Celtic may consider move to England, says Eddie Wolecki Black

Celtic women’s manager Eddie Wolecki Black says his side may have to consider applying to join England’s FA Women’s Super League.
Eddie Wolecki Black, manager of Celtic women's team. Picture: SNSEddie Wolecki Black, manager of Celtic women's team. Picture: SNS
Eddie Wolecki Black, manager of Celtic women's team. Picture: SNS

The Scottish season gets under way tomorrow with a full card of SWPL fixtures – and Wolecki Black is frustrated at having missed out on 
several high-profile signing targets over the winter.

It is understood the Hibernian duo of Abi Harrison and Rachel McLauchlan opted to join FA WSL clubs Bristol City and Yeovil Town rather than Celtic, while at least two Scotland internationalists playing in England said they were not prepared to return home for the same reason.

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“There seems to be a common thread that the best players in this country will not sign here because they don’t want to play in this league,” Wolecki Black said. “I’ve spoken to 
several top-level players and their agents, and that’s the reply I’ve been getting.”

All the clubs in the FA WSL are fully professional, while none in Scotland is even semi-pro. Glasgow City have individual players on professional contracts, but Celtic will become the first club to go full-time, possibly after the World Cup in June.

“If I’m losing players to down south purely because of our league, that’s something we have to address,” Wolecki Black pointed out. “We’re fighting a big battle here. If all the national team players played in this country, what a league we would have.

“Celtic are moving towards a full-time model, but we need Rangers, Hibs, Hearts, Aberdeen, Dundee United and others to jump on board. The only way this is going to work is if other clubs take up the mantle as well.

“Am I optimistic about that? No. I think one or two might, but I’m not optimistic that five or six will.”

Regarding a possible future application to join the WSL, former Glasgow City head coach Wolecki Black pointed out that in 2012 Uefa sanctioned a cross-border BeNe League involving the top women’s clubs from Belgium and Holland.

It lasted for three seasons before the clubs moved back to their national leagues.

“It’s something we spoke about when I was at Glasgow City,” the Celtic manager said. “We would absolutely consider applying to join the FA Women’s Super League if it helps us retain players in Scotland.

“Manchester United against Celtic has a good ring to it.”