Simon Jordan, who once owned Crystal Palace FC, has claimed via TalkSPORT that Celtic and Rangers were once planned to be admitted to the English league pyramid for a cost of £200m each!
The controversial football owner turned radio pundit said that the plans surfaced after the collapse of ITV Digital in 2002. On the TalkSPORT chat show, Jordan claimed: “In 2002 when the ITV Digital deal collapsed there was all this stuff going on, there was me, Manchester City, Birmingham, Wolves – all the clubs talking about a phoenix league, a breakaway league to get away from the Football League, because the Football League was so intransigent and ridiculously unprofessional. Part of those discussions were Rangers and Celtic coming down.
I was in the camp for them to come down, but pay a bounty, pay a couple of hundred million quid; they can afford it on the basis of their share price and whatever else was happening because they would probably go into the Premier League as a result of it.”
Whenever these talks emerge, the rest of Scottish football is consigned to death in the predictions of many surrounding the hypothetical scenario. However, Jordan suggested that there would be a contingency plan in place for the rest of Scotland: “The entirety of Scottish football gets £30m across all four divisions.”
There is much debate among the Celtic support as to whether they would ever like the club to join the English leagues, escaping the financial restrictions of Scottish football. Though this is always balanced with the cost for supporters and the soul of the club, which none of us would ever want to see diminished.
In terms of the finances Simon Jordan claimed: “Going into the Premier League with broadcast deals, they (Celtic and ‘Rangers’) will go from £2m, if that’s right, to £120m overnight.” Nevertheless, the former Palace boss finished with the following remarks: “It won’t happen but in a land that we look forward to perhaps one day thinking it could happen, what an addition that would be.”
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