Twitter user ‘Out of Context Football Manager’ has created a save where Scottish Premier League giants Celtic and Rangers are part of the Sky Bet Championship in England.
Football fans in Britain have long debated just how well Celtic and Rangers would cope in the top two tiers of English football. Generally, supporters of English clubs claim the two SPL sides wouldn’t fair well, whilst supporters of the Glaswegian clubs believe they would be competitive - particularly with Premier League or indeed Championship revenue.
Football Manager is an extremely popular simulation-based game where the user can manage a football team in every aspect a legitimate football manager could. However, should the user not wish to play each and every fixture, they can simulate the games and based on the strength of the team they manage and the other teams around them, Football Manager will generate ‘realistic’ results.
Out of Context Football Manager ran a save spanning eight seasons, with Celtic and Rangers starting in the Championship.
Here’s how it went.
In the first season in the Championship, Celtic are tipped as favourites while Rangers are also at decent odds. Half way through the campaign, Celtic occupy a respectable fifth position, but Rangers are struggling down in ninth. As a result of Rangers’ below-par league performance, manager Steven Gerrard is sacked and Sam Allardyce takes his place in the hotseat.
As the season comes to a close, The Bhoys emerge triumphant, being crowned Sky Bet Championship winners. Allardyce did a good job of steadying the ship at Rangers, finishing third, narrowly missing out on an automatic promotion spot. However, they came unstuck against eventual play-off winners Swansea - condemning them to a second consecutive season in the Championship.
Both clubs strengthened in the summer, though Rangers didn’t spend a lot of money. Celtic brought in Jermaine Defoe, Ben Woodburn, Joel Perreira and Aaron Cresswell on permanent deals, whilst adding Thiago Almada and Adam Hlozek on a temporary basis. Whilst Rangers’ summer business consisted of mainly loans, adding the likes of Joe Aribo and Nathan Patterson to their ranks.
At the halfway point in the season, Celtic are acquitting themselves well in the top flight, sitting pretty in 11th. Down in the Championship, Rangers are in sixth position, clinging onto a play-off spot by a margin of three points. This would be the theme throughout the rest of the season, as Celtic finished in a highly respectable 13th place, while Allardyce’s Rangers once again suffered play-off heartbreak.
Seemingly no longer willing to accept Championship football, the Rangers board splash out on transfers, spending a whopping £40M on new acquisitions. Celtic spent a moderate £10M on new arrivals, however, they thickened up their squad with no less than 13 new arrivals.
Despite splashing the cash, Rangers STILL find themselves in only fifth place mid-way through the third season. Whereas Celtic are struggling in the Premier League, sitting one place above the relegation zone in 17th. All’s well that ends well, though, Celtic manage to beat the drop in the end, and Rangers FINALLY secure promotion to the Premier League after a play-off final victory over Leeds.
So after three seasons, both Rangers and Celtic are now Premier League teams, but ‘Gers manager Sam Allardyce steps down from his position, retiring from football in the process. Former Wolves head coach Ståle Solbakken takes over the reins at Ibrox.
Celtic, determined not be apart of another relegation scrap, shell out over £70M on transfers. Rangers, in their first season as a promoted side, spend £23M as they look to solidify themselves as a Premier League outfit.
After 19 games, Rangers sit two places and two points above Celtic in 15th. Both teams hover precariously above the relegation zone, but enjoy fantastic cup runs as BOTH teams make it to the League Cup final. It would be Rangers who come out on top at Wembley.
But it would be a case of elation to devastation for the blue side of Glasgow, as they were relegated on goal difference whilst Celtic managed a comfortable mid-table finish.
Celtic look to improve upon their mid-table finish by spending an earth-shattering £86M on transfers, which included former Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin. Rangers’ mission to get back amongst the big boys began with a total of £26.5M on signings, notably adding ex-Liverpool academy graduate Curtis Jones to the squad.
The entirety of the fifth season followed a pattern for Premier League Celtic and Championship Rangers. Celtic stayed in and around mid-table, eventually finishing 11th, and Rangers lead a Championship title charge from the beginning and eventually won in convincing fashion - amassing a total of 100 points.
Ahead of the new season, Celtic spent big as they parted ways with £100m, notably bringing in Joe Willock and Justin Kluivert.
Rangers also spent big, parting ways with £75m, as they looked to cement themselves as a Premier League outfit.
However, it's more heartbreak for them as they suffer yet another relegation, while Celtic celebrate yet another job well done in the top flight.
Relegation again was enough to see Rangers part ways with their manager, replacing him with none other than Simone Inzaghi.
After an impressive start to life back in the Championship, Rangers crumbled in the latter stages of the season, finishing seventh and missing out on playoff football.
Celtic, meanwhile, enjoyed a very successful campaign in the Premier League, finishing a very respectable sixth. They sadly missed out on Europe, however, due to Arsenal winning the FA Cup.
Who says Football Manager isn't realistic?
The final campaign sees more of the same for Celtic; mid-table obscurity. Despite landing Reiss Nelson and Ki Jana Hoever, they end the campaign in 13th.
As for Rangers, their exciting time continued as they once again finished in the playoffs, and once again won them! Successfully seeing off one-time Premier League champions Leicester City ensured them of their place back in the Premier League.
WHAT. A. RIDE.
We've got to salute 'Out Of Context Football Manager' for doing such a wonderful simulation, and praise the game for being able to do such things.
Now we finally have the answer to how the Scottish giants Celtic and Rangers would get on in England.
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