Mark Warburton believes the insatiable desire of big business to produce even higher profits out of football will result in the formation of world leagues in the not too distant future that will completely change the landscape.
The Rangers manager has cautioned anyone who thinks that the ludicrous transfer fees, salaries and takeover deals that have punctuated the summer have reached their peak to think again.
A reconstruction of the Champions League for invited guests only is already being worked upon and Warburton thinks the inevitable next step is to expand that formula to include South America and perhaps China and the USA. His forlorn hope is that Rangers and Celtic can cling to the coat-tails of such dramatic and game-changing moves but the core issue in this country is the financial disparity with England where a League One side, Peterborough, can bid £1.7 million for Jason Cummings of Hibs.
Warburton, a former city trader, said: “There is just way too much money and it’s not going to stop. The bubble is not going to burst. The cycle has just started. In three or four years’ time, we are going to see a completely different game. Man United will be playing whoever in whatever city.
“European leagues will change, there will be world leagues. Premier League teams will be playing the likes of Boca Juniors and River Plate. We have to try to be part of it. Every club has to look at the best they can do. The game is changing in every way, that is my opinion.
“AC Milan was sold for three quarters of a billion Euros to China, in the same week as West Brom. Wolves went too.
“You look at the money down south and what’s being paid down south and how it impacts here. It’s not just impacting one way in terms of us going down there, it’s impacting them coming up here as well. You’re getting a situation where League One clubs are coming and bidding significantly into seven figures for Scottish players.
“It’s a changing market. You’re going to have Championship clubs quite casually spend seven, eight, ten million pounds on players and it’s happening all the time.
“Look at the Asian buyers coming into the market and how that’s going to change.
“People say it won’t impact Scotland, it’s a massive impact on Scotland if we’re not careful because it will hit us sooner or later.”
In Warburton’s view, part of the solution is finding more investment quickly and, in turn, offer something worthy of watching.
He added: “We’ve got to get more money in by TV, sponsorship, by improving the quality of product.
“We need packed stadiums – games like Hearts v Celtic, Rangers v Aberdeen, Rangers v Celtic. We need these to show the game in a good light. We need to raise investment or else in two years’ time we will still be sitting here moaning about the state of the game.
“When you turn on the English Championship highlights you see a packed or a packed iPro Stadium, Carrow Road or City Ground.
“You look at the crowds – 25, 28, 32,000. And that’s just the Championship. That’s not the Premier League. Everyone says ‘well that’s just because of the money’ and then ignores it.
“We’ve got to find a way of making the quality of product better. Obviously I can’t reveal specifics but some of the deals you would not believe.
“Someone said to me the other week ‘what are Bournemouth doing spending that much money on – as they described it – two Liverpool fringe players?’
“Staying in the Premier League – that’s what they are doing. All credit to Eddie Howe and Bournemouth. They were magnificent last year. They had a proper go and stayed in the Premier League.” ”