His mouth is bigger than his club – Minnow’s boss hits out at Celtic

Celtic have been scalded by a footballing counterpart (cough)for being unwilling to be involved in an Atlantic League within European football. The attacks came from the mouthy Shelbourne FC’s Vice-Chairman, Andrew Doyle, who has insisted that Celtic more generally are content in being top of the pile in Scotland and also-rans in European competition.

This is nothing new of course, as there have been rumblings for many years about Celtic leaving Scottish football to join the English Premier League or some improvised European league involving teams of a similar stature who are starved of greater revenues because they play in uncompetitive domestic football. It has never come to fruition at any stage and it looks like it never will in any case.

With the disparity between the top five leagues and the rest growing at a rapid rate with every passing year, the chasm that exists is on show nearly every year in the UEFA Champions League group stages, which is why they decided to change the format from group stages to a league model. Not that this will greatly benefit teams such as Celtic however, as it’s merely to keep the giants of European football content that while longer and stall the onwards push for a European Super League.

Doyle revealed it kind of already is that way presently, with teams from smaller countries just unable to compete with Manchester City, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich on a regular basis. The Shelbourne executive has stated the only way to bridge the gap would be an innovative idea such as a cross-border league with teams from different countries competing.

When asked whether Celtic could be involved in those plans, he stated: “Yes it could, of course, but 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. I think they’ll be very happy to continue winning the Premiership more years than not, where they’ll gain automatic access to the round of 32 and then get hockeyed there, but still get all that European cash,” he said to Scottish Daily Mail.

“That, of course, ensures that Scottish football remains hopelessly uncompetitive, because no one can match Celtic’s cash. Our structure would have passed all reasonable UEFA criteria because it benefited all stakeholders, not just Celtic and (the)Rangers, in Scotland’s case. The debate shouldn’t be whether there’s a super league or no super league.

“It’s whether UEFA or some other party operates a revised version of the existing super league, with more competition and greater benefit to all. The Champions League is already UEFA’s very own super league. The champions of some countries, Ireland, for example have never even played in the damn thing, ever. So, of course, the system is broken. Completely broken.”

Paul Gillespie

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About Author

I'm a Garngad Bhoy through and through. My first ever Celtic game was a friendly against Italian side Parma at Celtic Park, in 2002. Currently a student of English Literature and Education at the University of Strathclyde for my sins. Favourite game would be a toss up between beating Manchester United with that Naka freekick, or the game against the Oldco when Hesselink scored in the dying seconds. I'm still convinced Cal Mac is wasted playing that far back.

1 Comment

  1. I don’t think he’s said anything inaccurate there.
    We do, as says, just enough to tread water.
    Some of that is about being risk averse. Why spend £20M for 4 positions on the team when those you play against, spend more than that on a single player.
    Scottish football will be rinsed if celtic and Govan fc leave. So there’s no escape and it’s year on year, same old, same old.

    I think you are shooting the messenger a little.
    What ambition did we show this year?
    What did we do in europe for our money recieved?
    We are at least developing barrowfield. I’d ask, why bother since we rarely bring our talent through.
    Losing players to Liverpool, dortmund, who have then featured for their first team, again… we are too risk averse…league first (except where a resurgent rangers is needed to maintain league interest).