Ambition – /amˈbɪʃ(ə)n/noun. A strong desire to do or achieve something. A desire and determination to achieve success.
Depending on which country your in and what kind of money Sky shovels down you’re clubs throat; ambition is an ambiguous term. Well it’s not, but if you’re anywhere south of Hadrians Wall, it most likely has been distorted in the Alice in Wonderland economic hellscape the Premier League has become.
Is being given a blank cheque by a middling, no-mark Premier League club more or less ambitious than training and moulding average players into a better players? Should we marvel at the ambitions of a man who would trade an environment of must win 60+ times a season, for one where top 10 is acceptable; in spite of the resources? Is ambition now defined as throwing money at the problem until the skills you developed in solving problems erode beneath the weight of your big fat wallet?
Any right minded, impartial individual, and by that I mean literally ANYONE who hasn’t been woo’d by the “Best League in the World” propaganda and who hasn’t been corrupted by the Murdoch money machine, will agree with the following; Celtic are a bigger club than Leicester. Simple as that. The same applies to this; Leicester are richer than Celtic. Simple as that. But money doesn’t equate standing, prestige or reputation. Celtic’s reputation precedes them worldwide. Leicester’s does not.
Now moving on, it’s telling that the little Englander who composed the above tweet equates money spent with ambitious being realised, when in reality, the truth is much darker than anyone in the bubble cares to admit.
We’re not the only country who has their seats picked out for when the bubble bursts. Your Top 6 will be fine. They’re all self-sufficient clubs without the wads of cash from the TV deal; be it Oil, more Oil, American hedge funds, and aw, more Oil – they’ve got their finances covered.
Everybody underneath will be looking over their shoulders when the wings of this financial monstrosity finally get to near the sun.
The real crux of this tweet was the comments that followed it. To paraphrase, “Leicester are a bigger club than Celtic”. But of course, in English football fan fashion it was said with as much grace and class you’d expect from a tap dancing polar bear. Lets put that to the test.
Celtic’s total major honours haul currently stands it 108 including 50 league titles, 39 Scottish Cups, 18 League Cups and 1 European Cup.
Leicester’s total major honours haul stands at 5. No, I didn’t miss a zero off that. And no, I don’t count any lower league promotions. They won the league once, and props where it’s due, they were immense that season. They have never lifted the FA Cup, and managed 3 league cup wins.
Night and Day.
So what do you say to those who will no doubt roll out the usual red carpet for the “but it’s a pub league” rambles? I point to players who right now, excel in your league pyramid but crumbled in ours.
Talent will get you to the dance, but mental fortitude will keep you cutting shapes all night. And what I mean by that is, talent earns a player the right to wear the hoops, but it’s their own mental strength that enables their success or failure. Some excellent players have come and failed. Some bang average ones have come and dominated. Celtic has something no Premier League team outside of Liverpool and Man Utd can offer and that’s feverish pressure to win. Your success at a club like Celtic is predicated on your ability to thrive under extreme pressure.
Every. Single. Game.
So, in terms of sporting accolades, Celtic are so far ahead we could take the next century off and still be untouchable. Let’s look at money.
In the 2017/18 period, both clubs were sound financially. In fact, you’d be surprised to hear that it was actually Celtic who posted pre-tax profits of £17.3m compared to £1.6m for the sooper dooper rich Leicester. But that’s not the interesting part.
Celtic posted revenues of £101.6m. Leicester posted £158.9m.
Why is this interesting? Well, that’s because in the same year Leicester made £118m from the SKY TV deal. So without the deal, what are they? A club that turns over £40.9m?
So, if Leicester are a bigger club, if they are a titan in the face of Scotland’s premier team, then why does this wee Scottish team wipe the floor with them when absent their big bad TV deal.
Let’s be honest. The truth is simple. The whole English Premier League is a house of cards. Every club under sixth is run by collection of chairmen frantically scrambling to avoid the dreaded drop. Because relegation is almost always fatal. They are prisoners to their own fortune.
Let’s not be fooled by any means here. These numbers are specific to Leicester, and they are grim. Leicester are one of the bigger mid-table teams in the Premier League, so its a fair assumption to guess that the logic is transferable.
Ambition? What Ambition?