By Alex Stevens
Former Sky Sports anchorman Richard Keys has urged the broadcasters to pay a fair price for Scottish football at a time when it is sexier than it has been for years thanks to Brendan Rodgers.
Keys slammed his old employers for a TV rights deal that is running the game north of the border into the ground.
Analysis by the Daily Record demonstrates that the Scottish Premiership Football League are being forced to survive on a TV deal that is worth millions less than top flights in countries such as Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Greece, not to mention the billions being dished out to clubs in England, Germany, Italy, Spain and France.
The SPFL is locked into a long-standing joint broadcasting deal with Sky Sports and BT Sport that runs until 2020.
But Keys, who is now the anchor for Dubai-based BeIN Sports, believes armchair fans should boycott the TV networks until they stump up a fair price that will allow the game in Scotland to thrive.
The experienced TV presenter insists that that he major broadcasters should be prepared to pay the going rate for today’s Scottish top flight, especially now ex-Liverpool boss Rodgers has added some glamour at a time when the Celtic-Rangers derby is back on the league menu.
“What they are paying for today bares no resemblance to what they were buying four or five years ago because of the Old Firm fixture and also the presence of Rodgers,” Keys told the Daily Record.
“He has his critics but Brendan has doubled Celtic’s crowds from 30,000 to 60,000 overnight. He’s creating a team that are making people sit up and take notice by setting records.
“Look, Scottish football is not entirely blameless for the mess it got itself into a few years ago. But the Old Firm is back and you have something of value to offer the broadcasters.
“Scottish football is never going to get better unless it has the wherewithal to be able to so. And that requires somebody comes and spends some money on it.
“It needs people who are prepared to invest in it and to grow it, not try to take it on the cheap.”
Celtic are closing in on the domestic treble as they look to add the Scottish Premiership and Scottish Cup trophies to the Scottish League Cup they have already won.
Rodgers’ team are on course to clinch their sixth consecutive title immediately after the international break before a mouthwatering Old Firm Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden Park on 23 April.
In other Celtic news, a Sky Sports presenter has absolutely annihilated Mark Warburton on Instagram.