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Should Celtic compete in the Premier League?

Ilan Hurwitz debates questions about the Scottish club

By | 9th September 2013
celtic

In 2012, the Scottish Premier League suffered a massive setback: Glasgow Rangers, one of the two powerhouses of Scottish football, went into liquidation and were subsequently demoted to the lowest tier of Scottish football. This meant that only Celtic remained as recent title winners in the SPL, creating a league whereby there was only ever going to be one winner. And win they did, running away with the title last season and seemingly poised to do the same in 2013/14.

For a number of years, many commentators have campaigned for Celtic (and Rangers, before their financial problems) to enter the top tier of English football, something that would give them the competition they need in order to develop into a really great football team. They’ve always been shouted down though, and remained in their own league, stunting their growth and denying them the millions of pounds received by every Premier League team each year. So, should they now be given the chance to prove themselves against better opposition by switching to the Premiership? Well, in short, the answer is a comprehensive no, for a number of different reasons.

A Matter of Fairness

For teams in the Championship – and lower down the English leagues, for that matter – getting into the Premier League is the ultimate goal. It is the way to gain massive amounts of money but more importantly it allows them a shot at glory, playing against some of the world’s best players. Now imagine having to tell the team that has finished third in the Championship, and who are favorites to win the playoffs, that they aren’t going to get their chance because Celtic will be given their place instead. Is this fair? Is it right that a whole season of trials and tribulations comes to nothing in order to accommodate a foreign team? It obviously isn’t, and doing so would make an absolute mockery of the promotion system.

There’s also the possibility that an extra team would have to be relegated from the EPL in order to allow Celtic to get in and this is clearly not fair either. Getting relegated costs a club tens of millions of pounds and can be enough to bankrupt them. Is it right that a team should suffer so much simply to help a foreign club?

The only way to fairly introduce Celtic into the English league would be to have them start at the bottom. Somehow, it is unlikely that Celtic will react favorably to an away trip to Wakefield in the Northern Premier League (the eighth tier of English football). Therefore, staying in the SPL may be their only option.

Are They Good Enough?

There’s no doubting that Celtic is a massive club, with loads of supporters and the potential to become a giant of the game. The problem with this is that the same holds true for Leeds, Sheffield Wednesday/United, Nottingham Forest, and a load of other huge clubs wallowing in leagues below the Premier League. This means that simply having the potential to be great isn’t enough to get into the Premier League, otherwise these other massive clubs would already be there.

As hard as it might be to accept for fans of the club, Celtic simply aren’t good enough to play in the Premier League. When the Celtic squad is looked at, it doesn’t even compare to the squads of even the worst teams in the Premier League. In short, they would be in a relegation fight in their first season.

Think of the Scottish League

Bringing Celtic into the Premiership wouldn’t only adversely affect the English league, but the Scottish one as well. Currently, the SPL at least has one big team playing in it; a team that brings in the crowds when they come to town, therefore helping to keep gate receipts for other clubs higher than they would be. Imagine if they left – the SPL would be a league completely bereft of quality, a league that would completely fade into insignificance under the shadow of the mighty Premier League (even more than it does now).

Rangers also have to be considered, because it will only be a few seasons before they are back in the top tier of Scottish football. As a team equally as big as Celtic, they will have a legitimate claim to also move to the English leagues, which would create the same problems all over again. Laying down a marker now and ensuring Celtic continue to play their football north of the border is the only way to preserve both the English and Scottish leagues, both in the short term and also well into the future.

This is an opinion piece written by Ilan Hurwitz. Ilan runs the Australian web site Football Jerseys Online where you can purchase jerseys from all the top European leagues including EPL, SPL, La Liga, Serie A and Bundesliga.



Reader Comments

The below views are those of our readers and do not reflect the opinions of Premiership Talk or its employees.
  1. liar…chelsea..spurs..arsenal..liverpool..everton..even fulham have a bigger worldwide following than the sporting wing of the PIRA…

  2. celtic fans and bottom go together….

  3. known in shitland..paddyland and boston…real world wide..

  4. and you think we'll have a team with pub bomber worshippers and paedo's down here…not a fucking chance fatty…

  5. Shaun Walker says:

    giving money to the provo's….loving terrorists…..to start

  6. Shaun Walker says:

    giving money to the provo's….loving terrorists…..to start

  7. Shaun Walker says:

    giving money to the provo's….loving terrorists…..to start

  8. Shaun Walker says:

    big in ireland..boston and glasgow….and gubba wubba australia…yeah massive worldwide support..

  9. Shaun Walker says:

    big in ireland..boston and glasgow….and gubba wubba australia…yeah massive worldwide support..

  10. Shaun Walker says:

    big in ireland..boston and glasgow….and gubba wubba australia…yeah massive worldwide support..

  11. Shaun Walker says:

    big in ireland..boston and glasgow….and gubba wubba australia…yeah massive worldwide support..

  12. Shaun Walker says:

    big in ireland..boston and glasgow….and gubba wubba australia…yeah massive worldwide support..

  13. Shaun Walker says:

    Síomón Ó Céadaigh and we know what celtic are famous for don't we…donating to people who blew up pubs in england…aswell as buses,,etc…am i lying…how much was raised at parkhead/celtic park….JUSTICE FOR THE 21…

  14. Shaun Walker says:

    Síomón Ó Céadaigh and we know what celtic are famous for don't we…donating to people who blew up pubs in england…aswell as buses,,etc…am i lying…how much was raised at parkhead/celtic park….JUSTICE FOR THE 21…

  15. Shaun Walker says:

    Síomón Ó Céadaigh and we know what celtic are famous for don't we…donating to people who blew up pubs in england…aswell as buses,,etc…am i lying…how much was raised at parkhead/celtic park….JUSTICE FOR THE 21…

  16. Shaun Walker says:

    Síomón Ó Céadaigh and we know what celtic are famous for don't we…donating to people who blew up pubs in england…aswell as buses,,etc…am i lying…how much was raised at parkhead/celtic park….JUSTICE FOR THE 21…

  17. Shaun Walker says:

    Síomón Ó Céadaigh and we know what celtic are famous for don't we…donating to people who blew up pubs in england…aswell as buses,,etc…am i lying…how much was raised at parkhead/celtic park….JUSTICE FOR THE 21…

  18. Riccardo Giovanni Cafolla says:

    Shaun Walker Have Celtic blown up pubs now? aye? Tell me, what have the troubles in Ireland got to do with Celtic's capability to play in the Premiership?

  19. Riccardo Giovanni Cafolla says:

    Shaun Walker Have Celtic blown up pubs now? aye? Tell me, what have the troubles in Ireland got to do with Celtic's capability to play in the Premiership?

  20. John Russell says:

    Shaun Walker , you sir are a nut job. Go do something productive with your life rather then repeating the same things over, and over, and over, and over on a comment response under a half ass written article. You sir are a moron. Your arguments hold no weight because of how crazy you're making yourself seem. Every person on here would hit the "crazy" button if one existed and appeared under your name.

  21. Shaun Walker says:

    keep the children of england safe….keep celtic out….

  22. Shaun Walker says:

    Gregory problems like the blowing up of pubs….now that is a problem..

  23. Shaun Walker says:

    no teams from shitland should ever get into england….and fuck me paul..do all people from aberdeen smell of fish….better than the shit most scots smell of….peewwww

  24. Shaun Walker says:

    Jim Toner lying prick…and i suppose big jock didn't know…..idiot

  25. Shaun Walker says:

    we dont need them..the chinese dont want them..they are big in scotland and n.ireland…and supported mainly by terrorist lovers…

  26. Shaun Walker says:

    typical arrogant guff from the kiddie fiddlers…start at the top…fuck off

  27. Shaun Walker says:

    a few divisions below……more like about 12….dont want the kiddie fiddling terrorist lovers down here….we've got enough with the muslims thank you…

  28. Shaun Walker says:

    Maggie Mac how much money was raised by celtic fans at celtics grounds for the provos….

  29. Shaun Walker says:

    how many times have celtic won the european cup…and when…and notts forrest……although celtic fans have probably blown up more pubs..

  30. Shaun Walker says:

    a foreign club that raised money for terrorists that killed english people…to be correct

  31. Shaun Walker says:

    Gregory Graham and how many times did celtic win the european cup…and how many did tiny little notts forrest..man u..liverpool..the villa…..yeah great acheivment……..yawn

  32. Shaun Walker says:

    Gregory Graham and the last time celtic got to the last 16…..

  33. Shaun Walker says:

    sky had to pay more for less matches…bt have joined the fray….and in asia…the EPL rule supreme….celtic will die in the SPHell….PMSL

  34. Shaun Walker says:

    and by then provo athletic will be a memory…and we english will dance with joy that the paedo loving club…are no more…you're nothing more than "gypsies..tramps and theives"…..and terrorist lovers..

  35. Yeah, they can play in the Premier League…as long as they earn their place through the divisions just like all the other Premier League clubs did.

  36. Gregory Visone , the tell me where will these clubs get the increased money in order to buy the big players? There's only one way – REGIONAL LEAGUES.

    UEFA has already started letting countries negotiate regional leagues because of TV money.

    Like it or not, it is coming the same way each country in Europe once had their own currency.

  37. Jim Toner says:

    No one was singing songs about Lee Rigby at Brentford or anywhere else for that matter. The police and Brentford directors confirmed this after the lies appeared on the Rangers tribute act fan sites. Why lie?

  38. Craig Bannister says:

    Nobody wants them in the Premier League. Not even the clubs.

  39. Gregory Visone says:

    What, you're saying that Celtic are holding out for the formation of a European Super League? They've been talking about this since the mid-1990s and it has never materialized. Seriously, look it up. David Murray was talking about it back in the 90s. Has it happened? NO! That means a scrapping of the Champions League, and that's UEFA's main cash cow.

  40. Gregory Visone says:

    This is one of the worst articles I've ever read. Celtic wouldn't adversely affect the Premier League. If anything, they're perfect. The club has a global fanbase. Celtic Park has a capacity of over 60,000 that'd be filled week in, week out if you had the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool, Everton, etc. coming over to play competitively. Just look at how they fill the stadium consistently when playing in Europe. If you put this club in the Premiership, they'd be perfect and they'd stay there for a long, long time. The gate receipts, the filled stadium, the TV money, it'd all add up and enable them to solidify themselves as a Premiership mainstay and potentially a giant. There are a few problems though: how would you install them into the English league set-up in a way that's fair for all parties and that Celtic would accept? Also, would you invite Rangers into the English league set-up as well, or would you rather only take one member of the Old Firm and leave the other in Scotland? Would Celtic be willing to end the Old Firm rivalry? I don't think so, and I don't think they'd be willing to end it if it meant that they'd be thrown into the Blue Square Prem and told to earn their way up. I think they'd be a fantastic addition, but there are a number of logistical problems that arise. It could happen though, and I hope that it does.

  41. Alex Welsh says:

    Síomón Ó Céadaigh ..I have done my research, The courts have done their research, UEFA has done their research and the SFA has done their research. All agree that Rangers ARE the same team and it's the parent company that is being dissolved. I have already explained about the re-registering of the name therefore do not need to clarify it again however I would be interested to read your FACTS on these matters and not references from some blog because for you and those who share your beliefs to be correct you would have to say all the football governing bodies and the courts and the presented FACTS are wrong, interesting..

  42. Steven, that's exactly the point. How can the UEFA Financial Fair Play rules be adhered to unless RM get more money from TV. Hell, those two already get 50% of La Liga money. And unless they get a better and bigger TV deal, how do they pay £100m for the next Bale? They'll need SKY and NBC and FOX and ESPN money to do it. You'll need a 60,000 seater stadium, traveling support for away matches and a large tv audience to guarantee admission to the table… MINIMUM!

    Name 20 sides that can do that! Celtic are massive enough to be in the top 10 today!

  43. Paul Dinneen says:

    Grant – you studying the rhetoric of being retarded at college then? Mong.

  44. Elizabeth Dinneen says:

    @ Jack, whereas your name is amazingly appropriate…

  45. Liam Kelly says:

    I wouldn't want to join celtic nation fc unless it meant we transferred all our history and culture etc. If we became a different club then it wouldn't be for me

  46. Stephen Murray says:

    Turkeys don't vote for Christmas.. So any change would need to be forced by media companies. Otherwise would be happy to join Celtic Nation FC in about 5 or 6 years when they get to about the 1st division then work up to championship then premier

  47. John Forsyth says:

    Do not even want to comment on this ill informed nonsence, lazy poor piece.

  48. John Forsyth says:

    Do not even want to comment on this ill informed nonsence, lazy poor piece.

  49. This article is irrelevant for one reason.

    Soon Real Madrid, Barça, Dortmund, Bayern, Juventus, AC, Inter and all the other continental teams will get the OK from UEFA and a regional league will form.

    SKY will want in and then we'll see what happens to the English teams in the bottom half of the EPL as the TV money leaves for greener pastures.

    Who will SKY want in this league, Celtic or any other EPL team outside of the top 4?

    Then we'll see just how much the EPL will resemble the SPFL after the money has gone.

    Until then I hope all you Liverpool fans enjoy watching Celtic on Tuesday and Wednesday nights in the Champions League AGAIN. Oh, and don't forget you barely escaped Hearts last year in the little cup playoff last year.

    EPL, my A$$!!!

  50. Jack Cack says:

    This is delusion on a grand scale from the little irelander.more fans than Manu, Madrid, Bayern, Inter, Milan, PSG???? Chelsea, Arsenal, Benfica, Flamengo, river, boca, Rangers? Errrr nooooooooo never drivel nonsense. Dreamland. Even in the Republic of South Ireland hey are behind, Man U, Man C, Liverpool, Everton, Chelsea, Spurs, Arsenal.

    Just total garbage. Septic are *not* loved by the world as they seem to think that they are.

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