Lawwell: Celtic will give "Serious Consideration" to a Move to England

Last updated : 22 April 2009 By Clydebuilt
The current financial climate has offered up many a strange notion, none other than the move by Bolton Chairman Phil Gartside to set up an 18 team EPL 2 and invite Celtic and Rangers down to aid to the attract ability of the venture to potential sponsors and also TV companies. The large travelling support that Celtic enjoys wherever it goes must surely also have the English Clubs wishing to consider having us over for Tiffin.

Putting aside the moral argument and completely ignoring for the impact that this may have on Scottish Football what are the benefits of this move to Celtic?

Well first foremost this would obviously be of massive financial benefit to the club. The teams that are relegated from the English Premiership currently receive more money in 'parachute payments' than we do from our split of the TV monies here in Scotland.

It would obviously raise our profile markedly in England and in other areas outwith Europe where the premiership is considered to be the dog's danglies, but at what cost?

What would the impact be to our identity not only now but in the future?

Could we compete, win and progress to the premiership?

Would we be happy without European Football for at least two years?

Would the English fans sign "Why don't you go home" to the Rangers Fans?

Would the Irony of the above sentence be lost on our culturally challenged cousins? Yes

Peter Lawwell has seen fit to make comment on this today, stating the following:

Speaking on Celtic TV, Lawwell added: "I think there is a very strong rationale at the moment for an EPL2.

"The bottom half of the EPL at the moment, especially this year with it being tight, are getting a wee bit concerned that it is such a huge drop from the EPL into the Championship.

"So I guess they are looking for a softer landing and, potentially, this could deliver it.

"I believe the top four are looking for less games and an 18-team league. Maybe this could deliver that as well.

"Circumstantially, at the moment, there seems to be a lot going on but only time will tell how that will affect Celtic and Rangers."

Lawwell was quick to remind everyone about Celtic's Scottish credentials, heading off at the pass any criticism that may come our way due to our unique status as a Club with Irish Roots playing in Scotland.

He said: "We are a Scottish club. We are playing in Scotland at the moment and we are delighted to do that.

"It's an exciting league but in the long term we have a responsibility to look. I think we would be obliged to look closer at something like that.

"We don't know anything about the details but we believe it is not only Bolton and Phil Gartside who have support for it.

We will just wait and see how it develops. These types of things have happened before and they haven't been able to deliver, so we will wait and take it from there."

On the issue of European Football, Lawwell would not be drawn on the pros and cons of the move based on entry to the Champions League. Simplistically I suppose it is a question of what is worth more, SPL money coupled with the Champions League or the TV revenue from EPL 2?

Lawwell said: "It's too early for us to even consider that.

"But we all have a responsibility here to look at what is best for Celtic Football Club and our supporters.

"If the right proposal comes along we will give it serious consideration and see where we go.

"It's very early and we haven't been involved in these new ideas."

Furthermore Uefa have insisted they would not block any switch and Lawwell added: "They would have to become involved in any restructure and we would have to give it serious thought."

The final facet of this discussion must, in my opinion be consulted with the supporters, and should not be restricted to share holders or even exclusive to season ticket holders. We should have a widespread debate on this before we should even consider it.

Given the fickle nature of a great number of our fans who cannot survive us dropping any points in the SPL, how are we going to cope with playing catch up in a harder league?

Yours in Celtic