Celtic and Rangers 'scare' factor would rival Man Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal in a British league

Alan Stubbs claims Celtic and Rangers would be able to scale up their operations in short order to rival Manchester United and Liverpool if they were co-opted into a British League.

Celtic's Stephen Welsh (left) is tackled by Rangers' Joe Aribo during a Scottish Cup at Ibrox last weekend. Alan Stubbs believe the two clubs are brands that would attract major investment if they played in a British league. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)
Celtic's Stephen Welsh (left) is tackled by Rangers' Joe Aribo during a Scottish Cup at Ibrox last weekend. Alan Stubbs believe the two clubs are brands that would attract major investment if they played in a British league. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)

The scenario has been floated for decades. However, it has been given fresh impetus following a report in The Sun that claimed the fall-out from the spectacularly ill-judged European Super League – which caused major embarrassment for England’s so-called ‘big six’ backers of Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and United – would be changes to the English Premier League that would see Scotland’s two huge clubs brought into the fold.

The former Hibernian manager, who has played either side of the border with lengthy spells at Celtic and Everton, would embrace such seismic change. He does, though, concede it could squash broadcasting revenue for the Scottish set-up the Glasgow clubs would leave behind.

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“It would take them [Celtic and Rangers] a few years to adjust but they would be brilliant in England; fantastic additions and I’d love to see it happen,” Stubbs said. “They would attract players, revenue and all the things associated with the glamour of being part of a British league. You’ve seen in the last week how difficult change can be but I don’t know if it would be different if it’s just bringing in Celtic and Rangers. There are a lot of obstacles and dilemmas in the mix. It would certainly suit Celtic and Rangers more than some others. But I just think it would be brilliant and would add such excitement in to the mix.

“They would be a force to be reckoned with within a few years – they would scare some people down there. Their brands – and buying power – would go through the roof. It won’t be long before they were along the same lines as Man Utd. United's history goes back a long way and it's the same with Liverpool, and Arsenal. You look at a lot of the clubs at the top of the Premier League right now, though, and in terms of histories they are fairly new. You look at Man City since they were bought over, Chelsea are the same, it’s all quite recent. But Celtic and Rangers' brands would be so appealing to some major investors out there. It would be inevitable, and it wouldn't be long, before they would be challenging among the top echelons of a British League.

"I think a lot of people in Scottish football would like to see them gone. I am not so sure [that the game would thrive] but it would certainly survive. But losing Celtic and Rangers would certainly have an impact on revenue. Would Sky still want to do their deal without the two clubs? Personally I think probably not. But a lot of the other clubs would like to see it happening and allow them to fight for the league. It then brings your Hibs, Aberdeen and Hearts into a force – fighting for the title. It would make Scottish football more competitive and that would appeal to a lot of people.”

Alan Stubbs was promoting exclusively live Premier Sports coverage of Hibernian v Motherwell this Saturday from 4.30pm and Rangers v St Johnstone this Sunday from 6pm. Premier Sports is available on Sky, Virgin TV and the Premier Player. Prices start from £10.99 per month.

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