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Will Celtic look for pastures new?

Football News 24/7
The Old Firm game on Sunday will bring home the stark contrast between the two clubs. Celtic can look forward to strengthening the side ahead of next season’s Champions League whilst in contrast Rangers will have to make do with the players they have or bring youngsters through the ranks to fill gaps left by those that depart.

Rangers have naturally appealed against the SFA’s transfer embargo imposed last week and may well yet get that over turned. In the meantime though, they will be losing ground on their Glasgow rivals and other sides in the SPL.

No agent worth his salt is going to be knocking at the doors of Ibrox any day soon until the ownership is cleared up and the appeals have been heard. Even if Rangers get their house in order they will be playing catch-up with their rivals so far as next season is concerned.

If the transfer embargo is upheld the chances are Rangers will struggle to even finish second or even third in next season’s SPL table – assuming they can be saved without further sanction and maintain their status in the SPL.

Celtic may become the dominant force – many would say the only force in Scottish football for years to come.

The Celtic hierarchy have kept a dignified distance from all that is happening to Rangers, but the prospect of Rangers becoming an also ran has longer term implications for Celtic. Sponsorship and media interest north of the border is driven by the ‘Big Two’ and not a ‘Big One’.

Even without the 10 point deduction for going into administration, Celtic are currently 8 points superior and that could be 11 come full-time. That is a huge gap compared to normal circumstances. You have to go back to 2006/07 when Celtic beat Rangers by 12 points to lift the title to find such a big differential.

The SFA and SPL are in a difficult position. They have to be seen to be doing the right thing for the integrity of the game but know that tough sanctions could have wider implications to the detriment of both the SPL and football as a whole in Scotland.

If Rangers were in the wilderness for any length of time surely Celtic would have to start thinking about pastures new?

JH

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