Dave Cormack's Atlantic League hopes dealt huge blow after Celtic plea

By David Walton

December 29, 2020

Celtic foe Dave Cormack’s Atlantic League hopes have been dealt a major blow as Norwegian football confirmed it isn’t a priority for them.

Dons chairman Cormack earlier this month stated that Celtic had pulled out of the Atlantic League proposals in favour of a British League alternative (Daily Mail). The original Atlantic League plan was to involve 20 teams in total that included five from Scotland. Aberdeen and Celtic were two of those.

The idea was put forward by Shelbourne co-owner Andrew Doyle. It had investment backing from JP Morgan as well as the thumbs up from UEFA. It was estimated that as much as €400million (£363m) could be raked in for broadcasting rights (Daily Mail).

But after Celtic appeared to pull out last month, Norwegian football also appears to be put off by the idea. Speaking in comments published by the Daily Record, Norwegian Premier League chief executive Leif Overlund and Norwegian FA vice president Arne Larsen Okland didn’t sound too keen.

Leif Overlund: “We received a proposal about the Atlantic League and we have discussed it with my colleagues in Sweden and Denmark. We do not consider it very likely for the league to become a reality and therefore we have not spent a lot of time working on the proposal.

“We haven’t rejected the idea completely, but our position is that our league and cups are more important and we want to make a comeback in Europe through UEFA’s competitions.”

Arne Larsen Okland: “We have a good relationship with UEFA and have just signed a big new television deal with TV2. For the time being it is something that we have been informed about, but aren’t considering. Certainly, it’s not been discussed at board level yet.”

A move away from Scottish football will hold appeal for Celtic

The investment opportunities there for the likes of Celtic and other Scottish clubs makes this enticing. The prospect of setting up an Atlantic League or British League could easily be the way forward.

However, nothing appears imminent. It’s pretty clear that this Atlantic League plan Cormack has been pushing is nowhere near off the ground. There’s still such a long way to go before we can start getting into firm details.

But for me as a football fan, it would make things more intriguing on a weekly basis. I would much rather be looking forward to Celtic vs Copenhagen or Rosenborg vs Celtic as opposed to a trip to Livingston or Motherwell at home.

Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack urged Celtic to change their mind on an Atlantic League. / (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group via Getty Images)

Yet the current plans still lack a bit of oomph to them. If Celtic are to move away from Scotland, we want to be facing some of the elite. That’s likely why Dermot Desmond is so infatuated by the prospect of a British League. As much as Copenhagen/Rosenborg are bigger ties than some fixtures in Scotland, they wouldn’t match games vs Chelsea

Of course, Celtic will have to stay in the realm of realism. Is there a desire from the Premier League to endanger the ridiculous financial bubble they’ve built there? Would they see any proposal for this as just a way to boost Celtic and Rangers? There needs to be something in it for everyone.

Regardless, whatever the future holds, it certainly seems some way away for the time being.

In other news, Lennon shut down two Celtic transfer rumours within seconds today.