There are people amongst our support who cannot understand why the rest of us care about reforming the game and gutting out the governing body.
They cannot understand why the rest of us think that our club is leaderless in some of the areas which actually matter. They cannot understand why we constantly call for new blood and fresh thinking.
Those things are more necessary than ever when you look at the appalling deal Sky is putting on the table for Scottish clubs to sign. In an ever evolving TV market, the idea that this is the best offer we’re ever going to get seems plainly ridiculous.
I never like to criticise other Celtic sites, and in general I don’t.
But I am fully entitled to disagree with them, and on many occasions I do.
Celtic Quick News has been seen, for years, as a pro-board site with “inside” connections. God help us all if their editorial today reflects the thinking within Parkhead, because it would echo every fear we have about our custodians.
That article defends the deal as the only one on the table.
But of course it’s the only one on the table, because Sky has a deal right now which has a couple of years still to run. We don’t know who else might be at the table by the time that deal winds down.
We don’t know what the landscape will look like.
There are more platforms and options out there than there have ever been.
English football benefits massively from the way it plays rival platforms off against each other, to the extent that there is no exclusivity agreement when it comes to their games; they are shared around various different firms.
And that maximises their value as a whole.
We made a tremendous mistake going for a “one size fits all” agreement when we signed the current Sky deal, cutting out BT Sport and basically giving Sky total control of the contract. This will be a bigger mistake by far.
Scottish football should have left Sky behind prior to 2011 … you know, of course, what happened that year, and what tied us ever more to their coat-tails.
CQN’s editorial claims that Scottish football’s TV deal is built around two teams and that without them there would barely be a contract at all. I have serious difficulty believing that, and I would only say that at least the game here has those two teams.
How does Norway get a better TV deal than Scotland without two massive clubs?
How does Belgium, whose champions were blown out at Ibrox so comfortably?
If you were doing a league table of the deals which European leagues have with their broadcasting partners Scottish football would come near the bottom. Yet as a percentage of population more people watch our sport than just about anywhere on the continent.
We are being pissed on by Sky, and only our tolerance for that keeps us in this position.
I’m a football fan as well as a Celtic fan, and it’s important to understand that because if the product is exciting I don’t necessarily have to know anything about the teams I’m watching.
I like a bet as well, as most regular readers will be aware, and I like the MLS in particular because their games have a high proportion of goals … it was a super thrill last week to watch two exceptional fixtures … the first a 4-4 draw between Inter Miami and Cincinnati at the weekend and then an amazing New York Red Bulls 4 Colorado 5 game last Wednesday night.
I will watch football from anywhere if it’s exciting and the two teams are going at it.
The idea that no-one outside Scotland cares about the game here except for two teams is parochial garbage; it is arrogant nonsense which views the whole sport in Scotland through the distorted “Old Firm” sphere, and it’s the kind of thinking which has held it back for decades.
If people outside Scotland won’t watch games which don’t involve those two clubs, then that is not a weakness of our football but the dire way in which our football is marketed and promoted. If you promote the game through the prism of two clubs, then of course the rest of the world isn’t going to think that there’s anything else worth watching in it.
And Sky will never market the game in any other way. Never.
Their contempt for Scottish football is nearly total.
That they don’t even take up their available quota of games tells you that they don’t even have the first clue where to start, and no interest whatsoever in finding out.
I know that football fans just want to watch football … many of us would watch any game that is on. If you’re selling football in the UK you’re marketing water in the desert.
You have to be really, really, really bad not to do it well.
Pissing in the container probably doesn’t help, and when Neil Doncaster and Stewart Regan made their disgraceful comments in 2011, which reduced our whole game to a two-club showdown without which it was worthless, that should have been the end of them both. That Doncaster has climbed even further up the greasy pole is desperate stuff.
Celtic cannot stay silent on this garbage.
If they support it they should come forward and tell us all why.
Let us see, clearly, Old Firm Inc. at work.
Let them defend the view that this whole game revolves around us and the club across the city … prove that what those of us who’ve been saying that our directors lack vision and imagination have it right.
If they oppose it, then it’s even more imperative that they say so.
Get out front of this, scorn the whole idea of doing a deal which locks us into Sky for more years when we don’t know what the changing landscape will throw up in the next couple of years.
There is a reason Sky wants to extend this deal now, a reason this pay-per-view conglomerate is actually throwing money at us, albeit scraps.
They know that two years from now someone might put a better offer on the table, and before that becomes evident they want this deal done, like some telephone scammer trying to get you to transfer your money before you’ve had a chance to think through what you are being told. I cannot believe that this is not obvious to the clubs.
If opposition exists, and we’re part of it, then its our duty to come forward and spell that out in a public forum and rally the campaign behind it. Our silence feeds into the perception that we either don’t have a clear view or that this clear view would offend fans so much that they dare not put it out there.
But we are entitled to know.