Premier Sports deal leaves Celtic and SPFL fans short-changed again

By Euan Davidson

April 27, 2021

Celtic fans will have to continue to pay extra to watch their side play cup fixtures.

The Betfred Cup will become the Premier Sports cup, with the broadcaster maintaining exclusive rights to the trophy through 26-27.

In announcement from the SPFL, Chief Executive Neil Doncaster said [SPFL]:

“The first season’s coverage of the competition by Premier Sports has been a tremendous success, with St Johnstone FC lifting the cup for the first time in their history.

“It’s a very welcome endorsement of our game, especially at such a challenging time, that Premier Sports have agreed to extend the term of their broadcast contract. For many years, our Cup has been a vital and exciting competition and the involvement of Premier Sports has certainly enhanced its prestige and awareness.

“I am also thrilled that Premier Sports are showing their further commitment and increased contribution to Scottish football by becoming the title sponsor of the Cup. The Premier Sports Cup offers a new and exciting promotional platform for both parties.”

Watching Celtic is becoming increasingly expensive / (Photo by Joe Prior/Visionhaus)

Celtic, Scottish football fans, have to continue to pay extra

If you’re a Celtic supporter, the costs of watching the club are considerable. If we qualify for European competition, matches are on BT Sport. For league action, it’s Sky Sports. A Celtic TV subscription will set you back £80, and some cup matches have already been shown on Premier Sports. So, that’s an extra monthly fee to watch Celtic [Premier Sports].

Forgive me for a tinge of nostalgia here, but it doesn’t feel like so long ago we could watch our club on national broadcasters. The days of regular Celtic matches on Sportscene and Scotsport are a thing of the past, and it’s becoming increasingly expensive to watch the Bhoys.

That’s not even taking into account actually going to matches. For a season ticket, you’re looking at the thick end of £600. Let alone travel, refreshments, match programmes and all the rest.

While sponsorship is obviously a good thing for the SPFL, it comes with conditions attached. And frankly, it’s a blow to the wallets of Scottish football fans across the country.

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