The SPL: A New LowBy: henry | September 4th, 2011
When the only way for one of the Old Firm teams to get into a European competition is to do so off the pitch, you know something is seriously badly wrong. Celtic won their appeal against Sion, who apparently fielded several ineligible players, and so take their place in the Europa League. But only because of that. What has gone wrong? Rangers failing to beat an average side in Sweden’s Malmo, and Celtic not being able to beat on the pitch a reasonably small Swiss club?
From Scottish football’s peak, when Celtic became the first British club to win the Champions League in 1967 to now has been a rapid decline. I think that the main reason for this has got to be the low standard of the SPL compared to the other European leagues.
Rangers and Celtic play teams of arguably not even half their calibre week in week out and so when it comes to playing on the European stage, they can’t handle it. The solution would be to somehow increase the competitiveness of the other teams in the SPL. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes the Old Firm get shocked, Celtic lost to St.Johnstone recently for example, but generally speaking it’s a walk in the park for the Old Firm.
If somehow 10 rich Qataris could be assembled to buy the 10 other SPL teams, I reckon you would see a dramatic improvement in Europe from the Old Firm in the seasons that followed. It’s really sad not to have a more prominent Scottish presence in Europe, and it’s definitely something that has to be addressed ASAP.