Aberdeen chairman Stewart Milne launches dig at Celtic and Rangers

By David Walton

December 16, 2019

Aberdeen chairman Stewart Milne has hinted that Celtic and Rangers’ needs are halting positive reform in Scottish football.

Milne, who will step down as the Dons’ chairman for the incoming Dave Cormack, has been disappointed with the lack of change in Scottish football during his time at the helm.

Celtic and Rangers, this season, have both managed to pull away from the rest in convincing fashion. The gap between second and third, for example, sits at nine points, with Rangers having two games in hand. Not many have been able to lay a glove on either side this season.

Celtic and Rangers have been slugging it out this season (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

And Milne appeared to have a pop at both clubs and hinted that our own desires are coming before the greater good of the Scottish game. Speaking in the Daily Record, here’s what he had to say:

“If we had the courage to bring somebody independent in to come up with a plan and a structure for going forward eventually a lot of benefits would come through at national and club level. But it is difficult to see ourselves getting into that position.

“We have a particularly difficult situation in Scotland that we have two clubs that are so much out of line with the rest of the game in terms of their scale.

“Their needs and aspirations are different from the majority of other clubs but I do believe there is a lot more common ground that could be seized upon that wouldn’t be detrimental to them either. But I’m not sure that will ever happen.”

A touch of spite from Milne

It’s clear that Milne holds some grudges here. It seems at face-value as if he’s disappointed that we don’t put the needs and wants of other clubs ahead of our own. But Celtic, and Rangers for that matter, are quite right to look after their own interests.

Peter Lawwell’s job is to look after Celtic and nobody else (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

If Milne feels that there is more “common ground” to be looked at, then Celtic will obviously listen up. However, why on earth should Celtic wish to risk income or anything else so other clubs can benefit? We’re all looking out for ourselves, and the needs of a big club like ours will of course differ to a smaller club such as Aberdeen.

The outgoing chairman has stated it would be ideal for someone independent to come in. It’s interesting to see that he hasn’t seemed to come up with any specifics of his own.

At the end of the day, Celtic aren’t a charity for the rest of Scottish football. If it wasn’t for the Hoops and Rangers this season, Scotland would be a total non-entity on a European scale.

Derek McInnes simply can’t touch Neil Lennon’s team (Alan Rennie/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Aberdeen and Kilmarnock both underachieved once again in the Europa League this season. Perhaps if other clubs started pulling their weight on that platform then Scottish football could grow further.

Milne is quite right to look out for the best interests of his club. However, so are Celtic and Rangers. You can’t have a pop at them for rejecting any reform that detriments them. That’s just hard business at the end of the day.