Where to now?

Published on Monday 6th September, 2010 by Celtic Trust

Kenny Butler ponders the consequences of moving to the Premiership

Following the absentee landlord’s call for inclusion into the Premier League (don't remember him being nominated as spokesperson for Rangers) we have to ask ourselves where would that leave Scottish Football? Whilst acknowledging that as a business we have to explore all avenues of income, and as a spectator sport, should we as Celtic supporters welcome such a move and what would be the wider effect on Scottish football and communities?. Do you think that Scottish Football would die if Celtic and Rangers left? Most probably yes. Take into account the travelling support who continually follow both teams at away grounds, and it’s apparent that certain clubs would, if not fold, and then would seriously have to cut back, whether that be wages for players, reduction in staff or ultimately going part-time. What about the surrounding communities? Look around at these grounds. How many small businesses rely on the "big” crowds twice a season? I don't care if it's the local bus hire companies, boozer, off licence, baker or corner shop, someone, somewhere will undoubtedly lose their job. Will it be better for the youth of today? How many young supporters from outwith Glasgow only get the chance to see their heroes when we visit the likes of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh etc? How many young lads growing up just now will realistically reach the heights of playing for Celtic? It's hard enough now breaking into the first team (see Caddis, Lawson, Cuthbertson et al) without the club striving to match the spending of the Premier clubs if they were admitted. Look at the negative side of playing. What if in the first season, and we didn't rush out and overspend, and ended up like Blackpool, Wigan, West Ham or the like (I hear you all saying that won't happen) and we ended up at the bottom of the table, Would we be clamouring to get back to the SPL? What if we didn't have European football for 5 or 6 seasons? Would we be clamouring to get back to the SPL? What if we didn't win anything in the first 5 or 6 seasons? Would we be clamouring to get back to the SPL? I know that we are a different breed from the Rangers supporters, but do you honestly think that we will be treated differently when travelling down south on a regular basis? It's all very well going to a friendly, but what about when we play the likes of Chelsea etc? Do you really want our fans treated like animals and caged in some ground before being transported to the stadium? Do you honestly think that we will be allowed to wander round doing a bit of sightseeing? It will be straight in and straight out. People say that the grounds down south are half empty at a lot of the games and that the Celtic support will fill the gaps. Make no mistake, after the initial surge, people will get sick of the travelling and treatment, and will end up subscribing to pay per view, because at the end of the day, that is what it's all about. Lining the pockets of the TV company. A lot of what ifs, but this could be the reality. I listened to Fraser Wishart on the radio the other night stating that Celtic and Rangers should commit themselves to Scottish Football. Well Fraser, that’s exactly what we've done for the past 120 years. It’s now time Scottish Football committed itself to us. Instead of the tail wagging the dog, recognise that we are Scottish Football. Instead of constantly criticising us, get the other clubs to get off their backsides and challenge us. Don't use us as a cash cow by upping the prices everytime we come to town. Don't treat us like animals when we visit your grounds. Show us the respect we deserve. Let us enter a "youth" team in the lower leagues which in turn could increase attendances and help develop the game. At the end of the day everyone will have their own view on the matter, but remember "we" as Celtic also have a social mission and a responsibly to local communities.


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