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. Snake Plissken


    16:12 on


    11 February, 2015





    You don’t take defeat well.

  2. proudbhoy13:29 on 11 February, 2015



    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.









    hi mate the u-tube linki thing didnt work.I would be interested in seeing that.



    wiki has this



    As a wee aside my nephew plays mandolin/fiddle in a band of that name :-)




  3. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on



    ‘that should of course be ‘et al’’



    Unless we were talking of Sleekit 0:-)






    Weeminger ( again!) @ 16:10




    “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.”



    Do you think the BBC is run in such an easy -going fashion that photo`s are used without consideration? Snarling Lennon V Cheeky Smiling McCoist?

  4. Snake Plissken,



    I’m hearing this line a lot from nats recently – the patronising line. “We are so clever, you were just too stupid to understand our arguments.” Interesting that a nationalist party thinks so little of the majority of its own people, isn’t it?



    So, wise one, educate us. How would independence have benefited Scottish football?

  5. mickbhoy1888 at 1521


    Thank you, some good points there. Unless we (Scot Govt/SFA/SPFL) take the bull by the horns, we will never know. My straw poll (finger in the wind) suggests that a surprisingly large number of those(Scottish) subscribers would have Sky Sports and/or Sky Movies. Hardly seems much point in subscribing to Sky otherwise?



  6. Jungle Jim,



    I wonder if this has been publicised in Scotland?



    From today’s The Post an Alicante based newspaper.



    ” The judge investigating accusations of sex attacks on altar boys in Granada has lifted reporting restrictions, allowing details of the alleged incident to be made public.


    In a five page report, judge Antonio Moreno Marin, last week summarised the case against 10 clergymen and 2 others who face charges of either participating in the abuse or of turning a blind eye to it.


    The investigation began last year when a 24-year old man wrote to Pope Francis detailing ordeals he had suffered when he was a teenage Altar boy in Granada. The Pontiff later telephoned him personally to apologise in the name of the Church and called for an enquiry to determine the truth…”

  7. Catalpa ?



    Remember a 1 man play at the Edinburgh Fringe in the mid 90s .Memory ( not to be relied upon ! ) says it was called The Catalpa.A fine piece of drama.

  8. Gordon J



    It wouldn’t. I don’t want to be part of the EPL and its monopoly money.



    I like Scottish football. I am happy watching the Scottish league develop its players and making its teams as strong as possible.



    The whole continent suffers because of the perversion of sport that is the EPL but so many on here want to join that party it seems to me.



    Being in the Union doesn’t help Celtic much. That much is clearer today than ever before.



    The onus is on you to explain why if we are equal partners our football is treated as third class.



    You cannot just like you cannot give a positive case for the union.



    You KNOW this.






    Now I must go to work.

  9. Snake Plissken,



    I honestly feel for you, if you still harbour notions that independence would make a positive difference to every day life here. That, imo, is pure pie in the sky. We certainly haven’t seen anything, imo, since the SNP won an overwhelming majority at Holyrood, apart from an Act designed specifically to “get” us Celtic supporters, as we couldn’t be charged under existing legislation, which was therefore ignored (and still is).



    Please don’t give me the argument that voting for Independence was not voting for the SNP. They are the only party that would have benefitted from a “Yes” vote, imo.

  10. Weeminger, re the pic chosen to illustrate the accused



    Agree that it may be the only image yet made available to the meeja, but every outlet, whether it be written or tv, has an editor who is in a position to make choices. The football top appears to be irrelevant to the story so why have it there at all? It could easily be edited out. Sloppy at best, and hopefully that’s all it is.

  11. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on

    My team for tonight:




    Matthews, Denayer, van Djik, Izaguirre.







    Ronny might have other ideas 0:-)




  12. A Ceiler Gonof Rust on

    BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS 15:22 on 11 February, 2015



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






    Ha ha, leave him alone, he’s doing a fine job:_)

  13. McCulloch is to contest his two match ban. I expect it will end with him being voted player of the month.

  14. South of Tunis



    hi there,i was wondering if there are any good compilations/documentaries(in english)on DVD of Diego Maradona at his peak in his seasons at Napoli.The seasons when they won the league,Careca etc.any help appreciated







    Ps Miles Davis blue wasa my fav of your christmas selection

  15. Snake Plissken,



    A few bland assertions and then run away?



    But, to answer your direct question, Scottish football is treated differently from English football because it is different. There is a much larger market for English football, a greater commercial value. Sky makes commercial decisions, not political ones.



    The only way I see of improving out game is though some form of European league, which I believe will come.

  16. fieldofdrams


    16:37 on


    11 February, 2015



    I just don’t think outside of the sports dept, these things are even considered.

  17. I went on to the Record site this pm to see for myself how they were still reporting the assault on Jim Martin as being “Old Firm” related.




    Rather than admit they got it wrong when they blamed Celtic fans for the assault on the say so of his wife, they now drop that part but still try to get the same message across.



    For what it’s worth, I have dropped an email to their editorial staff saying how dangerous their reporting could have been. It could easily have resulted in a revenge attack.


    If you can be bothered, feel free to do likewise to : ‘’



    My letter is below:



    Dear Sirs – after the Celtic Vs Rangers game, you went very big with the story of the assault on Jim Martin. Graphic pictures and a report that quite specifically put the blame on Celtic fans on the say so of his wife who wasn’t there and had absolutely no evidence to back up her story. You went with this angle just on her “gut feeling”? You went with this angle knowing that it would stoke up feelings of anger amongst an element of the Rangers support towards Celtic fans and possibly result in revenge attacks. Do you not realize that your mis-reporting could easily have resulted in the life of a Celtic fan been taken in a tit-for-tat assault?


    Even today, the article is attempting to tie the assault into being “old firm” related with lots of mentions of it happening on the same day of the football. Yet your editor was told right from the start that it was not carried out by Celtic fans and probably not even football related.


    Do you not have the deceny to try and rectify your mis-reporting of this story and admit that Jim Martin’s wife was completely wrong in her insinuations? I note you don’t mention in today’s report which team the assailants support. I wonder why.



    Yours etc.

  18. The Firhill playing surface looked as bad as Hampden at the weekend,Ronny will take that into consideration.

  19. mike in toronto on

    As I was not able to vote, I have tried to stay out of the discussion ….



    However, it pains me to see the level of rancour it has generated …particularly on here, where, at the end of the day, we all want the same things for Celtic …



    If I can …. As I did not have to vote, I did not have to make a choice, and so, I still go back and forth ….



    To me, this was not a lady or lion situation … it was not which option was best, but which option was less bad….. both sides are right in their criticism of the other, but neither side was completely right in the absolute sense.



    Point being, cut each other some slack, guys. We all (at least most of us) want the same thing (what is best for Celtic) … while we may not agree on what that is, or how we achieve it, that difference is less important that what binds us.

  20. A Ceiler Gonof Rust on

    DeniaBhoy, you should have provided them with a link to the thread on RM to evidence how their story lit the touch paper and the huns went off half cocked. There is not one post on the thread that doesn’t spew hatred or threaten violence against the two “Celtic fans”.



    In fact that thread alone on their blog probably breaks a fair number of laws, all because of a badly researched story, or was it a deliberate ploy.

  21. IanBhoy929



    Yes that last minute goal is etched in my mind forever too. I seem to remember it was a slightly foggy night . Seeing it from behind the opposite goal -the majestic leap and header from a beautifully flighted corner. And we were through to the EC semi final .

  22. Good afternoon all.



    Can I thank you all for your comments re mrsweefras CT scan today. She was quite moved by your concern. A sincere thank you.






    I hope all went well for you, and the results come back in a positive manner. KTF.



    Weefra HH praying to Wee Oscar.

  23. Anyone know when Charlie Mulgrew will return from injury?


    Charlie’s ability at set pieces, Imho, could be important to two Inter games

  24. Gordon_J backing Neil Lennon


    16:42 on


    11 February, 2015




    Scottish football is treated differently from English football because it is different. There is a much larger market for English football, a greater commercial value. Sky makes commercial decisions, not political ones.



    The only way I see of improving out game is though some form of European league, which I believe will come.







    100% in agreement with you here G-J.

  25. Snake



    I for one was perfectly aware of the dilemma a vote for independence would mean for football.



    As I recall the argument was the vote for independence was too important to depend on the political weight it might give a better together argument.



    I thought it a perfect opportunity to demonstrate BT as a truth which is still a truth for football now we have the independence debate out the way.



    As a UK citizen and taxpayer I want Scottish football clubs to have the same growth opportunities as Swansea, Burnley or Bournemouth.



    How that all plays out will depend on how clubs see themselves but the opportunity as a matter of principle should be open to all.



    As it stands we get none of the growth benefits and all of the constraints.



    Get the principle of fair access sorted out then let football come up with solutions.



    As matters stand the various solutions stop agreement on the principle.

  26. While we’re talking about news reporting in general – here’s an area where the news outlets consistently take the wrong option and it shows that in general anything to do with football is seen as a sports story instead of getting the right people involved.



    The entire saga of Sevco has been a business story and yet only rarely do we see the likes of Douglas Fraser get involved (usually when he does the hordes don’t like it – strange that). Instead we get sports journalists with little or no handle on the true meaning of what’s happening making mealy mouthed comments. Not once have any of them even countenanced that The Rangers can be run in such a way that MA will make money without Europe. For them the only reason to be involved is to access the riches of the CL.



    Had this been reported as a business story from the outset we never would have had this same club nonsense. It would have been put to bed months ago. We’d also have had it made clear by now that Dave King can’t sit on the board of a company with “Rangers” in the name until after 2017. etc etc.



    rant over.

  27. A Ceiler Gonof Rust – If you send me the link I will happily forward it. Or you could include it is a similar complaint if you can be a***d. Cheers

  28. Burgas / Gordon J


    I am in agreement that English football is far more marketable abroad.



    But to suggest a Murdoch controlled empire makes commercial decisions, not political ones, even if confined to context of football is stretching things