World Cup Russia 2018


Old Firm must start again

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Football News

Few will disagree that the introduction of either Celtic or Rangers would work as a suitable shake-up to the 124-year-old English football league system, not least due to the volume of support and prestige that both clubs concerned carry.

However, Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has already dismissed any attempts by the Old Firm pair to make a move into the Premier League, claiming the division's entry rules, which only allows sides from England and Wales to play, are unlikely to change under his stewardship.

Scudamore, apart from his ludicrous idea to bring a 39th game to a different timezone, has done wonders with the Premier League brand.

Furthermore, he's so confident of it's sustainability that he's willing to disregard BSKYB's previous stranglehold over television rights and their successful bankrolling of clubs throughout the football league, in the wake of a potential bid from Al Jazeera.

Therefore, it might come as a surprise that Scudamore isn't more open to seeing two new, substantial members join the world's most exciting division. Given a vote for the introduction of the pair was turned down in 2009, the chief executive clearly believes the subject has already been attended to.

In rejecting the advances of particularly Celtic, the Premier League name is turning its back on a fanbase that in 2003 was estimated at nine million world-wide, spanning America and Asia.

The benefits of increased support overseas are numerous, not least because of the amount of money potentially demanded for television rights in those areas would multiply, which would interest the league's existing members financially.

Recent reports have even suggested the pair could enter the Championship or League One, claims that Football League chairman Greg Clarke has been quick to rubbish.

It's clear talk of a move from Scotland isn't going to go away any time soon, and with the Premier League and Football League bold in their stance against their inclusion, there is only one, granted unlikely, option for the duo.

Why either club feel they've earned the right to take the place of two currently existing Premier League or Football League sides in one of the four available divisions is beyond me, therefore if their addiction with English football is such, they should consider starting at the bottom of the pyramid like everyone else.

Upon the formation of Aldershot Town, AFC Wimbledon and Chester F.C, the trio were forced to start down in the depths of non-league.

The newly formed Shots began life after Aldershot FC in Isthmian League Division Three, The Dons started off in the Combined Counties League down in level nine, while the formerly wound up City played in the Northern Premier League Division One in level eight.

If Celtic and Rangers have ambitions of featuring in the English league football system, and wish to gain the future blessing of the Premier League and Football League, they must show the remainder of the league's some respect by coming from lower echelons of the football pyramid.

Neither club have the right to go straight into one of the highest levels of English football, ahead of teams who have been striving to reach them for years, when they've never once competed within the system. In addition, this would ensure English football's governing bodies can continue to respect it's own members while appreciating the positive impact both sides would make.

Instead of being handed a ticket to the big time, Celtic and Rangers must earn their stripes. Welcome they are, but at a price.

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