Dermot Desmond: British league coming

Changes in broadcasting technology will eventually lead to Celtic into a British league, the club’s majority shareholder, Irish financier Dermot Desmond, has declared.

Talk of Celtic and Rangers moving into the English league has long been mooted but speaking ahead of Celtic’s Europa League clash with Fenerbahce at Parkhead tonight, (Live on Setanta Ireland, BT Sport 2 8.05pm), Desmond claims top English clubs will engineer change.

The Premier League has a £5.1 billion (€7 billion) television deal in place for the next three seasons while the Scottish league’s current deal is worth around £15m (€20m) a year.

The Co Cork-born businessman told STV: “Our concentration is to win the Scottish Premier League.

“As far as developing other leagues, I think technology is going to change and evolve how football is sold in the future.

“Before it was a monopoly with either terrestrial TV or satellite TV, now everybody has the ability to broadcast their results and performances.”

League of Ireland clubs, where prize money is so limited, will doubtless be taking an interest in Desmond’s vision for the future.

“I think there will be different types of negotiations between teams and leagues that will evolve into more competitive leagues in the British Isles,” said Desmond. “What we see in the English Premiership today I don’t think will be around in 10 years’ time, I think there will be a British Premiership.”

Meanwhile, Kris Commons hailed Robin van Persie and Nani as world class but the Celtic midfielder is not fazed by Fenerbahce tonight “They are world-class so I regard them very highly,” Commons said. “But if we put our mind to it we’ll give them a good game.”


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