By Graham Barnstaple
May 10 2012
Celtic Chief Executive Peter Lawell this morning issued a statement on Celtic’s position with regard to the Rangers situation at the moment.
The statement was meant to communicate to Celtic fans and put to bed any concerns they might have, but in real terms the statement says very little. In essence it says we haven’t decided what to do as things keep changing.
They will make the decision based upon the following statement, “Our guiding principle is that we will do what is in the best interests of Celtic Football Club and our supporters, consistent with upholding the interests and reputation of Scottish football.”
Does this mean they will survive without Rangers as they have said so often in the past, or does it mean they need to vote any newco Rangers into the SPL?
What is actually in the best interests of Celtic – no Rangers – they run away with the title for years to come, and qualify for the Champions League (qualifiers anyway). That is excellent for the sporting side of the club BUT will people pay out for season tickets without two Old Firm games, and the possibility of seeing their team run over the remainder of the stricken opposition.
You can see why it is a tough call, but I would suggest they wouldn’t want this route at all, we already seen gates drop to less than 50000 this season when there is no competitive edge. This will only get worse if they are winning the League by 40 points or so.
Therefore do they need Rangers – initially they may struggle to put up a fight for the League but eventually they will recover and bring some competition to the Hoops. They will also secure a more lucrative TV deal with the two of them together, and of course season ticket sales could hold up if they stay.
You could therefore argue Lawell’s statement supports the acceptance of a Rangers newco in the SPL as it is in the best interests of Celtic and Scottish Football, but then again you can easily interpret it the other way.
No doubt the statement will be pored over by pundits and fans alike and they will take from it what they want.