The EPL’s Settlement With The Lower Leagues Could Be A Disaster For Celtic.

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Last night, I read, in mounting horror, the story about how the English Premier League has reached a financial settlement with the English Football League, one that does immense damage to Scottish football.

The new deal puts an extra – read that word again; extra – £365 million into the EFL over the next three years. It is thought that each Championship team will earn an extra £10 million minimum.

And it is the sum which finally cements the gap between not only the EPL and our own league but, increasingly, between the English Championship and the top flight in Scotland as well.

When even League 2 clubs are going to get an extra £350,000 it’s obvious that our problems are just starting. The money is set to increase in increments over those first three years and to increase again, in more increments, over the three that follow.

God alone knows what EFL clubs will be earning before this ends, and that represents a clear and present danger to Scottish football which would be absolute mugs to ignore. The risks even to Celtic are obvious when Championship clubs can offer more for players than we’re able to. The task in front of us just got bigger. It will continue to grow.

Celtic plays regularly in Europe. It’s probably the case that we can guarantee to play Group Stage football every single season; I can’t see any circumstances in which that will change, and so it’s entirely possible than in time UEFA payments will make up some of this gap, but I very much doubt that it will do more than that.

Yesterday, the boss talked about Matt O’Riley and how much Leeds wanted him during the closing days of the window. Brendan told the board that they could not lose another starter, and I am glad he won that argument because if they had sold him the fan uproar would have been unreal. But we know the risk of losing key players is acute, and it has been for years, and it will continue to be in the future. Leeds are, of course, a Championship club.

The game in this country is being bled out by the influx of cash towards England. It has been bad before now but it’s on a one-way trajectory and in the long haul we won’t come out of this any better than the clubs south of the border will.

It will just take longer. But the game here is finished if it goes on like this.

The big collapse in the value of these TV deals is not coming any time soon, it’s something we’ve been hearing about for years and it’s not occurred yet. With streaming platforms suddenly in the mix the chances of it have shrunk to virtually nil. Companies now compete with each other to throw money at this, and that could go on for a long, long time to come.

Nothing is more dangerous to Celtic than the steady growth in power and wealth of the big league down the road from us. Other leagues are moving away from us too, though, and that’s also got dangers that are impossible to underestimate.

Whatever our future holds, it cannot go on like this.

Our game is devoid of leadership at the precise moment that it is more important than it’s ever been.

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  • Scud Missile says:

    Look let’s not kid ourselves here if the board wanted to sell O’Riley they would have done either with or without the managers say so.
    This board are nothing but CHISLING B******S in it for themselves and nothing else,hence the reason why FATMAN LIEWELL is back collecting £3.5 million a year again as wage.

    The club has no intention of keeping up with anyone else because that’s a nice wee rich GRAVY TRAIN ticking along nicely. 60,000 fans every second week, winning the league straight into the champions KERCHING£,so why go and try and compete just take the easy route and the easy money,with the bonuses of punting players 4 or 5 times the value the club paid for them.
    It’s a win win all the way for FATSO,DD and the other PONCES on the board,and our fans encourage every bit of it.

    FATSO should be nowhere near Celtic after his LIES about the 5 Way Agreement,hence the name LIEWELL he gets thrown at him at times,but he is laughing all the way to BANK with £3.5 million a year plus bonuses,the least spent on players the more to split between the board,and wee laugh at sevco fans for being MUGS and getting CONNED.

  • Captain Swing says:

    I had thought the biggest danger to the EPL was the loss of foreign money once the ‘local’ leagues in their big-earning areas began to draw interest, finance and even players away from the EPL, specifically places like China, the US and the Middle East. China turned out to be a bit of a damp squib (pun intended), MLS in the US appears to be a slow-burner (although after another World Cup, that might accelerate) and the scatterfire approach of the Saudis has created a lopsided league with big name players on vast salaries playing against Lowland League standard journeyman opponents a lot of the time… but ominously, they have enough money to persist until they get it right. You are right though -the great EPL downturn is a long time coming….

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    Oh well, The unfashionable Championship club that I support will be £10 million richer, but so will the rest though…

    I don’t mind that team benefiting – However absolutely not to the detriment of Celtic…

    The game that I grew up to love back in 1980 has been truly DESTROYED by money –

    It’s even starting to destroy even The quaint and low down the pyramid Highland League now !

  • Eldraco says:

    Now we know why the board held on to cash. Inside knowledge is a godsend at times .

  • Stevie says:

    The biggest problem Scottish football has is the clowns who govern the game here. They are set in their ways and to stupid/stubborn/ignorant to change… Delete whatever is appropriate. That’s what happens when you have cliques in the game, a game run by mason’s for mason’s and lining their own pockets. Until the powers that be change, then the game here is fucked

  • Michael McCartney says:

    Hate to say it James but I’m afraid Scottish football is on a trajectory to oblivion, I know that over the years people scoffed at the idea of a North Atlantic League I honestly think it is our only hope for survival in the future. Bringing in teams from Scandinavia, Belgium and may be The Netherlands[if they wished] in some kind of pyramid system is surely better than a future of never ending decline.
    Of course this would take competent leadership and that is something we don’t have at the moment in the SPFL and especially in the SFA.
    The added bonus to us in such a set up would be the introduction of a broader pool of spectators and referees.
    I know some people will scoff and say this has been talked about for years but the situation is becoming more critical for Scottish football every year.
    A sad situation for a country with the largest number of people who attend games in Europe per head of population. Serious situations calls for some serious thinking. unfortunately there are not many serious thinkers within the leadership of Scottish Football.

  • Martin says:

    The biggest treat to Scottish football clubs for some time now has been the people in charge of Scottish football. Their acceptance of undervalued deals with sky that see games split between 2 channels (seriously, how can this possibly have been allowed?), the advertising regularly having the wrong clubs listed for the games, and the general contempt shown suggests they are completely unfit custodians.

    It’s 2023. Clubs already have services set up for PPV. Join together and make SPL stream (or similar). £10-20/month for access (obviously someone involved will need to look at the figures and pricing structures). Proceeds split evenly between the 12 clubs with the stipulation that for at least 5 years those profits must be used on the streaming infrastructure. Starve sky of the subscriptions. More games that don’t involve Celtic or Sevco (to widen appeal) and accept that for the first few years it’ll be a bit ropey, but then it will be much better. Keep the money in the league. Clubs get to decide which games are shown and when- so the Aberdeen/Ross County 12pm Sunday starts against Glasgow clubs will be a thing of the past. We don’t need to worry about clashes with EPL games.

  • Jack says:

    If you can’t beat them, join them.

  • SSMPM says:

    The threat from the English Championship teams and their heavy pockets is a danger simply based on what they can pay for and to players. But not a new one. Has that not though been the case for many years now, indeed how it’s been since Sly TV threw everything at the English game leaving us with a pittance to divvy up. Still.
    Reality is, Leeds despite what Brendan and you say didn’t try that hard to get O’Riley. If they have all this money to throw around then £10m was not an ambitious nor enticing bid for a club the size of Leeds. Unless of course they felt it was more than enough for a Scottish team to turn down. Luckily we’re not at the rankers or other Scottish teams’ level nor are we simply a Scottish team.
    Our standing is that of a world wide supported club. Celtic will not be involved in any major attempt up here to balance out the finance we receive either particularly from the pitiful TV contract finance input. So there’s no chance of the lower league teams getting much of a redress here as a share of nothing ain’t much.
    There is a threat though and one I hope I never see; the day when Salford can pay more to a striker than Celtic as happened with Aberdeen. HH

  • John S says:

    Not quite “devoid of leadership” as much as stuck with incompetent leadership.

  • John says:

    It also doesn’t help when games get shown and the officials do whatever they can to help 1 particular team, that happening consistently would put any football fan outwith Rangers off watching.

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