- Lack of serious competition in the SPL
- Rangers will struggle to compete on a financial level
- Question marks over the quality of the SPL
- Celtic cannot compete with Premier League budgets
It’s a question that’s been asked many times. “Would Celtic survive in the Premier League?”. Every year, the Glasgow giants only need to ‘show up’ in order to claim another Scottish championship. Aberdeen did close the gap last season. However, Celtic were going through a long goodbye with their manager, Ronny Delia, which didn’t help. They still, though, comfortably won the league.
Lack of serious competition in the SPL
Rangers have returned to the top flight this season. The great rivalry will resume but the two clubs are miles apart when it comes to finances. Rangers have relied heavily on free transfers, signing 30+ players such as Joey Barton and Niko Kranjčar. Their wage bill is estimated to be less than 50% of Celtic’s.
The Parkhead club are head and shoulders above their opponents but would Celtic survive in the Premier League? Based on their current squad, most football critics would agree that they would struggle. A relegation battle would nearly be guaranteed in the first season. While Celtic were signing Scott Sinclair from Aston Villa for 3.5 million, Bournemouth splashed 15 million on Jordan Ibe.
Question marks over the quality of the SPL
Quality is a major concern. Scottish Premier League players rarely secure transfers directly to the top clubs in the Premier League nowadays. Gary Hooper, the ex-goal machine of Scottish football, signed for Norwich in 2013 and the Canaries duly got relegated that season. He now plays for Sheffield Wednesday. Another top scorer for Celtic, Scott MacDonald, ended up signing for a championship club, Middlesborough, back in 2010.
Celtic cannot compete with Premier League budgets
It’s clear that a top performer in the SPL does not mean the transition to the EPL will be straightforward. Celtic simply cannot afford to compete financially with any side in the Premier League. The new TV deal has widened the gap between the 20 EPL clubs and the ‘peasants’. While Celtic has a huge fan base, their TV deal is worth next to nothing.
In the 90’s, before SKY made the Premier League clubs financially untouchable, Celtic and Rangers were able to compete in the transfer market. Rangers had a stellar line up that included superstars like Gazza and Brian Laudrup. Celtic tried to compete with players like Henrik Larsson and Pierre van Hooijdonk. Those days are long gone.
Would Celtic survive in the Premier League? In the first season, it would be a real struggle. Perhaps if they immediately received a split of the lucrative TV cash deal, they could stay up. Leicester showed that financial obstacles can be overcome, but even the current Premier League champions were on a different cash field to Celtic 12 months ago. In the 90’s, many believed that Celtic could have competed at the top end of the EPL. If the switch happened now, they would do well to stay afloat.
What do you think?