Celtic, Rangers and the North Atlantic LeagueNovember 16, 2009 at 1:10 am | Posted in General Football | 8 Comments
Recently, the notion that Scottish powerhouses Glasgow Rangers and Glasgow Celtic could join the English Premier League was declared dead. The hope was that the Premier League would swallow the Championship and call it Premier League Two with Celtic and Rangers joining in at The Premier League Two level. This hope has now been dashed.
I think it is time for Celtic and Rangers to look again at the notion of the North Atlantic League. Recently, a Times Online article speculated a proposed North Atlantic League would include the following teams:
Celtic (Scotland) Rangers (Scotland) Hearts (Scotland) Aberdeen (Scotland) FC Porto (Portugal) Sporting Lisbon (Portugal) Benfica (Portugal) Braga (Portugal) Anderlecht (Belgium) Genk (Belgium) FC Bruges (Belgium) Standard Liège (Belgium) Ajax (Netherlands) PSV Eindhoven (Netherlands) Feyenoord (Netherlands) Heerenveen (Netherlands)
It looks pretty attactive doesn’t it?
European football is dominated by the big leagues in England, Spain, Italy and Germany, with France making a possible argument for being included in this group too. Big clubs playing in smaller leagues such as the Dutch, Belgian, Scottish and Portuguese leagues are seeing their revenues drop to the point where they cannot compete in the Champions League. One only has to look at how things have changed since the seventies when, in one final, England’s Nottingham Forrest beat Malmo of Sweden.
The big leagues have cajoled UEFA into stacking the Champions League in their favour. UEFA have set up the competition in such a manner that anyone outside of this privileged circle has very little hope of doing well. UEFA seems to do exactly as the big leagues want. The money is pouring into their coffers while the smaller country’s teams wither on the vine.
How should teams such as Celtic, Ajax, PSV, Benefica, Anderlecht and others respond? By forming the North Atlantic League. I would certainly have a look, and so would other fans. Right now bigger clubs in smaller European countries are being swallowed whole by the big fish from Italy, England, Spain and Germany. It is time they made themselves bigger by forming the North Atlantic League. I’d watch it!
Here is the Times Online Article: