It's taken a while and there were times when it looked like Scottish football would always be dominated by Celtic, but Rangers are on the up.
Their plummeting nosedive into the Third Division would normally have finished any club, let alone one with their size and tradition. Instead, quite the opposite has occurred. They have gone about their business in a manner which represents all that is good about the club. Now on the horizon lie only more positive developments.
Back in with the competition
Admittedly, it is not the top tier in Scotland but Rangers’ position in the Scottish Championship sees them against other teams who may also be feeling peculiar outside the top division.
Playing against both Edinburgh clubs can only be of benefit to Rangers as Hearts and Hibs provide a greater challenge. With the greatest respect to the teams in Scotland’s Second and Third divisions, any observer got the distinct impression that Ally McCoist’s men were simply going through the motions.
The margin in which Rangers took the titles in these divisions only demonstrates this further. Now the fans and McCoist himself can watch them take on sides with a more competitive edge every week.
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Mike Ashley not ‘Cashley’
I must warn you now that I am probably about to divide opinion across a huge amount of people in football. But here is my honest belief: Mike Ashley will be good for Rangers.
When you look beyond the turmoil which is apparently happening at Newcastle United, in recent years especially, Ashley has resided over relative stability. People should perhaps remember that it was not so long ago that Newcastle were one game away from a Europa League semi-final.
Equally as I write, they are on a four game winning streak and find themselves in the Capital One Cup quarter final. His frugal approach has been criticised but it seems success has come as a by-product of his economy.
How does this affect Rangers? For Ashley to be successful, Rangers have to be successful. Ashley’s main interest may well lie in Rangers’ profitability. For example, his owning the naming rights to Ibrox. But if success on the pitch comes as a side-effect of his involvement, then so be it.
The Clash of the Titans
Come the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup, the neutral spectator may find themselves tuning into Scottish football once more. Celtic and Rangers will meet again. There is no doubt that football as a whole has suffered as a result of the loss of this fixture.
Regardless of their divisional status, it will always be the biggest game in Scotland. For Celtic, it is the chance to show that they remain the heavyweights in Glasgow. For Rangers, it is the perfect chance to show their rivals that they are revived and ready to rock once more.
Scottish football has no doubt suffered from Rangers’ plight, yet these events may well spark both their's and Scottish football’s rejuvenation.