Tom English, Rangers hater and general shock jock attention seeker, posted a very interesting comment on Twitter last night.
He praised the semi finals by suggesting it was excellent for Scottish football due to the absence of the Old Firm.
Now, while we get his point on a slim and miniscule level, at the same time English’s narrow-minded view completely misses the big picture.
And that big picture is that Scottish football is funded 100% on the Old Firm, on Rangers and Celtic.
By both being out of the semi finals, Premier Sports, a massive injector of cash in the Scottish game, will think twice about their deal given absolutely no one will watch either match.
Now, it’s a 6-year deal, well into its third year, so nothing is likely to be lost short term, but the £3M a year contract (not exactly lavish funds in truth) is based on viewership, and getting as many punters watching in order to see their adverts as possible, which is where the majority of their funding comes from.
So to plug the fact the biggest carrots, Rangers and Celtic, aren’t in the semi finals, is a huge faux pas for the finances of the Scottish game and English’s short sightedness misunderstands commercialism and the harsh realities.
The other big gripe? Betfred.
The big tournament sponsor reportedly agreed a one-year extension after the deal expired this summer, but with the absolute business end of the tournament now lacking Rangers or Celtic, the six-figure one year deal will now look terrible value at the key point of the competition and will be likely to abandon the agreement for next season.
But that’s ok, because Tom English got what he wanted.