Many scoffed after Brendan Rodgers commented last September:
“If Celtic were in England, they would be in the top four/top six clubs there”
However after recently winning their 48th league title, whilst remaining unbeaten after 32 games and sitting 26 points clear, there has been more discussion than ever as to whether the Hoops should join a league more suited to their ability in the form of the EPL.
— Viktor Fagerström (@ViktorFagerLFC) 21 May 2017
Fiercest rivals Rangers dropped out of the top tier of Scottish football following bankruptcy in 2012. Since then no side has managed to fill the void left in providing a challenger for Celtic. After Rangers fell into the third division Celtic have won the league five times, the Scottish Cup once, and the Scottish League Cup twice.
And it’s that dominance that sees the old age debate rear its ugly head.
Would they have the ability to compete with the revenue of other top teams?
They certainly have the financial capability to join the league. Having a worldwide fanbase, as well as being able to boast the 4th biggest stadium in the league, in the form of Celtic Park with a 60,000-seat stadium, they also easily have one of the most passionate crowds in the whole of the UK.
In addition to this the inclusion of the Celtic into the league would allow for the club to increase money available for transfers in a major way, as they would gain access to TV rights that have a approximate value of one billion pounds per season.
This is one of the key factors that sets the Premier League aside from Europe’s top leagues. This is why clubs like Bayern face a similar situation to Celtic domestically, with a ‘glass ceiling’ effect caused by their own successes of a prolonged period of time.
Fans simply don’t want to watch something where they feel the result is all but a forgone conclusion, and so there is less interest in the league. Less interest means less viewers, and so we see big TV companies unwilling to pump money into the league. Consequently resulting in a decline in these leagues in comparison to the rest of Europe.
With their worldwide fanbase coupled with their already fantastic facilities, it’s hard to argue that with an increase in TV revenue by joining the EPL, Celtic would almost certainly provide fierce competition to all of the other sides in the league.
So what now for the Hoops? Well after rejection last September by the English Football League it appears unlikely we will see the green and white stripes south of the border anytime soon. But if domination continues to occur under Brendan Rodgers, it may not be long before discussion about such ideas arise once again.