Bournemouth boss furious with Celtic and British League rumours

By David Walton

April 22, 2021

Bournemouth boss Jonathan Woodgate is clearly fuming with the prospect of Celtic and Rangers joining a British League.

A report in the Sun last night claimed that the big six in England are ready to invite the Glasgow clubs into an enlarged Premier League. The proposals are also said to be backed by FIFA, UEFA, and the UK government.

A combined British League is something Dermot Desmond has also had his eye on for some time. If this proposal came about, it would be difficult to see the majority shareholder turning it down.

However, Woodgate’s angry reaction is proof of why its nonsense. It’s both unfair to clubs in the lower leagues down south, not to mention the sheer devastation it would cause to the Scottish game. And speaking on TalkSPORT this morning, Woodgate said the following:

“They can’t go straight in. How can they go straight in and leave the Championship out? When you’ve got all of us striving to get there. It wouldn’t be fair at all, and if it does they would have to start in the Championship and climb up. I don’t think it’ll happen to be honest.

Celtic on verge of first January signing, as Hatate says his goodbyes | Celtic vs Aberdeen Preview

“We’re Bournemouth and would Celtic and Rangers beat us? I’m not so sure.

“You are boiling it down to money again, like the Super League, and why does money have to run the game? Why does it have to boil down to television rights, and all this palaver about money, money, money. If they want to come into the league they have got to start off somewhere, and it can’t be at the top.”

Bournemouth and Celtic aren’t even comparable; but Woodgate’s base point is correct

It’s difficult to know whether Woodgate tried to come across as fierce with his “We’re Bournemouth” term. It’s hardly a name that would strike fear into you as a Celtic supporter.

Woodgate is missing the point to an extent. He’s forgetting about the money Celtic would get from TV revenue and sponsorships down south. Not to mention the fact they’re one of the biggest clubs in world football and would bring a 60,000 seater stadium to the division. It wouldn’t be long until we were blowing clubs like Bournemouth out the water.

But he’s right in echoing the unfairness of it. Celtic getting straight into an expanded Premier League wouldn’t be fair on Championship clubs who are trying to get in.

Bournemouth manager Jonathan Woodgate (Photo by Mick Walker – CameraSport via Getty Images)

More importantly, however, it would wreck Scottish football. The only thing keeping the game breathing comfortably up here is the revenue from Sky Sports. If both Celtic and Rangers decided to head elsewhere, that TV deal would follow them.

Goodness knows what that would do to the likes of St Mirren, St Johnstone, Hamilton etc. All of these clubs need sponsors to have an interest in the Scottish game. It perhaps wouldn’t make the game in Scotland go defunct, but it certainly wouldn’t hold the profile it currently does.

So hopefully this British League plan never comes to fruition. There must be a way to get equal fairness in any restructuring proposals.

In other news, we discuss why it’s difficult to get too excited about Karamoko Dembele’s cameo last night.