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Premier League Say No Again To The Old Firm

Like leaves fall from the trees in Autumn, it seems every year some chairman in the Premier League wants to try and get the Old Firm into it. This time Phil Gartside, the Bolton Chairman once again tried to get the League to agree to invite Rangers and Celtic in to the fold. Thankfully, the request has been voted down. It was described as “not desirable or viable”.

To say this constant speculation regarding the potential involvement of the Old Firm is becoming as tedious as the often mooted European Super League. Gartside, for all his bluster about strengthening the league and increasing the international presence of it, is simply thinking about cash. Adding the Old Firm would add nothing to the league at all and irrevocably damage the Scottish game. Coupled with a request to add a second Premier League simply smacks of self preservation on the Bolton chairman’s behalf and nothing more.

Most English Premier league fans don’t want them, but we get used to our feelings and opinions being completely over ridden when the influence of cash comes in to the equation. Coupled when you see how poorly the Old Firm cope with European football, you have to question what the point would be of adding two poor sides to the mix.

Of course, Rangers and Celtic are desperate for the cash, but Scottish football is its own worst enemy. It has always astounded me how a league with 42 clubs has 4 divisions and they play each other a minimum of 3 times a season. They then split in to play offs with the top half and bottom half playing each other. What a dull and uninteresting format.

Why they don’t have two leagues and play home and away like virtually every other league in the world astounds me. Yet, the answer is obvious when you look into it. Whilst the other Scottish Premier League sides shout down how much power Rangers and Celtic have, they enjoy the additional revenue that potentially two home games against them brings them in. So the league stays unfairly balanced, they all complain about it but continue to keep the status quo.

People like Phil Gartside are so far removed from what fans really want, that they keep bringing these daft ideas to the table. I also read that he wanted an Irish franchise adding as well, which reminded me of the time Wimbledon were thinking of moving to Dublin and ended up moving to Milton Keynes instead, a shameful decision by the authorities to this day.It took MK Dons 7 years to stop using Wimbledons history and correctly allow AFC Wimbledon to have the rights to their real history. I can’t wish anything but the worst of luck to MK Dons for as long as they exist, but that’s another story.

Whilst the idea of franchise sport is nothing new to American fans, to the British it is unthinkable. Quite how they would cope if their team moved such as the Raiders and the Rams moving cities twice would be interesting to see but unthinkable in British sport.It’s certainly not unusual for NFL teams to move, I must admit after a ten year hiatus from NFL, I was stunned to see how many new sides were in the league when I started watching it again in 2003. Unfortunately, The Redskins still can’t beat anyone, so somethings never change.

Also, the recent incidents with trouble involving Rangers fans in Manchester has certainly poisoned most English fans to the idea of welcoming the Ibrox faithful on a regular basis.It would be like a red rag to a bull for some of the more unsavory supporters of Premierships sides. The issues of sectarian chanting, and the potential for major trouble is a real concern. Of course not all the fans partake in such behavior, but it is still there and that is an additional concern.

Rangers and Celtic need to stop courting the Premier League and concentrate on fixing the problems they face in their own back yard. With no Scottish teams at any level in the English football pyramid, the last one, Gretna, showed just how strong Scottish football was, leaving the 7th tier of English football and romping all the way to Scottish Premier League in 3 seasons. Now if that doesn’t concern the Scottish Football Association, nothing will. Scrap the 4 league system, scrap the top/bottom play offs. Have two leagues, 3 up and 3 down and see how quickly the money spreads through the game more.

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  1. Dluisi

    March 2, 2010 at 10:57 am

    Who would want to see the Sweaties play in the Premier league anyway !

    ‘It took MK Dons 7 years to stop using Wimbledons history and correctly allow AFC Wimbledon to have the rights to their real history.’

    and get your facts right here too…less than 3 years and AFC have also have no rights to the history either. Trophies and history were transferred to the borough of Merton.

    Oh and a good analogy with Gretna …Not

  2. British Cup.

    February 27, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    Gretna only reached the premier because they got bankrolled after they joined the scottish league.

    In their first year in the Scottish league they finished in mid table in the third divisions surely you know this.

  3. British Cup.

    February 27, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    I would prefer a European super league with the big sides from the small nations Plus British cup for small sides from the league one and league two.

  4. Eric

    November 12, 2009 at 10:50 pm

    love the redskins reference

  5. Jason

    November 12, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    Perhaps the Scottish league should now expand to 18 teams now. As far as the English league goes. I suggest 18 teams in EPL1 (relegate 3), 18 in EPL2 (relegate 2 or 3). Tier 3, 4, 5 with 20 teams each this is the Football League level. The Conference National becomes tier 6.

  6. Peter

    November 12, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    Just a quick question. If Cardiff had won the F.A Cup against Portsmouth in 2007, would they have been eligible to play in the Uefa Cup, as it was known as then?

    • sam

      November 12, 2009 at 4:18 pm

      i think so

  7. brn442

    November 12, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    If the Old Firm wants to play in England they should have to join the Football League (old fourth division) or non (blue square) league and “work” their way up just like any other club. It’s not fair to the likes of Forest, Leeds, or Notts County otherwise, and just like Cardiff, Swansea and Wrexham, they will have issues with UEFA when it comes to Europe anyway.

    Unless, Scotland, Wales, and N Ireland are willing to give up their home nations status , there will be no chance of a British League.

    Like you said, the Old Firm and the SFA should focus on making their product more interesting and competitive.

  8. man99utd

    November 12, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    I’m a fan of the SPL, but wouldn’t it make more sense for them to actually attempt to compete with the EPl rather than join it? Besides, look at the money they would lose by not being in Champions league at all. Rangers surely need the money…

  9. Ryan

    November 12, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    To Oliver –

    NFL teams have been moved clear across the country, I think that’s the point that was being made.

  10. randomsausage

    November 12, 2009 at 11:51 am

    Hilarious. The Old Firm remind me of slobbering puppies who keep getting kicked…..but who still come back for more. I guess they’ll have to content themselves playing the “Diddy” teams for eternity. Oh, and getting knocked out of the Champions League early every year.

    This is the best news I’ve seen in a long time.

  11. oliver

    November 12, 2009 at 11:32 am

    “Whilst the idea of franchise sport is nothing new to American fans, to the British it is unthinkable”

    What would you call Woolwich Arsenal moving from south London to north London due to financial instability, low crowds and being essentially insolvent? Nothing more than a re-location under a new name in a new area?

    • Peter

      November 12, 2009 at 11:48 am

      Obviously it doesn’t matter if it happened a hundred years ago!

    • Paul Bestall

      November 12, 2009 at 11:48 am

      And to this day Charlton and Tottenham fans still call them Woolwich. Besides, moving the club had more to do with corrupt owners than anything else.

  12. Peter

    November 12, 2009 at 11:30 am

    Also, to add to your argument, does it seem really seem fair to the other Scottish teams to the take the two best teams in the league out of it? Would Sir Alex Ferguson have been thought of as brilliant as he was with Aberdeen if both Celtic and Rangers weren’t there at the time?

    If they want to concentrate on changing the boring “to me to you” title race in Soctland, they can start by shifting the main financial power from Glasgow and spread it evenly across the country. I totally agree that the league system in Scotland is absolutely ludicrous. Why have four leagues when you can have two and why bang on about how good Celtic and Rangers are when everyone knows that the rest of league is a joke. Celtic and Rangers have also proved just how good they really are, when they play teams that are actually good. Every season they get into the Champions League Qualifiers and every season they do woefully. Rangers are an absolute joke, losing to Unirea Urziceni 4-1 at their own home is a joke. Celtic fare no better and I think it’s about time they began giving teams like Hearts, Hibernian, Aberdeen, Dundee, Dundee United, Falkirk, Queen of the South, St.Mirren and alll the others more spending power. You only have to look at Falkirk and Hibernian’s recent heroics against Celtic and Rangers respectively and Queen Of The Souths in the Scottish Cup last season to see what they can do with limited funding. It’s time to see what they could do with a bigger bank balance.

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