We find Stewart Robertson’s comparison with Sweden to be yet another wide of the mark.
The Swedish Allsvenskan is said to have a TV deal worth easily double what the Scottish Premiership gets, and Rangers’ managing director is complaining at our league being undersold, using that example.
There’s a few slight differences though – the Swedish top flight is a nation 20th in the world rankings (Scotland are 45th), and their league has 16 teams to Scotland’s 12.
They are also a much, MUCH bigger country (10.5M) and they have more than just two teams to sell.
That’s right, Rangers and Celtic are all the SPL has going for it, with the title ALWAYS going to one of these teams.
Meanwhile, in the last four years alone Sweden has seen three different champions. Four if you go back 8 years. It’s a better league for goodness’ sake, with far higher quality teams compared with the utter rubbish in the SPL below Rangers and Celtic.
So comparing a country of 6M with a country of 10.5M, far less the bizarre comparisons to the PL, demonstrates Robertson is arguing a point he just doesn’t believe in, and he’s not convincing us either.
Is our league undersold?
Well, compare it to any other similar-sized country in the world, particularly in Europe, in which two goliath teams are a chasm above the rest and there’s only a dozen teams in their top flight.
That’s right, there ISN’T another like this anywhere. There’s nothing we can compare Scotland to, so doing so is just invalid.
It’s why selling it isn’t easy – yes, the Old Firm matches are a jewel in the crown, the biggest club match in the world aside el clasico, but it is the only selling point we have. No one cares about Aberdeen, Hearts or Hibs.
Take away Rangers and Celtic and there is absolutely nothing to sell, and it’s the League of Ireland.
Add them, and it creates a curate’s egg of confusion.
Four valuable matches in a season really isn’t a big seller, and while we are no fans of the SPFL, they do have a tough job getting anything big for the broadcast rights.