Lets look back a few years, Players like Paul Gascoigne, Brian Laudrup and Henrik Larsson were playing in Scotland in their prime. Rangers and Celtic both getting to the UEFA Cup Final in 2003 and 2008 Respectively. Now in 2019, the bottom half of the top tier in scotland will most likely not be able to compete with some teams in the English League 1. Where exactly did it go wrong for Scottish football?
The main reason for the downfall in the Scottish game is money. With big broadcast companies unwilling to put a big sum of money into scottish football due to the lack of quality in some teams, Scotland are quickly falling away from the ‘Big Leagues’, who are gaining at least 6 figure sums a year through TV deals. This causes them to spend money on quality and widen the gap between them and leagues like Scotland, Switzerland, Denmark and Belgium.
Another big reason for the downfall is the Liquidation of Rangers in 2012. When Rangers got relegated down to the 4th tier Almost all scottish football fans were laughing and joking about it, some still today. But little did they know at the time that it would cause debatably the worst period in scottish football history, sometimes known as ‘The banter years’. During the time of Rangers absence in the top tier, they lost their 2nd Champions League spot and became the laughing stock of british football. They also missed out on a lot of TV money due to the lack of old firm derby’s, which is the main income of the scottish game. Celtic also ran the league every year for the past 8 seasons due to the lack of competitiveness at the top of the table for most of the 8 seasons and have been the only scottish team to make the group stages of a european tournament until the season past where Rangers made the group stages and narrowly missed out on the knockout rounds.
In order for the Scottish premiership to get better as a league, they need to improve both on and off the park. In my opinion, scotland should follow the Dutch eredivise in the clubs qualifying for the european competitions giving 5% of the prize money to the clubs who didn’t qualify. I think that is a brilliant idea and will help the lower teams be able to keep up with the top 6 and make the league more competitive and enjoyable to watch, thus making the TV companies wanting to invest more money into the scottish game. The scottish league is certainly going in the right direction right now but will they be able to keep up with the big leagues in the near future? Only time will tell.