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. If the blame had been apportioned to Asians,Jews, Arabs, Gays,Lesbians – we would be looking at UK national news.



    Those who penned the story MUST be held to account – did the wife mislead them out of spite for Celtic supporters, or, did they lead her to say what she said, for the sake of a ‘good’ story.



    How we miss Paul McBride

  2. NegAnon2



    I agree Independence would not have made an ounce of difference to the TV deal.



    Alternatives to the pittance given is what is the way forward.



    For me it shows the way Scotland is always treated and considered within the union – third class.

  3. So Burnley is now bigger than any of the top clubs in Holland even Scudamore was nearly struck dumb and broke into uncontrollable laughter at the thought of English football being awash with more money than he could ever dream of. Has to spark a reaction around Europe.

  4. prestonpans bhoys on

    Our Spanish friends Villarreal on Sky 5 against Barca, if anyone fancies 45 mins before our game.

  5. Let’s us have another early goal for tonight – the difference it makes to the shape, pace and grip, that we exert on games can not be underestimated.



    We could just score the goals that our domination has deserved over recent weeks.

  6. the glorious balance sheet on

    In a country where increasing numbers of people are dependent on foodbanks, I find it disgusting that people are harping on about getting politicians to intervene on behalf of those poor football clubs who – bless them – aren’t allowed into the EPL and so can’t fill their boots on the Sky Gravy Train.



    I don’t like seeing Celtic being marginalised by the big bucks TV “product” that football now is. But I think it’s more abhorrent that despite the wealth of resources in this country, thousands of people are reliant on food banks.



    I want the politicians to fix that before they worry about football clubs.

  7. Neganon.



    Equal fantasy to imply politicians will lobby against it and even more fantastic to think it will come to anything. It wont.



    The problem is as a country in football terms we already are independent, as well as corrupt and a eunuch when representing our football (all ex their klub).


    The Ross Co director speaks for business when sayin we cant fet a sponsor due to the cheat.yet it is implied by tv we need the cheatfirm fixture



    Away to watch our team


    Hope yir well



  8. bournesouprecipe on




    It seems medical advice via RD’s staff is that James Forrest doesn’t play twice in a week in order that he builds back towards full fitness.



    I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s back as first name on the team sheet versus Inter.

  9. Why do you talk about foodbanks in a Scottish context?



    There are 384 foodbank projects in every country in Europe.



    Are thousands of people reliant on foodbanks?



    Thousands use them – they are popular – anything that is free usually is – but reliance on a day to day basis, I think not.



    We have had during the political debate over the last two years and shouts of “foodbanks” was always a good fallback when someone ran out of logical points of arguments.



    We MUST help the deserving poor and the disabled, but using the foodbank word as an emotive political ‘baseball bat’ is boring in the extreme.

  10. RIP


    Joe McLaughlin , Glenmavis.


    Great Celt, larger than life.


    His Dad and namesake played for Celts in the 40’s and won Cup with Aberdeen in 47.


    Young Joe was first class golfer and had hole in one at St Andrews few months ago, despite prosthetic leg.


    Joe was founder member of CSC at Uni. Taught in Columba,Coatbridge, and for years in Cardinal Newman, Bellshill. There, he famously took a group on educational visit to Motherwell Police Station. He then told the boys to stick in at school. Failing, you might end up as a Motherwell polis ! At the car park,the cops done him for no tax or MOT.


    Typical Joe! Great musician, great fun, good man.


    Funeral, Friday 10am, St Pats, Coatbridge.


    Condolences to Susan and family.


    His golf mate, Denis, was the chap with the Hoops top at the Masters when Cabrera won, 2010 .

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