International weeks always make the hacks go a bit mad. Amazing that the bloggers always find stuff to write about whereas these guys are forced to tread over tired old ground.
I wasn’t in the least bit surprised to see Super League stuff appearing in the papers again yesterday, because there have been recent developments and there’s a huge court case pending against UEFA and FIFA for threatening to kick clubs out who become involved in it; the Super League organisers will almost certainly lose that case.
They’ve lost several others, in the lower courts, and this is the big one. They don’t really have much to work with; UEFA and FIFA are member organisations with clear rules and the Super League clubs are in violation of them.
Their chances aren’t great.
So, the Super League concept in its original form is a goner.
They have tried reaching out to clubs across Europe to reconstruct it and get greater buy-in but I think that’s a strategy doomed to failure. They claim to have talked to several clubs in Scotland, but they won’t name them. Of course not. Because the denials would be loud enough to wake the dead.
Oh, I don’t doubt they’ve got some interest here, just in case this comes off, but as I’ve written in previous articles the total number of teams who would be eligible to play in even the largest version is less than the total which currently play in UEFA’s three competitions, so for any club to publicly put their name to it might be riskier than the reward.
One club in Scotland will absolutely not be involved in any way, at any point, and that’s us. Peter Lawwell just got confirmed as the ECA Vice President, and they are an officially recognised body by UEFA, the only one that UEFA recognises to represent the clubs. Celtic are built in with the bricks at UEFA and UEFA’s opposition to this is absolute.
It is absolute. It is without question. And neither is Celtic’s loyalty to the wider family of European football via UEFA.
We might not like that, we might not like UEFA at times, but it is a fact that Celtic are considered a key club at the highest levels of the European governing body and that they know we are one of those they can absolutely count on.
I genuinely don’t know why this story comes up over and over again. Celtic will not participate in any version of it that is not sanctioned by UEFA and that ends the discussion before it even starts.
The SFA is opposed, and would severely punish any club from this country which got involved. The EPL is obviously opposed. Bayern Munich and the top clubs from Germany have already announced that they have no interest in joining the competition.
The idea is a complete non-starter.
Even if the ESL somehow wins its case against UEFA, so what? The clubs which want to go and join it will be kicked out of their domestic associations and their fans will be in open revolt because this is massively unpopular with supporters who recognise it for exactly what it is; pure greed and a perversion of the sport.
The obsession some in the media have with this idea is baffling.
It is fundamentally corrupt at its core, and something I would never want Celtic to play any part in at all. Whatever we think of the current Champions League, or the version of it to come, that competition remains a meritocracy; if you’re good enough you’ll be at that top table.
This would create a closed shop and the rest of the game be damned.
Whenever the press mentions us in connection with it, that suggests that the hacks just don’t understand this thing at all, neither what that tournament represents nor how deep our opposition to it goes.
Trust me when I say this; we are not joining a Super League. Celtic sees its future as tied to UEFA and to the re-ordering of UEFA competitions.
We have worked on the advisory committees which have helped those reforms along. We won’t be turning our backs on all that work, and all those years of moving up in those organisations.
The ECA was part founded by Rangers.
The liquidation of that club erased their membership as surely as it did the SFA one which they saw disappear. Sevco is lucky to have associate membership.
It is Celtic who now sit at the apex of that organisation, and we are one of the most respected clubs there. Our executives have sat on numerous UEFA committees including the financial control board.
Our loyalties could not be plainer.
If the media is going to continue writing this rot, they can leave us out of it.