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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    For his sake,I hope he has his father’s surname.



    And that she isnae married to David Nobbs’ son!

  2. Monaghan1900



    12:16 on 11 February, 2015



    Roy FFin’ MacGregor:



    “The guy is a hypocrate”






    He’s a box of syringes?



    What kind of far-out, surreal insult is that?



    The Huns are truly mental…




  3. You’re spot on with the current set up, Paul. Been saying it all along.



    Those who run our game need to take a look at countries of similar size, population and structure. Then our game can be adpated to work to its strenghts and negotiate better TV deals etc.





    IMO,we ignored any criticism because we knew they had an agenda. We were used to it.



    They weren’t used to it,and took any deviation from the succulent party line as a personal affront and a call to arms against creeping Timmyness.



    99% sycophancy is just not good enough for these supremacists.

  5. BBhoy


    12:32 on


    11 February, 2015



    You’d better eat in the airport café then!



    The entire road from the airport, to Antrim, Ballymena, Ballymoney and Bushmills is pretty much all “flat land” and was therefore stolen and never regained.



    If they are not on the lamp posts – then they are in the living rooms and bedrooms!





    Re your request for Celtic pubs in Cameroon,came up blank.



    I have addys for three people working in Angola or Nigeria,but hardly likely to be of help,tbh.



    Good luck with it anyway.



    Btw,I recall you had problems a few years back with your UK employer trying to screw you over US based employment. Did you get your due?

  7. BMCW – Agree. It’s ironic that the current willingness of the DR to criticise rangers is actually intended to support DK’s power bid which is what the fans are supposed to want.

  8. No other Football Association would allow broadcasters to do what both Sky, BT and even the BBC are doing to Scottish football.



    Merging the leagues is one option – the other is insisting on a fair proportion of the overall pot for broadcasting rights in the UK which inevitably cross into Scotland.



    The BBC spend Scottish TV licence revenue on English football and Sky and BT both subsidise their English TV deals from their Scottish customers.



    Sportscene at 11pm on a Sunday adds insult to injury.



    If Burnley are bigger than Ajax and Norwich bigger than Celtic then the game is up. Time to sort this out…

  9. Paul67



    The political party that makes it part of it’s manifesto to disallow Sky / BT etc to be shown in Scotland unless they invest back into Scottish football, an equal proportion of subscription income from Scottish TV audiences.


    That party would get my vote.



    We need our football bosses ,our politicians ,and our public all onside.



    We subscribe approx 10% of the Sky UK income from Scotland.


    Yet the Scottish game is dying through under investment and lack of sex appeal.



    I don’t have figures but I would guess that what the Scottish football receives in TV sponsorship ,is less than 10% of what is paid in subscriptions to Sky from Scottish households.



    We Scots are paying to kill our own game.



    Scottish Football fans need to unite .


    This is bigger than any Sevco issue .




  10. We know that the SFA gave away the European rights to our games. Perhaps they gave away the highlights package to the BBC. They were utterly terrified of no tv deal. Not having the metal to consider going it alone and launching a channel.



    What were left with is the possibility of a tv deal stretching for another 4 years that will see our entire football season being worth the same as one EPL game.



    These people are amateurs and since the clubs are shareholders in the league they should be taking them to task for incompetence, and looking for whatever means are available to break it. Including paying Sky off.

  11. Afternoon all.



    Just catching up, and I am hearing disturbing news that the ‘stadium bricks’ on sale at the Govan lavvy mentioned on the last thread are to be made from re-cycled asbestos.




  12. So, with a guaranteed minimum of £100,000,000 available to Mike Ashley every season till 2019, do the deluded still fear him selling Newcastle, and concentrating his efforts down Snake Mountain way? I know we keep forgetting about the 500,000,000 infected by “Rangersitis”.



    My own thoughts are that I hope the Lying King and 3 stooges do succeed in the (eventual) upcoming EGM. I can only see them inheriting the loss-making football°-playing side of the business, whilst MA cleans up via his “onerous contracts” Where is King going to find the money, legally anyway, to keep the Peepel happy? Cant see it myself. So, if someone can explain to me, as a Celtic man, why Ashley is better than King, please tell me where I’m going wrong.






    °term used loosely.





    I heard they’re to be made of rubber so that they’re not thrown at the board.



    Or the team,come to that!

  14. Jonny thr Tim – good point. No one in their right mind is going to walk away from the EPL cash cow. I personally hope King’s gang take over. After the initial burst of optimism it will be more of the same. Downsizing and cost cutting. We have nothing to fear other than fear itself.

  15. A Ceiler Gonof Rust on

    Have the DR printed an apology regarding the story about the guy who was beaten by two sevco supporters.



    This a quote from the DR when they ran the story.



    “Wife Laurette claims the ‘drunken thugs’ were Celtic fans”.



    I had a look at hunmedia to see how they had taken the news that these thugs were not in fact Celtic fans. Strangely enough, not a peep from them after their initial predictable bile and threats towards the two “Celtic fans”.



    Laurette seems like the kind of girl who just cant wait for the marching season to begin.



    Utterly disgusting “journalism” from the DR.

  16. starry plough


    12:25 on


    11 February, 2015





    “Hypocrate” : an especially big box for storing yer vinyl tunes:)))





    Used by Interfauna to delivery hippos.

  17. How much of the BBC Shortbread budget has ended up at Poundland,in the last 3 years? Remember they are banned from press conferences there….

  18. GuyFawkesaforeverhero on




    Respect your views but I don’t require Celtic to be as economically significant as Burnley. I just need Celtic to be Celtic and let that take us as far as we can.



    Takes us to Firhill tonight to play Maryhill Thistle. Good luck to the Bhoys.



    My dad was born and grew up in Murano St during the 1920s and I’m only around that area when the Celts are there. Love it.



    By the time the new EPL Monopoly game starts, the next in line SFA President will be bringing all the skill and knowledge gained at Cove Rangers to the table unless the top clubs decide enough is enough.



    Should Ogilvie’s name even be advanced as a one in four candidate for the elevated position with FIFA the roof will cave-in on Scottish football.



    Good times.

  19. Tiny Tim,



    I would certainly think seriously of giving my vote to a Scottish Party which did have such a demand as an integral part of its manifesto. While I am aware that SKY makes it’s real money from advertising and overseas sales, we Scots must be contributing proportionally a lot more than we receive in return. Either we seek proper compensation or we don’t allow SKY/BT/BBC to broadcast English football here. A high price maybe but we need to take some action.



    Personally, it is the BBC which sickens me most as it is our public broadcasting organisation. The other 2 are in it to make money.

  20. Has it been reported/confirmed that the attackers were not Celtic fans? The Record knew that from day one and their excuse was the wife said otherwise. Someone posted a twitter conversation where the editor admitted as much. They knew it was not football related.

  21. A Ceiler Gonof Rust @ 13:05



    That story appeared with the one about the kid being ‘bottled’ by Celtic supporters on the Sunday following Rangers game. The charitable response from Celtic and the supporters to the kid spiked that particular story, now this.



    That dreadful rag the DR continues to highlight the value of CQN and its contributors to repel lazy and irresponsible

  22. starry plough.






    Been a while – but places I remember –



    Insula / Route 66 / Hydeparks Corner. There was a very good reggae / dub stall in Christiana.No idea if it is still there.NB – they don’ t like cameras in Christiana – there is a wall exhibiting confiscated / destroyed cameras .

  23. cliftonville celt from belfast on



    12:32 on


    11 February, 2015



    Ballyrobin guest house as you come out of the airport on the right hand side is very nice



    Ballycastle or Glenarm have a few wee bars that would do you a good breakfast as well



    Portstewart has loads of lovely coffee shops and is a much nicer town than Portrush

  24. The Honest Cover-up on

    I agree with the posters calling for cancelation of Sky subcriptions and calls for increased TV money for the Scottish leagues. But I don’t agree with all the doom and gloom about the new English deal.


    The English leagues have been taking in obscene amounts of money from TV companies for years. Is it improving the product on the pitch? Maybe, a bit, but most of the money goes to hugely overpaid foreigners. Is it improving the quality of the English national team? Certainly not. If anything it is hindering it.


    These teams are not investing the money patiently and building for the future. They are squandering it year by year.


    They overpay for transfer fees, they overpay for wages. The Englsih game is rich, very rich. But it is not healthy.



    Something interesting has been happening in the Scottish game since Oldco Rangers liquidated. Teams are living within their means. They are producing good young Scottish players who get plenty of first team experience. We are seeing a better product on the park. Teams are selling their players for decent money (usually to England) and are re-investing the money to produce more good young Scottish players. We are even seeing money being spent between Scottish clubs recently, something practically unheard of for the last decade or so.


    EPL and Championship teams are taking the SPFL Premiership seriously now. They are bidding decent money for players here. Sporting Lisbon scout for and pay serious money for Scottish talent.



    Sure, we don’t have the sums of money the English teams have and we need to be more intelligent than they are. But they with the way they bahave that shouldn’t be impossible.


    Our national team is on the up as well.

  25. South Of Tunis



    Thanks SoT, I got a mate there, big jazz and reggae fan he’ll surely know, Christina is not of my list of places to visit, not my scene all that freedom:)))



    I’m staying in Vesterbro should be plenty of snapping action there…

  26. Anyone looking for good documentary iv just watched an amazing true story.



    Youtube– the catalpa rescue-full version





    Story about how some irish rebels in late 1800’s planning a rebellion in ireland were arrested and sent by boat to fremantle prison in western australia.



    Notorious prison that no one had ever escaped..10yrs later a boat of fenians headed to western australia to rescue the 6 men. Amazing story of courage and guts.




  27. Eyes Wide Open, BMCUP & cliftonville celt from belfast



    Thanks for the advice, I have a german pal with me and want to avoid the “Flatlands” and any negativity as its his first visit so looks like Port Stewart’s a good shout.






  28. Rowley Birkin QC on

    What possible reason would BBC lunchtime news have for showing the guy who murder Jean Campbell in Glasgow (R.I.P.) wearing a Celtic top. Deary me, how low can they go?

  29. £5bn+ RANT – feel free to scroll past!



    The Sky/BT £5bn+ package is no longer a football product – it’s a Worldwide Reality/Soap industry targeted at a Wanabee age group (plugged into; laptops, ipads, iphones, apps etc) and the 90 minute game is fast becoming a by-product.



    Replace ‘Dicks’ like; Ant & Deck, Louis Walsh (even the Heston Blumenthal types) with a range of presenters such as; so-called experts, the likes of Savage and Nicholas etc (that can’t string a sentence together), a mix of ‘foreign’ ex=players, a rota of out-of-work ex-managers, some cringe worthy comedians and the ‘obligatory’ dolly-birds and you have a cast of thousands to saturate TV viewing. Pre & Post-match programmes, highlights, repeats, ticker-tape news – even the adverts are tailor-made; Carlsberg, Ray Winston’s head etc – all dwarfing the actual 90 minutes football played on the pitch.



    The ‘Reality/Soap’ factor indulges the ‘actors’ – managers that are given ‘statesmanlike’ status (every word reported, analysed and repeated ad nauseam) – players’ lifestyles critiqued; WAGs, tattoos, hairstyles, dress-sense (??), jewellery – how often they change; cars, watches, boots etc. No matter how you ‘tart’ it up – the EPL is not a Sport – it’s a Commercial Product!



    Will the bubble burst? I doubt it – but English International Football may well suffer in the not too distant future. Currently only one English player features in FIFA’s Top 50 (Rooney 23) – only 5 players (1 on loan) in the Top 20 ply their trade in the EPL – 10 EPL players feature in the Top 20-50. The so-called Best-League-in-the-Word (for all its money) cannot attract what are perceived to be 35 of the Top World Players currently playing in Europe. The EPL is being saturated with no better than average foreign imports – young English players are struggling to break into the First Team and those that show promise in lower leagues are being snapped-up for ridiculous fees (and wages) and few will make the grade (e.g. for Ings read Hooper).



    The Radical re-shape of the Sky/BT package will only come about when and if the English F.A. have to address failure to qualify for 1 or 2 World Cups if drawn in a competitive section (a bit like the current Scotland group) and have to rely on putting a squad together from a diminishing pool of average players in the EPL.



    Meantime in Scotland, CFC will need to continue with and improve our current development policy – win domestically and compete to the best of our ability in Europe. Chances are our player-pool will get progressively younger – and those we unearth or hone their talents (from the youth) will be snapped up by the EPL because they will represent value for money.



    Make no mistake – We will feel the knock-on effect of this deal. Our incumbents at Hampden are so out of touch with the ordinary football supporter and how the game here in Scotland needs to be radically overhauled to make it at least appear more commercially attractive – interesting times ahead!



    Sir Bob Kelly was right!!