How would Celtic manage in the Premier League?
Scottish football was once a two-team league with Celtic and Rangers going toe to toe season after season battling to be the best team in Scotland and the Old Firm Derby was one of the most fierce Derbies in Europe watched eagerly by millions. But more recent times have seen Celtic take over entirely. This was has been in the most part due to abhorrent management of Rangers FC from the very top, most notably Craig Whyte, who somehow found himself running a football club, and inevitably caused Rangers to enter administration on February 14th 2012, a day that warped the whole complexion of Scottish football entirely.
Whilst Rangers were left with a mammoth rebuilding process in the lowest professional league in Scotland, Celtic were left as the sole challengers for SPL, a huge blow for a division that had undoubted potential.
The question is, how can Scottish football even be remotely entertaining if you can already pick the overall winner before the season has kicked off? My view, like many other people’s is to move Celtic into the English Premier League.
This would mean that the remaining teams in Scotland would finally have a chance to win their prestigious league thus meaning that all teams gain an element of self-belief that they can be the ones to take Celtics place as the best. And for Celtic this would give them a platform to take their huge club to the next level and finally see how good they really are.
No one is doubting that Celtic are a huge club but is that just because they have the luxury of being so dominant in an otherwise poor league league or is there something genuinely special about Celtic FC?
Celtic Park would be the 3rd highest capacity stadium in the league which would be an obvious pulling power plus their incredible fan base not dissimilar from Liverpool’s would be a welcome addition to the league.
With the added lure of the Premier League and the huge financial benefits that comes with it could Celtic really become a force to be reckoned with or would it only highlight the class difference that is south of the border?
Of course, there are the logistical reasons that the sceptics will always raise, the main one being that “How can a SCOTTISH team play in the ENGLISH Premier League”? to which you can point to both Swansea and Cardiff that have played in the division without causing too much uproar regarding their location, plus the distance to Glasgow is perhaps closer to some teams than say Brighton for example.
There have been occasions in European competitions where Celtic have actually faced English opposition and some of Europe’s elite where very rarely have they been outclassed, particularly that night at Celtic Park against the formidable Barcelona side where Tony Watt wrote himself into Celtic folklore. But a 38-game season is a different beast, harder and more demanding than say the Champions League, in many people’s opinions. Which doesn’t fill you with confidence given that Celtic have seldom performed consistently well in Europe.
Brendan Rodgers is on record saying that his Celtic side would easily get into the Premier League top 6 which has massively divided opinions with some even saying that they think Celtic would be closer to the Championship than the Champion’s League, so what do I think?
My opinion is that I would not expect Celtic to go an entire season unbeaten like they did last term but also, I don’t think they would be entirely outclassed. If I had to compare them to a side that is already in the Premier League it would be Leicester City or Watford, sides capable of stringing together good results, coupled with a respectable league position but never really challenging the “Big 6” well except for Leicester’s exploits in 2015.