Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Glasgow United

The annoucement of Celtic’s financial performance over the past year could probably have come at a better time. With their hope of even making Rangers fight for the SPL title all but evaporated the last thing the Celtic fans needed was a tale of cash woe rather than cash flow.

The results showed a drop in turnover, another drop in profit and a rise in debt. Now I have the financial sense of Sir Fred Goodwin but even I can tell that when it comes to matters monetary you want the two that dropped to rise and the one that rose to drop.

For all that, however, this latest batch of accounts is hardly the Wall Street Crash of 1929. It seems unlikely that Celtic are going to be forced to endure an Ibrox style era of austerity any time soon.

What is clear is that the poor showing financially is driven by poor performances on the pitch and that is a trend that Tony Mowbray seems powerless to stop at the moment, a major managerial failing that is hardly going unnoticed by those within Celtic.

The funny thing is Glagow is a place criss-crossed with envy right now.

Riven by years of hatred, rivalry and competition, the Old Firm each have something the other wants.

Rangers look at Celtic’s accounts, even in these straitened times, and think, 'if only'. Each time Celtic sign a player it exposes Rangers’ inability to match them cheque for cheque.

On the other hand, Celtic look at Rangers’ ten point lead, compare it with their own shaky defence and think, 'if only'. Each time Rangers win a game it exposes Celtic’s inability to match them point for point.

So basically the Old Firm right now is made up of two half clubs. One sorted on the pitch, one sorted off it.

Am I being stupid in thinking that the solution is blindingly simple?

We need, nay demand, that a Glaswegian Wallace Mercer is found. We need a man with the vision of the great Wallace, someone who can take these two fine institutions and merge them into one all-conquering outfit.

The time, ladies and gentleman, has arrived. Glasgow United is the way to save Scottish football.

Let’s think for a moment about the possibilities.

European success would be almost guaranteed as a combined Rangers and Celtic would immediately become one of the biggest clubs in the world. Such would be there global clout that they would be able to compete, dominate even, from within the SPL thus removing any chance of them moving to England.

With only one Glaswegian side the extra Champion’s League place would be opened up, creating more competition from the rest of the SPL clubs and giving the “provincial” clubs the elite level experience they would need to compete at home.

Ibrox or Celtic Park could be expanded to become the finest football stadium in the world. Take that, Wembley. The other could be gifted to the SFA who could then sell Hampden and use the funds to revolutionise youth football in Scotland.

Moreover by embracing the separate history of both clubs Glasgow United would be sending out a powerful message to the world. In any corner of the globe scarred by religious discord or ignorant bigotry, Glasgow United could stand as a beacon of hope. It’s not too much of stretch to believe that that the red, white, blue and green stripes of the new club’s jerseys would become a more potent symbol of peace than the United Nations.

This is the future, folks. Who's with me?