Celtic Has A Real Chance Of Cracking The Far East Market Now. We Must Not Pass It Up.

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There are some in the media who hope that the “snubbing” of our Japanese players will reduce the level of interest in our club in that part of the world. Imagine that. That interest has brought benefits to Scottish football. They would rather it disappeared.

But their hopes are in vain. Even without Hatate and Kyogo being in the team, they were the talk of the Japanese media in the run up to the international fixtures. The Kirin Challenge Cup as it is known this year has seen their side play two games; they drew one and lost the other. Although their national coach is sticking to his guns, fans aren’t happy.

Now we’re being talked about in South Korea as well, as their new star talks the club up and shines on the national stage. We would be mad if we didn’t go back there in the summer and try and scoop up his countryman Cho Gue Sung. Even if we fail, it will show that our interest in their markets weren’t a one off. That will increase our profile.

Nobody excepts us to “conquer” the markets in these countries. There are players from South Korea and Japan playing in Big Five leagues for huge clubs. But we’re on the radar over there now and we are becoming known for our Asian contingent.

And this is not like days gone by, when we tried to break into that market by signing the likes of Cha Du Rei and Du Wei and Kiki Mizuno. The players we are signing now are players with profile over there, players who are doing the job for us on the pitch.

These aren’t wild punts designed to give us a brief uptick in the local media. These guys are over here making a difference. Next season they will play in the Champions League. That’s big. That’s huge. That opens the door for us more than a crack.

We should be putting our shoulder to that door and barging our way in. A tour of the Far East for the summer, Korea and Japan both. Arrange games against their biggest teams. Take the trophies over there and let the locals see what their countrymen won.

Bend the ears of the sponsors. Take shedloads of kit over there and invite the schools to the games and hand out tons of merchandise for free. Grab this by the throat. Make a pitch that nobody over there can ignore. The EPL clubs think they have the monopoly on the market … to challenge that you need to think outside the box, and we should.

The summer will be the perfect time to strike.

We have a major opportunity here and I am sure that the commercial department knows it full well and does not intend to let it pass us by. Adidas must see the possibilities too, and should be helping us out.

More than anything else, Ange and the team are what really sells this.

The exciting football we play should be put on show against their best. It would be good to do that especially without European qualifiers to play. A test … and a lucrative opportunity rolled up with it.

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  • Johnny Green says:

    Yes James, that all makes perfect sense, the free merchandise is just part of the bait that will eventually land a whale. Fully building up our profile over there is a no brainer on the road to establishing ourselves in that part of the World.

  • SSMPM says:

    This is where we really have seen the benefit of bringing Ange to the club. He has pulling power and really it was only ever our own ignorance that didn’t initially make us assured that the board had picked the better and best man for the job and credit to them for this.
    I will again labour the point Eddie Howe or anyone else for that matter could never have achieved this on the finances Celtic had available to him. Ange is an absolutely amazing manager. I can’t see him taking us to the dizzy heights of a CL semi, final or even winners but I’m sure he’ll take as far as anyone could have. We truly are fortunate and I hope we treat him right as a club and he stays around for a long time. HH

  • Johnno says:

    The Asian market has already provided ourselves with some of the best value for money players that I’ve witnessed, which in turn is some feat achieved, especially within an untested market really.
    Now marketing is important within today’s game with getting valuable income streams and no doubt that has been massive for the club since the arrival of Ange.
    Yet getting the right balance remains key and the football department has still got to take preference over the marketing department which has been done superbly and hopefully continues in that manner.
    Yet the biggest marketing tool available for ourselves has to be making a bigger impact within the CL and that challenge still awaits and needs to be achieved still.
    Make that happen and the marketing opportunities within the Asian market will become far greater than they even are now currently

  • Joseph Mcaleer says:

    Great ideas ,bring it a person who is just back from Vietnam and has travelled widely in south east Asia, it’s a open market with a very young and diverse population, and kids who love their football. With money to spend.

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