Xtratime Community banner

1 - 20 of 37 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,017 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
How do you feel about this idea?

There's currently a bit of a debate going on about it in the Scottish Forum after an interesting article was posted on the issue. Take a look at the article and see what you think for yourself.


Celtic, Rangers, Glazer, Abramovic, Sky Television and the next English Premiership TV deal, what’s going on – revealed


Well my friends in Celtic we have hit a plateau.

The troubles which afflicted us in the 1990’s are a distant memory. While we will not win every game in Scotland, we will win enough to maintain pre-eminence, even if we do lose the odd trophy every now and then.

Europe promises to be a roller-coaster of emotion as we trade blows in places like the Nou Camp and San Siro before ultimately finding our level.

Are we always destined to be the bridesmaids?

Back in October I posted a pre-emptive strike against the status quo, as a “Plan for European Football” hit Celtic Quick News. While the plan was both worthy and workable my key hope was that it would kick up a bit of dust that I could follow and find out what, if any change would be possible.

Leaving Scotland has featured on the horizon for a full eighteen years now. I remember after a League Cup Final in 1986 which was lost after a late, disputed, penalty, Davie Hay suggested that we would be better off moving to England.

Hay was right, but for all the wrong reasons. He interpreted a poor refereeing performance as being a reason Celtic would never again dominate Rangers.

We are a Scottish club, and I was a late convert to the cause of leaving the land where McGrory, Stein, Johnstone and Larsson strutted their stuff. The plateau has changed my mind, though.

I fear that without a move out of Scotland the plateau will become a slide into slow inevitable decline. How much longer will 60,000 people pay good money to see Celtic play clubs from towns where the entire population does not even reach this number? I fear the drift is already underway.

So is there anything to the endless gossip about leaving the Scottish Premier League? Lots actually.

There are several avenues which could open for Celtic. The competition laws enshrined in The Treaty of Rome and the unfulfilled ambitions of the G14 to name but two; however, there is a more pressing agent of change at work; money, and stacks of it.


When the English Premiership voted on inviting Celtic and Rangers to join a few years back there was no prospect of anything happening. As many have pointed out, turkeys do not vote for Christmas, the vote could only be 20 – 0.

So what has changed?

Lets consider Manchester United for a moment. Last season they received income of £33million for Premiership TV rights. Domestic income for this season will depend on final league position and number of games broadcast; however, foreign rights will earn them and every other English Premiership club an equal £5million.

Enter Malcolm Glazer. Glazer has not publicly issued his plans for Manchester United, however, he is prepared to borrow hundreds of millions of pounds to buy the club, and incur the subsequent interest repayments.

So what is Glazers angle? Why is he prepared to spend over £650million on Manchester United when the combined value of Celtic’s shares is £15million? Moreover, why are other financially motivated investors reluctant to sell at a price over twenty time’s last season’s pre-tax profit?

The English Premiership, like the SPL, negotiates TV rights collectively, unlike the Spanish and Italian leagues, where clubs are free to negotiate their own deals.

Even though the total value of football TV revenue is substantially less in Spain than in England, Real Madrid earn a whopping £75million from their league rights.

Manchester United is the biggest TV draw in world football. That they are not the best paid in world football leaves space for Glazer to bring extra revenue into the business that the current – and previous – management failed to exploit.

There are millions of football fans in Britain, and more than a few Mergers & Acquisitions people, and it took an American to see the untapped potential in Manchester United. The healthy state of British football and the underachieving condition of British capitalism clearly demonstrated for all to see.

If Manchester United are currently worth in excess of £650million, when the new TV deal kicks-in, their value should soar again, possibly reaching the £1billion mark.

Glazer may or may not gain control of Manchester United. In exposing the weakness of the existing management, he has forced their hand. If they fail to get a TV contract which reflects their world brand they know they would be replaced by people who will do so.

A revolutionary TV deal which will blow apart the status quo in England is a stick on certainty starting in the summer of 2007. From this date onwards each club will need to survive on the strength of their own TV deal.

It will not even take the anticipated intervention of the European Commission - who expressed concerns about the existing collective deal - to bring the change about.

And quite right too, why should Manchester United be subsidising teams like Manchester City and Everton, as they currently are by not controlling their own media rights?

More to the point, why did Manchester United fans and board leave it to Glazer to force the issue?

While any investment is risky, the hard work in building the value in Manchester United has been done. Glazer could easily get the TV contract he wants and add hundreds of millions to the value of his investment. I would bid for them myself if I didn’t have my mind on another project.

Manchester United are not alone in allowing their media rights to be distributed to their rivals, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Newcastle are fully aware of their own potential.

Arsenal have taken on a financial commitment for their new stadium which would frighten my own Mrs 67 and need to ruthlessly pursue a lucrative TV contract to meet their huge funding requirement. Liverpool and Newcastle are ten months pregnant with expectation; both clubs are desperate for the resources to build a successful team.

Chelsea have spent a couple of hundred million pounds and are practically walking to the title unopposed. Most analysis of the Abramovic spend has concluded that it has been an extravagant whim. In total he has spent around £300million, which included buying the club as well as buying lots of players who do not feature in the current managers’ plans.

He has bought a better team than Manchester United, with a better, younger manager, and he has done it with £300million less than Glazer is prepared to spend in Manchester.

He would need to invest comparatively little money in building the international brand currently enjoyed at Old Trafford, maybe the odd £20million on a few David Beckham types and, in time, he would be there.

From an asset building perspective, what Abramovic has achieved has been breathtaking. He had the vision to know the right time spend big - paying premium price for the club and most of the players in the knowledge that the brand he was building would reward him twice over in a few years. Are we also behind Russian capitalists in this country these days?

I suspect so.

Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Newcastle will receive substantial contracts from Sky; some will certainly top the Real Madrid deal.

Sky will screen most games live in the UK (watch out for the Sky season ticket), and will be able to broadcast all matches live across the globe.

The rest will receive offers which will overwhelmingly reflect the value of their home games played against the top clubs, as only these games capable of generating money in return for Sky.

For pretty much all of the Premiership clubs not included in the select five this will mean abrupt hardship. On average income will drop by around £12million per club.

Add Celtic and Rangers to this list and the smaller clubs have seven commercially viable games to sell, not five. Sky will have seven commercially viable brands to sell, not five.


So what of Celtic? As Celtic fans have always known, and recent tours to the US have demonstrated to a wider audience, Celtic already has a global brand which is among the best.

So why are they being traded at a market value of only £15million, just over 2% the value of Manchester United?

There are several reasons for this, most notably that Celtic need to spend more than they can afford to keep in touch with the teams they aspire to compete with on the European stage. Whereas Manchester United can look forward to profits every year, while in the SPL, Celtic will never make money.

I have never run a football club; however, if Celtic were in the Premiership I think even I could spend around £200million and build a team as good as anything in the league, while being promoted in homes and sports goods stores across the globe.

Now I know the faithful readership of Celtic Quick News is not exclusively drawn from banks and accountancy firms, but you see where this one is going?

Celtic PLC, a company currently valued at £15million, would become worth many hundreds of millions of pounds if they played in the Premiership. Given time perhaps close to the £1billion I expect Manchester United to be worth once the new TV deal is in place.

All of this could be achieved for roughly the same £200million Abramovic has spent at Chelsea.

With this much lucre on the table, a deal was always going to be made.

So how will the deal be delivered?

The major teams in England (or, to be more specific, their shareholders) see more commercial value in games against Celtic than against the likes of Norwich (no disrespect intended Delia).

There is clearly a commercial advantage in selling TV rights to a game against Celtic than a game against Norwich; however, there are competitive risks as well. Celtic would surely displace one of the teams in the European slots. While we are not quite back to turkeys voting for Christmas again, these clubs have a commercial decision to balance.

Celtic’s route to the Premiership will be borne of the unquestionable self interest of the active parties.

There is only one party which can bring about this change with the nod of a head; Sky Television.

It will be Sky Television who will deliver the cash to turn Manchester United into a £1billion club.

It will be Sky Television who will enable Arsenal to pay for their new stadium.

It will be Sky Television who will turn Abramovic’s Chelsea into a sound investment.

It will be Sky Television who will provide Liverpool and Newcastle with enough cash to attempt to fulfil their ambitions.

When Sky comes to the table to negotiate the new TV deals with each of the above – and they are already at the table – they do so from a position of monopolistic strength.

They are in a position to give the top teams in England what they want in terms of income growth. They are also in a position to insist on a league composition which will maximise their income – and that will include Celtic and Rangers.


Celtic may soon be worth many hundreds of millions of pounds more than they are at the moment. All investors in Celtic stand to gain substantially.

For most Celtic fans, getting into a league which will allow the club to fulfil its potential is all that matters. That some investors will make fortunes will become no more than background noise.

Our board will not need our encouragement in pursuing admission to the Premiership. They have a focus which can only be achieved with hundreds of millions of pounds to be made.

James Murdoch, the boss of Sky Television, holds all the cards in this game of poker. This makes it worth selling that most ambitious of TV companies the customary 9.9% shareholding that they could acquire without transgressing multiple ownership rules.

The size of capital gains and future earnings is big enough to attract the interest of Sky. In the last full financial year they made £322million after tax profit – a record year. If the play their hand well they will secure significant improvements in their balance sheet.

While Sky look for all the world like an unstoppable monopolist, they have medium to long term threats from new technologies. Today Internet television means you can get the gist of what is going on a few seconds after your dad hears it on radio. Within ten years this will change beyond recognition, broadcast quality television will be available online.

This will remove Sky’s Unique Selling Proposition. They would be well advised to pick up some football Intellectual Property rights while they are still available at “pre-boom” prices.

I encourage Celtic to lock Sky Television in a room with a deal which would boost their balance sheet, and with a condition which guarantees Celtic entrance to the English Premiership.


Regular readers will have noticed the change in editorial view here at Celtic Quick News in recent months. It is not so long ago I was warning about the dangers of ownership of the club being concentrated in too few hands. An ownership model where the fans own the club has been one of my primary causes.

While this type of ownership will serve the interests of Real Madrid and Barcelona well for decades to come, it will not provide us with a mechanism to move beyond our plateau.

We are on the cusp of being what I once warned against, a corporate investment vehicle. And before anyone says it, we are far from being one already.

If we were Barcelona, Real Madrid or Manchester United this would be something I would be busy campaigning against. These clubs have questionable gains to be made from getting profit seeking investors on-board. The only benefit perhaps being the clarity of purpose you get from having millions of pounds invested. It is worth noting that Manchester United have been owned in this manner for some time and have thrived.


Since posting about the changes in Celtic share ownership scheduled for 2007 which will result in a greater concentration of control in a few hands, I have looked into Malcolm Glazer in more detail. It was a worthy exercise.

You may have heard all sorts about him reneging on a deal to build Tampa Bay Buccaneers a stadium, leaving local tax payers to pay for it instead. This is, of course, utter nonsense. How can the media report that an arrangement as substantial as building a stadium was omitted from contracts and left to a gentleman’s agreement?

What is not in the contract is not in the deal. Malcolm Glazer held to the contract and spent his money making the Buccaneers the best team in the land (at whatever sport they play, rounders I think).

Glazer has demonstrated focus and clarity in pursuing his interests – which just happen to coincide with a winning Tampa team. His interest in not in Manchester United per se, it is in owning an undervalued football brand.

If the deal does not happen in Manchester, I expect him to take some of that £650million to build a Glasgow brand with stacks of potential.

Does anyone here really believe he has not had the Murdoch’s round for tea?


While fans attention has been focussed on whether or not Celtic will spend relatively small amounts of money in the transfer market – and it remains my assertion that this money has not been available in recent seasons – a major play has been underway in the background.

Finding money to spend during the transfer window or in the summer will be no measure of their ability, the English Premiership is the only show in town.

This is what we should be targeting our board to deliver.

Once they have completed the deal wait to see how many friends in high places we really have.

All these deal to be done and no mention of the poster-boy of sports entrepreneurship. Who left this bunnet here?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,469 Posts
UEFA are unlikely to allow clubs to leave their nations' associations, but if they did the 'Atlantic League' would make more sense, with Celtic, Rangers, some Irish and Scandinavian clubs forming a League.
Glasgow doesn't want any more English fans running riot, and the Premiership doesn't need any more third-rate crap teams to go with the other 16 third-rate crap teams outside the top four.
Plus, if Celtic and Rangers can leave the Scottish League, Man U, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea can leave the Premiership, and form their european super League with the Milan Clubs, Juve, Barca, Real, Bayern etc etc.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,469 Posts
King_Henrik said:
Glazer has demonstrated focus and clarity in pursuing his interests – which just happen to coincide with a winning Tampa team. His interest in not in Manchester United per se, it is in owning an undervalued football brand.
Glazer is losing about £6m a year from his shares in Man Utd, and he cannot spend £650m to buy out Man U or any other club because the banks won't lend him the money because they rightly think he's full of shite.

Glazer has Abramovich's dreams but Peter Ridsdale's pockets.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,529 Posts
Celtic and Rangers joining the Prem? If it happens then why don't we let Cardiff, Wrexham and Swansea also join the Prem? If Celtic and Rangers don't have to start from the bottom, then neither should they.
I also agree with Attila - if it ever did happen - it would spark chaos.
 

·
Third Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
Joined
·
12,813 Posts
Trouble is there would be a lot of revolt amongst fans to any such closed club league, and I know a lot of those clubs fans that dont want it under any circumstances.

Persoanlly I hope they do go off and make it, no-one outside those clubs will care, and it would be good for the rest as they would all be on a much fairer level playing field.
 

·
World Class Player
Joined
·
7,673 Posts
_Eight_Ball_ said:
Celtic and Rangers joining the Prem? If it happens then why don't we let Cardiff, Wrexham and Swansea also join the Prem? If Celtic and Rangers don't have to start from the bottom, then neither should they.
It's clear that Rangers and Celtic are capable of playing in the Premiership. Surprising as it may be, we're all confident that the six Welsh clubs aren't up to the task.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,469 Posts
Bastin said:
It's clear that Rangers and Celtic are capable of playing in the Premiership. Surprising as it may be, we're all confident that the six Welsh clubs aren't up to the task.
If Man U, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea leave the prem, and are replaced by Celtic and Rangers, a second-rate League will become third-rate with immediate effect.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,845 Posts
Bastin said:
It's clear that Rangers and Celtic are capable of playing in the Premiership. Surprising as it may be, we're all confident that the six Welsh clubs aren't up to the task.
Even so, it's not right that Celtic and Rangers just be transplanted to the Premiership. How do you make space? Relegate 5 teams instead of 3?

Try explaining that to the fans of Palace, Brimingham or Blackburn.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,017 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Attila_the_Nun said:
UEFA are unlikely to allow clubs to leave their nations' associations, but if they did the 'Atlantic League' would make more sense, with Celtic, Rangers, some Irish and Scandinavian clubs forming a League.
Glasgow doesn't want any more English fans running riot, and the Premiership doesn't need any more third-rate crap teams to go with the other 16 third-rate crap teams outside the top four.
Plus, if Celtic and Rangers can leave the Scottish League, Man U, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea can leave the Premiership, and form their european super League with the Milan Clubs, Juve, Barca, Real, Bayern etc etc.
What would an "Atlantic League" playing against Scandinavian clubs achieve exactly?

The whole purpose of joining the Premiership, or basically just getting out of the SPL, is for Celtic and Rangers to get themselves on a par with clubs of similar, and lesser, stature in England and abroad in terms of TV income. There would be no big bucks to be had in an "Atlantic League" i'm afraid.

As for the '3rd rate teams' jibe, you're obviously ignorant of the potential of two clubs who can boast average weekly attendances of 50-60,000 respectively, and that's playing against poor SPL opposition.

Celtic & Rangers are big enough clubs that both would easily be competing for the Premiership title within a matter of years of being admitted, once we felt the full benefits of being members of a league that befits club's of our stature.

Man Utd and Liverpool would have no need to join forces with the top teams in Europe. If they get the type of financial packages they'll be seeking from SKY when the new TV contract negotations begin then they'll have no need to, but it looks increasingly likely that they'll only get this through the admittance of both Celtic & Rangers to the Premiership.

In any case, if such a "European SuperLeague" was to be considered as an alternative to playing in England by clubs like Man Utd in the future then rest assured that Celtic and Rangers would both be in on the talks as well.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,469 Posts
King_Henrik said:
As for the '3rd rate teams' jibe, you're obviously ignorant of the potential of two clubs who can boast average weekly attendances of 50-60,000 respectively, and that's playing against poor SPL opposition.

Celtic & Rangers are big enough clubs that both would easily be competing for the Premiership title within a matter of years of being admitted, once we felt the full benefits of being members of a league that befits club's of our stature..
There is potential, but the present reality is that both teams are third rate shite. Not a jibe, simply reality. if you don't like it - kill yourself.

King_Henrik said:
Man Utd and Liverpool would have no need to join forces with the top teams in Europe. If they get the type of financial packages they'll be seeking from SKY when the new TV contract negotations begin then they'll have no need to, but it looks increasingly likely that they'll only get this through the admittance of both Celtic & Rangers to the Premiership.

In any case, if such a "European SuperLeague" was to be considered as an alternative to playing in England by clubs like Man Utd in the future then rest assured that Celtic and Rangers would both be in on the talks as well.
So, you ARE totally ignorant of the fact that both clubs are officially third rate shite, which was why they were not invited to join the G14.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,017 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Attila_the_Nun said:
There is potential, but the present reality is that both teams are third rate shite. Not a jibe, simply reality. if you don't like it - kill yourself.
Third-rate teams don't draw against Barcelona in the Nou Camp twice within the space of a year, or indeed manage to qualify for a European Final two seasons ago. A bit more recently than any of your precious EPL clubs have managed if memory serves me right.

As i said, ignorance is bliss.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,469 Posts
I just corrected your bullshit by pointing out that the G14 clubs, who you fantasise would invite your third-rate shite into a superleague, deem you too pathetic to bother with.
If you don't like it, you should've blubbered about it to Milan and Barca while they were wiping their arses with you in the CL.

King_Henrik said:
As i said, ignorance is bliss.
Really? You must be having multiple orgasms then.
Great to see delusions of grandeur from an inhabitant of a country without a single club left in European competition.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,551 Posts
Attila_the_Nun said:
So, you ARE totally ignorant of the fact that both clubs are officially third rate shite, which was why they were not invited to join the G14.
Third rate shite is completely wrong. Arsenal couldn't handle Barcelona at all at the Nou Camp - they'd get absolutely hammered. Celtic took them on and drew with them twice, something not even G14 clubs can do - cue Real Madrid. Is Madrid third-rate shite then?

The reason that Celtic weren't invited to the G14 is because they're in a poor league playing mediocre-to-terrible teams. It's due to this that the SPL has such low TV contracts, leaving Celtic poor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25,902 Posts
Isaac said:
The reason that Celtic weren't invited to the G14 is because they're in a poor league playing mediocre-to-terrible teams. It's due to this that the SPL has such low TV contracts, leaving Celtic poor.
Ajax and PSV aren't playing in a poor league with mediocre-to-terrible teams? They were both founding members of the G14, and the latter are definitely a smaller club than Celtic in terms of support.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
580 Posts
Celtic and Rangers need to get in the premier league. Winning the Scottish League doesn't mean a lot anymore. I think Skonto Riga have won the Latvian league every year for like the past 12 years but they obviously wouldn't make it in the second division. Unlike Spanish and Italian teams, Scotland is actually part of the same piece of land as England. Maybe a long time ago it was okay to have them split up. Now if Celtic and Rangers want to pull heavy weight they need to be playing in the premier league.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,469 Posts
Isaac said:
Third rate shite is completely wrong. Arsenal couldn't handle Barcelona at all at the Nou Camp - they'd get absolutely hammered. Celtic took them on and drew with them twice, something not even G14 clubs can do - cue Real Madrid. Is Madrid third-rate shite then?

The reason that Celtic weren't invited to the G14 is because they're in a poor league playing mediocre-to-terrible teams. It's due to this that the SPL has such low TV contracts, leaving Celtic poor.
Liverpool were in a poor league playing mediocre-to-terrible teams and they were invited so I'm afraid you are full of shit.
I admit Celtic ARE almost as good as Shakhtyor, but needed help from the referee to even keep pace with them in the CL.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,811 Posts
It's all very well raising your game against English clubs and the big boys in europe a few times a season but it's another matter entirely when it comes to playing quality opposition week in week out. Despite of what you think, you would not be challenging for the title within a few seasons, bigger clubs with bigger revenues are still struggling to achieve that. You'd be midtable at best.

As i can see no fair way of incorporating you into our wonderful league, i'd say that i am well against your inclusion.

Stay in your own league.

Besides, it's about time the big clubs in the premiership started to recognise the importance of clubs in financial difficulties lower in the leagues, the likes of Grimsby, Wrexham etc are in trouble. It's only a matter of time before we see an increasing number of clubs failing to break-even, eventually going bust and not existing. Unless something is done it won't be long before we see the collapse of the Football League and some of the oldest clubs in world football, along with it. Unless money can be fairly distributed down the leagues in a fairer manner, then domestic football for many of us just won't exist and English football will lose some of it's more traditional football clubs.


I don't expect many of you reading this to care about the clubs at the lower end, since the only interest you have is in the Premiership, but don't be fooled into thinking that if the Football League collapses or we see alot of clubs dissapear than we will not see a knock on effect on English football and the premiership in general. We will! When a certain pundit said clubs like Grimsby are the life blood of English football, he wasn't too far wrong.

We really do have more things to worry about than just trying to look after two scottish clubs. It's a case of looking after our own first.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,529 Posts
Bastin said:
It's clear that Rangers and Celtic are capable of playing in the Premiership. Surprising as it may be, we're all confident that the six Welsh clubs aren't up to the task.
Bastin - it doesn't matter how good Celtic and Rangers are - they should not be given straight tickets into the Prem, like Mutu was saying - are we suddenly going to drop 5 teams just to make up for it?
 
1 - 20 of 37 Posts
Top