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. Charlie Gallacher?



    One of the best passers of the ball I ever saw in the Hoops.



    Up there with Bobby Murdoch and George Connelly.




  2. 2 Million is that what Celtic get of Sky.tell them to stuff it.Celtic should inform the S F A that all football matches that have to played at Celtic park on Saturdays will be 3 o’clock kick offs.also that B B C need to cut there number of employees. Think of all the regional centres they have across the country. time for one BBC’s to cut there cloth


    I wonder how many of them losed there jobs .when the Tories starry austerity cuts .

  3. Alfie Noakes


    14:45 on


    11 February, 2015


    Some key figures that the more rabid among us will no doubt be in complete ignorance about.



    BBC Scotland raises £300 million in licence fee money.



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



    Therefore the viewers in Scotland get complete access to all BBC UK out put for basically a third of the licence fee – approx £48 per year, or, if you like, slightly less than £1 per week.



    If we were not in the UK and had to subscribe to BBC TV, my guess is that it would cost around £35 per month = £420 per year, or nearly ten times as much.



    Exactly where would Scotland find the money to pay for Football TV



    Pie in the sky – nonsense !






    Your logic is incomprehensible. Most of the BBC output is a pile of crap about cookery made in Manchester and London. If we weren’t forced to pay a license fee, very few of us would bother with it.



    Because we pay over 10% of the UK license fee, we should receive finance in keeping with our numbers. We are all in the same country paying the same license are we not? Or is England more important?



    Are we a Union of Equals, or are we merely minor lackeys for English interests? You tell me. In fact, don’t bother.

  4. mike in toronto on




    I agree that no club is without problems …. but at Celtic I sense an increasing schism between the board and a large percentage of the fans…. many of whom (whether you agree with all of their poliitics or antics) are the ones who have brought the thunder back to CP.



    I am no GB’er (hell, I’m middle aged corporate guy … couldn’t jump and sing for 90 minutes even if I wanted to!), but even I have been put off by the club’s lack of spirt of late. They seem willing to ‘take on’ the GB, but wont fight the real enemy (the old school network at the SFA and SFPL). I accept that the GB has cost the club some money, but how much money has the cheating cost the club …. who is the real enemy? And who has done more harm to Celtic? Everyone on this blog knows the answer to that….

  5. friesdorfer



    14:55 on 11 February, 2015



    There is no solution we have to accept the hard facts of life sometimes. Those facts are that we are not wanted or needed anywhere else


    As for The reported figure of Sky recieving 10% of their subscription revenue from Scottish viewers it would be interesting to know what part of that percentage take Sky Sports as part of their package. There is no guarantee that the majority of those subscribers want their subscriptions reinvested in Scottish football








    You know my opinions,bud. For me to question them on the strength of that eejit shows the damage he is doing.



    Hope yer fine and dandy yerself,and the wee fella too. Might bump into you at a certain corner in March. Hopefully.

  7. eddieinkirkmichael on

    For those interested in reading Freemantle Mission but are unable to get copies, several Libraries in Glasgow hold copies.



    Whiteinch Library


    Glasgow G14 9RL



    Anniesland College


    Glasgow G12 0YE



    Anniesland Library


    Glasgow G13 1LE



    Elder Park Library


    Glasgow G51 3TZ





    Knightswood Library


    Glasgow G13 3BB



    Partick Library


    Glasgow G11 6AB



    Hillhead Library


    Glasgow G12 8AP



    University of Glasgow, Adam Smith Library


    Glasgow G12 8RT



    University of Glasgow, Language Centre Library


    Glasgow G12 8RS

  8. BMCUW.


    Wiser counsel. Ha! Magic.


    Can’t wait to tell Butsybhoy that’s how I’m viewed.


    Although compared to him I am.

  9. parkheadcumsalford



    15:12 on 11 February, 2015


    Charlie Gallagher: if we only had one of him today. He played football as it was meant to be played.






    Never a truer word spoken in jest, remembering the corner he took from the left agains Vojvodina for Big Billy to head home, happy days.



    Hail! Hail!

  10. Auldheid


    14:23 on


    11 February, 2015


    The solution has to be political or Scottish football diminishes domestically to European irrelevance.



    Better Together?



    Aye right – as long as it’s not football.



    But how can you argue for the financial benefits of being part of a bigger market when politically the party of current favour wants the opposite?



    If Carlsberg did Cognitive Dissonance.






    Interesting point Auldheid but, for example (yawn) the SNP is for independence as part of the EU. We are economically tied to the EU, a massive marketplace. A bit like playing in a European League instead of the SPFL if you will.



    The current model seeks to have the SPFL pay for the privilege of having the EPL rammed down our throats at the expense of our national football league.



    Something has to give.


    As I head off to my cot and my usual midweek break from the site,to assembled sighs of relief,my reference to Charlie Gallagher was in context,and not detrimental to his ability.



    Honest. Players like that I loved and still do. Ball-players,could watch them all day.



    Right,offski. Have fun.

  12. mike in toronto


    14:57 on


    11 February, 2015






    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.






    We live, thank God, in a free society – individuals, organisations and the press can say what they please, as long as it is within the law – would you change that?



    I hope you said NO.



    By definition then there will always be things that we disagree with and object to – and if we feel so inclined, we should object strongly within the law.



    But really, do you really expect The Celtic Football Club to provide a running commentary on every scrap of gossip and article that is written about the club and/or anyone associated with it.



    Where would the board then find the time to actually run the football and financial aspects of Celtic.



    Certain people on here moan about everything, because social media now gives them the opportunity – but they are a tiny fraction of the Celtic support and on most occasions, better ignored.



    Thicker skins are required and just let’s get on with the wonderful story that is, always was, and ALWAYS will be…Celtic.

  13. mike in toronto



    15:21 on 11 February, 2015





    Totally agree



    The so called dundee riot was terrible by our club.. banning fans without proof and listening to media.



    Guilty until proven innocent.



    GB id say spend alot of their money following our team everywhere and their not the guys who boo or moan every mis placed pass.



    They have made mistakes but so has every generation of fans.



    Defo hitting the hay here.

  14. Re the tv license debate: As always the nats make the mistake of equating UK wide spending with England alone.



    Scottish residents may pay 10% of license fees, I don’t know if there are figures to back that up, but let’s assume it is accurate. Does that mean BBC Scotland is entitled to 10% of the BBC budget?



    Of course not. Most programmes are produced on a UK basis and shown throughout the UK. Scots watch the national news and Eastenders, the dramas and comedies, the reality shows and whatever else too.



    The only way Scotland should get a population share of the budget is if it then buys in all the UK wide programmes that viewers (rightly or wrongly) want to see. And when ITV used a somewhat similar model what happened? STV refused to pay the high costs for many programmes that Scots wanted to see, leading to calls of unfairness.

  15. weeminger-ah gotcha, aye no TV would get more through the gates, unfortunately never going to happen HH

  16. Auldheid, as for a federalisation with the English set up, federalisation already exists elsewhere, with wholly independent nations. (Canada / USA for example).



    Even in an independent Scotland, one would hope that England would continue to be out=r main trading and cultural partner, along with the rest of the UK.



    Strategically, economically, culturally, militarily, there is no possibility of scotland and the UK becoming totally disconnected. More likely a genuine partnership of equals.



    The BBC are ripping the urine continually against us. At least Sky have free market economic justification for their actions , however horrible that is for genuine sport.

  17. BMCUWP



    Butsybabes? God I thought you had got the first S and T transcribed. That would have been a definite yellow.



    TC was as I said a definite bag carrier though. Met him a couple of years ago and spoke to him about the goal he scored at Ibrox and what a strike it had been. He turned to the young woman who was handing out the drinks and said.



    “See I told you I scored a great goal against them!”




  18. Paul,



    If the Celtic board are serious about working their passage into the English league system-and am far from convinced that they are-then the way to get this done is to push the “British” issue. The country, mistakenly in my opinion, voted “no” in the referendum but it is a matter of time until another vote is taken and it will likely be a “yes” given the changing demographics. If the country is serious about installing a sense of Britishness in Scotland to avoid that scenario, what better way to do it than opening up the riches of England’s football system to those Scottish teams that want to join. To refuse a well articulated request would show up the sense of exclusion that I think the union would want to avoid.

  19. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on

    Re . the guy accused of murder being shown in a Celtic top.


    To use this photo suggests that the BBC (?) is more interested in creating negative associations with Celtic than in showing the horror of murder (and mental illness).


    In a similar fashion, the fervour with which they present cases of paedophelia when it involves the Catholic Church is indicative of a desire to show Catholicism in a bad light rather than the horrible nature of the crime against children.


    This type of `journalism` shows Scotland at its worst.





    PS I am a Celtic supporter but I am not a Catholic.

  20. SKY


    As far as York goes there were way too many pubs showing football and unless you had a regular crowd going in it was a waste of money. A lot of pubs have dropped it because of expense and also due to folk coming in for a match then leaving straight after. (students can make a half pint last 90 mins)

  21. Moonbeams WD. Wee Oscar’s our Bhoy and Kano’s our mhan. The Vow – Critically Rebuked by 45% of this fine nation.


    ———————————————————————————————————and if the bad laws are made to stop us demonstrating about wursur laws then we shoulf just shut it. right!





    I think less time on here and a couple of visits to an Adult Literacy Class – might be the thing to do.



    I’ll pretend I never read the “women knitting and cooking” bit – you better hope that women do too!

  22. williamf


    15:36 on


    11 February, 2015





    No offence mate but I don’t think there was one bit of your post that is true.

  23. mike in toronto on

    Alfie Noakes



    I do not expect the club “to provide a running commentary on every scrap of gossip.” And that is not what I said. But I do expect the club to selectively and properly control the flow of information that impacts upon it.



    The choice to comment or not comment publicly on matters that impact the club is a media strategy. I just dont happen to think that it is a very good or effective one.



    And as for this somehow being separate and apart of ‘running the football and financial aspects of Celtic’ this is just silly. Control of media and flow of information is an essential part of business today. On a macro level, might I suggest you have a look at Mr. Chomsky for the connection between control of media and power and businesses. On a more prosaic level, every business school in the world now teaches courses on web and other media strategies. why? because media strategy is now considered integral to the ‘financial aspects’ of business.

  24. Oh Jim. I apologise to your stupidabilities.



    (sorry I mean Alfie)



    When do i get a visit BTW? Can’t wait for my East Ren Laboured Constituency Party knob knocking my door. He\She will be treated to an invite in and afforded the opporchancity to put their case across to deaf ears before being verbally assaulted with crazy horse stuff.



    All in an effort just to keep my neighbours happy and free from their stupidabilities.



    treat them liek Mormon’s. Only way to do it.



    MWD said AYe

  25. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked


    15:41 on


    11 February, 2015



    Where to BBC et all get these photos?

  26. mickbhoy1888


    16:05 on


    11 February, 2015



    Correct. It’s an image they have permission to use. Perhaps the only one. There are so many other things in life that are worthy of getting upset over this notion that absolutely everything the BBC do is designed to show us in bad light is just nonsensical.



    The chances that the person choosing the image for a non-football story even considering the club and how to make it look bad are likely to be very slim.

  27. It rather amuses me that those who were so adamant that the union was for the greater good without being properly capable of articulating the positive case for the thing they voted to retain (rather they prefered and prefer to attack one political party out of their backward tribal loyalty) now find themselves realizing what us stupid nats knew all along – like your vote, your football doesn’t count in the family of nations and union of equal partners.



    You voted for this.



    You cannot change it.



    You now see where your/our place and roles in the grand scheme of things are.



    Wear it.