Snoop Lion wants to buy into Scottish soccer team

Celtic on the radar of LA rapper

By Nicholas Nehamas

Snoop sits courtside during Game 6 of the 2010 NBA Finals in Los Angeles as his beloved Lakers beat the Boston Celtics 89-67. (Reuters)

The rapper formerly known as Snoop Dogg wants to buy shares in Celtic, Scotland’s premier soccer team.

“I got a lot of interest in soccer,” Snoop Lion tells the Daily Record, a Scottish newspaper. “It’s not a new thing for hip hop stars to invest in sports teams but it is a new thing for hip hop stars to invest in soccer teams.”

Celtic shocked soccer fans around the world by beating Barcelona 2-1 in the European Champions League two weeks ago. Barca controlled the ball for 84 percent of the match, but couldn’t turn their dominance into goals. Plucky Celtic, last year’s Scottish league winners, only managed three shots on target.

Snoop admits he only saw the highlights of that game. Still, he was suitably impressed.

“I see how passionate Celtic fans are about their team,” he says. “I could see myself making an investment if any of the board wanted to sell. I want to bring a bit of Snoop to things . . . the boxes at Celtic would never be the same once I hosted a party there.”

We can only imagine.

Snoop also had praise for one Bhoys (a Celtic nickname based on the Irish pronunciation of “boys”) star in particular, the talented but maddeningly inconsistent Greek international Georgios Samaras, who captained his side against Barca.

“I like Samaras a lot,” Snoop gushes. “He looks like a proper athlete and is a pretty dangerous player. If we are to go far in Europe, he needs to play well.”

The pride of Scotland

Celtic now have a stranglehold on Scotland’s Premier League after the bankruptcy of their arch-rivals Rangers, who were relegated to the fourth tier of Scottish football this summer. The two Glasgow-based clubs have won every league since 1984.

The tall and lanky Greek star Georgios Samaras is Celtic’s best player, according to Snoop. (Reuters)

As in so many soccer-playing countries, the division between the clubs is more than athletic: Rangers have traditionally represented Glasgow’s Protestants while Celtic are the team of the city’s Irish Catholics. Sectarian violence has long been a common occurrence at the “Old Firm” derbies, or grudge matches. Rangers didn’t sign its first Catholic player until 1989.

Now that the duopoly has been broken, Celtic look all set to dominate Scotland. They’re also in a good position to qualify for the knockout rounds of the European Champions League with matches away to Benfica and at home against Spartak Moscow still on their schedule.

Will Snoop Lion actually get involved with the team? His recent actions have smacked a bit of attention-seeking

In what was widely viewed as a publicity stunt, the rapper changed his name from “Dogg” to “Lion” in July, adopting a new reggae look and sound. Jamaicans responded with mockery, accusing Snoop of a cardinal sin: Jafakin’.

But his interest in soccer might be more genuine. Snoop is a licensed soccer coach and manages his son’s youth team. He’s also good friends with David Beckham – the former England captain who now plays midfield for the Los Angeles Galaxy – and says he would love to see Becks don Celtic’s green and white kit.

“I would try and sign him up for a season,” says the rapper, “but he is pretty happy over here. LA is home for him and his family now – but I would have to at least make that offer to my boy.”

One piece of good news for hopeful Celtic fans: Snoop is now welcome to return to the UK after being banned in 2007 because of a brawl at Heathrow Airport.

You can watch the highlights of Celtic’s historic win over Barcelona in the video below: