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Posted by Andy Muirhead on 02/14/2012

It is a question that has been asked over and over again in recent weeks and months, even more so given the announcement that Rangers have gone into administration.

Do Celtic really need Rangers? Yes. But more importantly Scottish football needs them.

Before news broke that Rangers were intending to go into administration, Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell - speaking after the publication of the club's interim results - insisted that Celtic did not need Rangers.

• Rangers blog: Please Mr Whyte, say it ain't true...

However, I would have to disagree with Mr Lawwell. While Celtic may be able to survive without Rangers, the level of their existence would be different to that of Celtic Football Club presently.

With no real competition in the Scottish Premier League, Celtic would stroll towards the title year on year, something that would keep Celtic fans happy given access to the Champions League qualifiers, but I know personally I would miss the Old Firm derbies - arguably the greatest derby in the world.

I know that many who read this article would differ from my view but let's take a look at a number of points:

1) £80 million. Sky and ESPN have signed a TV rights deal with SPL to the tune of £80 million over the course of five years kicking off in season 2012/13.

Without a strong title battle between Celtic and Rangers, then Sky and ESPN would seriously reconsider this TV rights package, even more so if it is written in black and white that the £80 million is based on covering all four Old Firm derby games.

So with no Old Firm derby games, Sky and ESPN could ultimately rip up the £80 million contract and then take one of two decisions - firstly they could just walk away from the coverage of the SPL and leave Scotland's top league to its own devices, secondly they could offer a much reduced package which would at best guess be less than £10 million.

2) Attendances. The lack of Rangers fans at Celtic Park would not be a massive dent to Celtic Football Club financially, but the lack of four Old Firm derby games would hit the purse strings somewhat - however the club have been working within their means or at least within a 'safe zone' of debt since the days of Fergus McCann. Although this was somewhat flouted under the Martin O'Neill years.

The lack of ticket sales to Rangers fans would damage the other clubs in the SPL though. The clubs would lose a six figure sum for every game that Rangers are not in attendance. For most clubs that would be a final death nail in their coffins, unless they themselves go down the road of further cost cutting - although some clubs are already on the bread line and any further cuts would see them no better than Second or Third Division clubs. How many clubs that are currently swimming just above water, would either sink or have to go part time?

Would the fans turn out as they do now at Celtic Park, knowing that they would easily win the title? Would they turn out for games against Inverness, Motherwell and St.Mirren? Certainly a Glasgow derby of Celtic v Partick Thistle would not hold as much of a draw as Celtic v Rangers would, obviously.

While Celtic would survive without a Rangers Football Club, the club would not need to splash the cash to bring players in of a quality that the club currently have or have had over the years.

Remember the days of Carl Muggleton and Wayne Biggins? There certainly would be no Gary Hooper, Beram Kayal, James Forrest and co. at Celtic without a Rangers side. With the English Premier League looking an even more attractive proposition than it is currently to the players.

Now Rangers MUST be sanctioned when they go into administration, and will be duly hit with a ten point deduction by the SPL. If Rangers go into liquidation and a Newco emerges, then such a club should not be given access to the SPL it should start in the Third Division and work its way up – it's only fair to keep the integrity of Scottish Football intact.

While many Celtic fans will be celebrating over their beers or jelly and ice cream, the bigger picture is there for all to see - if they want to see it that is. Celtic need Rangers to push themselves to strive for better.

Anyone who has worked out in gyms or by pounding the streets will know that running alongside someone else gives you more of an impetus to work harder than you would do if running by yourself. Without Rangers, Celtic would not need to try as hard.

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Posted by Thomas on 02/14/2012

Good point about the running, I need to get the exercise in due to this diet of jelly and ice cream!

Posted by Stevie on 02/14/2012

Well let's just carry on with the cheating then, well that's not an option thank you very much, I've spent enough season ticket money playing against a stacked deck.
I would rather see my club playing at a lower level where fairness is an integral part of the game.
Now maybe just maybe if we could see the slightest remorse or acceptance on Rangers part over their behaviour, but all we hear is 54 and counting so let them reap what they have sown.

Posted by TommyBhoyCoatbridge on 02/14/2012

I agree with what you have said but on item 2 if clubs start going to the wall and scottish football dies.
would that not allow CELTIC to join the english league and work there way towards the EPL.

Posted by JIMBO on 02/14/2012

The SPL and Celtic would easily survive without Rangers. Yes for the first few seasons (maybe 3-5) Celtic would stroll to the top without any team really challenging for the Title, but i feel that the other Clubs would catch Celtic within these seasons and make for a more competitive league. And i dont think money is and issue as money does not always deliver great talent in football. With good youth football structure you can breed your own talent and create a better league from your own house, and head in the direction of making the Scottish football game bigger and brighter for the future.
Yes it may be a boring league for the first few seasons but is it not already boring?!?

Posted by Ian Ferguson on 02/14/2012

I actually disagree on most of what you say.

There is too much emphasise on turnover, which means nothing.

Rangers LOSE money, big time & have dragged other teams into their model.

EXCEPT, it ain't actually the same model, Rangers cheat & now admit their liability.

Now all the sad sacks come out with WE need Rangers, AYE, like a boil on my A*se.

The rangers support will not go away if we take the ultimate sanction on them.

Clubs like Motherwell will have a bigger flute band, regional clubs will have bigger support, just like pre Souness days, it could be a better model for success.

Think on this, they say Scottish Football NEEDS Rangers for all the millions they generate.

They cheat & make a loss.

Scottish Football has a chance to change.

Develop our youth & get back to the previous model before the Souness/Murray madness.

Then,we developed Scottish youth & in most cases sold them on, keeping clubs in the black.

That is a model that works

Posted by justshatered on 02/14/2012

We've had 26 years of a club spending outwith it's means to satisfy a win at all costs mentality and now Scottish football cannot survive without Rangers. It has barely survived with them.
What journalists are now proposing is that cheating is perfectly acceptable. Every team that has played Rangers, particularly in the last 10 years, has not done so on a level playing field.
Competition is great if it is a true competition but when it becomes this tawdry spectacle, when the dignity and sporting integrity of the football are wantonly trampled under foot then there must be some form of recompense to every other team. This is not about Rangers or Celtic but the very integrity of our sport and anyone who attempts to put a price on that has already sold their sole long ago.
Debts must be honoured and responsibilities accepted. It should be the same for companies as it is for ourselves, the common working man.

Posted by charlie on 02/14/2012

while 90% of this may be true i can remember the era before macann took over the mess celtic were in biscuit tin mentality certain people watched the clubs debt soar out of control the banks couldnt sustain it and did the right thing and forced action which resulted in a change of board and it required some strong and bitter medicine to put the club back on its feet while rangers gleefully went on to 9 in a row spend spend spend and now they are paying the cost of that you reap what you sow as they say BUT DID I HEAR RANGERS SHOUT LETS SAVE CELTIC WE NEED THEM not a chance in hell ten years this has been going on and no-one stopped them the banks encouraged it learning from the celtic experience this mess could have been avoided ive no pity for rangers and it must be left to run its course just as celtic had to do its on a strong footing and it could be a good thing for rangers in the long term we wait and see ?????

Posted by Jorgiebhoy on 02/14/2012

As a life-long Celtic supporter and all things Celtic, I unfortunately have to agree with your article, but with reservation. What Celtic need to continue as a European contender is another club that can rival our history and accomplishments. Rangers Football club have always been a very good second. What we don't need is a club who's history is steeped in bigotry and hatred for anything Irish or Catholic. I realize that Rangers Football club removed that ban but the majority of their supporters remain with that attitude.

Posted by come on on 02/14/2012

Seriously? Such nonsense deserves little comment.

Posted by dave on 02/14/2012

i think it would benifit celtic and think they would get into england if there was no rangers,think it would have happend a long time ago only the epl dont want the headache of an old firm derby.....

Posted by BigSwee on 02/14/2012

Sorry buddy. Like your regular views and opinions but to paraphrase what a good man once said.

I will quite happily lose whatever part of Celtic needs Rangers.

We simply do not need them or the baggage that accompanies their visit.

Posted by bogbhoy on 02/14/2012

With all confidence the simple answer is NO, we don't need them, they drag us down into their cesspit. As much as i'll miss beating them, i'd be glad to see them gone and never resurface and whatever will be will be, i'll be a happier bhoy without their poison.

Posted by Anthony O'Sullivan on 02/14/2012

I am a long-time Celtic fan and agree with you that the SPL definitely needs Rangers. Putting aside personal bias, Rangers is a great football club with a magnificent tradition and this is irreplacable. I live in Australia and love the competition between Celtic and Rangers. That is the SPL. If Rangers were to fold for one resaon or another my interest in the SPL would wane but not Celtic's fortunes in the Champion's League. I hope Rangers can work through its problems for the long-term good of the SPL.

Posted by BRIAN on 02/14/2012


Posted by Tom McArdle on 02/14/2012

While superficially it would appear that the disappearance of the rangers fans might have an impact on revenues to most SPL clubs. There is also the point of view that without the fear that visiting rangers fans engender, clubs would be in a better position to encourage families and young fans to attend games. No club has a God given right to existance especially one that flaunts the tax laws of this country. Having brought this upon themselves, they cannot point a finger at the SPL, the SFA, EUFA, Celtic or indeed the media.

Posted by John Murty on 02/14/2012

I have to respectfully disagree with your statements in your article. Just to go back to your two reasons why Celtic need rangers. First, the TV revenue only comes out to be less than one million per season. While this money is needed by other SPL clubs, this is small change for a team like Celtic. We would easily make this and more if we were allowed to broadcast our own games through Celtic TV. Second, I again understand how it would cost other clubs without the rangers revenue, however Celtic would lose out on little tickets. In terms of money, Celtic would always win the SPL to gain the small amount that trophy would bring. We would need to win a playoff each year to gain the massive amount of money champions league football brings. After years of no competition in the SPL, it is hoped an offer from England or a new European league would come. So honestly, for Celtic, there is no need for rangers. For a team that's a constant embarrassment for scotland, why would anyone need ranger

Posted by Dublinbhoy on 02/14/2012

Its really funny how the Rangers fans keep telling us Celtic fans how much we need Rangers. I have yet to hear one Celtic supporter agree with this line of thought.
I agree totally with the Celtic CEO, Peter Lawwell, we do not need Rangers.
The sooner they are gone Scottish and European football can breathe a sigh of relief.

Posted by bill mccraw on 02/14/2012

Whether you are a Rangers or Celtic supportet both these clubs need each other for no other reason than the effect it will have financially on both clubs. If Rangers do as they intend doing Scottish Football is done The other SPL clubs rely on both the old firms support and those that are struggling now will not survive. It is a matter of pure ecenomics and if you are honest as a football fan whoever you support the Old Firm and they alone that keep the SPL going.
TV revenues will decline that is obvious and the effect of that will be catastrophic to all SPL clubs including Celtic.
By the way having played for Elgin City in the Scottish 3rd Div now then in the Highland League that is who I support

Posted by Liam on 02/14/2012

You are deluded my friend and obviously no Celtic fan. You're points are not valid. you state that if Rangers are liquidated (which they will be) then the newco should start at Div 3. Fair enough but the newco will certainly not be in a position challenge Celtic should they even make it into the SPL. they will be no better than a Kilmarnock or Motherwell. Without Murrays Millions their fans were nowhere to be seen and this will be the case again. I don't know any Celtic fan that holds your view and even Peter Lawell has stated we don't need them. Never have and never will. when they die, part of the bigotry in this country will die with it, and I for one will rejoice the day along with many others

Posted by Exiled bhoy on 02/14/2012

I would rather they stay put at the moment. We would never hear the end of it from the Goven rabble saying that the only reason Neil's bhoys won the league was because the SFA deducted 10 points. 10 points still leaves them in second place. I would much rather win it on the playing field THEN, when all is said and done at the end of the season, deduct 10 points from the buggers for every year they were paying players and directors with our taxpayer money. I'm still half expecting that their lodges will jump in and bail them out somehow.

Posted by brian rankin on 02/14/2012

Feel sorry for rangers dont make me laugh,remember these the crack through the celtic crest when we were an hour from folding the mother of all statments from mr murray you put down a fiver and we will double it were are you know david silence is golden.The press in glasgow in particular have given rangers an easy ride over this these journilists should be outed.Hail Hail

Posted by Andy M on 02/14/2012

@Liam just because you don't know any Celtic fan that holds the same view as me, doesn't mean that all Celtic fans support your view.

And its far too predictable your first comment about me being delusional and not a Celtic fan.

For future reference I was a Celtic season ticket holder up until this season, I have supported Celtic for over 30 years and my whole family are Celtic supporters. But don't let the facts get in the way of your own prejudices, just because I differ from your view.

Posted by dave f on 02/14/2012

Don't agree at all. Tv money is crap anyway. We could easily broadcast through Celtic tv, or SPL tv could pick it up. No matter what there will still be an audience, so someone will pick it up. So teams lose a few thousand biggots 4 times a year, but if these teams have a chance to finish 2nd/go for European football, surely we will see increased attendances throughout the season negating this loss? Lastly I support celtic, I go to Celtic park to watch Celtic. Weither rangers exist or not makes no difference to me.

Posted by John MC on 02/14/2012

In the 80's pre Murray or should i say the banks money Aberdeen were our nemesis swiftly followed by Dundee Utd.... The Aberdeen games at CP were tense affairs without the bile... Rangers in that time still spent money pretty badly to be fair but just were not at the races... The rivalry between the fans of the clubs is more than football and that is being diluted by each new generation.
I would say the other clubs in the spl may need RFC support and money to stay afloat but i would suggest that most clubs seem to be getting their houses in order.
Celtic would need to qualify for the group stages of euro competition to maintain crowds in the first season or two. I would suggest that the rest of the SPL would take on the redundant scottish players of RFC on affordable wages.
In short for the good of the game they should go it will be painful for a while but long term the game will benefit and thats what we should want.

Posted by jockybhoy on 02/14/2012

"Remember the days of Carl Muggleton and Wayne Biggins? There certainly would be no Gary Hooper, Beram Kayal, James Forrest and co. at Celtic without a Rangers side"

Splash the cash? James Forrest is a product of our youth system, Hooper signed from Scunthorpe for £2.4m and Kayal arrived for £1.3m.

The attraction of playing in front of 60k passionate fans every home game and the prospect of European football I think is enough for many players to join Celtic - don't kid yourself that they come for 4 games a year...

The Scottish Press, Sky & ESPN might need a strong Rangers - Celtic, Scottish football and Scottish society don't.

Posted by Billy on 02/14/2012

I don't agree that rangers disappearing would be a disaster at all.

Why should it? Celtic did not have to spend big to bring guys like Hooper Ledley Kayal Wanyama etc etc etc etc to the squad. As for Forrest, he's home grown !

I doubt rangers had any sleepless nights about Celtic when they were splashing HM's money around.

Nor did the lack of competition hit their attendances.

The other teams in Scotland would finally see a realistic chance of having a go at the CPL.

This surely would increase attendances across the board, as would the Cup games where at least making the final would be a very realistic aim.

I actually think this could be very positive for the Scottish game, with light at the end of the tunnel for all teams involved. It could also persuade investors with real money to take up the running of a Scottish club, with silverware now a much more realistic target.

I also think it's nonsense to say TV companies are only interested really in the OF games.

Posted by Gordon Irvine on 02/14/2012

Look, Rangers deserved punished and the financial mis-handling is staggering. I do not expect sympathy from anyone but this nonsense that Celtic would do better without Rangers? Andy is right - and you know to negociate three qualifiers to get to the Champions league proper is hard work. We have all seen Celtic and Rangers fall at these hurdles before - imagine waiting another year, winning the league by January just to have another go at it - dull as. I do not get this other teams become stronger because Rangers are not around. Why? Celtic Park attendances actually started to fall towards the latter part of nine in a row - not because the loyalty of Celtic fans, just the lack of competition. A lot of clubs survive a season by drawing Rangers or Celtic in a cup game - other teams having a realistic chance at CL would mean winning the league - do us a favour!

Posted by Thomas on 02/14/2012

Went out running this morning by myself...seemed to do ok without someone else holding me back, oh and not singing about killing me!

Posted by Albert on 02/14/2012

Celtic football club and their fans wont be laughing if the other SPL clubs decide to revisit the current 11-1 voting set up in the SPL.

As it stands Celtic and Rangers team together to block any proposal that didn't suit them such as equal sharing of TV revenue or equal sharing of ticket income but if the other clubs force through a change to the 11-1 structure (which they could without Rangers there to block it alongside Celtic) this could means Celtic's future income would be much reduced.

People haven't looked past the end of their noses here.

Posted by ace1 on 02/14/2012

For the information of all the deluded Celtic fans that think Celtic would end up in the English leagues, think again. The English FA categorically stated years ago "There is no place for Scottish teams in the English leagues" and if Alex Salmond gets his way then there would definately be no chance as that'd be like Marseille playing in La Liga - FIFA wouldn't allow it.
The only reason there is ANY interest in Scottish football is BOTH sides of the old firm. Without outside investment, Celtic & ,firstly, the other Scottish teams would soon go under. The only investment you may get would be from "Naveed's Mini Mart" on Celtic shirts instead of Tennents!

Finally, I'd just like to point out, I'm a Rangers supporter, have been for 37 years & I'm also proud that I DONATED to Celtic in those pre-McCann years when Celtic Supporter's Clubs called for donations, because I'm intelligent enough to see what the consequence of EITHER of The Old Firm leaving Scottish football would be!!

Posted by Douglas Cameron on 02/14/2012

Good article Andy. I won't begin to tell Celtic or any other Scottish football fans how to feel on the issue.

I would guess-timate that Scotland's football fans could be split 30% Rangers, 30% Celtic and 40% the rest. If Rangers disappeared I for one would watch the national team, maybe go to more Glasgow Warriors matches and follow the EPL more closely. I could not just pick another team. I'd imagine 90% of Gers fans would have a similar attitude. That removes a lot of supporters from our game.

Re TV it's not simply a question of a reduced deal it is no deal. I'd be amazed if there was not an immediate cancellation clause in the SKY and EPSN deals if either of the Old Firm disappears from the SPL.

Finally I'll take issue with one poster re Celtic in 1994. Yes we had a good laugh. Singing "keep the board" as we put 4 past you at Parkhead is a real 9 in a row highlight. However, I don't remember many not acknowledging the benefit of strong Celtic. Very few wished their death.

Posted by william mcmonagle on 02/14/2012

As a Rangers fan,it saddens me somewhat that Celtic fans take the view that they dont need Rangers ,if,for talking sake Rangers go under,this raises the possibility of Rangers in one form or another,entering the land of milk and honey,albeit,at the bottom rung,aye,a Rangers team in English football,say it took ten years,the gulf in funds would provide a strong financial base,and with a strong support who knows,but,i would rather stay in Scotland to play Celtic,greatest derby game,bar none,for all the bile,hatred, and nonsence,it still has what football is about, rivalry and passion.Long may it continue,Rangers will take the rightful punishment,and hopefully move forward ,for the good,of ALL Scottish football.thanks for your time,good luck for the rest of the season. bily

Posted by C on 02/14/2012

Wonder how enjoyable that 9 in a row feels now? I suppose all tax payers should find some enjoyment in it, seeing as it was our money which paid to achieve it.

Posted by bryan macmillan on 02/14/2012

I follow the SPL from Canada as I had the good fortune to attend a Rangers/Celtic match on a holiday to Scotland. The atmosphere and passion of the match was unlike anything I had ever witnessed.

To see that all end would be ashamed. Would anybody really attend games where you knew only one team could win the title?


Posted by Aussiee on 02/14/2012

Only the hopelessly naive believe that this is the end of Rangers.
After all this current business has ran its course then the Rangers business will resume,perhaps with a name change, to something like Glasgow Rangers or Rangers inc.
Then the Celtic business and the Rangers business will continue their mutual business,as in times past,of dominating Scottish football.To its detriment.
Perhaps the best outcome, that could develop from the current "goings on", would see Celtic business and Rangers business move their joint business to the lower reaches of the leagues South of the border.

Posted by Christy on 02/15/2012

If rangers survive, we'll see how they cope with another spell of dominance from us and a spell in the lower leagues! Go for the 10! I didn't see any compassion back in the early 90's so we'll see if they like the taste!

Posted by BBinUSA on 02/15/2012

I'm a Celtic fan in the USA. That being said, I only get to follow Celtic in print.

Let me say that, although I am completely lost as to the aura surrounding the rivalry in its home, Glasgow, from my perspective, losing the Old Firm would be bad. Allow me to make this analogy, recently American Universities at the highest level have been forming "Superconferences" based on huge TV contracts. What this has done has broken up at least 2 American football/basketball rivalries that have been taking place for a century or more.

What am I getting at? Celtic/Rangers IS Scottish football. How do you expect the rest of Europe to give credence to an already declining league if one of those two goes under? Much like a University breaking up a rivalry to get a big TV contract is bad for College athletics, allowing Rangers to go under for the sake of an easy championship is competitively wrong and destroys what chance Scottish football has of a resurgence. Celtic, unchallenged is NOT ideal.

Posted by Jamesconnolly on 02/15/2012

The missing crowds?
You seem to beleive that without RFC the 45,00 (average attendance 2010-11) would just sit at home. This is ludicrous.
It is true that a large (increasingly so during the Murray years) propotion of those attending were/are not from Glasgow and even a sizable minority from outside the country (Ireland and England). They were attracted (yes, by the winning football and putting one over on the Celts didnt do any harm) in some part by the biggotry expressed by some RFC 'fans'. If RFC disappears these 'fans' will find another outlet for their bigotry; A team from Edinburgh perhaps, maybe one or more of the 4(FOUR) other teams in Glasgow.
I'll wager there will be no dramatic fall in attendance figures, either at Parkhead or anywhere else.
The Celtic supporters that I know/am aware of welcome the demise of RFC if only to remove a source of the bigotry. Alas, the bigotry & the bigots will not fade into the night, until it's addressed by Scottish/Irish/English society.

Posted by Malcolm Cullen on 02/15/2012

There's a lot of guff being spouted about how all Rangers fans are sectarian bigots, and Celtic fans are all paragons of virtue.

It is a minority of Rangers fans who have grown up in the West of Scotland who still subscribe to this intolerant view, but not every Rangers fan is a product of this toxic environment of, in much the same way that not every Celtic fan is a terrorist supporter with a persecution complex. Some just have a persecution complex.

Having said that, however painful it might be for me as a Rangers supporter in these difficult times to listen to the crowing of Celtic fans at our clubs apparent demise, if the shoe was on the other foot I'd be laughing too.

Posted by Anonymous on 02/15/2012

The constant assertion that Rangers are the sole source of bigotry in Scotland is ludicrous and does nothing to strengthen your argument. As a NEUTRAL I have heard Celtic supporters singing pro IRA and sectarian songs MANY times.

Bigoted Rangers fans? Assuredly. But what are you Hoops fans on about? You are hardly innocent and to suggest otherwise removes any credibility to the the rest of your argument.

Finally, I'm positive there are many clubs in Scotland who would love to see the entire Old Firm disappear and take their bigotry along with them.

One club needs the other. Simple as.

Posted by Ryan Ferrier on 02/15/2012

I agree totally with the Celtic CEO, Peter Lawwell, we do not need Rangers.
The sooner they are gone Scottish and European football can breathe a sigh of relief.

Posted by jockybhoy on 02/15/2012

Doug Cameron:
TV? We'll go back to watching games on land tv - remember BBC Scotland, BBC Alba, STV? All of them desperate to show SOME sport having been priced out by subscription channels (they make money reselling rights too!). This'll also gives SPL full exposure in its local markets so more sponsorship. The cash the SPL gets from pay TV is derisory anyway.

Re. 1994. "Yes we had a good laugh...very few wished their death." A Gers-leaning newspaper parked a hearse outside Celtic Park and made that their lead sports story "CELTIC RIP." - this is the same tabloid group telling us Scottish football "needs a strong Rangers".

Fergus McCann was ridiculed and belittled (even compared to Saddam!) as he tried to rebuild Celtic.

Ian Archer, famous Scots journo (& no Celt) wrote: "Rangers, as a Scottish Football club they are a permanent embarrassment and an occasional disgrace. This country would be a better place if Rangers did not exist." Sorry you didnae live to see the day Ian.

Posted by WhitesBhoy on 02/15/2012

Andy, your entire article here is a bit of a red herring. The issue isn't really the SPL and the Old Firm, the real issues is why aren't Scottish clubs (specifically Celtic and Rangers) allowed to compete as part of the FA?

The logical, even responsible, thing to do is open up the FA to Scottish team, just like they did to Welsh teams. If Celtic and Rangers want to continue their derby rivalry, they will then have to earn it, just like every other team. The inclusion will boost the SPL overall, but it will also take some of the emphasis of Scottish Football off of just two teams and provide opportunity to be capitalized on by the others.

Posted by Alex on 02/15/2012

I completely agree, Celtic do need Rangers. But what about this solution? Move Celtic over to the FA. Wales has a Premier League, yet two Welsh teams play in the English league (Swansea and Cardiff). What if Celtic was moved to the English Premiership? One season, have four teams from the Premiership down relegated instead of 3, or have no Championship Playoffs, so only two teams go up, and have four teams from the Championship down relegated. I've long thought Celtic are absolutely at the level of a mid-table Premiership club. I think it could work.

Posted by Jerry on 02/15/2012

Of course they do, no-one else is going to give them a game with as much passion. The other clubs are also-rans and have been for too long and that isn't likely to change. In fact, administration or not, I would say that now would be a great time for Rangers should join the EPL.

Posted by maureen on 02/15/2012

i am a celtic supporter in my 50s and feel for thr rangers yes we differ but the thought of no more old firm which we need too to keep our players on top form lets be honest rangers is as much an institution in scotland as celtic i admire ally mcquoist for his loyalty and cant see how mr whyte hasnt landed a jail sentence before now not forgetting murray leaving things in a total mess i hope the fans get to see a new club rising and wish the fans and club the best

Posted by baz on 02/16/2012

LOL,some of the comments on here are so funny,LEAVE it up to the youth system,what youth system,that's why teams are full of foreign signings,let us play in the EPL cause they got welsh teams,LOL(starting to sound desperate)celtic turnover last 6 month £180,000,LOL,now what would it be without rangers and tv,sponsers

Posted by Steve on 02/16/2012

I'm a Rangers fan living in England: I am ashamed of the bigotry among BOTH sets of fans. But Lawwell's comments are plainly wrong: the interest in Scotland is in the Old Firm; I only wish I didn't have to keep explaining to people what all the crap surrounding two of the world's biggest clubs is.

Posted by Matt on 02/16/2012

While I can't say that I am an expert on the financial ramifications of what has happened here, from what I understand it is somewhat likely that Rangers will reform (and hopefully start in a lower league, as would be fair). There are two points I'd like to make in response to what has been said:

1) The way the SPL is now is terribly boring as it is a two-team race every season. Yes, with Rangers gone, Celtic will have an easy time-but only for a few seasons I think. The downfall of the Big Firm's hold on the title could give incentive for owners to invest in other clubs as there would now be less competition to be successful and ultimately make a more competitive and interesting league.

2)This idea that the Big Firm clubs should just jump straight into the Prem or even Championship is insulting, not because of anything to do with talent level but the fact that doing this would screw over other clubs that are currently in the English system...

Posted by Matt on 02/16/2012

To continue from my previous post:

Celtic and Rangers have over a hundred years of history playing in Scotland so to move them now to England would betray that and some people seem to think just because of who they are that they have some sort of birthright to jump right into the Prem or Championship. *IF* they were to get into the English system, they should have to start as low on the ladder as possible.

Ultimately in this situation, the hope should be that Rangers fans (if the club does cease to exist) re-start their club as one that is financially sound and responsible and begin to work their way up the Scottish ladder and eventually they will return to the SPL simply because of the support they have. Hopefully, the league becomes competitve and less predictable. Scotland have great football fans, and deserve a better league (better as in more competitive and interesting and not higher quality of play)

Posted by douglas cameron on 02/16/2012

The 9 in a row myth begins eh mate. No EBTs used until Advocaat's time. Still if you say it often enough...

Personally I think there is far too much football on TV and agree the deal is poor. I've said as much on my blog before. Neither of us is an SPL chairman though.

How exactly does the views of national newspapers have anything to do with me as a Rangers fan? You find me 10 people who think a paper is gers leaning and I'll find you 10 who swear blind it is Celtic leaning.

Finally re the hearse story either your memory is failing or you are too young to remember that anti-old board Celts helped arrange that little photo!

Hardly surprising though in these times that facts should blend with fiction.

Posted by Anonymous on 02/16/2012

absolute nonsense,

one of the best games I remember seeing was Celtic vs Ayr united fourth round of the 1999 Scottish cup,
Real Bhoys and Ghirls go to see CELTIC play and turn up every game, they don't care who they're playing against whether it be St.Mirren, Dundee or Caley Thistle.
It'd be a shame to not have the old firm games but it's completely ludicrous to think that it would effect the attendances at Celtic Park.

The place will always be rockin h*n or no h*n,

Posted by USBlueIbrox on 02/16/2012

Certain Celtic fans have accused Rangers of cheating because?:

During the perlious enconomic times of the last four years Rangers have been selling their best players Kris Boyd, Barry Ferguson, Kenny Miller, ect...

While Celtic have been buying players from Greece & Japan and paying the salaries of some pretty expensive on loan players like Robbie Kean & Craig Bellamy. And selling no one.

Since Rangers & Celtic revenue streams are probably pretty similair besides the tax case how can Celtic fans be so certain their club is not in a similair financial situation to Rangers

Posted by Tomsk on 02/16/2012

It's right for Celtic and their fans to say they don't need Rangers, but it's wrong for them to think it. Do you know the origin of the term 'The Old Firm'? It was a mutually beneficial business agreement between the two clubs, over a hundred years ago. To begin with it was a friendly rivalry which attracted money for both clubs. Over time, this rivalry attracted the wrong sort of supporters, people who want any reason to hate and fight something or somebody. For what it's worth I don't like either team. My Scottish team is Aberdeen, and my favourite Glasgow team is Queen's Park. Hopefully they will both gain something from Celtic's and Rangers' loss.

Posted by Joe on 02/16/2012

This is obviously bound to be a polarizing topic within Celtic's support but I must strongly disagree with the idea that Celtic needs a strong, financially sound Rangers to exist. I put it that way because it is way too early to assume they will be liquidated. Their creditors want their money back and with the current squad and Ibrox, which can be looked at as an asset only as a football stadium, they will look to continue operating the club and taking any profits. So while the Old Firm matches quality and importnace will certainly take a blow, they will continue to be played which is assurance enough that the tv contract will stay in effect. But if you look at the past 3 years, Celtic has had very minimal success, losing 3 straight league titles to a weak Rangers team and having no success in Europe yet the have managed to reduce debt and build a sustainable business model. If you throw success on the pitch on top of what they've done off of it, Celtic will be fine.

Posted by iain on 02/17/2012

of course celtic needs rangers to set a certain challenge in the spl if there was no rangers celtics sky sports contract would be broken as they need 4 old firm games and that is worth some money.celtic also buy some high class players just to contend in the spl if they are to play smaller teams week in week out they will simple not bring in the same class of players which will effect them in Europe.even 1 of the old celtic directors say the same thing but if rangers do go totaly under the spl will finish as there will be a lose in class.

Posted by MikeyBhoy on 02/17/2012

Do Celtic really nd Rangers, or do Celtic really nd the SPL? Football has turned into an 'industry'since the 80's. It's no longer a sport, but business instead. Rangers wouldn't be in this position had they played in the BPL. Celtic (Hail! Hail!) would too be in a very much better position n probably competing with the top flights in the C.L had they been allowed to compete in the BPL many years back. Look, I'm not under-minding the SPL, but let's be honest abt the fact that the Old Firm could do better else where. The histories behind these 2 clubs explain it. Both could draw even more interest from foreign playing staff n investors than the Big 4, had they been given a place in the BPL. Well, guess everyone knows why the Old Firm were not allowed to compete in the BPL. So, back to the main question now - yes, Celtic do need Rangers, given the situation n circumstances surrounding both club and the SPL. The Company (SPL) still needs its Top Salesmen (Old Firm) to sustain in biz.

Posted by theJepit on 02/17/2012

The answer is a big NO...

Posted by Greg on 02/17/2012

Worrying about Scottish football is like worrying about the Albanian League. Who cares?

Posted by One Puzzle Piece Short on 02/17/2012

What's that phrase that we've so much around the financial mess we're in? "Moral hazard" (not Eden Hazard)? Yeah, that's it.
Whether anybody actually "needs" Rangers (more of a fear of change than of any realistic projections), if they are allowed to be Too Big To Fail, then the SPL is toast in short order anyhow.
If the rest of the league is already falling behind, then what do you think will happen if Rangers get a fresh start by paying pennies on the dollar for their debts? The ten point deduction only applies for one year. Do you think that's enough of a disincentive so that they won't ever outspend their income again, never ever, pinkie-swear on it? You know the answer to that, of course you do.

Jerry - Why in the hell would the EPL want a broke-dick, bankrupt provincial side that hasn't done anything in Europe since the 70's? They have plenty of those in England already.

Posted by Sid on 02/18/2012

Let them go down in a heap and then Celtic to follow, maybe then the SFA will decide to hold a crisis meeing with the state of football in Scotland. We do not produce the players we used to we do not hold the same status as we used to Scottish football is an also ran. Mind you do you have faith in those at the SFA that they have the marbles to fix the game, no I don't think so.

Posted by Jamesconnolly on 02/19/2012

@malcolm & Anonymous,
"There's a lot of guff being spouted about how all Rangers fans are sectarian bigots, and Celtic fans are all paragons of virtue."
"The constant assertion that Rangers are the sole source of bigotry in Scotland is ludicrous and does nothing to strengthen your argument."
No where did I state that all RFC fans are bigots nor did I say Celtic fans a all saints. Neither did I say RFC fans are the sole source of bigotry. I did, in fact say "...welcome the demise of RFC if only to remove a source of the bigotry."
It is clear there are bigots in all walks of life, sadly.
Yet I take issue with the crowd, yesterday singing "Who is the fenian in the black" when their team put in a lacklustre performance. This is the problem, a state of contrived victimhood, everyones against us, and if ye are agin us you must be a fenian, the subtext is nothing lower than a fenian which is code for Catholic.
Celtic had rivals in the 80's Aberdeen/Dundee and didnt need RFC then as now

Posted by LaughterOfOurChildren on 02/19/2012

Sorry for rangers fans?
Is this the same bunch that were content to see Murray buy their 9-in-a-row (with the proceeds of crime),
The same bunch with their supercilious and wholly unfounded We Are The People cry,
The same bunch who rioted on the streets of Manchester,
The same bunch that burned their scarves when Souness signed Mo the catholic,
The same bunch who have been entreating Celtic fans to go home the famine is over;
The same bunch whose number included those who sent bombs and bullets to Lennon
The bunch who demanded the folly laden expenditure in the vainglorious and impossible pursuit of equivalence with Celtic's magnificent European achievments;
and in a sense most damning of all at this time,
The same bunch who wouldn't put their hand in their pocket to buy shares when Murray asked.

Pardon me if I'm low on sympathy for this lot.

Glasgow, football, Scotland, Ireland and Britain will be better places without the team and their followers.

Posted by Raj on 02/25/2012

Michael: There is aywlas the chance that Berwick will beat Rangers or Arthurlie will beat Celtic in a one off match. You just HAD to mention that Arthurlie game, damn you!I hope you're happy about spoiling my day.

Posted by Andy on 04/26/2012

Ok let the first person without sin stick the boot into Rangers and the people who have and will lose jobs who are of all faiths and support all different teams who have to support famalies.
Maybe it's time to let the past stay in the past. I remember doing charity work at Ibrox on old firm day and a Celtic supporter came over to rangers side and we had a laugh.
Rangers are being punished most of it justified.
If rangers cease who'd want to play for Celtic no tv rights, champion league extremely difficult to qualify and England don't want any Scots teams. Why stop at Celtic hearts Dundee utd. It could end up a British league of which they would be certain irony in Celtic competing in a British league anyway. There is danger of bringing yourselfs down to level of the bigots that exists. Forget about religion it's pants focus on the football for Scotland. More importantly love your neighbour thats true faith!!.
Rangers need punished yes
Need us yes but we need to change

Posted by Jimmy S on 05/11/2012

No let's not feel sorry for Rangers let us feel sorry for their fans, Time and time again I've had a laugh with those biguns. Without "The Famous Glasgow Rangers" we'll be fine but without the loyal fans we take the piss out and vice versa we'll have f**k all to sing about. Stop being bigoted c**ts and give the fans a thought. Yous all say they never felt sympathy for us but I beg to differ... YNWA

Posted by Eric lyon on 05/13/2012

I personally think that the current situation with rangers is were football has meet business head on and the hard fact of the matter is there is only one outcome. Vat and the tax men send more firms into liquidation than any other organisation . Rangers will go into liquidation, their assets will be realised , the players, the stadium and anything else of value will be sold. They may remerge but without the same name, players or stadium....will that be rangers
Will they be missed? Yes for a while but in time , no.
Celtic should join the English prem (we already have half your bloody managers anyway) I think they would prosper and without the hatred of the old firm matches...but then again......

Posted by JIMMY on 05/25/2012


Posted by KFC on 06/30/2012

I do agree that the SPL will suffer with out Rangers, but rules are rules and Rangers broke them, Celtic went through something similar in the 80's and came out the other end, Rangers will do the same, but for the sake of the SPL league, why don't they make it a play off end of season championship, IF Celtic finish in top spot then award them a minor championship, then the top 4-6 go into a play off for the league title and the European spots, it would make for a great end of season contest as opposed to reaching march and the 20 point difference between the top teams, and when Rangers get back on their feet and into the top flight, keep the system. Just a thought

Posted by Big j on 07/22/2012

Now that's rangers are in divsion 3 this will benefit the lower leagues which will allow them to expand as clubs bringing in far more money and no Celtic do not need rangers. Celtic should have went to the BPL along time ago where they could be serious contenders like in 2000 s trust me with their history and the squad that took them to uefa cup final they would have attracted rich investors and now be a even bigger club and definanlity be a top 6 club in the BPL SCOTTISH FOOTBALL HAS ALWAYS BEEN DEAD JUST SOMETIMES IT'S A LITTLE BETTER OFF BUT RANGERS GOING WONT EFFECT THE ALREADY DEAD LEAGUE

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