FEWER topics in Scottish sport have had more column inches spent on them over the years than the notion of Celtic and Rangers joining the Premier League in England.
While it is a topic which has rumbled on for 20 years or more without resolution – it is back on the agenda with a vengeance right now amid the fall-out from the failed move for a European Super League.
We exclusively revealed that the idea of these two Glasgow giants being invited to join an expanded British Premier League was back on the agenda.
And an exclusive SunSport poll revealed more fans were in favour of the British Super League (47%) than against it (38%), with 14% unsure.
So will the notion of Celtic and Rangers joining a cross-border British league do better at capturing the mood than the Euro Super League?
Well, possibly – even if the usual heavyweight obstacles remain, on both sides of the border.
In any case it is certainly a topic on which no shortage of opinions have been expressed over the years – and here SunSport collates some of the best of them.
THE former Celtic boss – speaking in 2009, around the time English Premier League clubs voted against a proposal from Bolton's Phil Gartside which would have seen them included in the second tier – said:
"My personal thought is that Celtic and Rangers would enhance the Premier League.
"Glasgow is a phenomenal football city. Celtic house 60,000 fans and Rangers house 50,000 fans every game.
"I'm not sure about Rangers but I know Celtic's capacity could go from 60,000 to 80,000 overnight, without a doubt.
"When I was manager a number of years ago, there was some talk of both teams joining the Premier League in some capacity.
"There was mention of them being put in the Championship too, or maybe even lower down than that, and then making them work their way up through promotion.
"If forced to do that they would eventually get to the top and end up as monumental players in the Premier League. Of course, the sceptics would say 'Why do it?' But I'm talking about enhancement."
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THE former Rangers star – speaking in 2018, about his arrival at the Gers from Everton in 2001 – said:
"I went to Ibrox and met David Murray and he sold the move to me.
"He showed me around Ibrox and told me stories. It was fascinating.
"He told me what he wanted to do, which was to be in the English Premier League in two years time. It was agreed with Celtic and Uefa.
"He sold it to me and I phoned my dad on the pitch and told him I was signing."
THE Premier League in 2009 – after the Gartside proposal was defeated – said:
"We have made a clear and unequivocal statement.
"No means no – Celtic and Rangers are not coming in.
"The clubs were of the opinion that bringing Celtic and Rangers into any form of Premier League set-up was not desirable or viable."
THE Leicester and ex-Celtic boss – shortly after compiling unbeaten Scottish season in September 2017 – said:
"Celtic in the Premier League would be an amazing story.
"It would be an amazing experience for everyone, not just for Celtic but for other teams.
"I just don't think it would ever happen. There are so many barriers to go over. Celtic are one of the great iconic clubs in the world.
"If they were in the Premier League, what that would generate… we played, for example, Ross County at the weekend, we got 58-odd thousand.
"Around 60,000 every home game. You could take over virtually every away stadium when you go away, the travelling support will bring 10 or 12,000."
THE former Aberdeen chief executive – speaking December 2001 when plans were already being mooted – said:
"[Celtic and Rangers] are like two old girls in Sauchiehall Street raising their skirts to any league that walks past."
THE SPFL chief executive – speaking in 2016 when a fresh EFL proposal for Rangers and Celtic to join the fifth tier was mooted – said:
"As we have discovered ourselves a league structure and format is a topic that never ever goes away.
"It’s always in debate, certainly in Scotland but that’s equally the case in other leagues around the world.
"So it’s no surprise that the English Football League should be talking about theirs again.
"I’ve clearly seen the reports on a possible fifth tier and we’ll see what emerges from the discussions with their clubs.
"There will be a lot of change in European football over the next two decades.
"We need to do what we can to ensure the interest of Scottish football are promoted and protected.
"I think we can expect there will be more focus in the years ahead throughout Europe on cross-border leagues.
"We’ve got our own cross-border competition in the Irn-Bru Cup where we welcome teams from Northern Ireland and Wales.
"It’s a concept that is relatively new, it’s certainly new for us, but I suspect it will feature increasingly in European football landscape in the years ahead.
"We need to be prepared and positioned for that."
THE West Ham boss – speaking in October 2020 – said:
“I think that Celtic and Rangers should have been joining the Premier League.
"But that is not going to be the case, those two clubs up there are huge and I think it would have been great.
“As someone who comes from Scotland I think both Celtic and Rangers are completely under estimated in what they would bring to a league.
"I think having them and their level of support would be good for the Premier League. That’s my opinion.
“Yes it would effect Scottish football, just like the effect would come if some so-called bigger clubs went into a European league. We wouldn’t necessarily like that.
"It would be incredible. I don’t think it will ever happen because of the power of the other clubs and that."
THE Rangers manager – speaking January 2020 – said:
"I would love the Scottish league to filter into the English leagues. All of them. To save and help the Scottish game a lot. It would be unbelievable.
"Could you picture now, the Premier League with those two clubs in it?
"But even for their own clubs sake, let’s use Bournemouth for example. Imagine Bournemouth going to Celtic Park twice a season, or once a season or in a cup game.
"The atmosphere at Celtic Park and Rangers is off the scale. It’s a unique experience for a fan, for a player, to go and coach there.
"I think it would be unbelievable. I don’t think it will happen.
"It’s massive. It’s massive but unique. I don’t think everyone understands the size of Rangers.
"People from Liverpool or people from around England don’t realise how big Celtic and Rangers are because they only watch the Old Firm games."
Celtic's largest single shareholder – speaking earlier this year – said:
“Everything now is about the size of clubs and their followings. It’s become a digital world – streaming, Zoom.
"This pandemic has changed things.
“Now, what are we going to see with football? Will we see clubs sell their own international rights, take more control of their finances internationally?
“If that’s the case, because you know the top clubs in England want to control their international rights, those rights will be far more valuable if they’re playing against Celtic and Rangers.
“Celtic and Rangers are in the top eight clubs in Great Britain by any metric – support, attendance, international appeal.
“At some stage, there’s going to be the realisation that if they want to maximise their revenues, then there’ll be a British Premier League.”
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