Did you see the headlines today?
Stewart Robertson, the managing director at Sevco, has been busy. Or Level 5 have been. Today he’s all over the media telling everyone how his club – a second tier team, less than five years old, let’s not forget – are going to “join forces” with Celtic to resist the big bad changes happening with the European Club Association.
That sound you hear is laughing. From all across the world.
For starters, this is an organisation in which Sevco holds only Associate Membership, which means they don’t even get a vote.
Celtic’s Peter Lawwell is on the Exective Board.
So … no vote on one hand, Executive board membership on the other ….
And we need their help why?
Their support for Celtic’s position – and it is Celtic’s position, believe you me, as the only club in this country likely to be playing Champions League football for a while – is nice and all, but it’s like that moment in Eddie Murphy’s Raw when he’s laughing over the notion of Johnny Carson’s wife getting a part time job in a boutique.
“Here Johnny, I made $70. Put that with the rest. Now we have $300 million and $70 dollars. Cause I want to do my share.”
Thanks for the offer, but you know what? We’re fine.
Anyway, the European Club Association has no actual power. It’s recognised by UEFA, but only on the condition that it hugely expanded its membership beyond the small number of clubs there were at the start, a power cartel interested only in money.
The future of the Champions League isn’t less teams, it’s more.
It’s more groups and a greater cross section of clubs from around the continent.
The big guns can bleat and cry all they want; the competition is on the way to becoming the biggest redistributor of football wealth out there, a way in which everyone can enjoy the benefits of the big TV money boom.
Sevco’s attention to this matter has nothing to do with any of that, of course.
They are as far from European football as you could hope to get and a Champions League appearance is nought but a distant dream.
It’s also got sod all to do with standing up for Scottish football; one of the first member clubs of the ECA was oldco Rangers and back then their intent was perfectly clear; to carve up the financial territory and keep as much as possible for themselves.
No, this is about pure PR.
This is about trying to get the club “noticed” again.
This is about them pretending they are still important.
What exactly is their “support” for Celtic going to achieve here? Not much. Without a vote they are reduced to being a dissenting voice. All they can do is lobby, which, I suppose their fans at least have some experience of although if we’re judging the potential for a successful outcome we might not actually want them involved, as their record has been pretty poor.
How many organisations have their supporters lobbied over the years, either as Rangers fans or the followers of Sevco?
There was Lloyds, who’s response was to sell them to a crook. Then there was Whyte himself, who put them in administration. They lobbied against HMRC, who refused them a CVA and flushed them down the pan. Then it was against the BBC, who made two great documentaries and helped sink the ship. They then protested against Green, who passed all the major contracts and intellectual property to Ashley, who they lobbied against and all he did was light a cigar with a ten pound note and kept on rolling along.
Not exactly a great success rate, is it?
One other thing that comes out of the coverage; this notion of them as “one of the biggest clubs in Scotland.”
I thought right now that would have been Celtic, Aberdeen and Hearts, who, by the way, as another Associate member have exactly the same influence as Sevco do but weren’t even mentioned in any of the pieces.
In fact, the only reason Aberdeen got a mention was that they are challenging us for the title and so have to be kept “current” whilst that remains the case.
In short, this is arrogance and nothing more.
A club that refuses to accept – and a media that refuses to accept – that they are irrelevant on the bigger stage.
Their offer of assistance is appreciated, like someone offering to carry your bags.
But it’s not required.
“Thanks, but don’t bother getting up.”
We’ve got it covered.