The Media’s Beloved “Finance Expert” Was Busy Yesterday Talking Rubbish About Celtic.

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If you follow as much of the online football media in Scotland as I do you’ll know there are three self-styled “football finance experts” who the press here seem to love talking to. They are the only three people in the finance business who, with no skin in the game, somehow manage to find something positive to say about every set of Ibrox accounts.

They are Neil Patey, Dan Plumley and Kieron Maguire. I find all of them to be faintly ridiculous. They are self-promoters to a fare-thee-well, rent-a-quotes who promoted themselves as experts but who the media only uses when it cannot find or afford the real thing. They have made reputations talking about the financial affairs of football although all have, at best, a sophomoric understanding of it. The Ibrox accounts are just one case in point.

Maguire must be really pissed off about the rise of Dan Plumley, because he was once the fairest in the land you could barely read about a football related issue without a quote from him. How glad he must be that Football Insider still values his “opinion”, although Plumley is still popular with a couple of Ibrox fan media sites. Maguire must consider that an incursion on his turf too.

But how pleased Maguire must be about the Super League story, because the BBC had him on about that and then Football Insider bizarrely asked him for his view on the Ibrox ticket standoff, although what in God’s name that has to do with his alleged area of expertise I really don’t know. And as per usual nearly every word he uttered was nonsense.

Let’s do the Super League first, where he talked about the prospects of Celtic and the club across the city being courted by it. First, the Super League spokesperson who was all over the media the other day made it clear that we’d get an invite before the club across town would, so when it comes to “both sides” being wanted, that very much remains to be seen.

They claim – claim, and that’s an interesting word – that it will be a meritocracy. So that means whoever wins the SPFL. That’s us, and until the trophy is prised from out of our hands, we’d get an invite. Would the second club in Scotland? Not when this is a much smaller tournament than the current UEFA competitions, and there are a lot of other clubs to fit into it.

Here’s the other thing; I can see why they’d want us from a political point of view.

We’re a huge catch for them, not only because of our European Cup but as a consequence of our prominent place both on the ECA and UEFA. It’s just not readily apparent what the Ibrox club would represent to those people, who know they need clubs with weight.

Ibrox has a big fanbase? So what? A lot of clubs can tick that box.

You need more than that to stand out.

Their selling point is the “rivalry” with us, but this was always our alleged USP to the EPL and they saw through the essential ridiculousness of that argument in two seconds flat. They don’t need that to sell their game and neither would these guys.

Limited places restrict Scotland’s potential access.

This is what the fools in our media who are promoting this idea don’t comprehend and won’t examine closely. I’m doing a larger piece on this subject later on, but for now let’s say that limited places means that if you’re not from a “major nation” you’re scrambling.

That Scotland’s champions also just happen to be UEFA and ECA bigwigs and Champions Cup winners to boot massively enhances our prospects.

Secondly, nobody involved in football at a serious level should be promoting this thing as if it were in any way a serious concept. It isn’t.

One of the reasons they are reaching out to clubs in smaller leagues is that the big player have all walked away from anything to do with this, as every single one of them can see the writing on the wall clearly.

The idea is dead.

A minor win on a small point of law does not change anything.

In fact, the court judgement specifically confirmed the dominant position of UEFA and FIFA and continues to give them the authority to regulate tournaments involving member clubs. It simply said that their current rules, in relation to how they go about that, are not robust and need to be more transparent.

Which UEFA is way ahead of them on, as Celtic already pointed out.

For all that, Maguire was happy to promote this as if it was a realistic proposal, and the idea of Celtic and the club across town joining it as if that was a realistic option.

He tried to sound intelligent about financial projections that, actually, have the substance of wind.

All the major sponsors for this idea have walked. Their financial model – which he should have talked about in detail since that’s his area of expertise – is a joke; a free app which will let fans watch their clubs without having to pay? That sounds about as hocus-pocus as you’ll get and nobody with the slightest knowledge of the football money market believes that for a second.

But if he’d left it at that for the weekend, I might have written a single line on him in my larger piece about this issue and left it at that, but he was back on Football Insider too, talking about the ticketing situation of course … and what he said there was worse.

Claiming that rivalry is an important part of the game and that the fan experience makes it better (he must have graduated top of his class for that brilliant insight, right?) he then went on to demonstrate his complete ignorance of the situation by making this claim.

“To have this taken away is indicative of the failure of people in charge of both clubs who have failed to provide an environment for both fans to support the clubs they love.”

How are we meant to take seriously someone like that, someone whose lack of understanding of this matter should disqualify him from talking about it?

It was not the people in charge of “both clubs” who caused this but the people in charge of one of them. And the problem we have them isn’t that they failed to “provide an environment” for fans but that they failed to provide a safe one, a very important distinction which this guy doesn’t make.

And I really can’t be bothered with people like this any longer, people who pretend to speak authoritatively through outlets which either don’t bother to vet them or don’t care as long as they get traffic.

And the “football finance experts” are amongst the worst.

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  • Peterbrady says:

    How will motherwell be cheated today by corrupt officials to aid the filth tavpen a certainty

  • Bob (original) says:

    Bah humbug!

    Let’s not kid ourselves here.

    At club level, this is simply a power / money grab by the top Euroepan clubs.

    They want to disembark UEFA from the European gravy train,

    OR, at the very least, neuter Nyon to be a simple, administration paid to do

    the superclubs’ bidding.

    These clubs with PE / Sovereign Wealth Funds’ deep pockets will get their way,

    eventually. They don’t give a monkey’s about CFC or any ‘small’ leagues.

    It’s all about growth of the bottom line.

    UEFA is uniformaly regarded as an inept, corrupt organisation,

    and an expensive charm offensive could bring supporters around.

    Ultimately, we are heading to an American franchise system, IMO.

    The big Euro clubs can’t handle the risk of relegation, missing out on

    qualifying for the CL – and getting a good run of well-paid games –

    and the uncertainty this all brings to their shareholders / owners.

    And it will be just another step in alienating our sport from the punters.

    Can’t really complain though: the sport sold its soul to TV about 30 years ago.

    Merry Christmas! 🙂

  • Johnno says:

    Wouldn’t be so confident James that the plan’s for this proposed ESL are totally dead in the water, in fact the complete opposite imo?
    For ourselves as a club we are stuck in the middle of what would be the actual best outcome for ourselves upon the bigger picture, but unfortunately would possibly include the scum weather we like it or not?
    The flagship for European football is meant to be the CL, but it remains a ridiculous format for the richer clubs from the bigger leagues and is nothing more than a glorified cup competition as it stands.
    Just look at winners and finalists that couldn’t even win there own domestic league, and claiming to be the best in Europe?
    Doesn’t make any form of sense, would be like the winners of the Scottish Cup being a better team than the SPFL winners?
    Only the scum would try and promote such a claim over ourselves if we won the league title and them the Scottish Cup?
    Unfortunately this is where the traitor lawwell plays his part within the corridors of uefa?
    Could we run a team within a midweek ESL and still a team within the SPFL?
    Of course we could?
    So like everything within football currently, it will all come down to money?
    Course the scum would be in favour of such a proposal, but requires ourselves in order to make possible for themselves.
    As we are in the wait and see what potentially could happen in the future?
    We have spent many a long year complaining about the level of corruption within the Scottish game?
    Would this be a potential chance of escaping away from the nonsense?
    As a club we want to be competing upon the bigger stage of European football, but is that really possible with such a financial gulf currently within the CL in its current format?
    Apart from the EPL, most of the other domestic leagues have turned into non contests within there own domestic leagues especially when they financial gaps still exists within there own leagues also?
    No difference in Scotland, where we remain unchallenged in that regards still, and won’t be changing anytime soon either, unless changes are to be made to the overall European game imo?
    So a very complex situation has arisen and can’t overlook what the Saudi involvement could bring with it also?
    I personally don’t trust this Celtic board, and where money remains king to them?
    So giving the scum a title to keep them in business again, as what they done in the 10iar season, still can’t be ruled out imo?
    This time around I believe that as a support we need to be better prepared for what might be potentially in the pipeline?
    So handing up a title to the scum, would that be acceptable upon a potential pipe dream of a bigger picture for the future?
    Certainly not for myself anyway, so this board better be careful for what it may wish for as we need the scum for fuck all,and that will and should never change whatsoever imo?

  • Peter Cassidy says:

    The whole future of football will change with more of the top clubs wanting a bigger slice of the revenue for themselves it comes down to money that’s the end game nothing else.g I can see the very rich Arab countries offering big money tourements In there countries which the big clubs in Europe will play in as the money on offer will be huge for these clubs hundreds of millions if not billions that’s going to happen make no mistake money talks

  • Peter Cassidy says:

    The Arab countries will offer big money to rival the champions league with the big clubs getting hundreds of millions to play in them that’s going to happen it’s all about money nothing else look at all these new football stadiums being built by the big clubs costing some billions to build they need big incomes to pay for these and buy the best players it’s all about money.

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