For many years, Scottish football has been considered to be one of the least competitive leagues in the world. But it has the potential to become extremely popular.
Financially, football in the country is not at its best. However, this is the perfect excuse to produce young Scottish players that can prove their doubters wrong. The most successful Scottish club is Celtic, now managed by Ronny Deila.
Each and every year, Celtic clinch the title with relative comfort. The Glasgow club have now won the Scottish title on 45 occasions, winning it in three consecutive seasons from 2012-2014 after the notable absence of Glasgow Rangers from the top tier of Scottish football. Despite struggling at the start of this season, collecting seven points from four games and occupying a relatively low 5th spot in the division, it is certain that the Hoops will be lifting their fourth consecutive league title.
Aswell as league commitments, Celtic will again have to contend with European matches. Failing to qualify for the Champions League after a 2-1 aggregate defeat at the hands of NK Maribor from Slovenia, Celtic are now in the Europa League group stages where they face Red Bull Salzburg, Dinamo Zagreb and FC Astra. With the Celtic Park outfit firm favourites for the Scottish Championship, they should now concentrate on getting as far as possible in a European environment in order to put Scottish football back on the map.
Fulham had a remarkable Europa League back in 2010, reaching the final, and beating teams such as Shakhtar Donetsk, Juventus, Wolfsburg and Hamburg along the way. If the Cottagers can do it, then why can’t a club like Celtic, a club with huge tradition and stature, do the same?
In the past, Celtic have qualified for the Champions League and caused a threat to top opposition, including grinding out stunning victories against the likes of FC Barcelona and Manchester United. When Celtic Park is at its full capacity, which it often is, the phrase ‘the crowd is the 12th man’ is an understatement, as the atmosphere for a European fixture is astonishing and frightens the opposition.
For the rest of the world to see this would prove that Scottish football is a hidden gem, and has huge potential to continue growing. Money is an issue, with the likes of Rangers who have both performed in European competitions in the past, being demoted to the third division because of tax debts, while Hearts also entered administration, which resulting them in plying their trade in the second tier of Scottish football.
Nevertheless, Celtic will get the title sown up within no time at all, and the main target should be to focus more the Europa League, which the players will gain much needed experience from for the future.