Brave hearts behind Scottish football’s China venture

I spoke recently to the Beyond the Waves podcast about Scottish football’s recent deal with Chinese online broadcaster PPTV, and had a lot of fun doing it. The show touches on everything from the likely impact in China (or lack of it) from this deal and soccer watching habits in China to how Celtic’s Irish independence roots mirror separatist feelings in the east.

Recent cartoon from the Edinburgh Evening News (H/T Ryan Sandilands)
Recent cartoon from the Edinburgh Evening News (H/T Ryan Sandilands)

This version of WordPress doesn’t allow embeds, but here is a link to the show, run by some very dedicated US-based Celtic fans. The bullet points:

  • If the EPL can’t make it in China (see here), then what chance does the SPFL have?
  • Do not be fooled by the “If we can only get a small fraction of 1.3 billion people” line of thought (see here).
  • Take numbers in China with several sackfuls of salt (see here and here). In this particular case, 60 million Chinese people will not watch Chinese football online, contrary to what has been stated as fact by Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond.
  • 20 million GBP – if that is in fact the real number – is a tiny amount of money when spread between all the clubs over 10 years.
  • Bringing a Chinese/Asian player to a European club (such as Zhang Xizhe’s proposed move to Celtic) could bring in an extra stream of revenue, but it’s more likely to do nothing more than ruin the player’s promising career.
  • The Chinese won’t pay to buy real Scottish football jerseys (or even fake ones).

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