June 13, 2024

Celtic’s SPFL TV Money Is Incredibly Poor. The Governors Of This Game Have Sold It Cheap.

Yesterday, we got some information on what the likely breakdown of TV money that Celtic is likely to get as Champions. It’s around £4.2 million. It is, in short, a pathetically small sum, almost insulting when you consider the league down south which continues to suck all life in the football universe towards it. Our game’s governors have got literally everything wrong when it comes to this. Literally everything. And the clubs have played their part.

The risks of the Premier League leaving us behind were obvious. So obvious that English clubs in the lower leagues made sure that they had protections against it. What protections did we have? We’re their closest neighbour. But the UK is a single political entity and we operate in a single TV market and we would have had heavy political support if we had demanded a slice of the deal as the lower league clubs south of the border did.

And you know how I know we’d have had that political support? Labour and the Tories would have given it to us for no other reason than the screw the SNP, by making it a “union dividend.” It might have swayed a section of public opinion, although how they would have justified revoking it in the event Scotland went independent, I do not know … that would have been a non-starter both legally and morally … and did the SFA and the clubs have the imagination for it?

No, of course they didn’t.

And they won’t pursue legal avenues either, although the case for that, on the grounds of our joint TV market, is virtually iron-clad. The EU would have agreed with us too, but it’s too late to pursue that avenue. It’s just a complete failure of leadership and guts, and a complete disaster in terms of imagination. The English clubs would fight – the EPL would fight like cornered tigers – but rather than allow the court case to proceed I also think they and the TV companies would have settled.

But we’ll never know, because nobody pushed the button on it.

And so, the biggest club in Scotland, having won the league, gets less than a team in the English Championship does. The parachute payment for sides in the first year is more than ten times what our title winning club gets. It is appalling, and it’s going to be the situation for the foreseeable future, no matter how big and crazy the English TV deal gets.

The clubs tolerate so much, but I feel Celtic tolerates more than most because we have the most to lose from the status quo and yet we defend it as though it were serving us well. Clearly, it is not. Obviously, it is not. But we continue to go along with it.

It is high time this club stopped propping these jokers up. We need a strategy for bridging the gap with the EPL and we’re not going to do it playing nice. People need to get real, or we’re stuck with these table scraps forever, and the gap is just going to grow and grow.

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