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Gerrard and the European Super League


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On 26/04/2021 at 18:21, DMAA said:

It’s all before my time, but I find it interesting that there was a period where old firm dominance was dented as late as the 80s. In 15 years, the top 2 was only Rangers and Celtic once. How did that happen? Because contrary to what many think, the record books show the old firm have always dominated, just not quite as much as they do today. Since 1890, the longest period without an old firm title winner is 3 years, which has happened twice. 

71 years since we have had Scottish cup semi finals without the old firm 

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2 hours ago, the gunslinger said:

71 years since we have had Scottish cup semi finals without the old firm 

 1951/52 Dundee v Thirds and Motherwell v Hearts.  No recollection whatsoever of the Cup that season apart from Rangers 6-1 Elgin City in the second round. Don’t even remember Rangers going out to Motherwell the eventual winners beating Dundee.

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On 27/04/2021 at 09:48, JohnMc said:

Rangers were rebuilding Ibrox during the late 70s and early 80s, had Rangers been able to invest that money on players it might have been a very different time for us. Also home gate receipts were split 50/50 with the away side, an enormous benefit for every other side in the league, there was very little TV money and sponsorship and no one had thought of corporate hospitality yet. So while Rangers and Celtic were still the richest clubs the gap between us and everyone else was much smaller than now. Also the gap between salaries in Scotland and England was much smaller, the top sides in England were paying more but nothing like the difference we see now. Footballers contract's were very different too, there was no Bosman rule then, the club decided if you stayed or left, the player had far less say in it. This allowed clubs to keep good players for longer or cash in on them when they wanted. Lastly Aberdeen and Dundee Utd were managed by geniuses, something we can all hope never happens again! 

That’s interesting. Presumably, the gate receipts being split 50-50 went way back and though and this didn’t change the fact that the old firm always dominated, so it seems to me that it was the combination of exceptional managers at those clubs along with Rangers being cash strapped for a spell due to investing in Ibrox that were the primary causes. Celtic then had their own financial problems then of course which allowed the dominance to be challenged to another few years. 

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On 27/04/2021 at 09:36, JohnMc said:

From Ness? 😁

 

I understand your point but in reality if we assume most Rangers supporters are living in Central Scotland, (simply because most people live there) then away trips to Motherwell, Hibs, St Mirren, Kilmarnock, Hamilton, Livingston, Celtic and St Johnstone are short journeys and even Ross County and Aberdeen are hardly treks. I'm not convinced we'd get much more of an away ticket allocation at EPL grounds either. Belgium, Holland and Denmark aren't much further away than London for most of us. 

 

While any Atlantic type league would involve international travel and make it probably prohibitively expensive for most people to attend regularly, I suspect many would take in a couple of away trips each season making a weekend of it. Most of the guys I know who go on European away trips seem to really enjoy them, I suspect they'd love an Atlantic League, although I'm not sure their wives would! 

The fact is though that an Atlantic league is simply not realistic, everyone knows it would be fiercely opposed by UEFA and it would also be less popular with our own fans. I've seen a couple of polls among our fans on joining the English set up and both came out at about 70% in favour.

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47 minutes ago, DMAA said:

That’s interesting. Presumably, the gate receipts being split 50-50 went way back and though and this didn’t change the fact that the old firm always dominated, so it seems to me that it was the combination of exceptional managers at those clubs along with Rangers being cash strapped for a spell due to investing in Ibrox that were the primary causes. Celtic then had their own financial problems then of course which allowed the dominance to be challenged to another few years. 

Back in the day in the Sunday paper it would give you the crowd and the gate money which was split 50/50 after expenses 

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38 minutes ago, DMAA said:

The fact is though that an Atlantic league is simply not realistic, everyone knows it would be fiercely opposed by UEFA and it would also be less popular with our own fans. I've seen a couple of polls among our fans on joining the English set up and both came out at about 70% in favour.

Strangely I think it's more likely than us joining any English league is. Currently UEFA is opposed to combined leagues but that opposition seems to be softening. Suggestions of a combined Dutch/Belgian league and a 'Balkans' league haven't been shot down by Uefa, indeed they've signalled their tacit support. What that will mean for an Atlantic League is anyone's guess. The Dutch/Belgian league is slated to begin in 2025, whether they'd invite us or some Scandinavian sides into it is a possibility. The reason I can't see us going into an English league is I don't think there's any appetite among English clubs to have us in their league. Whereas Dutch and Belgian clubs might well look at us and see a decent support, similar quality and the potential to open up UK broadcast contracts and sponsors who otherwise might not be too interested in it. 

 

As I've said elsewhere in this thread what fans want never features highly on decision makers agenda. 

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1 hour ago, DMAA said:

That’s interesting. Presumably, the gate receipts being split 50-50 went way back and though and this didn’t change the fact that the old firm always dominated, so it seems to me that it was the combination of exceptional managers at those clubs along with Rangers being cash strapped for a spell due to investing in Ibrox that were the primary causes. Celtic then had their own financial problems then of course which allowed the dominance to be challenged to another few years. 

Celtic's financial problems came later, largely by trying to keep up with Rangers while still being run like a local bowling club. Bosman and freedom of movement can't be overlooked DMAA, that has had a massive effect on football. Aberdeen had players like Willie Miller and Alex McLeish and they couldn't leave without Aberdeen agreeing, even if their contracts were up. Both of those players were exceptional, and could have played at a far higher level (to be fair they played at World Cups and in the latter stages of European competition so they did pretty well). Today a player like Miller or McLeish would have left Aberdeen by the time he was 21 with Aberdeen getting a nominal amount. It's led to wage inflation and agent fees spiralling to absurd levels and on balance has probably not been good for the sport overall. That said Aberdeen's salaries were pretty close to the salaries Rangers and Celtic were paying prior to Souness. 

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1 hour ago, JohnMc said:

Celtic's financial problems came later

I was referring to the 15 year period I mentioned in a previous post with this, Celtic’s problems seem to have extended the period of the old firm not finishing top two for another few years. 
 

1 hour ago, JohnMc said:

Bosman and freedom of movement can't be overlooked DMAA, that has had a massive effect on football. Aberdeen had players like Willie Miller and Alex McLeish and they couldn't leave without Aberdeen agreeing, even if their contracts were up

I didn’t realise the extent of the Bosman ruling, thanks. 

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2 hours ago, JohnMc said:

Strangely I think it's more likely than us joining any English league is. Currently UEFA is opposed to combined leagues but that opposition seems to be softening. Suggestions of a combined Dutch/Belgian league and a 'Balkans' league haven't been shot down by Uefa, indeed they've signalled their tacit support. What that will mean for an Atlantic League is anyone's guess. The Dutch/Belgian league is slated to begin in 2025, whether they'd invite us or some Scandinavian sides into it is a possibility. The reason I can't see us going into an English league is I don't think there's any appetite among English clubs to have us in their league. Whereas Dutch and Belgian clubs might well look at us and see a decent support, similar quality and the potential to open up UK broadcast contracts and sponsors who otherwise might not be too interested in it. 

 

As I've said elsewhere in this thread what fans want never features highly on decision makers agenda. 

What I worry about with proposals to coalesce different national leagues or to create new multinational leagues is that, while you might create a more financially viable league system, there's a risk (if not a likelihood) that a few clubs will still dominate both the trophies and the money. If you look at leagues around the world, some vastly rich, others less so, there are few if any that spread their riches further than the top 3 or 4 clubs. It seems to be an inevitability that success breeds more success and only a very few clubs can prosper and become distilled from the crowd.

 

You could argue that Rangers would be one of those top clubs but in something like an Atlantic League most clubs would think the same thing about themselves. And there wouldn't necessarily be income from UEFA competitions to compensate for "domestic" failure - you might argue Rangers wouldn't be this far along our recovery road without UEFA income over Gerrard's first two seasons. I can see a danger that if Rangers was not routinely one of the top clubs in an Atlantic League then we could end up being permanently and severely diminished - the reverse of what's being sought.

 

I'm not against a "midweek league" of some description, where we compete against foreign opposition, but I think we need to keep our roots firmly planted in the Scottish game, whatever we might think about it. The objective should be an international league competition to supplement the domestic game - effectively what the CL was intended to deliver before it was hijacked by the rich leagues and created monster clubs that consume everything.

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From what I can see the Dutch/Belgian league is replacing their national leagues and is viewed by Uefa as a domestic league. The winners of it will then go into the Champion's League, runners up into Europa and so on. I don't know how promotion and relegation work. There are currently talks between the Irish League and the League Of Ireland over a combined North and Republic domestic league now too. 

 

In any combined league it probably won't be difficult to point out the clubs who'll be more successful. Ajax, Feyonoord and Anderlecht are simply bigger clubs from bigger cities than Ghent, Willem or Alkmaar and enjoy the advantages that brings. In theory, with equal resources, you'd expect Rangers to be competitive in any domestic league after a couple of seasons. Our support and club structure and culture should allow us to be competitive. Famous last words of course.

 

Personally I think combined domestic leagues is inevitable, it's just a matter of how long it'll be before they happen. The only other question is which version we join. I would prefer if the Scottish league could improve and we didn't move too, but it just seems the momentum isn't in that direction. That said if the money bubble in football bursts, and while it's unlikely it does seem like a ceiling might have been reached, then maybe there's a big reset coming for all clubs. 

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