I logged on just now, after the excellent game between Arsenal and Liverpool to find that there is another story in the Scottish press on this bizarre recurrent obsession of theirs that Celtic and the club from Ibrox are “on alert” about proposed changes to the structure of European football. It is tiresome and a little bit mortifying.
First, there is no prospect of any “Super League” project being launched either now or in the immediate future. The appetite for it outside of a handful of boardrooms – and even they have their doubts – is virtually zero.
The fate of the last such proposal, which surfaced, rose and fell back to the bottom of the ocean in the space of 24 hours, was such that not one of the clubs from south of the border will have any interest in it.
Barcelona and Real Madrid allegedly want to resurrect it. Even if it were somehow feasible, these are not teams which are going to have us on speed-dial. The same media that has spent the weekend excoriating both of the Glasgow clubs now wants us to believe that we might be power brokers in this? Or an utter irrelevance.
Either way though, nobody cares what our view on it is. Celtic, at least, has enough respect within the echelons of European football that we’re listened to on the issues … nobody has to canvass our vote on this one though. UEFA wants to kill this in the crib, and will never permit it. The Premiership knows that it’s most at threat and will never allow it.
The idea is dead. It’s a non-starter, and UEFA reforms are incoming so there is nothing likely to transpire on that front either, not for a long time. Anything UEFA does is pretty much going to follow the logical pattern; they will never let their competitions become a closed shop because their whole reason for existing is to protect the sport as a whole.
Yeah I know. With friends like these, right? And yet it holds.
For all their sins – and they have repeatedly bowed to the “big five leagues” – they have kept open qualification to their tournaments for clubs from other countries and they always will. It is up to us to prove that we belong on that stage and let’s face it, the idea that we’ve done anything to justify it in recent years is preposterous.
Ibrox fans thought their side had done enough and that they were now part of the elite; the rude awakening this season has put their manager on the brink. We are not so stupid. We know where we stand and that our future is part of the Scottish setup and that means that we have to fight with, and for, the other clubs who suffer in the current system.
But that system is never going to exclude us completely.
It can’t and it won’t, and so until some meaningful discussions of the sort that matter are actually taking place, I really wish that the media would leave us out of their Super League fantasises.