The “Celtic In Hopes To Join English Setup One Day” Nonsense Rears Its Head Again.

Image for The “Celtic In Hopes To Join English Setup One Day” Nonsense Rears Its Head Again.

Today, a story from UEFA which will spark excitement in some quarters over the “prospect” of Celtic and our city rivals joining the English league setup. A case has been filed against UEFA by a club which currently plays in Luxembourg. The idea behind the case is to force open the door for clubs in one jurisdiction to join the league set-up of another.

It is dead in the water before they even start.

So what if the lawyer responsible was the same guy who filed the Jean Marc Bosman ruling? This is a different prospect entirely, with far more moving pieces and a far bigger target in its sights.

If we’re talking honestly, nobody really supports this idea because although it looks good on paper it really doesn’t amount to much when you strip it down to its constituent parts. Even if you force the hand of UEFA, you can’t force English football to accept us nor dictate to them what our starting position on the ladder would be if they did.

The reason this idea will die on the vine is that national association are dead-set against it. Celtic and Ibrox will never leave Scottish football to go elsewhere, because firstly there’s really nowhere to go because nobody wants us, and secondly because if we tried to the SFA would impose such a tax on us that it simply wouldn’t be worth our while.

We would leave Scottish football a virtual desert. It would take the game ten years to recover from it, and although I suspect the sport here would be stronger for it eventually that would cut no ice with the clubs left behind in the here and now who would see sponsorships plummet, TV deals collapse and a variety of other consequences roll out.

Belgian clubs deluded themselves that a cross-border league with some of the best sides from Holland was feasible. Until the Dutch clubs, partly under pressure from their own associations, pulled out of the discussion. There was virtually zero support for it amongst the sides not directly involved, and the same door would be slammed in our face in England.

Think of a club like West Ham or Leicester, fighting, even as we speak, for relevance and European football every year. Are they seriously going to invite a club like ours to join their setup, when that’s not just another competitor but one capable of establishing a global footprint which dwarves anything that they themselves can put together?

There is no chance of it whatsoever, even if this guy pulls off the miracle and someone collapses the concept of leagues and nationalities being of fixed status … something that could actually devastate the framework of the entire game, which is another reason it won’t happen.

UEFA will simply not permit anything with the power to cause that sort of destabilisation and I suspect that a court will agree with them in principle on this one.

What UEFA should be forced to consider is cross-border redistribution of TV money.

That’s what they should be shooting for, and the only chance that our league has of ever being more. We share an island with the English game, and the TV markets for them are tied together tight. Legal options in the area of creating regional TV pools would be smarter than any suggestion that borders should be eliminated and teams free to play where they want.

This fantasy has stalked our steps as a club for too long.

Its rise again is most unwelcome and an un-necessary distraction.

We are a Scottish club. Our future is here.

Those running things on behalf f the clubs here simply have to do better and be more creative in their search for solutions to our problems, and those solutions are out there, as I’ll talk about tomorrow.

Share this article


  • Damian says:

    Agreed. Total non-starter. Never going to happen.

  • Effarr says:

    The pandemic showed, If they didn`t already realise it, that football really is a non-event without the crowds. Film extras get paid
    for their parts in films, so why can`t the supporters, the extras, not be paid by the TV companies by ensuring that some of the disgusting sums of money that gets paid to the clubs and players gets channelled to the fans by way of cheap tickets. Why shouldn`t
    the supporters, who are a major part of the entertainment, be paid in kind?

    You would soon get fed up with even the greatest teams in the world playing in empty stadiums if all you could hear were the coaches shouting at the players.

  • Nick66 says:

    And in an instant the bus becomes a plane, the ticket costs x 3 and nobody travels. Half and half scarves are the norm, and more importantly the soul of the club is lost. Be it ever so humble, there’s no place but home.

  • Tim Ranachan says:

    Do we really expect a sizeable travelling support to trek from Scotland down to Southampton, for example, on a Wednesday evening in February?
    And as you pointed out, clubs in the lower half of the premiership would never vote us in, turkeys and Christmas spring to mind.
    Finally, with Manchester among others in mind, would England really welcome the Ibrox support’s ‘celebrations ‘?

  • Mark B says:

    The only way for hs to get competitive again truly in Europe is for us is to get some of the TV money either through redistribution or us joining EPL or some league with Ajax Benfica etc. Distribution could work in Scotland if fees paid to sky in Scotland were distributed to the SPL or if you could nominate what league your fees went to. The horrendous chants heard at Roos County yesterday do not help our international reputation. Disgusting these people bring disgrace and shame to our club and I want them banned.

  • Bob (original) says:

    Agreed that this old chestnut gets aired every so often, but no ‘progress’ is made.
    Gets a few headlines, then it disappears again for a while.

    But, in theory anyway, there could be a higher probability of a CFC or sevco joining an English league – as a result of the increased USA/foreign ownership of EPL clubs?

    The Americans especially have no concept of promotion/relegation and would prefer a franchise set-up to protect their investments. Don’t think they give a monkey’s about tradition either – just about growing TV money [globally] and other sources of income.

    The recent ‘Euro super league’ was just a toe dip in the water with UEFA.

    But, IF it ever became a possibility for CFC or sevco to join another league, I am quite confident that our pathetically incompetent SFA & SPFL would be incapable of blocking their exit.

    Can’t really see either club ever leaving though.

  • Johnny Green says:

    I would like to think that Celtic playing in a UK or European League might eventually happen some day. Business will dictate that scenario and a Club of Celtic’s stature and fan base will be a popular choice if it ever that does happen.

    I would like to see us dong 10 in a row though before we go down that road. 🙂

  • Droopy McCool says:

    I’ve never been too big a fan of us playing in England, the North Atlantic league had more appeal.
    However Celtic are a massive club, restricted by a border, a small population and an incompetent governing body. UEFA have been slowly squeezing out clubs like Celtic for decades, we won’t get the concession that the Dutch did.
    If we are to realise our true potential, which is way more than the likes of West Ham and Leicester we need to look for an alternative.
    Who wants to accept we’ll never be Champions of Europe again?

  • Michael Conway says:


Comments are closed.