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.

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  1. Booker T


    15:00 on


    9 September, 2014



    What Jamesgang just said. It’ll be in ever SNP manifesto until independence is achieved.

  2. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    Could you bhoys stop saying BT when referring to the no campaign, my drug filled napper thinks yez are talking about me….



    more meds taken….

  3. SFTB



    My reading of todays article is a suggestion that the Celtic suppoprt has no principles would be easily be open to bribe from WM based on the club being afforded access to the riches of the EPL. That is a parallel contrast to yesterdays article form Paul in which he speaks of the club’s founding principles and the supporters current principle and want to help those in greater need.



    Nothing to do with having the Best of Both Worlds as Better Together brand it?



    MWd says AYE

  4. Hugh Bonkle fae Dallas on

    Paul 67 agree with lots of what you’ve written. Not a lot of what you’d identify as quintessentially Scottish that I feel in tune with, but neither do I feel particularly Irish.



    I’ve never got particularly upset if Scotland have lost but could have quite easily locked myself away in a darkened room after many a Celtic defeat.



    But I would hope that there aren’t too many people who would have been swayed in their referendum voting intentions by the promise of entry to the EPL. Surely that goes against what we hope Celtic and the support stands for. Surely?

  5. I just stepped out of the office there to run an errand. On my way I stepped on a banana skin but I did not slip.



    A glitch in the Matrix surely? And you lot are worrying about the referendum – totally blinkered.

  6. ernie lynch


    15:09 on


    9 September, 2014



    Let’s keep football out of politics thanks. :)

  7. BT that is why I jsut type out Better Together. Was about to type BT and you popped into my napper and as i believe you’re a good lad I didny want to marry the two of you togetther. :)



    met your good lady on Sunday. A fine woman you have there. How she puts up with your winging about a wee sore leg though? :)



    MWD says AYE




    Much as I warm to you…..You’ve no been asked for an opinion…as you dinnae count (being an English resident)



    Awe Naw



    Nare dae you…..being Jermaine like..






    Your guising, right? Shirley if we go independent, we will be self governing and raising Tax accordingly. Should this Tax, in whatever form, be higher (or lower) than what is equivalent across the Border, I would then have the option as to where I opt for payment of said Tax…



    Example A. Say ~ Corporation Tax in Scotland is set at 16% (lower than England, to presumably attract all these organisations that the Yes peeps keep telling us about). This is an attraction for Business Development…..I would declare ALL my Company Profit as being Scottish……..(rather than 20% in England)



    Example B. Income Tax in Scotland is increased to (say) 22% and the £10K Tax Allowance threshold is reduced for peeps earning (say) above £20K. At the same time NIC in Scotland is raised to pay for all the Promised Land (it’s got to come from somewhere)…As a Ltd Co that would mean NIC as an Employer & an Employee.



    There are sooooooooooo many questions arising & that’s before we get into the £ or Euro or Plan BBBBB…..



    What would prevent me from starting a new Ltd Company in England & continuing to trade as I currently am? (2 Ltd Co’s)



    Paddy (MBB) T

  9. James Forrest is praying for The Unconquerable Oscar Knox




    14:46 on 9 September, 2014



    James, I haven’t agreed with many of your recent posts. But this one takes a principled stance, makes the point clearly and, if I may say so, succunctly.



    Well put…!

  10. Question to all ..



    If Better together had said we are better together in all respects including football – So if we secure a No vote we will insist that SFA and FA integrate to make a national football Association. Allowing all Scottish teams the opportunity of reaching premier of the BFL ( British Football League)….


    Would that have secured your vote?



    I’m thinking that’s a trick missed by political strategists…?

  11. CultsBhoy


    15:17 on


    9 September, 2014



    No. Football is inconsequential in the grand scheme of things.

  12. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on



    she did mention she met you and told me about the wee ghirl crying about 1D.



    K had to back down to pick mini up at Dalmarnock as the station was closed by the time she and her friend left the front door..

  13. bournesouprecipe on

    The real question on everyones lips of course is will Celtic play with one striker up front on Saturday, and if they do will be Guidetti or Scepovic.



    EarlyDays CSC

  14. Cultsbhoy



    I believe that is what paul’s article suggest except from a green tinted view. ie. We are easily bribed based on our football allegiance over any of our principles, moral backbone and want of social justice. I find that very disapoionting coming from Paul67.



    I don’t mind someone holding a NO opinion and I will debate all day but to allude to the Celtic support is so low as to accept a bribe based on allegience to our club!!! I’m not sure Paul67 thinks as highly of our support as I do.



    MWD says AYE

  15. weeminger,jamesgang,



    I suspected as much just wasn’t sure.Think there was only 1 seat between snp and labour iirc.






    If independence isn’t achieved after this vote then i think the snp are a busted flush.



    Gotta go,if you reply i’ll get back later bud.

  16. Paul67 et al



    Things are not going well. The soldiers who landed on the North of the Tweed, according to reports in the local advertiser, were mounted on royal donkeys, led by Cameron, Clegg and Milliband. But the donkeys were not able to arrive in time. Things are not going well. Evidently even the donkeys have begun to shake off the imperialistic harness.

  17. traditionalist88 on

    ernie lynch


    15:09 on


    9 September, 2014


    Any prospect of Celtic playing in any English league will be gone forever if it’s a yes vote.



    I think that’s very clear.





    Clarity eh, maybe not such a bad thing when you think about it…



    Actually, if/when UEFA sanction Regionalisation, I don’t think the Independence Referendum will make any difference unless they physically ‘cut’ Scotland off!



    A yes vote will just mean that when change happens it will be forced through by UEFA in time as opposed to the politicians. And given the work the politicians have done so far its hardly surprising, is it?!




  18. bournesouprecipe on

    Dear Grumpalump,



    First and foremost ask yourself that most vital question, will the referendum result make one bit of blind difference?



    Yours unconcerned



  19. “I don’t think there is a single British, or Scottish, cultural institution I feel an attachment to. ”



    Except Celtic FC I assume.



    Vote no if you’re a loyalist.

  20. James Forrest,



    I would be happy to take leave of my senses. This should have been enshrined in law as soon as we entered the EU. Big problem, imo, is that if it legislated for, could not any team from any EU country seek entrance. Poor UEFA trying to deal with that. Might have good repercussions as the corrupt and the jobsworths might get their marching orders.

  21. the glorious balance sheet on

    Why would UEFA, the SFA, the FA, the English football league and clubs on both sides of the border ever agree to allow Celtic to join the English leagues simply so that Celtic can get a share of the TV money on offer?



    Why would they be open to this now when previous approaches from Celtic and the former Rangers have been rebuffed?



    The notion of Celtic playing in England is a complete and utter fantasy.



    Celtic is all about success in Europe against the odds. Lisbon in 67, beating Leeds, skelping Sporting Lisbon 5-0, beating the likes of Real Madrid, Milan, Barcelona (twice), Juventus at Celtic Park.



    We can forget all about that if we prostitute ourselves to English football. If we were ever accepted into the English leagues we would have to start at conference level with no guarantee of smooth progression through the leagues and no European football for a number of years at the very least.



    In European terms our club would become an irrelevance during our time scrapping it out in the lower reaches of English football.



    Should we play Macclesfield instead of Motherwell just because there’s a few extra quid in it? Hell no!



    I find the constant courting of the English leagues and their TV money thoroughly depressing. If people are obsessed with money should go and support the Clydesdale Bank.



    The likes of Basel and Sevilla show that decent European performances can be sustained over a period of time without English TV deal type money.

  22. weeminger



    “What Jamesgang just said. It’ll be in ever SNP manifesto until independence is achieved.”





    I don’t see why they have to put that in the Manifesto.



    They are the Scottish National Party.



    The one distinguishing policy they have is to promote Independence.



    They have offered that policy to the Scottish people since 1934 and have been a Scotland wide party offering that policy since the 60s.



    For the past 50 years or more, Scots who passionately believed in the policy of “Independence and we’ll sort out the details later” could have triggered that circumstance by voting in sufficient numbers for the SNP. Britain was freeing a lot of African and Asian countries from colonial or dominion status in the 50s and 60s. They would not have stood in the way of a determined Scots majority to operate their own defined national boundaries.



    We are told it is the brave vote. The vote that laughs in the face of being told it is “too wee or too feart” to govern itself alone. Yet this bravery failed to make itself heard in the 50s (when the Potato Scone was stolen/repatriated from London), or in the 60s (when we were kings of fitba and Winnie Mandela won Hamilton), or in the 70s when the UK was in grim conflict and Scotland was in two WC finals), or in the 80s and 90s when we qualified 5 times and were ravaged by Thatcherism, as was England). It took until the late noughties for the brave pills to kick in.



    What happened then?



    Have the SNP policies for Independence become any more carefully detailed and agreed?- No



    Have we become any more oppressed by England and or Wales than we were in the past?-No and we never really had the same relationship with England that India or Kenya or Jamaica had.



    Are we more endangered by Trident than we were in the early 60s by the Holy Loch? No, again.



    All that is happened is a disillusionment with UK politics and, in particular, with New Labour politics. Now, for that, there is justification.



    Some chose to stay and fight to reform the party. And some chose to be brave and ran away to be friends with the SNP.



    They now have the zealous fervour of the reformed smoker and the post-Communist Malcolm Muggeridge.



    They are now telling me that I am a mug and a feartie, and my parents (and theirs) were mugs for sticking with it through changing circumstances.



    Now, we all have lines in the sand. There are circumstances where I would give up on current national boundaries and seek the refuge of an enclave where more harmonious social democratic policies could thrive. But neither the rise of the BNP in the 70s nor Thatcherism in the 80s drove me there. So, the threat of UKIP and or Boris Johnson will not frighten me away at their first growl either.

  23. A polarized debate with name calling. I’m so glad it’s not anything very important.



    On here last night, I read of Yes inclined posters celebrating the fact that they had chased off the blog another poster who had posted something of which they disapproved. His crime was to explain how the company that employs him had withdrawn millions from a Scottish institution because of the uncertainty should there be a Yes vote. He didn’t say what his views were on the issue, but included it as a cautionary tale.



    The reaction(s) was/were the antithesis of what a Celtic supporter should be.



    Inclusive, regardless of race and belief – my erchie.




  24. The Battered Bunnet on




    I don’t profess to have many answers, but all over Europe folk live in one jurisdiction and work in another. I have pals living in France and working in Switzerland for instance. I’m sure we can cope if it comes to it.



    Issue becomes complicated by the Ltd company malarkey. BlantyreKev’ll give you the run down, but you need to separate out tax on the company’s profit and tax on the shareholders’ dividends paid from that (post tax) profit.

  25. Hugh Bonkle fae Dallas


    15:14 on


    9 September, 2014


    Paul 67 agree with lots of what you’ve written. Not a lot of what you’d identify as quintessentially Scottish that I feel in tune with, but neither do I feel particularly Irish.



    I’ve never got particularly upset if Scotland have lost but could have quite easily locked myself away in a darkened room after many a Celtic defeat.



    But I would hope that there aren’t too many people who would have been swayed in their referendum voting intentions by the promise of entry to the EPL. Surely that goes against what we hope Celtic and the support stands for. Surely?





    Totally agree, I hope we would never play in the EPL.Maybe i’d reconsider if it explodes/goes bust and returns to normal.

  26. A wee alternative way to look at this referendum.



    Imagine the upcoming vote was to decide whether a currently independent Scotland should join with England or not.



    If you were inclined to vote for joining with England,what would your reasons be?

  27. Paul67



    I will give credit were credit is due.



    I suspect, knowing you, and reading both articles once again that you are trying to drive the debate back to footy away from Indy to a degree it has worked. I withdraw any previous assertions in my postings that you may have taken as a slight on your character. However my point stands that I do not feel the Celtic support are so easily manipulated.



    One last point to all. Wee straw poll.



    Who would prefer that I went back to being a facetious git about Celtic rather than talk indy?



    It won’t make an iota of a differnece but I just thought I’d ask. :-)



    Ernie. Any answer yet?



    MWD says AYE

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


    15:34 on


    9 September, 2014



    I personally don’t see the need either. That’s why I’d previously said it was a ‘given’.



    If Yes wins will the SNP even be relevant? I’d have thought not, they’d have achieved their defining goal. In the first general election following that I’ll be voting for whichever party matches my goals as closely as possible.

  29. Som mes que un club on

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




    15:34 on 9 September, 2014







    One of the best posts I have read on CQN concerning the Referendum.



    Well done Sir.




  30. If moving to the EPL is just about getting more money then fair enough but there would probably be years of mediocrity and no European competition as we struggle to compete with the oligarchs and sheiks.



    The fans would also lose out having to fork out in travel/accomodation etc.


    So, it’s not for me and there’s zero chance of it anyway if the vote is for independence.



    More skill and enterprise is required by our football guardians to build up the game here in Scotland. A link with similarly disadvantaged European nations could be a consideration although the travel/accom issue would still be a problem.