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Walter Smith's way forward for scottish football


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I attended the Scottish Sportswriters awards on Sunday and it was quite entertaining.

 

Walter Smith was hilarious, yet sobering. He is now totally committed to 4 or 5 scottish teams playing in a federalised league of small nations. He believes that any other course will lead to further cutbacks in quality.

 

Some of his quotes;

 

'I got into coaching because Jim McLean told me I was shite'.

 

'Ronnie Delia is doing a great job'.

 

'When Rangers reached the group stages in the CL in 1992, UEFA lost the english, german, and spanish sides. They made sure they never did it again'.

 

He didn't talk about rangers but was expansive on everything else. Excellent speaker.

 

Craig Gordon praised rangers staff enthusiastically.

 

mark Guidi kicked off by toasting the queen, which raised a few eyebrows.

 

Joe Jordan looks like the hardest pensioner ever to walk on earth.

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Guys like Walter, AJ, Bain & Murray were talking about the prospect of Rangers joining some sort of new European league for years and years. Personally, I can't see it ever happening because I think UEFA would block any such move, but I wouldn't have anything against the basic principal if it ever did happen, especially if it would radically increase our revenue streams and raise the bar on the standard of players we can afford.

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Actually I think it's inevitable now. If you draw a line from when organised football started in the late 1800s through to today what you see is the decrease in the number of clubs from a particular geographic area, the decrease in importance of local competitions and the increase in importance in wider competitions.

In my lifetime the Glasgow Cup was an important trophy to win, it's a kid's competition now. The League Cup will be next and the Scottish Cup will eventually follow too, you can already see this in England and on the continent.

 

For me it's only a matter of time before UEFA allow countries to combine their leagues. Who we'll combine with is a bigger question, but it'll happen I'm sure of that now. A combined TV deal for Portugal, Scotland, Holland, Belgium, Sweden and Poland say has some clout, the logisitcs of making that happen aren't beyond the wit of even football authorities. Any football fan could pick the clubs that would make up that 'league' without much thought.

 

Look at professional rugby union to see how this works. Teams from Italy, both Irelands, Wales and Scotland and in the southern hemisphere Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. These leagues are popular, the standard of play is high and broadcasters, sponsors and paying punters want to see it. It's a no-brainer, it's just a matter of time.

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The talk before was of Dutch, Portugese etc sides competing with us but in truth they are so ahead of us now they would have no interest. Which leagues would want to play with us? It would be bottom end Europa League nations.

 

Initially you're right, but I think we can more than compete commercially (with the increased revenue streams).

Edited by Rousseau
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Actually I think it's inevitable now. If you draw a line from when organised football started in the late 1800s through to today what you see is the decrease in the number of clubs from a particular geographic area, the decrease in importance of local competitions and the increase in importance in wider competitions.

In my lifetime the Glasgow Cup was an important trophy to win, it's a kid's competition now. The League Cup will be next and the Scottish Cup will eventually follow too, you can already see this in England and on the continent.

 

For me it's only a matter of time before UEFA allow countries to combine their leagues. Who we'll combine with is a bigger question, but it'll happen I'm sure of that now. A combined TV deal for Portugal, Scotland, Holland, Belgium, Sweden and Poland say has some clout, the logisitcs of making that happen aren't beyond the wit of even football authorities. Any football fan could pick the clubs that would make up that 'league' without much thought.

 

Look at professional rugby union to see how this works. Teams from Italy, both Irelands, Wales and Scotland and in the southern hemisphere Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. These leagues are popular, the standard of play is high and broadcasters, sponsors and paying punters want to see it. It's a no-brainer, it's just a matter of time.

 

from 2016, an Argentinian and Japanese team will join expanding it further.

 

you could have three or four leagues with combined countries in them in the future.

you have to ask the question, who would want the Scottish League to join?

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The talk before was of Dutch, Portugese etc sides competing with us but in truth they are so ahead of us now they would have no interest. Which leagues would want to play with us? It would be bottom end Europa League nations.

 

Yeah why would they want teams who take 20k to away matches and are in a country with sky TV.

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The talk before was of Dutch, Portugese etc sides competing with us but in truth they are so ahead of us now they would have no interest. Which leagues would want to play with us? It would be bottom end Europa League nations.

 

I'd imagine most of the smaller nations would be interested in this - so much so that there very likely would have to be a few divisions in the league. Teams with a big support and decent financial base (like us) would have an advantage in rising to the top. Even if we had to start off playing teams from Denmark, Austria and the like (which would still be far better than the status quo) we'd get up alongside the Dutch and Portuguese eventually.

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