The billions and structural change


This morning was one of those, ‘why bother?’ times.  The English game, already flooded with cash, is about to get a 70% pay increase.  Our game, already ravaged by the destruction of meritocracy over the last decade, will be ever-more firmly put in its place.

Good for the English.  They are notoriously rubbish at running football clubs but eventually there will be an amount of money which is so great, that they will become successful at it, if not actually ‘good’.  The Premiership’s bounty is historic, the trickle-down to the Football League will be eye-watering by any other measure.  The distribution to grass-roots football to build pitches, fund youth clubs and generally improve the technical proficiency at all levels, will be lavish, even if it is only 2%.

The economic impact at 20 Premier League locations will be significant.  These games are worth tens of millions of pounds to host cities each year, employing hundreds of people from security guards to Bentley salesmen.  On announcing the deal, Premier League chief executive, Richard Scudamore, proclaimed that Burnley were currently economically more significant than Ajax, an astonishing fact.  Before the new deal!

Scottish football can cry in its Magners or we can play with the hand we’ve been dealt.  The first reaction has to be to clearly establish that Scottish football’s exclusion from riches available in the England and Wales’ football league structure is not the fault of the English (or Welsh).  In the last decade the FA Premier League made it clear they didn’t want Celtic and Rangers, but the English and Welsh FAs, or the Football League, have not given any opinion on extending their federation to include Scottish football.

The immediate problem in Scottish football, is those running Scottish football have failed to address creeping structural threats.  Those running our game are, to a significant degree, happy with their club blazer, tickets for Hampden occasions and of a Scot having a one-in-four chance of becoming a vice president of Fifa.

It may appear obvious to you and me that becoming part of the big game next door, allowing our better clubs (and I mean more than just Celtic) to compete for a place in the top league, for many of the rest to enjoy the enormously improved commercial deals available in the Football League, for the community clubs to plug themselves into the bountiful distributed benefits available over the border, and for our cities to benefit from the economic boom available for hosting a Premiership club, is enormously desirable.  Those running our game have not figured this out yet.

So don’t blame the English, our exclusion from the party is a consequence of Scottish football not asking to join the English and Welsh structure.  Until this question is asked, we’ll never know the answer and we will continue to face financial hardship, our towns will not benefit from the indoor facilities being built across Europe, and Bentley salespeople will have more time on their hands.

Scottish football needs a strategy for structural change.  Such a move would benefit the entire game here, and would benefit the Football League.  Every other response of comment on yesterday’s TV deal is just a distraction.

Looking forward to tonight, hope we see Gary and/or Stuart.

If you’ve not booked your CQN11 St Patrick’s Dinner, which is on Cup Final weekend, Friday 13 March, at the Kerrydale Suite, email me,

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  1. Ticket prices for League Cup Final: £28 for East/west/North stands, £35 for south stand. Kids west/East stands £12. Wheelchair £5-£20


    TIMBHOY2 1119



    Problem with the BBC trying to compete with Sky is that it has relatively finite resources.



    The licence fee brings in approx £3.5bn per year. And,of course,there is no advertising revenue.



    Having said that,a £50 increase in the licence would allow it to compete.



    We would get for £4 a month what Sky charge £80 a month for.



    I like that idea. Cheap fitba,and Rupert gets his baws booted!

  3. I disagree strongly that we should join the bloated EPL.



    All our clubs simply need access to some of the money that Scottish people pump into Sky/BT as a percentage, even better would be having a Scottish sports channel.

  4. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    Does hosting a Premiership club lead to an economic boom?



    I thought the money went back straight out of the game ,to the players, and their agents.

  5. Careful With That Tax, Moonbeams on

    Spanish and German domestic football is far superior .. Our cousins south of the border have been brainwashed by Murdoch’s propaganda.

  6. Roy FFin’ MacGregor:



    “Ross county need to realise that they can’t keep living off the back of [Sevco].”




    “This coming from the man whose club ‘forgot’ to remember Remembrance Day.


    No prizes for guessing which club they hosted that afternoon.”




    “Scottish teams should learn to live within their means and not rely on [Sevco] all the time”




    “‘Poor behaviour’???


    Wait?? What the **** is that stTement all about??”




    “A point that is often overlooked or misunderstood and it is important.


    They never voted us into the 4th division in Scottish Football.


    They voted us out of Scottish Football.”




    “This needs to get repeated time and time again.


    The amount of bears who don’t know what went on is shocking.


    What they did was the worst punishment ever given to a club in world football.


    Made even worse by the fact that they were given evidence beforehand that there was a likely possibility of deliberate criminal actions by Whyte.


    In a hundred years from now every bear should know the names of every club that inflicted this injustice on us.”




    “It would appear they are trying to airbrush this from history.


    The Scottish media is in complete denial over it.


    When we get our club back I would hope questions are asked and answers demanded over that Summer of hatred.”




    “just a pity he didn’t think about that when he gleefully put the boot into us. Get tae f*** teuchter g*t.”




    “The guy is a hypocrate”

  7. Can you imagine what the SFA and SPFL would be like if they had more money?



    Nah, change is needed here first before I’d give those jokers any more to play with.

  8. Fantastic Article. Evolve or perish. Monkey Vs Man. The SFA have failed to look after our game on every level, any success gained, has been in spite of them.


    that is all.



    Hail Hail.

  9. bobby murdoch’s curled-up winklepickers


    Sara Cox named her second son Isaac……





  10. Surely the answer is that the Scottish Government must become engaged in this as the massive failure of the SFA & SPFL in governance, to make it clear to Sky, BT and the BBC that they will not be allowed to broadcast English football in Scotland unless we get a proper and fair pro-rata share of the deal commensurate with the number of subscribers/licence payers here.

  11. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on



    I think you posted second deliberately just so that you could say that 0:-)




  12. So Celtic will get the whole North Stand and the traditional Celtic end for the final. Seems sensible and reasonably fair and the South Stand will be split.

  13. Monaghan – these can’t be for real? Other clubs need to learn to live within their means and mot rely on Rangers????? These mudt be from a couple of Jakeys up a close that have been sniffing aerosols for last 4 years.

  14. Info required for the North apologies for digressing:



    looking for a good breakfast spot on the way from belfast international heading to the North antrim coast (Port Rush / Giants Causeway), want to avoid anywhere with too many “Flegs” a la Bushmills.



    HH BBhoy

  15. Like Paul, I hope we see a start for Gary and/or Stuart tonight.



    In fact unlike a lot of others, it’s GMS I’m most looking forward to seeing.



    He’s an entertainer (or luxury player according to some). Celtic used to be famous for it’s entertainers from Patsy Gallagher, Delaney, Tully through to Jinky. It will be nice to see another one.




  16. I’m all for us joining the English football structure. Have been for a long long time. I am even more in favour if it means that those who run our game here in Scotland fall on their swords. They have messed up big time, through their myopic view of what it takes to administer the game. Clueless is too kind a judgement on them.

  17. The English simply don’t need us.



    There are only two viable options.



    We can improve our own game. Redistribute what wealth there is more evenly in this country to increase competition, bring forward the season start to the weekend before the first European qualifiers to give our clubs a better chance of progress and the increased revenue and prestige, which would hopefully add to the TV deal if we have a 6 week head start on England.



    Or we can look to likeminded clubs in other European countries, namely Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Norway and Sweden, aka the Atlantic league. Think someone posted yesterday a rough blueprint for how that could work while maintaining domestic ties, a sort of league split for all the top leagues who then fight it out for CL places in a playoff format. More games? Bin the league cup to accommodate them. Scrap Scottish cup replays.



    Fail to do either and we will become increasingly irrelevant in the greater scheme of things. Lording it over the domestic game will ultimately hasten that demise. No competition, no interest.

  18. I’ve written to the SFA asking them to oppose the screening of MOTD in Scotland unless we receive money in proportion to our population and license fee for Sportscene.



    P67 probably hit it on the head – the SFA took our national team matches off terrestrial TV to Sky- they won’t give a monkeys as long as they get a blazer.



    Federalise or die. I don’t want to play in a mickey mouse part time set up league where any player we produce of note will leave us to join a E league 1 / 2 side. This is in the post within 5 years.



    Our last manager took a job with a team at the bottom of the E Championship. Give it a few years and this will descend into E League 1 having more prestige.



    We are totally Donald ducked unless someone asks the question as P67 says. The SFA won’t. CFC have tried and failed. What next?



    Maybe it has to be made a political matter.

  19. Looking for somewhere in Barcelona to watch Scottish Cup game with Dundee Utd obviously a Celtic friendly boozer

  20. Forgot to add.



    An organised cancellation of sky subscriptions by Scottish customers could help focus minds ahead of a new tv deal. Say starting June of this year.





    Very good article with some excellent points. Not least of which is that we have to ditch the current set-up.



    If you can’t beat them,beg them to let you join the party,but it’s either that or a slow and continuing decline.



    One other bonus from amalgamating the associations would be that wee nyaffs such as below would have to go back to their bowling clubs.








    17:00 on 10 February, 2015




    On another note.Takes hire from QSS to Hampden.Old gent, resplendent with his red and blue tie.Asks him whats on today.Disciplinary meeting he replies.Who is up today I asks him.Och dont know , but they will have their lawyers with them no doubt.Changed days from when we used to meet, find guilty or not and suitably punish.I then asked him his thoughts on Lee McCullochs antics in the league cip final.I kid you not, he replied that to his mind , the luckiest guy on the park was Broony, for that tackle on Black at the death.He then asked what I thought of the tackle in the Bolton v Liverpool game the night before.I says the boy let his manager down big time.Ah Mr Lennon, I seem to recall giving him a 6 match ban for entering the field of play at Hampden.I said to myself, I bet you will recall it till the day you die.


    This was a vile old bigot who epitomised everything that is wrong in the governance of our game and why res 12 must win out.







    The Exiled Tim is correct in saying that we need to sort the refs,but poisonous wee cretins like the above are just as dangerous.

  22. I should add the BBC pays the English league £70 million a season for highlights on the BBC.



    The SFA won’t publicise how much the BBC pay for Sportscene; probably because it will be utterly laughable.