Craig Levein’s latest verdict on Celtic is just as laughable as most of his other ones.
The Hearts great was speaking on BBC Sportsound yesterday, and he stated that he would love to see Celtic and Rangers leave Scotland to make the league more competitive.
Sure, makes sense right? Well, Levein didn’t stop there. He went on to say Scottish football would actually be better for it and that the lesser clubs would only improve as the clubs get more money. Here are the highlights of what he had to say:
“Until both of the Old Firm teams leave and go down to England – with my best wishes – then we are not going to have a competitive league. I would love that [to sign off on their move], absolutely. I would let them go.
“They would have to pay a hefty price to go, mind. In Scotland, if the Old Firm were playing in the English Premier League, you tell me who would win the league up here? Or who would be capable? The rest, absolutely.
“And not only that, with the extra money the teams can get better and do well in Europe as well. I just think football is changing all the time and they’re talking about having European leagues at some point and I would love to see a level playing field in Scottish football.”
Players and sponsors will hardly be queuing up
Firstly, Levein is forgetting some key points. Without a Celtic and Rangers title-race, who on earth is going to plough money into Scottish football? The Glasgow clubs are the main reason Sky invest in our game.
If you take them away, where is the incentive? When you take such a large section of your viewership away, you’ll think twice about investing.
The standard of player arriving in Scotland would also downgrade even further. When players sign for the likes of Hearts, Hibernian, and Aberdeen, they dream of making an impression against the likes of Celtic and Rangers. Those are the matches that impress clubs down south. They don’t get turned on with the thought of going to Rugby Park or Fir Park respectively.
With less money coming in from sponsorship due to Celtic/Rangers’ departure from the game, how would clubs going get the money to bring in better players? Better yet, who’s coming up to Scotland knowing that their biggest game of the season is going to be against Aberdeen?
And that then has a ripple effect when it comes to European football. Due to having that lesser standard of player, our clubs would ultimately embarrass themselves further on the continent. It wouldn’t be long until we would be an inconvenience to the European game.
Whether the likes of Levein like it or not, Celtic and Rangers make up Scottish football’s ventilator. Yeah, we look down on our bitter rivals’ quality and rightly so, but the prospect of a title challenge between two clubs as historic as ourselves is what brings in more sponsorship money.
Sure, it would be interesting for a year or two. Seeing different sides win the Premiership will sound appealing to the rest of Scottish football, but there’ll be a lot less people watching it happen if you take the Glasgow giants away.
Celtic’s dominance is clearly getting to the likes of Levein. Ah well Craig, unfortunately we’re not going anywhere anytime soon.