recovery in Scottish FootballDate: Sunday, 6th Oct 2019
There are the green shoots of recovery in Scottish Football today. Debt is being reduced. More people per head of the population watch Football here than in any other European nation. In the last few years nine clubs out with the Old Firm have won a Cup.
However, it is surreal to watch pulsating noisy competitive matches between Dundee Utd, Dunfermline, Falkirk and Dundee then switching on "Sportscene" to watch matches in our top tier with the likes of Hamilton Accies ,Livingston and Ross County with so few folk there one can hear every individual voice ,and where there are more empty seats than a UKIP conference! Dunfermline Ath ,Dundee and Dundee Utd often have Gates half the Premiership can only dream of.
Has the time not come for the Premiership to increase to 16 clubs? You can`t say the siren voices of the Glasgow tabloids their interest in justice having dissipated with the return of Rangers. You would reduce the marquee games and frighten the TV Companies away.
It is time that myth was tackled. The reality is that Scottish Football Clubs receive more money through the Gate than from TV coverage. In Denmark, with a population similar to Scotland, their top tier has 14 clubs, TV Broadcasting is worth £50m per year, the average Gates are only 8000, but more than two teams can win the Flag. Here no team out with the Old Firm has won it since 1985.
Our Premiership is a self indulgent set up, where the difficulty is we would need clubs to renounce their self interest, which they won`t.
Pardon my schadenfreude, as four of the culprits ie Ross County, Partick Thistle, St Mirren and Hamilton Accies frequently peer over the abyss. Of course, they are not the real problem (even though they were willing to accept an outrageous Premiership Play Off format designed to protect their second bottom member and are content for the the top team in the Championship to receive half the prize money of the bottom top tier club).
Celtic have won the flag monotonously for eight seasons, and it does not suit them to have a TV deal which would increase top flight competition. They want the unhindered path to the riches of the European Champions League, where their TV deal is worth twice that of all Scotland`s TV football revenue!
It is a shame that EU anti competitive regulations do not extend to football, as cartels are not allowed to damage the interests of society.