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. traditionalist88 on




    Do you think Better Together applies to our national sport, in which so many of our invest significant amounts of time & money?!



    What else does it not apply to, as nice a little catchphrase as it appears at face value?




  2. mike in toronto on




    I agree that something needs to be done re: the false reporting, but I’m not sure that banning them is the solution; it just gives them ammunition.



    I think the answer is two fold: a more proactive PR department to control the flow of information, and to correct disinformation when it is printed, and an aggressive defamation litigation strategy, if necessary (these papers are already losing money, so judgments against them hurt them).



    Unfortunately, under the present Board, the strategy seems to be say nothing – presumably on the thinking that the more that is said, the more oxygen you give to the fire. That may work in some cases, but not in all.



    For example, most people in Scotland seem to have a very bad and false impression of our former manager. Everytime a false story was mentioned, Celtic should have been waging a PR campaging to get the truth out. Beyond that, they should have highlighted the crap he had to put up with, and why it happened (and the reason is obvious), and all the good things he did in Glasgow (I have heard of a few things, but I am sure,as manager of Celtic, he must have done much, much more). So many people in Scotland have such a negative (and WRONG!) impression of NFL, that could have been altered (admittedly, not entirely, but for many people) had the club really focussed on getting the true story out.



    The question is why the Board didn’t do this. I think they didn’t do this enough for the manager, because it would draw attention to the fact that, publicly at least, they haven’t stood up for the fans.



    I understand that board’s dont like doing their business in public, but, as you point out, it is at a stage where something must be done. If the board dont want to do it because it is the right thing to do, then, they should do it because, financially, it is the right thing to do for the Club. And why do I say it is the right thing to do financially? Because I (and I dont think I am alone) will eventually stop supporting the club financially, if the club doesn’t start doing something about the problem.

  3. philbhoy



    No, there was no snow that day I seem to remember.



    Mind you it WAS 41 years ago!




  4. BBhoy


    14:49 on


    11 February, 2015






    Its one of the things to see I guess.


    The beauty of Ireland is you are only a few hours away from pretty much everywhere so either / or its not going to make a massive difference to your journey.



    Enjoy the trip.

  5. 67Heaven .. CHALLENGING THE LIE ..I am wee Oscar / Neil Lennon.. Ipox belongs to the creditors on

    Don’t react / respond to the troll …. that way, he might go away….

  6. weeminger


    14:49 on


    11 February, 2015


    Alfie Noakes


    14:45 on


    11 February, 2015



    It would be virtually impossible for BBC England to prevent the people of Scotland receiving the broadcasts for free. Ask the people of Ireland, Benelux and Northern France.





    They would be breaking the law – is that what you advocate.



    If non-subscribers cannot receive Sky and BT – why would the BBC, with all the technology at its disposal, not insure that its content was similarly protected?

  7. The Irish pay around £16m to get all BBC content. So….



    “BBC Scotland raises £300 million in licence fee money.



    BBC Scotland spends £200 million on Scottish output, and/or Scottish-made network output.”



    £200m + £16m = an extra £84m for BBC Scotland

  8. prestonpans bhoys on



    14:47 on 11 February, 2015



    Punt the TV and back to 3pm kick offs – that will bring a lot back…..








    Although I didn’t have a vote,I made it plain in which way I would have cast it,hopefully without making it seem that by voicing my opinion I was trying to influence something which didn’t directly affect me.



    My point is simply that your contribution to this blog is meat and drink to the SNP voters amongst us,and poison to those of us who are trying to convince them of the error of their ways.



    I was always told that The Labour Party is a broad church,with many diverse views. And on that,the proof is in the pudding who posts on here.

  10. mike in toronto on

    Tin hat on …



    As much as I am proud of Celtic’s accomplishments … and would love to win 10 in a row, and another european cup ….



    I would trade them all if Celtic were to become a business whose central focus was on making Glasgow and Scotland a better place … if it lead in the fair wage campaign, and was at the forefront of the anti-sectarian movement ….



    It can be done … St. Pauli manage to keep the lights on, and still be known as a club that stands for something ….



    and here’s the ‘tin hat’ bit … would I be okay if Celtic never won another trophy if they did those things? Yes. I dont think that will happen, and I dont think the choice is necessary … but, if I had to pick, I would pick – charity, an openness (on the park and off of it) and inclusiveness – what I understand the spirit of Celtic to be – over a Champions league victory any day of the week.

  11. BMCUWP



    Oh he was frustrating. The kind of bloke of whom my Uncle Alex could say ‘I am no supporting us if he keeps getting picked’ just before he fired that one in against Basle. Took a certain amount of stick for that one did Alex.



    Charlie G was someone I saw a couple of times and he was much more of an artist than TC it is fair to say but he definitely had his critics who thought he was perhaps too, to use the Tony Hancock word, dilettante. My dad was a big fan as was the aforementioned Alex though rather unkindly my dad would remind him that he had once thrown a black pudding at him at Broomfield c1960




  12. Mike in Toronto



    I think Martin O’Neill was successful a number of times suing the press and made a good few bob out of it too.



    However, I believe he acted on his own.



    I am up for suing those middens every time the defame us, and as you say they can’t afford to lose.



    They’ll soon toe the line.

  13. Alfie Noakes


    14:58 on


    11 February, 2015



    The BBC is mandated to provide an unscrambled free to air service. Whether by Freeview or Freesat. The cost of developing and supplying a viewing card system to every licence fee payer would prohibit it, and they can’t control the footprint of the satellite.



    This is precisely the reason I can watch output that’s specific to English regions, including the occasional game not broadcast on BBS Scotland.

  14. roy croppie



    15:02 on 11 February, 2015





    No problem, great documentary that deserves a wide audience.



    Rockingham is around 45mins from me.. going to take run down and see the monument sometime soon hopefully.

  15. Re my last post . The last him is obviously Charlie not my dad. Though I am sure he flung things at him as well.




  16. Jimbo67,



    The likes of Burchill, Moyes and McGugan should never have been given the privilege of wearing the Celtic jersey. Was it Moyes who was subbed at h/t on his debut at Tannadice?

  17. So Lee McCulloch is to challenge the two match Scottish FA ban for stamping on Raith Rovers’ Dale Carrick.



    Hibs must be hoping he is successful and plays against them on Friday evening !

  18. Afternoon all.


    Really looking forward to the Glasgow Derby tonight.


    I reckon Armstrong will start and GMS will be on bench.




    I enjoy your posts, I know it can be difficult, but try and ignore the troll.








    How’s life,old bean? Want a postcard fae Belfast?



    Tbh,I might send myself one,cos I reckon I won’t remember much about it!



    Keep looking after yer lovely ladies,and I might see you in March. On your turf,for a change.

  20. mike in toronto



    15:04 on 11 February, 2015





    St pauli are a great club but not without their problems.. there fans thou are an inspiration.



    Celtic are very lucky they have so many great fans that do alot for charity..numerous people on here for example.



    The top of the club is a business.. the bottom and best is the bhoys and ghirls who give their time and money to help others all so the celtic name is a good name.



    Everyday heroes

  21. mike in toronto on




    You are right that Martin did have a few goes at them … in fairness, I dont know if the club funded those or not. Good on the club if they did, but like you, I suspect not.



    I agree … a few decisions against them, and they would be a lot more careful about the crap they print about the club.

  22. Parkheadcumnsalford



    I agree with you re Moyes and McGugan though I thought Burchill was probably worth a punt at least though he was guilty of thinking he knew it all after scoring a couple of early goals which I suspect may have been part of the Tony Watt problem. ( Not an original thought and I don’t want to reignite that argument!)



    Moyes debut was v Hibs. I think the guy who got subbed at Tannadice was the late Ronnie Coyle. We were 4-1 down at half time – that Jim MCCluskety was the ref obviously had nothing to do with it- and the youngster carried the can. But I could be wrong. Moyes nearly scored with his first touch but his goal bound header struck F Mcgarvey’s head and away for a goal kick. That I would swear to,




  23. BMCUW



    The ladies are fine thank you!



    Kindest regards to your Folks too!



    Hope Belfast is brilliant!

  24. You can make up figures to suit your case – but they are ‘mince’ – just like the SNP figures on Oil.



    Mince is mince – even if you dress it up as bolognese sauce

  25. eddieinkirkmichael



    15:10 on 11 February, 2015





    Thanks buddy.. you didnt have to bother as im sure you have enough on your plate. But ye did.



    Says alot .



    Take care.



    Bedtime down under..up early to watch the tic. Cant wait





    We always loved the ball-players,and overlooked the water-carriers I referred to earlier.



    Still do,tbh. They are why we go to watch football,to be entertained,to say in the pub later-did you see that?



    But it’s the people who get the job done,week in week out,who win you titles. And it’s difficult to sing their praises when they don’t excite you.



    That’s why I’m glad Jock was the boss and not me!!!!

  27. Charlie Gallagher was indeed a gifted inside forward, who also possessed a very hard shot.



    However, I don’t think he’d fit in today with the levels of fitness and team play (tracking back) that Ronny requires.



    Mibbe naw.

  28. proudbhoy


    15:10 on


    11 February, 2015


    mike in toronto



    15:04 on 11 February, 2015





    St pauli are a great club.






    Only because of the proximity of the Reeperbahn. -)))

  29. Just heard hibs have appealed mcelbows 2 match ban, they said it’s not fair if he’s banned for there match :-) HH





    Thanks,mate-that’s really nice of you to say so.



    I’ll return the compliment when no-one is looking,don’t want gossips to start!



    As for trolls,oh let us have our fun. Having said that,it detracts from the blog,so I’ll chuck it for the day on the advice of wiser counsel.