downing Street quick



    3. Say ‘passionate about Scots’ often.



    What kind of a plan is that?


    Has Ernie told them how thick we are?





  15. TBB



    I fear you may be correct re your scepticism of ‘Philvis’.



    I don’t ever remember him using one of these in a post……;-)

  16. ernie 14.01



    my point was not only about farming


    it was we in scotland are being ripped


    off by westminster on a regular basis.



    otherwise they would be glad to see the


    back of us like the so called england fans


    who want us to f##k off

  17. I’ll be frank but I hope not insulting – that’s not my intention.



    Today’s article is pathetic. To reduce the future of your country to matters of football is just sad. Some sense of perspective is required.

  18. Greenwells Glory on

    Hi Ghuys, Salve salve;- Started off intending to vote no – Will definitely vote no.


    Welcome back Philvis. Off to tie some flies going fishing this week.





    Ut sementem feeceris.

  19. dubaibhoy (nee londonbhoy)



    13:40 on 9 September, 2014



    No your alright, the EPL is the last place I want Celtic to go to, a total fake of a league which will collapse like a pack of cards if the TV companies get fed up with it HH

  20. An Dun



    I would be for all countries scrapping their defence systems and armies, and letting their football teams determine the outcome of disputes.



    Just think! We would all currently be German until the 11th October and then we would have the chance to become Georgian or revert to being Scots for a few days, before it is all up for grabs again.



    Unfortunately, people keep telling me that this is a frivolous idea rather than a deeply profound one. Such is the attraction for having your own defence forces it seems.





    That,I have to say,is considerably below yer usual batting average.

  22. Why are the farmers being subsidised in the first place and why is it only the farming sector that’s treated this way? Hail Hail Hebcelt

  23. It looks like Carney has today ruled out monetary union, when answering a question at the TUC conference.

  24. Milliband (with a sincere and benevolent smile ) wants everyone in the towns and cities of England to fly Saltires! Genius!






    Oh Beautiful Irony

  25. j67



    14:12 on 9 September, 2014



    Yes, but wouldn’t it be more rational to ask why farmers are being subsidised in the first place?



    By the rest of us.



    North and south of the border.

  26. darwinsbeautifulidea



    14:22 on 9 September, 2014



    Playing in the english divisions seems a great idea,and we would no doubt be wealthier,but it may take us years and years to win even 1 trophy,and maybe even longer to get into Europe,how many celtic fans would turn up to watch a losing side,and for those of us who regularly go to away games,would find it difficult to afford the much longer journeys.


    Even if the English FA said yes UEFA AND FIFA would have to agree,this would be very difficult just now,but would almost certainly be impossible if we should vote stupidly and become an independent country(with the old cow the windsor scrounger ) as head of state





    Another punctuation and syntax travesty.

  27. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    Imagine bringing politics onto a football blog Paul, you should be ashamed…8)

  28. ernie lynch



    14:22 on 9 September, 2014


    It looks like Carney has today ruled out monetary union, when answering a question at the TUC conference.






    Last time I looked at his job spec mr carney was an employee….of BofE and implicitly hmg.



    He’s a very well respected banker. But ultimately he’s a well paid and talented monkey. He’s not the organ grinder.



    HH jamesgang

  29. Hi All,



    Not posted on here for ages but am a regular reader.



    Can anyone tell me if an independence referendum was part of the snp manifesto at the last election?


    I understand that independence was and is the ultimate goal for the snp but


    I don’t think it was and if not surely we are having this debate/vote under false pretences.



    I think there were a lot of disenfranchised Labour voters who wouldn’t have voted snp knowing that there was going to be an Indy vote in this term.



    Welcome back Philvis!

  30. 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




    Next you`ll be telling us of a Mickey Mouse watch that works!!

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