Celtic Would Not Benefit One Iota From The “Atlantic League” Along The Proposed Lines.

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Yesterday there was a strange story in the papers touting the fabled “Atlantic League.” Remember that one? Where did that concept go to?

It faded but never completely vanished from sight or thought. With all the talk over a European League now in vogue again, although it’s about as realistic as fairies at the bottom of the garden, some want to talk about it again.

There was a bizarre intervention this week, from the League Of Ireland side Shelbourne’s vice-chairman Andrew Doyle, who was one of the “architects” of a planned “North Atlantic League” which would have included clubs from his league, the SPFL, Norway, Denmark and Sweden. Let me be honest, without his making it into the papers I wouldn’t have a clue who he was or what the particular “highlights” of his plan were.

But having taken a look at them, I can’t claim to be all that impressed. They were unrealistic to say the least, not to say absolutely unworkable, fantastical nonsense. The project was never going to get off the ground, and it’s worth looking at the reasons why.

First, it doesn’t come with UEFA approval, and any plan, of any description, which hopes to succeed is going to have to come from them.

Secondly, the big money which was up for grabs would actually be less than the combined TV monies of all the respective countries as they stand right now. And after parachute payments, solidarity fees and everything else there wouldn’t have been much more for each club than there is right now.

Third, what if we’re already deep into this and some form of European League, a proper one, comes along? Think we’ll get invited? Not a chance. If UEFA runs it they’ll lock the door on us, and based on the quality of teams we’d be playing against in this there might be a view amongst the organisers of any non-UEFA competition that they don’t need us to make it viable … so you’ll end up with a setup for the top five leagues and a selection of clubs from outside of that … and the North Atlantic comedy league which was supposed to take us forward.

Fourth and finally, and this is the big one; if UEFA is allowing cross border leagues to set up this will not be the first of them, and nor will it be the one we’d be most keen to participate in. If this was viable then a League Of The Isles encompassing Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland would be the one worth waiting to get involved with, and not this. Even the mythical “invite to England” would be a more realistic prospect than the North Atlantic League.

Our future is in Scotland, it’s just as simple as that. The answer to our ills, all of us, spread across the so-called “smaller countries” is to do better in Europe and make the most of the income streams that is going to afford us all. The money for being in those Champions League Groups next season would elevate us through the £100 million barrier if we could get it and not for the first time lately.

This was what Doyle had to say about us, after revealing that Desmond had looked at his plan and rejected it outright.

“Celtic would have to want to be competitive in Europe and my guess is they’re perfectly happy being at the top of a depreciating SPFL forever and then being perennially uncompetitive in the Champions League. It’s a gravy train and they’re on it. The new UEFA Champions League format is even better for them more European games equals even more European money for them … so long as the current system remains and Scotland’s place in the UEFA access list remains relatively high, Celtic are most unlikely to go for it”

And this is supposed to be a sign that we’re unambitious, a charge that some of us have levelled at the club. But this guy hasn’t explained why his proposal is better or why we should leave the UEFA “gravy train” to get on board it.

“Club wants to make more money! Shock!”

“Club wants to win trophies! Shock!”

I mean, what are we meant to say to that?

If there was more money for Celtic in this than the present system, and if we were not some mad fantasy which UEFA would never agree to, do you realistically believe Desmond would turn it down? That he wouldn’t have us in there and part of it?

Nobody complains more about the dreadful standard of Scottish football than me, and especially on a day like this when I’ve moaned about Hearts basically going to Ibrox and chucking the home side an easy three points. Our so called “bigger clubs” have to be a hell of a lot better than they are, because right now this game is a shocking state … if there was some magic bullet solution to that I would want to hear about it and consider it and see where it went.

But the truth is, none of these sorts of proposals – either this or the Super League or “Celtic in the Premiership” is ever going to happen, it’s just not.

A European Super League, if it comes, will have UEFA’s stamp on it and we will do better out of that than we will out of all these fantasy land suggestions and stupid ideas … and this one is one of the poorest of the lot.

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  • Jim says:

    Money and tv subscriptions have ruined the game, EPL , SKY , OBSCENE , mediocre players paid more than talent.

    The whole false promotion of what used to be going to the games has been well and truly lost.

    It’s now turned into a televised monstrosity, as Keane famous stated , prawn sandwich brigade, never a truer word said with hindsight

  • KC67 says:

    “Celtic in the Premiership” is never going to happen, it’s just not. – Desmond would be greeting into his beer reading that. The number one reason he bought his Celtic shares, to sell them at a huge profit if ever Celtic made it to the English Premiership.

    Trying to kid us on he’s a Celtic fan. Like Lawwell and the rest of the charlatans on the board he’s only in it for the money. Remember, no board member puts any money into Celtic, they only take. The club is financed by the fans. Desmond might be pulling the strings but he puts nothing into the club, not a brown penny. And if he could sell his shares next week, he’d dump us like radio active waste.

  • Charlie D says:

    “ so you’ll end up with a setup for the top five leagues “so WTF do we have now ?

  • Joey Vimsante The Poet says:

    I support a North Atlantic League. It would be fun to play big sides from Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, and Portugal. It could grow as a league. I would want Glasgow Celtic, Glasgow Rangers, Aberdeen, Heart of Midlothian, Hibernian, Dundee, Dundee United, and Motherwell to join a North Atlantic League.
    It would attract fans, sponsors and could compete with the big 5 European leagues. Big players could he attracted to Glasgow Celtic to play major sides like Ajax, Anderlecht, Porto, Benfica, and Copenhagen.

    • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

      You won’t get Glasgow ‘Rangers’ Joey – As they kicked the bucket in 2012 !

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