The second this headline was seen the majority of you immediately deployed The Scottish cringe.
It is what we have been programmed to do,” don’t you be getting ideas above your station “
Who has not heard that one before?
“It is unlikely any of our clubs will ever again compete in a European Final,this was lucky”
That was actually in one of our papers ,or words to that affect when Celtic competed in UEFA Cup Final in Seville in 2003.
As an aside the company I was Sales Director for were one of the main sponsors,all those Celtic fans and me the mad bluenose sitting in the Directors Box and them surrounding me.
I thought I had died and gone to hell.
I became the most popular Hun ever amongst my Celtic supporting mates.
I am proud to say that 20 of my Celtic pals saw that game because of me, two in the UEFA Hospitality suite with me.
However our foreign owned media thought it a fluke Celtic were there ,on these isles on English clubs can be serious contenders.
Yet a mere 5 years later the Famous Glasgow Rangers were back in the final of the same competition.
Again our media played down the achievement and treated it as if no Scottish club should be there ,I really do believe if it had been possible in those two finals to have replaced the Glasgow clubs with say West Ham Utd. ,and Millwall FC our media and the Uncle Jocks would have agreed to it and nodded their heads and accepted we are just not good enough,best leaving it to the big boys from London after all they know best in all matters.
It is actually quite a feat that both our major clubs made it to the finals considering the pittance we receive in TV revenues in comparison to the “big boys “ in France,Germany,Italy ,Spain ,and of course Engurlund where the money on offer is truly obscene.
The Champions League came about in part due to Rangers beating the Mighty Leeds Utd home and away, in previous round Leeds had knocked out the German Champions, the Spanish and French Champions were also out.
This led to the EPL and a revamp of CL to the farce it is now and coincided with SKY ploughing in literally £ billions to the new EPL.
I have complained before about BBC having a £219 mil deal with EPL while Scotland ,Wales and NI get pennies.
Indeed relegated clubs from EPL get more money in second tier in England than all of our clubs added together get for 8 seasons.
As a Sales & Marketeer all my working days I blame the football authorities in Scotland for not upselling our product the brilliant way the English did with their then less than average product which by great marketing they turned it into a veritable goldmine.
Nowadays of course it is not really English football, most of the clubs like Scotland’s media are foreign owned.
Most of the managers are non English ,the majority of players ,certainly in the big clubs are foreign and now the fan base has huge followings overseas dwarfing their own fan bases in England.
Results like Rangers beating Leeds the English Champions in both legs of The Champions League are as things stand ,highly unlikely to ever happen again ,unless that is something dramatic happens that allows our clubs to compete on a level playing field with the “big boys”
We all know the chances of BBC doing the honorable thing and giving Scotland an equivalent amount of £ to the EPL is a non starter same with SKY.
They both charge the same fees in Scotland however they pay Scottish football lip service and give us buttons ,meanwhile English football gets buckets of gold for what in IMHO is a rather overhyped and average product.
Which brings me to me Baldrick type cunning plan , we all know what is happening in Catalonia right now.
What only football fans are likely to know is that even on Sunday the Spanish football authorities started messing Barcelona FC around.
Barca is very much a community club ,a Catalan club and with all the violence going on on the streets of Catalonia ,grannies being baton charged bones being broken blood literally running in the streets Barca appealed to La Liga to postpone their match with Las Palmas ,who to make matters worse insisted on wearing flags on their jerseys in favour of Spain.
The League authorities refused and told the club if they did not play their match they would be penalised not just the 3 points but a further 3 into the bargain.
The game was eventually played behind closed doors and Barca won 3-0,with 2 goals from Messi.
Throughout the entire game the scoreboard gave its own message and that of the club.
Gerard Piquet ,or if you prefer Mr Shakira has been booed by the Spanish fans while training with the National team this week.
He is a known supporter of Catalan Self Determination and makes no secret of it ,unlike our Scottish sporting heroes .
The Barcelona FC President Josep Maria Bartomeu has openly said that in the event of Independence the club will look at moving to another league.
Now of course the immediate reaction of our pompous ,overbearing ,arrogant footballing neighbour is that the only logical decision can be England.
That English exceptionalism shows itself the most when it comes to sport.
Now that they can no longer invade ,bully and rape other countries of their minerals and assets instead they “steal” their footballers ,or athletes and during their tenure in sport they get a sort of almost English status.
Like Mo Farrah and Andy Murray they become British to feed the English insatiable superior ego.
It should also be noted the moment they stop performing for the English ego they become personna non gratia.
Here is my contention, there already exists a strong bond between Catalonia and Scotland a bond formed in seeking Self Determination from extreme right wing arrogant neighbour
On Sunday the largest contingent of foreign observers overseeing the veracity of the Referendum came from Scotland and the ranks of the SNP.
At rallies throughout the campaign the only foreign flag on display alongside the flag of Catalonia has been the Saltire of Scotland.
There were no St George’s Crosses , no Butcher’s Aprons ,no French tricolours, the Catalans are aware of this and appreciate the support from Scotland.
I know this from the very little I did and so do the observers who spent a few days here they know it was noted and appreciated.
It will be reinforced in the coming days when the Catalan Parliament officially announces their Independence.
I am sure Nicola on behalf of our government will make a speech of support ,we cannot give official recognition as we are not a state yet (thank you again No Voters) however I am sure it will leave no doubt in the minds of the Catalans ,the Spanish and the wider world that Scotland is with them.
It will have the added bonus of enraging the “Scottish” Uncle Jocks and the British Foreign Office and Downing St
There is the reason I believe we can say to not just Barcelona but all the Catalan clubs Espanyol , Girona , Taragonna ,and sixteen others that might not be quite so familiar.
There might also be the possibility that clubs like Athletico Bilbao and Real Sociedad might feel the need to ply their trade elsewhere.
Now I can almost hear sharp intakes of breath and many saying no never ,won’t happen,can’t happen ,not us ,no way , why would they ,none more so than the ones that also have same reaction to us wanting our own country back.
No,we are not too wee,too weak ,or too stupid, for starters we have the oldest Cup Competition in the world it is the Scottish Cup not as everyone has been told the FA Cup.
Like the Catalans we love our football, for example when I write a blog with a football theme it gets up to 8 Times the hits of non football blogs.
More people per head of population watch Scottish football than most other countries on the planet.
Indeed by that method first believe it or not is Faroes where around 10% of their entire population turnout to watch a match on a Saturday.
Scotland is 4th with 3.68 of our population watchig ,next is England with 2.79%
Some of you might deploy the too wee nonsense ,if that was true New Zealand would never have become the masters of rugby for as long as anyone can remember. .
If we could encourage the Catalan clubs think of the TV Deals even incompetent Doncaster and Regan could negotiate.
On second thoughts guys, move over my idea , let’s get a real Sales Professional to do the deal, think of te TV £££ we could negotiate for our new league.
Suddenly we would be able to compete with any league and in any competition ,not overnight for sure but in time.
Better players would arrive which would have an affect on our local lads and hopefully lead to a better National team.
I would think it would take several years for our clubs to compete against those Iberian teams,however it would be worth it.
The other advantage we have in encouraging them is our fans travel, Spanish fans don’t tend to travel to away matches.
As a new nation state Catalonia would love to encourage as many tourists as possible all spending those football ££.
Hopefully with the new set up and loads of money if it is wisely used all our clubs could benefit.
Although without doubt many of the smaller Scottish clubs would have to drop a level ,however there could be a pyramid scheme to give smaller Scottish and Catalan clubs an avenue to the big money and big time.
It is time that we started thinking big ,not just in football terms but also in political terms too.
Our Catalonian friends over the last few weeks have shown us the passion ,the tenacity, the guts,it is time we Scots stopped believing we are, wee Scots and started getting ideas above our station ,that is exactly what our masters in Westminster are afraid of , that we realise just like the Catalans ,oh yes we can.