Sport

Weep not for the lost 10 but the domination of 1

Feb 26, 2021 13:02 By Sean McCaffrey
Weep not for the lost 10 but the domination of 1 Weep not for the lost 10 but the domination of 1
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So Neil Lennon has parted ways with Celtic, not delivering on a 10-in-a-row the straw that broke the Camel’s back. To

So Neil Lennon has parted ways with Celtic, not delivering on a 10-in-a-row the straw that broke the Camel’s back.

To rub more salt into the wounds, Glasgow Rangers are set to be runaway winners.

Just naming those two teams you have effectively summed up the Scottish football premiership. Between them they have claimed the title for the past 35-years.

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You may want to read that line again!

You have to go the whole way back to the 1984/85 season for a team outside the Old Firm to have been top of the pile, the then Alex Ferguson managed Aberdeen.

There is of course a couple of ways to look at this, credit to both clubs for being so competitive and at the business end of the league year in year out.

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Money obviously plays a major part and on the back of their success both clubs have built and moved to continue their dominance.

A quick look at the wage bill between Celtic and any of the other clubs shows the major gap that exists between them. But that is no fault of theirs, they make, they spend, they dominate or did for the past nine-years!

To bring some context to that success and dominance, Rangers went into liquidation in 2012 and where demoted from the top tier to the very bottom in 2013 due to those administrative issues. (Their major over spend an attempt to no doubt try and keep-up with Celtic).

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It provided the perfect opportunity for another club to at least challenge for the title as one half of the dominance for the past 24-years was gone.

Nothing materialised; Celtic won the league by an average of 19 points. No one came close.

Again can you fault them?  No.

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They played the opposition they won, they broke records and they got richer. Probably the biggest loser in it all was Scottish football.

Outside of Celtic and Rangers, what other team would attract you to the competition? No doubt the fixtures all have relevance for those supporters that follow their clubs, but outside of the Scottish bubble, the Old Firm derby is the only game that would garner any sort of appeal or attention.

Much was and has been made of the idea that perhaps they should cross the border and throw their lot in with the English league.

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Would a straight parachute into the Premier league be fair?

Maybe the championship or League One would be more reflective of where Scottish football is right now.

It has been very telling in the recent transfer coming and goings, that English premier league and championship players in need of some competitive action, have turned their attention to the League of Ireland.

Derry City, Longford Town, Bohemians, St Patricks Athletic, are just some of those to have enticed players over to our green shores from Manchester City, Liverpool and Sheffield United to name a few.

This shows that at present the League of Ireland is seen as a more plausible and competitive league than what is north of the English border.

While the wage structure for some of the league of Ireland clubs would still be behind the mid-table clubs of the Scottish Premiership and indeed championship, the prospect of more competitive football and perhaps a better shop window would be a major lure.

Obviously success, medals, trophies and accolades would play a part in any players decision to go to a club along with the money, there would appear to be a better chance of tasting that here in Ireland more so that in Scotland.

The door of opportunity to play on the European stage is a bit more open through the league of Ireland also with no one or two teams completely dominating the top tier.

It may be a very basic view of how the two leagues compare and indeed the direction they are taking but the recent coming and goings of the Celtic management saga have placed the league in the limelight and offered an opportunity for people to look through the structure.

This scribe’s working knowledge of Scottish Football would have surrounded the Celtic/Rangers rivalry. But even I was amazed at how much they have dominated the landscape with them regularly swapping the top two places.

Neil Lennon’s first term at Celtic back in 2010 saw him lead the club to the premier league title the following season and indeed they retained it up to his departure in 2014. Also in that time he completed a league and cup double in 2013.

His second term, having returned midway through the 2019 season taking over from Brendan Rogers saw him lead the club to two Premier titles, two Scottish Cups and a league cup.

In fairness it is an incredible success rate, that yes might have you questioning the quality of the opposition, but you can only play who is in front of you.

Yet all that success accounts for nothing, just because a 10th league title in a row was not achieved.

Surely the disappointment should not be the missed opportunity to make it a decade of dominance by one club, but question how a domestic league can be dominated by one club.

*Scottish Permiership formed in 2013 with the merger of Scottish Permier league and Scottish Football league.

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