The Old Firm’s Contribution to Scottish Football

The Old Firm’s Contribution to Scottish Football

A seminar at the The Council Room,
University of London,
Malet Street,
London WC1E 7HX

6 – 9pm, Monday 3rd March 2003

Given by:

Brian Sturgess, Managing Director, Soccer Investor Ltd


In this lecture Brian Sturgess discusses the findings of a Report produced by himself and Dr. Jonathan Mounsey for some of the members of the Scottish Premier League concerning the Old Firm’s (Celtic and Rangers football clubs) contribution to Scottish football. The Report concludes that Scottish football could survive and even prosper without Celtic and Rangers — an outcome which is no longer a possibility because they cannot leave for England and the other 10 have withdrawn their threat to resign from the SPL. The SPL faces a severe problem of competitive imbalance between the Old Firm and the other 10 members of the league. This has negative effects on the commercial health of the league, reducing attendances and depressing the value of broadcasting rights. Given the Old Firm’s compromise decision to accept only 32% of future television deals between them – not the 80% initially demanded – Soccer Investor found that a more even spread of broadcasting wealth would create a more vibrant league, resulting in a more attractive proposition for sponsors and broadcasters. With a reformed and more competitive SPL, European earnings could be higher and spread more evenly. Even so, the Old Firm, given their pre-eminent position, could still gain from reform. A move away from the status quo is not a leap in the dark, but a necessary step towards restoring health to Scottish football.

Further Reading:

  • Soccer Investor (2003, February). The Old Firm’s Contribution to Scottish Football: A Soccer Investor Report. London: Soccer Investor.
  • Dobson, S. and Goddard, J, The Economics of Football, Cambridge University Press, 2001, Chapter 3.

The seminar is free. To register for this seminar please contact Lee Shailer at the Football Governance Research Centre on 020 7631 6740 or email

Copies of the handout notes will be available on request.

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