Monday, October 23, 2017

Lennon up for British cup

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has thrown his support behind a proposed cup tournament that would unite English and Scottish clubs.

A ‘British League Cup’ was flagged in a 100-page strategic plan published by Scottish Premier League chief Neil Doncaster, as part of a reform push that could also see a restructure of the Scottish top-flight.

Mentioned in the report as a possible beneficial outcome of a merger with the Scottish Football League, the proposal has already gained support from one of Scottish football’s key figures.

Lennon, whose playing career included stints above and below the Scotland-England border, believes a British cup could be a great success.

“It’s quite exciting,” Lennon said. “I quite like the prospect of that.”

“If it comes off, I think it would be great for us to go down there and play against opposition and it would be great for the supporters as well.”

“It would be great for the game and for the British game as well.”

“When I played Blackburn and Liverpool and even pre-season games with Manchester United, Tottenham and Fulham, the atmosphere was fantastic.”

“Even down at (Arsenal’s) Emirates Stadium pre-season was an amazing spectacle and I think that’s certainly what our supporters would bring to the game down there.”

“It could be one step in the right direction if it’s a possibility. It’s innovative, but if it comes off then we’d welcome it.”

The idea of a British club tournament had been floated as recently as 2001, when a proposal backed by Aberdeen chairman Stewart Milne was rejected by the Football League in England.

But there is a precedent for such a competition – in 1902 a British League Cup was organised to raise money towards the Ibrox Stadium disaster, which killed 25 people and injured 517.

Celtic triumphed 3-2 over Rangers in the final.

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