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Old 08-04-2003, 05:47 AM   #1
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Celtic/Rangers in the English Premier League?

Celtic chief targets Premiership entry

Celtic chairman Dermot Desmond has blasted the football authorities in both Scotland and England and called for an independent regulator to run the game on both sides of the border.

Desmond, the billionaire owner of Celtic and a Manchester United shareholder, has hit out at clubs, broadcasters and administrators and claimed a cartel is thwarting competition both north and south of the border.

He wants to see Celtic and Rangers admitted to the Premiership, claiming there would be benefits for the game south of the border and also claims the current television rights system is illegal.

In an interview to be broadcast on BBC Radio Five Live Desmond claimed: 'The Premier League clubs - the smaller ones that is, have issued a mandate to the executive that they don't want Celtic and Rangers in the Premiership because they might undermine their position in the league, so the Premier league executive are under guidance from those majority of clubs, and again I don't think that is competition and I don't think that's in the interests of football.

'Do you take Real Madrid and Barcelona and Juventus out of the European championship because people don't want to play them because they are too good?

'I don't think that's the way to go forward, it's illegal, it's wrong and it's not in the interests of clubs.'

Desmond would prefer for the game in Britain to follow the example of their Italian counterparts.

'I prefer the Italian model,.which would create balance whereby the top clubs negotiate with the smaller clubs, that's reality,' he said.

'To say that all clubs are equal - forget about it. Manchester United have five times the revenue (of most clubs).

'It's pretty apparent that Sky, the Premier League, and maybe the BBC have got together and formed a little cartel to decide how they are going to break up the rights to give out the gold, silver and bronze.

'That's not transparent, it's not in the interests of football and something has to be done about it.'

Desmond would like to see the Minister for Sport decide the make-up of a regulatory body which would decide how television rights are organised.

'The resistance is in the main from those clubs that feel threatened by Celtic and Rangers who may get relegated or be denied a Champions League place,' claimed Desmond.

'We've carried out surveys and reviews and neutral people want to see Celtic and Rangers in the Premier League in the UK.

'They would bring in excess of 100million a year to the Premiership.

'UEFA and FIFA do not object to Celtic and Rangers joining the Premiership if the SFA (Scottish Football Association) and the FA (Football Association) agree so it is not a legal restriction.

'I think football would be better in Scotland and football would be better in the Premiership.'

Personally, I hope they don't get in. I don't think the Old Firm will be potential challengers for the title at all. Rangers, if you recall, lost out to some no-name Lithuanian club (I think) at the last UEFA Cup, and I do believe Celtic's results against Liverpool was less a result of their great play and more for Pool playing like a bunch of OAPs during that part of the season. The four goals from Man United will be a testament to that. Also, as a supporter of a Division One team, the expanded Premier League may cause the Nationwide to lose out on a promotion spot, and I hope that does not happen.

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Old 08-04-2003, 06:59 AM   #2
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I think Scotland has a lot more to lose than to gain with a move like that.

What happens to clubs like Hearts? Are they relegated to first/second/third division.


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Old 08-05-2003, 03:44 AM   #3
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I agree with yertle that Celtic and Rangers aren't that likely to challenge for the Premiership title. But at the moment it's basically guaranteed that one of other of them will win the Scottish Premier every season, which kind of takes away some of the interest in the Scottish League. Of course you could also say that in the English league it's almost guaranteed that Arsenal or Man U will win every season - but at least there's usually *some* chance of Newcastle, Liverpool, Chelsea etc challenging for the title.

I doubt they'd increase the number of teams in the Premiership seeing as clubs are already moaning about playing too many games, so it would be sad if there were like five clubs relegated one season or if there were only two promotion spots from now on.

Ah, I dunno.
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Old 08-05-2003, 10:20 AM   #4
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Celtic and the Rangers would sink badly against some of the top teams in the English division. It also raises the question about relegation. The way its set up now is not going to be made any better by having 2 additional teams. Celtic and the Rangers have been talking about this for years and nothing has happened yet. Hopefully it won't. I think its a stupid idea. If 2 extra teams are going to make it any better, promote the top 2 Division One teams.
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Old 08-05-2003, 02:02 PM   #5
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I wonder what Celtic and Rangers would have to say if they were relegated to Division One...
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