Northern Ireland manager Lawrie Sanchez has floated the idea of a Celtic Nations Championship, involving Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland to replace friendly internationals during the season. He’d love England too but doesn’t think they are too pushed on the idea of reviving the old Home Nations tournament so that just leaves the Celtic option.
“There’s a lot in it for us, for Wales and Scotland, but not a lot in it for England,” said the Northern Ireland manager. “It would be much more beneficial than playing non-interesting friendlies.”
Sanchez feels that England would be on a hiding to nothing taking part in a resurrected Home Nations Championship if their most recent defeat to Northern Ireland is to go by.
“Every England manager would have that fear for all three games and I can see why England are not as interested as the other three countries,” he said. “You have to remember that England have to make big commercial decisions – every game is worth a lot of money and perhaps playing Northern Ireland would not be financially great.”
So who better to replace England than the Republic of Ireland and calling the event the Celtic Nations Championship?
“It’s a very interesting concept and one we’d all be in favour of, the public definitely would be,” he said.
“In the current climate of football I don’t think the managers would be too pleased because it’s never a friendly between the home nations and you might pick up a few injuries.”
Northern Ireland fans on Our Wee Country have their own views on the matter.