Elevate the game in England? Utter nonsense.
All it would succeed in doing would be making Celtic look mediocre, and killing off the Scottish game as anything other than a Sunday league sport.
Evidence for these assertions is sadly lacking. Obviously, it'd increase revenue for any team to be admitted to a league with a bigger TV deal, but there's no reason to think that the OF have some untapped source of 'interest' out there that being admitted to an English league would suddenly free up. And there's no reason at all to believe it would 'elevate' the game in England. The addition of two more clubs, albeit with strong domestic support, is not going to make any significant positive difference to the standard of English football.
Yes, I believe it'd elevate the league. I find the whole sordid idea a pain in the rump, but there are a multitude of reasons why it would impact the game in the country for the better. How could adding a team like Celtic, for example, not be for the better? Would you rather have a team that can attract 45-50k season ticket holders, or a team like Wigan who have a mere 12k? The EPL has so many weak teams like poor Wigan that it is not hard to see why the prospect of a club such as ours joining in it's stead would not be intriguing.
If I had the choice between a United-Celtic match or a game between Arsenal-Bolton, I know which I'd be showing up at. I'm not a Rangers supporter, but I'd be more interested in seeing them play against a strong English team any day of the week. over a Welsh team like Swansea, for example.
It seems indisputable to me that the addition of two strongly backed teams wouldn't raise the general quality of the league. More people coming through the turnstiles is never a bad thing, which would further strengthen the league product. One of the reasons the Bundesliga, for example, is considered to be the best league on the continent is due to their strong league attendance averages. I fail to see how a team that has such a world-wide attraction as ours, that consistently has a good home support, would not turn this to their advantage in a league that offers so much. The likes of Liverpool and United pull in around 40-50m from sponsorship alone. The last TV deal was well in excess of a billion pounds, as well, split across the league. Plus, we're not exactly short of men with a few bob in our boardroom.
Any team that has a strong fan following should be doing well. Obviously, there'll be a couple sad cases like Everton and Newcastle who're weighed down by their overseers, but for the most part, it'll be the best supported teams leading the way, such as United, Arsenal, City, Chelsea, Liverpool, etc. We currently sit just outside the top ten best supported teams in Europe on average, a couple thousand short. That's a great pool to tap from, if we were in the right environment. Our stadium is in place to be expanded, as well. The current attendance potential sits around 60k, the same as Arsenal's, and we can increase it again by another 8-10k, given the right motivation to do so, bringing it very close to United's current stadium.
And there's no reason why we couldn't increase our club value, similarly to how Man United have done over the last decade, even though you wouldn't have imagined it could grow any higher. Ticket prices and season tickets would go up, naturally, which wouldn't hurt, either. We could rise from being 'mediocre'...how could we not, when we're only offering a few hundred thousand a week now, compared to the other big boys in the league, who can offer that to a couple players. Players are attracted to playing for big clubs, as well, and with stronger opposition, we would hold a good argument for many talented players.
Edited by Renasko, 03 August 2012 - 12:47 PM.