For a while, the BBC produced one of the best shows that’s ever been on TV, Hustle. about a bunch of grifters working long cons all over the world. At the centre of every con is a very simple concept; you cannot cheat an honest man.
This is not a moral statement, it’s a factual one.
The long con depends on greed. It depends on finding a “mark” who isn’t above breaking the rules, or even the law, if he or she thinks that there’s a few quid in it.
I have been reading stuff about the proposed European Super League project for months, and the smell that I get off of it is the stink of the long con.
The whole thing is predicated on greed. The whole thing is designed to appeal to the little clubs, and to make them co-conspirators in a scheme to bring UEFA’s competitions crashing. Once they’ve done that, once they’ve played their part and taken the risks, these lesser clubs will find themselves thrown to the wolves.
It’s evident that its PR lickspittles take all of us for mugs. It’s equally evident that there are enough gullible fools in our media, who refuse to see what’s right in front of their eyes, that these people might well gain some traction.
The newsrooms, which should be full of professional sceptics, are instead filled with susceptible idiots, eyes gleaming as they consider what might await them if this comes to pass; imagine it!
Instead of three away trips a year, seven of them at a minimum!
Amazing! Eight team groups. Plenty of money to rebuild their favourite club!
They are so excited by those prospects that they never even scratch the surface.
They swallow, whole, this obvious rot about how this competition will restore the game to the clubs which have been forgotten. As I’ve pointed out though, they plan to do this by cutting the number of clubs who will be eligible to play in it! Europe’s current competition structure is bigger, and allows in more teams, than even the largest possible Super League variant.
But of course, the nations which will be utterly cut out of the system are not the concern of those at the top of this pyramid. The real scandal is to try to convince us that they should be of no concern to us either, and so we become part of the con, recognising fully that there will be victims but seeing in it a chance of profit and advancement and thus not giving a shit.
So of course, when the end point comes and we find out that this competition is what it so obviously has been from the start – a closed shop, a playground for the already rich and powerful clubs – and that our own place in it is, in fact, on the lowest rung of the ladder if we even get onto it at all, what’s our recourse to be then?
To whom do we plead our case, as “victims”?
Do we go back to UEFA with our hats in our hands and plead for a seat at their table again? They will laugh us out of the room.
For we were involved in the heist. We cannot go back and implore those who were done over to take pity on us. We cannot tell them of how we, ourselves, were royally shafted. Because they won’t care. Why should they listen to us?
We’ll have played our role, which is to be the useful idiots … nobody will have the least sympathy for us and nor should they. The wilderness is all that’s waiting for us here, and the thing is, Celtic knows this full well and that’s why we’re already pledged to work with UEFA.
“We’ve talked to Scottish clubs,” their slippery spokesman says, without ever naming them, of course, because to do that would not, as he claims, breach confidentiality but lead to the public denunciation of this whole sordid idea that he wants to avoid.
What does it mean, anyway, to “talk to clubs in Scotland”?
To pick up the phone and ask to be put through to the chairman?
And then what?
Technically speaking, you’ve talked to us even if all that leads to is Peter Lawwell re-stating what this blog has said a million times and just said again, before he hangs up the phone and calls Nyon to let their lawyers know.
Perhaps there are greedy and stupid people at other clubs – Hell we know there are – who might be willing to discuss this hare-brained scheme, but if they publicly involve themselves or their names leak then Hell mend them because the hand of UEFA will come down hard and they’ll be lucky to play continental football again for years.
Don’t get me wrong, on some level I admire the balls of these people and the craft.
It’s lovely politics, to paint UEFA as the bad guys and the EPL as the equivalent of an end of level boss baddy.
Who could fail to be swayed by that argument?
Who wouldn’t listen politely at people making a case that these organisations have failed the small clubs or, in the EPL’s case, are casting a dark shadow over the rest of European football?
These things are true. Without a doubt.
But how anyone can think that the super-clubs who used their power to browbeat UEFA into making it like this in the first place are part of the solution instead of being the architects of the problem I cannot fathom.
That should be obvious to even the stupidest person watching … and yet a lot of folk are buying into this.
If our understanding of the long con is that you cannot cheat an honest man, then what does that say about their motivations? Blinded by their desires, whatever those might be, they would sell out the sport and buy tickets for this flight of fantasy.
When it crashes and burns, it will scorch the earth.
No-one will be able to say that they weren’t warned.
Celtic know all this. That’s why we won’t touch it.
Johnny Green says:
March 25, 2023 at 11:25 am
Johnny Green says:
March 26, 2023 at 2:08 pm
March 25, 2023 at 12:00 pm
March 25, 2023 at 2:16 pm
March 25, 2023 at 5:42 pm
March 26, 2023 at 12:49 am
March 26, 2023 at 12:27 pm
March 26, 2023 at 3:04 pm
Since turkey’s don’t vote for Christmas we all know that Celtic will never be invited to the EPL table, that’s a fact. The Champions League as it stands also discriminates against Clubs outwith the big leagues and gives us little chance of competing with the super teams on a level playing field as we cannot compete with their finances. I have always thought that the only outlet left for Celtic would be a European league if it ever happened, but probably not in my time. I don’t know if the latest proposal has merit, but I would not dismiss it out of hand. Let it be discussed by the Clubs. let’s see what the proposals are and then assess it accordingly to see what evolves. A long con sounds a bit paranoid to me, but we have been warned and cleverer people than us will make the final decisions on this. We will be innocent bystanders when that happens, but I trust the Celtic caretakers to act sensibly on our behalf.
Mind you, being honest, I am embarrassed to admit that I once trusted the Kellys and the Whites.
draw a comparison with LIV golf. Lesser lights got parachuted in for there FIRST outing and once some of the big boys came across these guys were bombed out.
Think that you may need to open your mind up for potential change James.
Could a break away super league be played midweek?
Change the CL back to a straight knock out with the winners replacing the bottom team in the super league with potentially the runners up in a play off match against 2nd from bottom.
I can understand the greed argument, but that already exists as the money has taken to much competition away from the sport in far to many leagues.
Would still argue that at present is the CL winners really the best team in Europe?
Even more ridiculous claims to be making when many haven’t been able to win there own domestic league.
The current CL format is nothing more than a cup competition, like the winners of the Scottish Cup claiming to be a better team than the league winners in comparison.
If uefa really want to promote there flagship competition then big changes would be required and if that calls for the bigger clubs financially to lead the breakaway then so be it, yet are these so called bigger boys as financially stable as we are currently, and this without being able to match the income sources these so called bigger boys have at there disposal?
I would say any such proposals would suit Celtic, especially when we could still run a competitive 2nd team within the SPFL still.
Some kind of SL will happen. Some big leagues are dying. Some big clubs are in financial decline. But the bigger leagues are still behind this.
Celtic need to be politically correct in this. They need to support uefa but be influential in affecting change.
The club needs change. We are the big fish in a pond which is getting smaller every season.
Its about listening for now and not showing your hand.
Exactly the kind of dishonesty James just described on here. Corruptible, greedy people, gullible even. Listen to what? Self focussed money grabbing ‘Hustlers’? You may be prepared to see our club go under for a chance of whatever your convincing yourselves we could be. Dishonest to the club, to yourselves even; thinking we could be a super-club when really that’s what we already are.
Once tossed aside what the? Unable to re-enter a hun controlled league probably still gobshiting and convincing yourselves of the unconvincible. Sounds like a plot straight from a hun wish list, putting us in exactly a position where the huns could only dream we’d be in their dream of dreams. HH
The alternative? A city group dominated UEFA? Oh wait ill grab my coat.
Have you turned the heating off then? The alternative is the goals we already have; TIAR, record breaking league and cup successes, long term stability, ongoing CL finance to continue the top club in Scotland status our predecessors built or another alternative; we could throw all that away, reject them cause you think you know better, have short term gain, leading to expulsion to make way for the favoured big money clubs if the SL ever does takes place, followed by years of imprisonment, hung out to dry as an example to all the Scottish hun controlled clubs, as a lowly pyramid ‘One club since whenever’. HH
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