Ex-Celtic boss Strachan calls for 'NFL-style' Scottish top-flight

By Euan Davidson

December 18, 2020

Former Celtic boss and current Dundee FC Director of Football Gordon Strachan has called for a “radical” shake-up of the Scottish Premiership.

Speaking to Football Pass UK, the Dundee employee made some baffling statements about top-flight structure and big clubs staying in the Scotland’s premier competition.

The likeable former Scotland manager and Manchester United player had some interesting ideas about the future of Scottish football.

Strachan said to David Tanner and Gary Locke:

“It’s common sense. My thing is to have some sort of NFL stuff, a franchise system.”

Alright, then.

A typically physical Celtic v Hearts clash / (Photo by Ewan Bootman/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

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“The Premiership is a lot poorer without Hearts”, Strachan added.

“It’s like when Leeds United go back into the Premier League, it’s a lot better. Leeds United are a big club, Hearts are a big club. And I know for a fact that managers, players and supporters all miss going to Tynecastle.

“There should be a way in the future to make sure these clubs never go out of the league. It’s a bit radical, but it’s worth it.

“If we want to improve our football we cannot deal with Rangers being out the top league for four years, Hibs being out and Hearts being out. We cannot afford to have these clubs out of the top league.”


Gordon Strachan in his time at Celtic / (ANDREW YATES/AFP via Getty Images)

A very relevant Strachan anecdote

With the debate raging about Scott Brown’s place in the team, Strachan shared a story from his time at Celtic. Against Dunfermline, Strachan decided he needed to take Neil Lennon off.

However, he hadn’t decided who should tell him.

“We decided, and it had to be down to me really, between Gary Penrice, Tommy Burns and myself that we are going to take him off.”

“So I said who is going to take him off then? Who is going to be the one to walk down there and tell him he’s coming off?

“I said to Gary if he fancied doing it and he said ‘no chance’. I said Tommy Burns, what about you, and he said ‘absolutely no chance, they love me, and I’m not getting that tainted by taking him off’.

“So I have to walk down there and say Lenny right off you come, and he was raging for a bit, but he calmed down once he realised we had won.”