According to this interview over at ESPN, former Celtic (no, not those Celtics) standout Billy McNiell is worried that his former side just can’t compete anymore in Europe. He argued that “no Celtic manager in the modern era has had the resources to genuinely compete at European level and I don’t see that changing in the near future. We all know about the fantastic support around the world for the club, but it won’t count for anything as long as the current financial set-up is in place.”
Indeed, with a population of just over 5 million (and falling!), it’s hard to imagine how Scotland can support an entire domestic league of even twelve teams and expect its best to go head to head against even mid-level sides from Germany (82.4 million people), France (60.4), Italy (58), or even England (49.2). The money just isn’t going to be there for them to buy the top talent from Europe, the US, and South America. McNeill suggested that in order for Celtic (and, presumably, their Old Firm rivals Rangers) to survive they need to move to another league. However, as he rightly noted, “the Premiership would be the obvious choice, but I don’t see the English clubs welcoming Celtic and Rangers into their set-up in the near future.”
What’s a side to do?