By Callum O'Connell

17th Sep, 2023 | 8:57am

Rangers: Gary Keown blasts SPFL as £127m-a-year offer emerges in Europe

Gary Keown has criticised the Scottish Premiership for their £30million-per-year television deal after the Dutch Eredivisie was offered a £127million-per-year deal until 2030, as he claims Rangers and Celtic are “every bit” as big as top Dutch clubs.

Keown shared that the greater global reach of both Old Firm clubs outweighs that of the Dutch sides, and while they are competing for TV rights with the English Premier League, the game in Scotland has been shortchanged.

He called for the officials at Hampden Park should stop celebrating their £30million deal as if it’s a huge coup, with the new deal in the Netherlands not reflecting well on anybody involved.

Writing via his column in the print edition of the Scottish Mail on Sunday, 17 September, Keown shared: “Celtic and Rangers are every bit as big as, if not bigger than Ajax, PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord. They have greater global reach. More fans, surely.

“That’s why the outcry over reports in the Netherlands that the Dutch League have been offered £127million-a-year for television rights is perfectly understandable.

“Telly money is a complex business. The SPFL gave to compete for airspace against competitions in England. At the end of the day, you’re only worth what people are willing to pay.

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“However, let’s have no more crowing from those inside Hampden over securing £30m-a-year like it’s some kind of coup. Fans are right to think the game here has been shortchanged. It is poorly marketed.

“It’s why four-and-a-bit years on from Ajax reaching the Champions League semis being painted as some kind of inspiration for the Old Firm, Amsterdam’s finest now exist on an entirely different plane. That does not reflect well on anyone.”

Keown is right to raise concerns

The Scottish game is being left behind by others around Europe. The SPFL is currently ranked as the 10th-highest coefficient in Europe but is behind Turkey, Belgium and Portugal in particular, which is a source of frustration for fans who feel they are being hard done by.

However, the two Old Firm clubs are far from the most affected by poor marketing. While it does mean they struggle to spend as heavily as their European counterparts, their presence in European competition alone means they are financially secure.

It’s the clubs lower in the league that are being kept there because the only way to secure heavy funding is via European competition, which they can’t realistically be expected to compete in given the disparity in financial power. Just look at Hibs’ Europa Conference League attempt.

The SPFL are absolutely to blame and should be pushing for further investment before Scotland is left even further behind the rest of Europe both in terms of competition and finances.

In other Rangers news, a BBC journalist has shared his verdict on Beale’s Rangers future.