Celtic want to play with the big boys


30th, November 2006



It would seem that Celtic want to be a proper club and start playing with the big boys now that they’re in the nosebleed territory of the Champion’s League. It seems that they’re for getting out of Scotland’s crappy league (contrary to what Gordon Strachan thinks mind you) Celtic’s chief executive Peter Lawwell insists that they are well positioned for any new developments in European football.
"There are maybe five or six clubs with global recognition and we are one of them," he said.
"We are a club in a small region with a massive reach with the Irish-Scots diaspora around the world. If there is some sort of environmental change, with an extension of the Champions League, people around the world will know about Celtic."
Lawwell was speaking at the Soccerex conference in Dubai and believes Celtic must set their sights beyond Scotland.

Lawwell stated: "I think looking forward we’re going to need some form of reconstruction of the game in Europe to compete with the NBAs and so on, maybe a super league at some point," he added.
"But we are not instigating anything, we are sitting back and observing. We want to take the Celtic story around the world," said Lawwell.
"The problem is we’re playing in a fairly unattractive league in comparison to Europe’s major championships week in, week out. What we want to do is compete at the highest level because the size of the club and the history of the club demand that. I would like to be involved in any restructuring that would do that, but the fact of the matter is that in a Scottish nation of five million people the media values are so low. That’s a fact and I don’t see how that’s going to change. So we need to be a part of any restructuring that may take place in the future. The challenge is how do you grow and how do you compete with the Manchester Uniteds, Barcelonas, Real Madrids and Inter Milans?"

I personally didn’t realise that there were plurals of the mentioned teams, but no matter; it would seem to me that Celtic are getting a bit too big for their boots and wishing away from the country that has supported them all these years. The Bhoys chief has conceded that there is no chance of Celtic moving to England’s Premiership, and that Celtic have no voice at the G14 table (the group that represents the interests of Europe’s elite clubs). Lawwell added that the club’s recent signing policy has been conducted with market growth in mind.
He said: "We’ve got (Shunsuke) Nakamura from Japan, we have brought in two Polish players – Maciej Zurawski and Artur Boruc – and last year we brought Roy Keane to Celtic in order to squeeze growth out of the market in Ireland." Does that sound cold to anyone else? Of course, football is a business, but put in such a cold light, it would seem that Celtic are intent on becoming the Scot equivalent of Chelsea, which in my view, is very sad indeed. [Mof Gimmers]

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  1. bobo-t says:

    Got a link to this rank site, had a look at your comments. i can see why has a mention of pies in it because your talking pure MINCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Ruairi Guckian says:

    What an absolutely ridiculous article-pure and utter tripe from start to finish. it is basically all of what peter lawwell said with a few snide comments in between. Mince is too kind a word.

  3. Jocky Bhoy says:

    Nice selective quotes – didn’t include Lawwell’s saying that these players had to be quality players in their own right.
    Two Polish internationals, one of which has already attracted interest from teams such as Arsenal, and the other who scored 20 goals in 38 (inc 4 in one game); one of the better dead-ball strikers around right now (how about that free kick eh EPL?) who happens to be Japanese and “The Best Player Ever in the EPL” (c. English media). Are you arguing that any of those don’t deserve a place in the Celtic starting 11? The fact that Celtic are astute enough to see the commerical opportunity these “star” players offer is testament to how well we are run – but I guess the English want to maintain their Sky-funded league that would collapse the second that the Dirty Digger decides to squeeze the TV contract. All these players want to play in the EPL becasue of the quality of the football? The passion of the fans? Get real.
    And don’t even mention Celtic in the same breath as those nouveau riche, oligarch funded mercenaries in the West of London – £88m losses, £175m on players in a year etc etc. No wonder they were wanting to charge us £40/ticket for a pre-season friendly, and thanks to all those who gave the Celtic fans such a warm welcome for that game. Much appreciated.

  4. bigchipsuk says:

    Celtic are too big for their boots and the SPL is cr@p, eh? They must be good enough for the MOLIE (Most Over-rated League In Europe), as their competitive record against England’s elite clubs suggests: P14 W7 D4 L3. And that’s just against the teams who were (at the time Celtic played them) at the top end of the top division, hence their qualification for European competition. Factor in a load of games against teams like Reading, Wigan, Sheffield Utd and Watford, and the record would be even more impressive. Easily top 4 material.

  5. Jocky Bhoy says:

    “It would seem that Celtic want to be a proper club and start playing with the big boys now that they’re in the nosebleed territory of the Champion’s League.”
    It would be remiss of us to not remind you we’ve won the feckin’ thing – and were the first British (indeed non-Latin) team to do it…
    GIRUY x2

  6. Donald says:

    “Does that sound cold to anyone else?”

  7. rooster1967 says:

    what other team has taken 80K to an away european match? none other than celtic. as other trips to barca (20K) man u for keane testimonial (25K) show celtic have the biggest travelling support in europe if not the world. celtic fans travel all over the world to see their team. go to any large city througout the world and you will find a celtic supporters club. celtic are restricted by the league they play in and only get 2M from tv/media rights for scottish league compare that to the 30M fulham/wigan/charlton get nevermind the top teams. in england who get 50M. celtic have to move to a league that has the income, if they cant then they need to outperform these teams in other areas in order to compete – e.g. merchandise etc. you may say its cold but its the only way celtic can compete they must sell the brand to the worlwide support as the spl tv rights does not give celtic the income other teams get. even bayern munich were complaining that english spanish and italian teams get too much income from tv meaning other countries cant compete – currently celtic have to punch above their weight to compete but if we moved to a league with the tv rights like the premiership we would earn another 65M a year (50M on tv money and another 15M on the increased capacity of 83K would give them – celtic have planned an extension to 83k if they moved to a bigger league. if we moved to premiership we would be one of the top teams in the world without a doubt. no one wants to watch celtic v dunfermline even although the games are fed to japan usa canada australia but celtic v man u liverpool chelsea etc would attract even more viewers and celtic could then attract top top players and compete the top 5 or 6 teams in world.

  8. LH says:

    You’re “quote” from Peter Lawell is a misquote taken from the Daily Record and repeated by the BBC.
    He never said the signing of RK was to squeeze the Irish market.
    Suggest you look at either the Herald or the Telegraph, both of which correctly quote Mr Lawell.
    Of course, if you did, you’re whole “cold Celtic” article would fall on its arse…

  9. its on its way! says:

    mof gimmers – you even have the nerve to put your name at the end of this rubbish.
    This is an article with no substance (‘Celtic want to be a proper club’ are they not already? please explain.) It is also misleading (click on link to Strachan article-he doesn’t contradict PL atall) and is full of tabloid style cliches (‘too big for their boots’ or ‘nosebleed territory of champions league’.)
    I understand that the point of your article may be to make readers so upset that they become interactive and post comments.
    How about trying to achieve this with some research so that you can back up your points, some properly thought out opinions, and less of the narrow minded, ignorant drivel that is obviously acceptable on this site.

  10. Mayo D says:

    Imagine Celtic with increased capacity increase of television rights money to EPL standard, increased revenue through merchandise that such a move would bring. Chelsea wouldn’t get a look in.

  11. Paul McClintock says:

    Mof Gimmers = Wanker

  12. Nick says:

    A rather ill-considered article.

  13. mof gimmers says:

    Oh dear. I’ve ruffled a few feathers here eh?
    Naturally, saying ‘Celtic want to become a “proper club” is a intent to poke fun at Lawwell’s sentiment that Celtic need to get out of the SPL to realise whatever dream it is he has for the Bhoys.
    Obviously I’m aware of the fact that you’ve won the European Cup, but to bleat on about that is to sound like West Ham fans who go on about Bobby Moore and Geoff Hurst. The fact remains that, whilst Celtic have been playing in the CHAMPIONS LEAGUE in it’s modern form, they haven’t fared as well as they did in Lisbon in 1967.
    I do find it abhorrent that a club who was been given their entire wealth and support from being a successful side in the Scottish league, should turn around and want out. I have no doubts that Celtic would still have a massive support if something like this happened… but would they benifit from it? I’m not too sure. Would fans (60,000+) still be able to make all the round trips through Europe to watch them week-in, week-out? I doubt it. I reckon it’s easier to get to Edinburgh than it is to Munich… and a damn site cheaper as well.
    I just feel that Lawwell is playing the ‘look fans, I want big things for this club’ card without actually thinking of the fans. It seems cold and unjust on a bunch of (incredibly loyal) supporters who have put Celtic in the position they’re in (notably finishing above Rangers). Wanting to play out of Scotland is NOT in the fans best interest if you ask me…and I think that is a cold and harsh thing for a club to do to fans who have ploughed their hard earned money into the club they love. If something like this went ahead, I fully expect an AFC Celtic or FC Bhoys to appear.
    Finally, the wonderful thing about the internet is that there is a forum for fans to give their views. I’m glad that some of you have given your brain a chance, and ask potent leading questions. Debate is healthy. However, dubbing me a “wanker” (cheers Paul) is a bit lazy and unimaginative (however succinct it is)
    Mof Gimmers