Celtic test a wake-up call for Rangers '“ Willie Henderson

Willie Henderson won 29 caps for Scotland, a tally which would have been significantly higher had he not been competing for a place in the national team with the likes of Jimmy Johnstone, Charlie Cooke, Peter Lorimer and Tommy McLean.

Willie Henderson . Picture: PA
Willie Henderson . Picture: PA

He will always be best remembered, though, as being a rampaging right-winger for Rangers, for whom he made more than 400 first-team appearances between 1961 and 1971.

Currently employed to meet and greet supporters on match days at Ibrox, the 72-year-old has never lost his affection for his first senior club. However, nor does he view matches through Light Blue-tinted spectacles and he admits that he fears that the failure by the current board to match their spending promises will come back to bite them when they face Celtic at Parkhead on Saturday.

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Dave King, currently the chairman of the holding company which owns the football club, claimed (in 2014, while he was attempting to oust the previous board) he would be willing to personally provide £30 million of the £50m investment he stated that the club would require by 2018 in order to compete with Celtic.

As it is, the title holders will move four points clear of Mark Warburton’s side, with a game fewer played, should they win this weekend’s Premiership fixture. Celtic have also significantly extended their economic supremacy by dint of securing a place

in the group stage of the Champions League.

“Rangers don’t want to be playing catch-up this early,” insisted Henderson. “Every Old Firm match is important but I don’t think there has ever been one that’s more important for Rangers than this one.

“This one will tell us whether or not Rangers have been shy with money. That might be proved this weekend.

“Celtic have obviously been spending money on their team and they’ve also earned themselves a huge, huge bonus by qualifying for the Champions League.

“So unless Rangers spend some money on the team it’s going to be difficult for them to compete and they can’t now spend anything until January. I think this match at Parkhead could prove to be a wake-up call for Rangers.”

Henderson also argues that investment is required if the directors are to persuade Warburton, inset, that the pursuit of Celtic is not merely a Sisyphean task.

“Mark obviously

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has his reputation to consider and he would have been a lot happier if he’d had £10m to spend on the squad,”

added Henderson.

“He’s a very intelligent man and he’ll review the situation but he certainly isn’t the type of guy who’ll batter his head against a brick wall for too long. I don’t think for a minute that Mark Warburton would ever want to be second best. I can’t see that.

“He’ll know what discussions he’s had with the board, what’s involved and how much is going to be

made available to him – but he can’t work


“These Rangers fans have been absolutely unbelievable with what they’ve put up with in the last three or four years.

“I think it would be nice for the fans to see that the club

is going to get the financial backing that was promised.”