The 200% Podcast 13: FOUL!
The Power Of Discretion And Why Guidelines Are… King
Steven Gerrard, The Media & Liverpool’s Structural Issues
The Twohundredpercent Podcast LIVE!
Where, Exactly, Do Queens Park Rangers Go From Here?
End Of Season Ennui
The 200% Podcast 12 – General Election Special
Saturday Night On Channel Five For The Football League
The Decline & Fall Of Leyton Orient
Rape, Disrespect & Fury: The Oyston Family & Blackpool FC
Is It Time For A New Football Club For Newcastle?
Tranmere Rovers & Cheltenham Town Stare Into The Abyss
It is one of the most commonly recurring stories of modern football. Should Celtic and Rangers be allowed to leave the Scottish league system and join the English football league system instead? It’s an emotive subject, for sure, and it’s one that seems to divide both supporters and administrators, with the only people that are certain of which way they would like to go being those that run Glasgow’s two giant clubs, who would like to utilise the vaster resources that would be open to them as a result of being in the more lucrative English system than they would get from remaining in England.
That such a debate should be happening again now is hardly a surprise. Speculation has restarted over the last few days that Celtic are in negotiation with the Football League over being allowed to jettison the Scottish Premier League and join the English league system in League One. Whilst there is little solid to confirm how far such discussions have progressed, it could be argued that the fact that joining League One has been mentioned is a specific enough frame of reference for there to be something in this story. It could also be considered that this specific position in the league system reflects the extent to which the clubs of the Championship dominate the Football League, and that the idea of “compromise” may be being considered. The public south of the border might be less outraged if it was “only” League One and below that were inconvenienced by the arrival of interlopers from Scotland.
But should Celtic be allowed to move south, and if they should, then what form should this movement take? The benefits to the club itself are obvious enough. The plump television money that the English league system offers, on top of the vast gate and commercial revenues that a club the size of Celtic could command, might offer the club an opportunity to become one of the wealthiest in Europe. The enfeebling of Rangers as a result of the mismanagement that has left that club in the dismal position in which it finds itself today is also a matter that may have led to some degree of soul-searching at Celtic Park. Some have suggested that the Old Firm are two sides of the same coin, and the argument that Celtic need Rangers and vice-versa – an argument that is limited in substance – has been thrown around with increasing regularity as the breadth of the crisis engulfing Ibrox has become more and more apparent.
There are, however, logistical problems that would need to be overcome should Celtic be able to transfer into the English league system. These aren’t necessarily issues related to public opinion. Those that run the game in England seldom seem to take in much other than a relentless chase for money, and a not inconsiderable number of supporters in Scotland may well be of the opinion that shedding the Old Firm – for if Celtic were to transfer to England, it would surely be inevitable that either this incarnation of Rangers or one that would follow it – would make their league considerably more competitive.
Institutionally, however, things become more different. The obvious precedent that will be thrown around in the event of this matter being taken any further is that of Swansea City, Cardiff City, Wrexham and the other Welsh clubs that play within the English league system. To suggest that this would mean that UEFA, the FA or the SFA would merely sign off the results of any negotiations between Celtic and the Football League, though, might be a little on the optimistic side. The reasoning behind Welsh clubs continuing to play in the English league system is largely a cultural and historical one. There was no Welsh national league until the early 1990s, and expecting clubs to adjust downwards to join the newly-formed League of Wales (now the Welsh Premier League) was a stretch too far for those clubs. UEFA have strict rules on such matters, and it would be likely that agreement of UEFA, the FA and the SFA before any move could be made, and it is also possible that FIFA would take an interest in such a matter.
If convincing all of these authorities that such a decision would be something of a stretch, then perhaps the renewed debate over whether this may happen should be seen in a slightly different context – as an attempt at leverage with regard to the future Celtic’s position within Scottish football. Events at Ibrox over the last few weeks have led to the increased vocalising of a viewpoint that has been gaining considerable traction in recent years, that Scottish domestic football isn’t working in its present format, and that something has to be done to save the Scottish league system from eventual bankruptcy. With a feeling that everything, with regard to the future of the SPL and the SFL, could be up for grabs, it could even be considered that Celtic is sending a message to all concerned that too much egalitarianism will weaken their club and that they will be happy to go elsewhere should the opportunity arise.
Whether this is the case or not, there is a striking irony in such a debate raising its head again as Scottish independence starts to seem more likely than it has done at any point in the last three hundred years or so, all the more so because it is Celtic, with all the political history implied, that may be leading the running in the race south of the border. This, however, is very much in keeping with the economic and political reality of the twenty-first century, in which money shouts and all other considerations are left firmly in the shade. If the Premier League, the Football League and the FA were to agree to Celtic moving south, it would be the clearest indicator yet that there is no tradition too great to cast aside in the pursuit of chasing greater riches. And while supporters both north and south of the border can agree that the top heavy nature of the amount of influence that Celtic and Rangers hold over the SPL, all concerned should be approaching such an idea with a considerable amount of caution. Where, we might reasonably ask, would the approval of such an idea end? After all, Pandora’s box may prove difficult to close once it has been opened.
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Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.
Never mind us joining that crowd what about fairer tv rights a cup final not being shown south of the border, european games not shown as its not viable yet you show stoke etc while Celtic have a vast suppport compared to the likes of them and this sort of thing is what is killing the scottish game also the money that spl teams get for winning the league is 10x less than an epl for relegation get that sorted its a disgrace never mind the epl its the spl mindset that needs to shift its rear ad bring in more money for the game
what a cheek these celtic people have,they want to join an english league though they sing songs of hate against our queen, our scottish and british soldiers, our british establishment, they hold banners at games and wont stand for a minutes silence on poppy day, and they want us english to welcome them with open arms…i say let these hypocrytes stay where they are
League one epl don’t make me laugh I am a Celtic supporter wee could not even see off kilmarnock so don’t spout rubbish about being good enough for epl or league one wee are where wee should be in spl we are no better than any other team in our league
@ James: Hypocrites you say? You roll our the red carpet for *your* queen and parade *your* soldiers whilst your club is guilty of tax evasion? What could *your* soldiers do with the money your club tried to avoid paying?
How can you sing GSTQ whilst having the brass neck to avoid paying taxes?
Hypocrisy you say?
I’ve no real desire to join any English league – but if offered the chance I would take it – just to get away from you and your ilk.
Let me say again. Hypocrisy you say?
James, i think youll find way pay a large amount of taxes to keep our soldiers in employment and as for John ,I think the league table suggests your talking absolute nonsense.
Are you serious John ? You are no supporter. Your tone is more glory hunter. Away back to your tv and save your pathetic negativity for people who are interested. No ambition, short memory and actually, quite insulting to Kilmarnock. Every team has bad days, but to say Celtic are no better than any other team in the SPL shows ignorance on a grand scale.
Celtic may have big support, but they’re mostly glory hunters from other parts of Scotland (and the UK). They’re as bad as those who have jumped on the Man U, Liverpool, Chelsea, etc bandwagons down the years.
If all these supporters watched their local team instead of Celtic (and the same applies to most Rangers fans), then Scotland would have a more competitive league, and they wouldn’t need to constantly knock on the door of the EPL.
Well done Killie yesterday, btw.
@James I can understand your opinion but trust me it is a small minority that sing that crap. Most Celtic fans only sing songs about our club & frown upon the idiots. Celtic condemned the poppy protest as did most of our fans. Every club in the world has their minority of idiots that do nothing but embarrass their club.
@John Seriously? We lose one game in around 26 & all of a sudden we are no better than anyone else in the SPL? I’m as disappointed as everyone else about losing the final but get a grip. The current squad is capable of beating teams like Wigan, Bolton, QPR, West Brom etc. And if we were in the English leagues with more money coming in we would buy better quality players.
Anyway, I personally think if Celtic were to move down south it would only be fair to start in League 2. Why should we start in League 1 when teams in League 2 fight for promotion? But let’s be honest it’s never going to happen.
Speculative scenario: Portsmouth, relegated from the Championship go bust; Celtic take their place.
do you really think that the people of portsmouth would welcome celtic with open arms , get real . Pompey is a very british city and the wouldnt putt up with all the pro ira singing and disrespect of british soldiers that rears its ugly head from celtic supporters
@James – Typical little intraverse Englander. The Celtic support have been recognised by UEFA as the best in the world – Google it moron. That kind of tired rhetoric might cut it down the pub with your little xenophobic mates, but it’s the TV companies that want this to happen and they hold all the cards. So, you’ve got two options: either get used to it or emmigrate. Sad case.
We do not even know whether Celtic have actually tried to join the English league. The article is mostly speculative.
All of the rest of what you write are political view points, some that are shared by English people too. There is no law that says you must support the monarchy, British imperialism or the ‘British establishment’ (though I’m not quite sure what you mean by that). Holding banners at games isn’t a crime and nobody has to take part in the poppy events, which seem to have been hijacked in recent years for an increasingly pro-militaristic agenda.
You simply disagree with their political opinions. Particularly bizarre to me is your implied view that everyone must support the Queen and the monarchy. There are plenty of English people who don’t, doing so doesn’t make you more English and something as outdated as a royal family is hardly something to be proud of.
I’m in favour of Celtic leaving the SPL. They can take their bigotry and intimidatory tactics elsewhere. We’ve just had the third referee to resign because he made a mistake and Willie collum yesterdays ref will be hounded out of the game. They once hired a private investigator to follow a ref after a old firm game. So the english league would be welcome to them. In fact if they swap places with Portsmoutgh can we make them play out of Fratton park also.
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As a strong supporter of Manchester United I know only too well the strength and size of Celtic having seen us play them on many occasions,the size of their support in the British Isle’s rivals us, I’ve traveled round the world and have seen just as many(if not more) Celtic FC jerseys as I have Manchester United jersey’s. They have a strong vocal support and will take just about all our fans from Ireland and France,Its is for that reason I oppose them coming to England under any circumstances.
Turkey’s don’t vote for Christmas.
James you are a stereotypically ill informed.
As a season ticket holder at Celtic Park I can confirm that not all Celtic supporters are anti British , anti armed forces and I find your comments about Poppy Day deeply offensive. If you are indicative of the reception Celtic would receive in England perhaps joining a European league would be a preferable option.
Furthermore if England is such a bastion of all that is good about a game invented in Scotland then I assume you have resolved all of your current “racism related ” problems.
While i do belive celtic joining any leauge structure in the english divisions would be exiting for all involved, it would have a depramental effect on scottish football, and for which should never happen. The best way forward is have a more even distrabution of money across all brittish leagues england scotland and wales.
The way forward is to introduce combined brittish fa cups joint television deals with all leagues combined with everyteam benifiting weather it be luton portsmouth or elgin. Teams should be made to have to spend within thier means spend what they earn, run thier clubs as a bussness which benifits thier main income the fans. Sky and the upper teir of the epl have nearly destroyed brittish football as a whole. The govening bodies from all the fa,s should sit down scrap the current system and start agian. Lets get all our acadamys for the younsters up and running bring not 1 or only 2 players every couple of years who then get sold on for profit let them bring on 3 or 4 players every year who then stay and want to develop at thier club, put a cap on transfer fees and wages 25 to 50 million on players 150 grand a week its not sustainable, stop the greed give football back to the fans its a working man/womans sport not a toy. thank you
Well go join the english league as celtic but they cannot qaulify for any european competitions because they will still be a scottish club.I have the perfect solution since they fly the tricouler go back and play there. Up the killie
Too many non-football arguments on here.
For me the real probelm with allowing Celtic into the English league, at any level, is the removal of an English club. Assuming Celtic make it to the ‘promised land’ of the EPL, it would essentially be a foriegn team in the English top flight. I acknowledge that most EPL teams already include large numbers of foriegn players, but Celtic could have non…not even youth players, it would be no different than allowing Ajax or PSV to join (Swansea, Cardiff and Wrexham were a different issue and it cannot be changed now). Also, if Celtic are allowed in Rangers would surely follow, otherwise Glasgow would lose its great rivalry as both teams would play in different leagues…and if both Rangers and Celtic make it to the EPL that would push two English teams out of the English top flight…what would England gain from this?
Sectarian, Bigots, Hypocrits…. Are the English on here getting the world famous Glasgow Celtic mixed up with Rangers (in administration) ?
typical all of a sudden the plastic paddies are concerned about the tax maybe you could answer this .. HOW ABOUT WHEN CELTIC FOR YRS PUT IN FALSE GATE RECEIPTS FOR HOME CROWDS IS THAT NOT TAX EVASION ????? AND THATS A WELL KNOWN FACT
Maybe if these soldiers hadn’t done so much harm over the years to people and the families of people who support Celtic they would get some possitive recognition from the support! There’s history to everything! Burying your heads in the sand about recorded history, gets us no where! I understand, not many will use their brains enough to figure this out, but it’s a fact! Just cause it didn’t happen to you, doesnt mean it didn’t happen! Same goes for the IRA! And someone please quote me the hateful lyrics in these “songs of hate” sang at Celtic Park!? And no, “Go on home…”, is not a song of hate!
@ Harvey smith…. Only reason that certain tv company is pushing for this is the owner of it is good friends with septics owner… Same reason as most things septic fans do don’t get published in the papers!!! two ball boy incidents at the fighting at tynecastle!!! Pro IRA songs at all away matches and some home matches and the threat against referees from certain supporters and a certain manager!!!
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So the support has been considered the best in the world by UEFA! Their world wide support rivals any of the top English teams, if not surpasses it! They have the 2nd largest British club stadium in the UK! Sky Sports wants them because of what it would bring financially to all teams in terms of tv! Their biggest and only rival is,at worst, no longer going to exist! And at best, be in the 3rd division of Scotish football next year! They’re willing to start low and work their way up! The Welsh teams have already set the precident! AND THE PROBLEM IS???
Harvey is that the same UEFA currently investigating the Celtic support for displaying a FUCK UEFA banner.
I know the minority again. Celtics famous minority.
Celtic want to deflect any wrong doing from the club onto this famous minority whilst broad brushing everyone else.
Problem is it only takes a couple if clicks on google/you tube to see this famous minority in action.
How many of the minority did Celtic ban for holding up the disgusting poppy banner which the whole country seen so why waste your time making out it was a naughty few. It can’t be brushed away it was there for all to see.
Keep telling yourselfs you are the good guys in life and Rangers are oh so bad but don’t think everyone else is taken in Deep down you know you have a healthy share of scum bags in your support. You have cringed when watching them in action. The only thing your club is better at is a top class pr department that has you convinced you are something special. Your not.
Q the outrage and delusion………
Surely Celtic would feel more at home in the Irish league.
PETER,,,what rubbish you speak, i dont support rangers, i support man utd, anyone who says anything about yoU, you think must be a rangers fan,at least they dont hate the country they live in, unlike your mob,,,,STAY WHERE YOU ARE ,,WE DONT WANT OR NEED YOU
jason, yes it is a song of hate, go home,you say isnt a hate song, but when rangers fans said why dont you go home, you went to the goverment and got it banned, double standards right enough,,KEEP CELTIC OUT OF ENGLAND
I think we can all agree the “Fuck UEFA” banner was somewhat funny. Now, as a Hoops supporter, I’d rather see us get the money, easy entry into Champs League and TV deals that EPL teams do . . . but leaving the SPL behind would kill me. The tradition, the rivalry with Rangers (who I want to see survive) are all important to me.
As for the singing, the chants, etc . . . everyone has extremists. Everyone has people who sing despicable things. Songs about Hillsborough, the Muncih Tragedy, etc still abound. That is a football problem, shared by all of us.
I think most of the mindless bickering comments in response to this article are a good reason why neither of the Old Firm teams should be allowed into the England game.
How about instead of the EPL, we have a “Best of British League”, where all the best teams from the Shetland Islands to the Falkland Islands can play. Players could all wear 1920s strips with long shorts, use a heavy leather ball, and get paid tuppence a week. I’d watch that.
Whilst it may only be a minority, the songs heard and the banners seen really don’t help Celtic’s cause when it comes to support for them joining the English system. I have encountered Celtic fans away in Europe and I just don’t want to hear that and neither will the vast majority of fans in England. Whether it be a minority is by the by, people just don’t want to hear that week in, week out in our football grounds. We see what goes on around the Celtic and Rangers rivalry in Scotland. We simply do not want that transplanted to England. And I have no doubt that if Celtic are allowed to move South then Rangers will soon join them. And whilst Celtic fans may not have caused any issues of late in England, Rangers fans behavior in Manchester is something we would not like to see repeated every other week.
But anyhow, the main reason I am against this is because at the end of the day it’s all down to money. The only reason behind all this is because someone is set to make a fair bit. And there are plenty of us here south of the border who are pretty much fed up with the influence money now has on the game (I guess the same as north of the border). You may not find too many supporters of clubs at the top of the Premier League moan about this, as they support clubs who now able to simply buy a Champions League place or the title each season. But once you look to supporters of clubs outside that elite few then it is a different story. And it is at that level where Celtic would be introduced to the English system. I’m a supporter of a 4th division side in England. Why would I support Celtic moving south when the only people who would benefit is Sky TV, Celtic and eventually club in the top flight to the detriment of the one or two English clubs who would have to make way. Why should a club in the in the 4th division lose out on a place in the League purely for financial reasons that benefit others? Why should a club move aside so Sky and another club can get richer and continue to destroy what competition there still remains in the Football League?
Scotland has an FA. Scotland has a football league. Celtic are a Scottish club. They should remain in Scotland. If Scotland has problems with its football then let Scotland sort it out.
Ah yes I forgot about the 100% of English football angels that represent themselves so well week in week out! And Europe! Well, never seen and Englishman embarrass himself in Europe! An “Old Firm” problem! Take your heads outa your arse England! There’s not many more of an embarrassment! Celts and Rangers have some clowns, but let’s not start comparing! Ya’ll won’t win that one!!!
I would welcome Celtic and Rangers into the league. whereever they started – it would be a bit of excitement.
Also, there is little to no money in Scottish football – if they dont make the move soon – Celtic could head the same way as Rangers wohich would be another upsetting issue.
Let them in I say.
so why not invite Feyernoord, Ajax or Lille or Racing Club Lens into the English league? They both have big support but are stuck in small (football wise) countries.
And they are closer to London than Celtic or Rangers.
just where will the chase for money end up?
as reported in the press, and on eufa and fifa, if celtic or rangers for that matter, leave scotland they have to give up their history and start from scratch,meaning no titles and no european cup victories. so celtic fans you wouldnt have the …oh we were the first british team to win the european cup,,,, that would all be gone forever
god you have to laugh at the double standards of this jason guy, his club hates everything that is british,, yet he says we have the second biggest BRITISH stadium,,,only british when it suits you lot,my club man utd has the biggest support,over 75,000 every home game and celtics crowd according to their own stats is down 15,000 to 45,000, and after watching the cup final on sunday against little kilmarnock, at the final whistle celtic fans were out quicker than they went in,,so called greatest fans in the world,,,you must be kidding
I am more than happy to see either/both Celtic or Rangers join us down south, it’s been done already earlier this season when Guernsey FC joined the Combined Counties League Div 1. Don’t worry Scots supporters, the example has been set by them and it’s only 6 promotions till you get to League 2
@ JAMES – It’s all hypothetical, but supposing Celtic did join the English league (I sincerely hope we don’t) and if that meant we had to start again from scratch – you can’t change history. Celtic would still be the first team to win the European Cup.
On another point about attendances – we average around 50,000 this season compared to your 75,000.
Comparing the Scottish / English leagues as well as the Scottish / English population, there is no doubt in my mind that ours is a far better achievement.
And I have no doubt at all, if Celtic were in the EPL, we would match your 75,000 attendances. Maybe even surpass it. But here we are back to hypothetical again, I suppose we’ll just never know.
What I do know is – Celtic can be proud of the amount of fans we have, despite the constraints we face.
I don’t recall saying I hate everything British! I actually love Britain! I don’t think they’ve done very well by Ireland in the last 800 years, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love The UK! Just as Ireland (IRA) have had their bad moments as well! I’m just saying, don’t be shocked by Celtic fans, weariness for the British Army! It comes from a real time, with real incidents! Like stated earlier, just because it didn’t happen to you, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen! And yes, Celtic are a British team, with the 2nd biggest club stadium in the UK! That’s not (now) trying to be British when it suits us! It’s a fact! Grow up! And we all wonder why there’s problems!!!
And by the way @James, your club ManU, is worldwide full of nothing but bandwagon jumpers who hold little to no real passion for the team they support! A team who have spent beyond their means and is having it catch up with them very soon! Rangers are just the warm up act! ManU and friends will be HMRC’s main event!
I should start by saying that I am a fan of a lower level SPL club and that, in many ways, it would suit me to see Rangers and Celtic go south as we would be left with a more competitive league, I think. Whenever this is mentioned to Old Firm fans they, despite being desperate to leave for the most part, are keen to impress that without them the SPL would fall to the standard of the League of Ireland. With that league having had one team in the Europa League this season, just as the SPL had, I would say we were already there anyway!
The thing is, a lot of the reasoning offered up for why the Old Firm should leave revolves around how they need more money from Europe. Yet Scottish clubs are routinely humbled by teams with lower budgets in European competitions. Would they be sure to beat these teams with more money in the pot? I doubt it. I can’t be certain of it, but APOEL have done very well in the Champions League this season and I would be willing to bet they have outperformed teams with more access to TV money and bigger budgets generally. The problem for the Old Firm is not that they do not have too much money, but that they (like quite a lot of clubs worldwide, one suspects) do not get value for money from the players they employ. It is this they shiould look at – and make the most of the resources which they do have at their disposal as opposed to making the lack of money an excuse for failure, which seems to be a nice way of ignoring the fact that, as said, teams with smaller budgets in other countries can produce technically gifted teams that can do well in Europe.
Moreover, another reason the SPL needs the Old Firm, we are told, is that any TV would be much smaller in value where they not in the league. This is again true, but ignores certain other realities. One is that Scottish clubs are receiving far less than they were from Setanta a few seasons back and….have cut their cloth and adapted. The TV deal does not help the clubs catch up to the Old Firm in any event. The Old Firm will always be ahead and the size of the TV deal will not make it easier for lower SPL clubs to compete with them (only good management and somehow picking up on good players the Old Firm muss can really do that). Anyway, the point is, clubs will again adapt even if there is a lesser TV deal or none at all.
Lastly, one would suggest that the Old Firm accept that sometimes life just doesn’t seem fair. They want more money and see anything that stops this as unfair. Yet others think it will be unfair if they are allowed to. And one can’t always have their own way. Instead of deferring real improvement on the off-chance they eventually get into England (and thinking that this means success will surely come), it might be best to look at ways to maximise their success with the resources they do have – just as the likes of APOEL are doing.
P.S Oh yes, and as someone above seemed to imply, should the Old Firm actually be allowed into the English system, it would only be fair that they start at the very bottom of the pyramid.
jason..and you think we’ll have you pub bombing scum in english football..never.i’m from birmingham and i can tell you this for nothing…..your anti english,pub bomber worshipping,terrorist supporting,paedophile hiding,club will NEVER EVER be wanted,needed,or liked enough…..and even big jock knew this…now go and vote for independence…seeing people like you denying celtics fans shady association with the provo’s..i.e raising money for them,joining them,worshipping them….its embarrassing….funny but embarrassing..yeah and i’ve heard you’ve got the biggest dole office in the country at celtic park……lol
keep the provo lovers out….end of