According to Kevin McKenna of The Observer, Glasgow Celtic have a “foothold” in England by virtue of a small Carlisle based club called Celtic Nation, in division one of the Northern League, the eighth tier of English football.
The story goes as follows.
Celtic Nation was the brainchild of Frank Lynch, a 73 year old Glaswegian millionaire and die-hard Celtic fan. Lynch, who lives in the United States, was seeking a small and unknown English club to establish a club with a Celtic identity that would encourage people of Scottish and Irish heritage to support.
Lynch’s connection to the club began on a chance encounter when Lynch stopped his car in north-west England to help supporters of “Gilford Park”, whose bus had broken down. The supporters convinced Lynch to check out the club and he fell in love.
Within a year Lynch put his stamp on the side, changing its name to Celtic Nation. He also adopted Glasgow Celtic’s famous green and white hoops, created a club crest that is similar to that of the Scottish giants, and improved the quality on the pitch to help propel them through the feeder divisions of the English Football League.
A “source” close to Lynch set forth the club’s aspirations: “All the significant people associated with this project are committed supporters of Celtic FC. We have all become deeply frustrated that Celtic will never develop its full potential in Scotland, where the game is dying. Celtic Nation will take the best attributes of Celtic FC and bring them into English football. Our location will be important for attracting support from Scots, Irish and English fans who have an affinity for Celtic.”
For McKenna, these facts mean that Glasgow Celtic now has a foothold (or as he calls it “a Trojan horse in green-and-white hoops”) in English football that could come in handy when and if the Scottish club decide to secure entry to the English Football League system.
There is, of course, one big problem with McKenna’s assertion that the non-league side could be the Scottish giants secret ticket into England: Celtic Nation still has no official connection with Glasgow Celtic.
Just goes to show you – if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, there’s still a chance it ain’t a duck.