Liverpool Message Board
As things stand now, I recon your right, either of the Glasgow clubs would struggle. Right now I'd say there are on the same level as about half a dozen Championship clubs vying for promotion every year. But to be fair they don't have to be any better than that to complete in the SPL these days with their only challenge Europe. But there they just don’t' have the financial muscle or the allure of a big European league to pull in the better players.
However if you look at things longer term, what does it really take to succeed as a football club? The crude bottom line answer is money! It seems to me the clubs that are going to be successful, and have been successful are those that one way or another can generate the most money, whether that comes from a rich owner (which may be limited in the future if FFP does really bite) or from generating cash from a strong brand.
My suggestion (and please this is not my wish) is that both Celtic and Rangers as clubs with a long history, a sizable fan base, and reach well beyond Glasgow, given access to a league with global appeal could generate enough to compete within the prem.
While personally I consider myself a traditionalist, and while I don't follow Scottish football remotely as closely as I did years ago, there is something special and separate from the English league that I’d hope could be maintained. However I really do think Scottish football is at or nearing a turning point. They can keep bungling along, but will likely get poorer each season relative to other leagues, or they can look at more drastic measures that help them combine with other leagues (Remember the idea of combining with the Scandinavian leagues?), but those that can survive outside the SPL (Celtic, Rangers, and maybe a couple others although likely in the lower divisions) may take matters into their own hands.
In some ways its much like your example of Weymouth. They can accept they are a small club and stop trying to be more, but be happy to be just local entertainment, but that is obviously hard to do, for a club that feels from its history it’s bigger than its current situation. Not sure Weymouth has many options, the towns not getting any bigger and I'm sure the kids would rather watch a prem team on Sky than stand in the rain watching a district league (not sure their current league status) side. But Rangers and others may have options Weymouth does not, and maybe they might take those options.
There is such a thing as a Northern League but it's for local teams like Guisborough Town for example..
It's not for top tier teams. Unless you're advocating the north, south, east, west.. have their own league with then divisions split betwen them?
So yoiu'd have the likes of LFC & Manchester teams etc in the Northern Premier League.. if you will?
Then Chelsea, Arsenal, Spurs etc in the Southerrn Premier League.. is that what you're advocating?
I think they should consider structuring a British league, with a main prem and then the next tiers down are split in to north and south to limit travel and costs, but there would then be playoffs for each tier with winner of north playing winner of south to get promotion.
As for a British team, what about a British team for world cup and split for the Euros? We should at least always have a British team for the Olympics.
As a taff I hope it is not a one off. We have had a lot of great players over the years (Toshack, Rush, Giggs, Southall, Bale etc) who have never got any international recognition because they will always be 'pearls amongst swine'. If GB gives them a bit of exposure and a chance to play against the best international teams then so much the better.
- 1 Reply to Bob
I understand why you'd hope so Bob, but unless the individual countries FA's do one heck of a U-turn it just is not going to happen.
This might upset the traditionalists, but long term I'm wondering if a merged "British" league is not just a good idea, but maybe inevitable. With two Welsh clubs already in the English league, one in the prem and the other pushing hard to be in the prem for several years, and the state of Scottish football which just cannot generate enough cash relative to its rich neighbors to the south, how long is it before Rangers, and or Celtic break away, and the EPL essentially becomes the top tier of a British league? Considering Rangers need permission to rejoin the SPL, while I doubt it would happen, thought was they might jump sooner rather than later.
As I said I doubt anything will happen in the short term or even the medium to long term at the country FA level, even if at club level the financial drivers are pushing for an integrated solution. But you have to wonder why as a Nation we can produce some very good players, but as individual home countries we just don't have all the pieces to produce great teams. That is not just a Welsh problem, but one for England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.