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Could Scottish giant Rangers really play elsewhere?

Jan 11, 2013, 1:04 PM EDT

Rangers FC

When we speak of “transfer news,” we are typically speaking of a defender or a forward or whatever, someone about to jump from one club to another.

But what about an entire club transferring, well, countries?

The mess with Rangers continues to be a wild ride, sprouting a real smorgasbord of sidebars; some are just little nibbles, but some are real calorie bombs.  Today two stories are making the rounds out of England regarding Scotland’s fabled side.

First, Rangers officials are not a bit pleased about a proposed plan to re-structure the game in Scotland. Honestly, it sounds like some sour grapes, and perhaps some hurt feelings that Rangers hasn’t been asked for greater participation in the ongoing process.

Of course, you could see that estrangement from the decision process as part of the punishment for the financial irresponsibility that left Rangers here in the first place. Clearly, Rangers chief executive Charles Green doesn’t feel that way, and he’s  threatening to walk out of the Scottish association.

Where would they go?  Well, that’s the issue. The obvious possibility, one  that’s been talked about in passing for years, is England. The traditional imbalance that exists between the two dominant clubs, Rangers and Celtic, and the rest of the league has always made this a talker. There’s something appealing to it, although there are tons of procedural obstacles to overcome.

At least one prominent voice from the English game, QPR’s Harry Redknapp, says they should let ‘em in, already!:

They should play in England. They’re two of the biggest clubs in the world. Maybe it would give someone else a chance to win something in Scotland if they left. All over the world you’ll find fans of Celtic and Rangers. Everyone flies to games now. We’ve got Welsh teams in the Premier League. Why not two Scottish teams?”

  1. charliej11 - Jan 11, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    How foreign is the comment, “Everyone flies to games now” ?

    Redknapp actually played for the Sounders, back in the day.

    He has a viewpoint that not too many in Europeans probably have, after flying to Tulsa to play the Roughnecks and 3,000 miles to play the Cosmos a few times, no amount of flying seems out of the question.

  2. dfstell - Jan 11, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    Oh, this is a lot of fun to talk about. It’s always fun to see/talk about how teams from one region would fare in another league.

    Of course, first Rangers need to get themselves back on their feet.

  3. jmillmac - Jan 11, 2013 at 1:54 PM

    As much fun as it’d be to talk about, I don’t know if it makes much sense for Celtic from a competitive stance. If Rangers hops down, then getting the Old Firm back together is great for everyone, aside from administration, a bad year for Rangers or Celtic in the SPL is finishing 2nd to the other. A bad year in the BPL could see both – or worse, one and not the other – relegated. Obviously Rangers may not have any better options, but Celtic have a clear shot at consistent Champions League qualification. Even when (if?) Rangers makes it back to the SPL and are competitive again, Celtic would probably only have to worry about one team between them and those European millions.

    In short, I’d love to see it, but it’d be a huge risk for Celtic, to say the least.

    • mvktr2 - Jan 12, 2013 at 4:55 AM

      Got to disagree on the ‘Rangers may not have any better options’ analogy. Rangers’ option is EXACTLY what the Celtic’s option is as there is little doubt they’ll be back in the SPL in as many years as there are rungs in the Scottish FA. Translation. There is no real ‘if’ they get back to SPL, and they will be competitive. Will they be hampered for a short while once returning to the SPL, probably, but they’ll be a virtual lock for 2nd place and the Old Firm will be restored to it’s standards sooner rather than later. They and Cetic are HUGE clubs and even after administration their reach and resources will see them back in the SPL climbing 1 league per year (currently in 3rd division so 3 years including the current cycle).

      As to jumping to the EPL, the issue would be the same as it is now, they’d have to jump into the bottom rung. However I expect they’d climb into the championship in no time but would be like most other English clubs once there. It would be interesting and I expect both Rangers and Celtic could do very well in the EPL with time.

  4. drewvt6 - Jan 11, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    Its seems all to simple for those of us without the historic connections to the club and country to say let em go to England!

    Think of the heart ache this country (USA) has over NCAA conference changes is probably 1/10 of what Glaswegians will feel over old firm teams jumping ship.

  5. tylerbetts - Jan 11, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    Seems a) like sour grapes and b) unnecessary to me. I go with unnecessary because we seem to be moving towards a European league of sorts. Qualification for Champions League is the just about the most important thing now, even more than winning a title sometimes (See: Arsenal). Making the last spot in your league for Champions League has almost as much drama as the last spot above relegation. And, with the proposal to expand Champions League, that’s only going to grow and grow and grow.

  6. Catenaccio Conquered - Jan 15, 2013 at 3:05 AM

    The problem with going to England is that both teams risk getting stuck in limbo somewhere in the championship and never really making it to the top of the English game. Celtic are certainly good enough to play there now but if you toss them into the bottom of the league will they be able to maintain the resources to once again reach the level that they are at now?

    As for the Old Firm, I don’t believe its as good for the Scottish game as everyone believes. Celtic’s desire to separate themselves from Rangers is not such a bad idea, and while it could harm Rangers long term, Celtic need to take every opportunity to break away from them as possible.

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