Old Firm leaving the SPL will revitalise Scottish game

October 9, 2009

Hi folks. Apologies for the gap in time since my last post, I’ve had a dissertation to finish and I’ve taken the dogs up north for a holiday. Which was fun. Anyway, back to the important stuff.

Much has happened since my last post, including Sol Campbell signing for- and promptly leaving- the mighty Notts County. Arsene Wenger proved the big clubs are more important than the integrity of the game when he forced UEFA to climbdown on Eduardo’s diving challenge, and the red nosed monster Fergie has slated the fitness of referees in a fairly unjustified attack on the men in black.

However, over the last couple of days the story which has caught my eye is the idea of the Old Firm moving south again, so that’s where I’ll start.

Firstly, yes I know I’m an Old Firm fan so straight away you may think I’m blinkered viweing this. I’ll take that point on board, but I firmly believe that Celtic and Rangers leaving would be good for Scottish football as a whole, not just the Old Firm.

Let’s look at the evidence. No team outside the Old Firm has won the Scottish championship since Aberdeen in 1984-85. That is a shocking state of play by anybody’s standards. A common argument is that the Old Firm are needed for commercial reasons, and without the Old Firm clubs won’t sell out their grounds. I think that idea is scaremongering at it’s worst, and Mr Thompson’s latest attack on the Old Firm shows a lack of creative thought on his part.

Right now, clubs like Aberdeen may sell out their ground 4 times a year when the Old Firm come to town. However, with the Old Firm gone they suddenly are in with a shout at the title and Champions League football. Fans want to see title winning sides, so within a few weeks, the gates on ‘average’ games against Falkirk and the like start to rocket. Next thing you know, every week is a sell out as the club chase the title. And this argument can be transfered to most SPL sides.

Within a few months, most grounds in the country are selling out, and interest in the game is restored. This in turn leads to businesses wanting to invest again, and commercial revenue picks up. We’d then have clubs like Hibs and Dundee United chasing Champions League spots, which would breathe a massive kiss of life into the club game, and hopefully the national game too.

As for the Old Firm, they then get their wish of going to England. Everybody is happy. Well, other than some of the English, who aren’t interested in the clubs, but that’s another debate entirely.

Let me know what you think, and please tell me who you support in your comment. I’ll do my best to respond to them all.

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