Glasgow duo Celtic and Rangers reportedly hatched plans to leave Scottish football and apply to join the English Premier League in 2011.
According to a report from The Scottish Sun, the two clubs exchanged secret emails in a serious effort to switch to the English top-flight with Celtic’s Peter Lawwell and Rangers’ Martin Bain both involved.
The report claims that a secret dossier was exchanged between the two clubs and outlined that they’d have a “massive impact” on the Premier League and that their departure would make the Scottish Premiership “more competitive.”
It also outlines that the first document in the dossier was titled, ‘“What would the Old Firm bring to English football?” and said “the addition of two more “giant” teams” would have “an exponential impact” on the number of big games available to be shown on TV worldwide.
The document added, “In a media environment craving additional quantity and quality of games, the introduction of Celtic and Rangers into the FA Premier League would have a massive impact on the ability to meet that demand.”
In addition, the proposal stated that the travelling support of both teams would bring “a welcome revenue boost for many clubs”.
“The two teams also benefit from a global following similar to that enjoyed by only a few teams in England such as Manchester United and Liverpool.
“Driven by Scottish and (in the case of Celtic in particular) Irish migration, the USA, Canada and Australia provide large, wealthy and committed fan bases.”
Interestingly enough the report also mentions how much of a boost it would be for the other clubs’ chances of winning the Scottish Premiership should the Old Firm duo leave the league.
“Teams like Dundee United, Aberdeen, Hearts, Hibs and others would have the chance of competing for a title and of being crowned Champions — and a place in the Uefa Champions League.
“Increasing true competition is the best way to breathe fresh life into a league structure which is currently wed to a failing business model.
“Cities outside Glasgow would, for the first time in generations in some cases, have the chance of tasting success. The long-term financial model would be more sustainable.”
Finally, the dossier outlined how kids would be “inspired” seeing Premier League stars playing in Glasgow week in and week out.
Lawwell and Bain were to discuss UK football’s “long-term structure” in London with Ralph Topping and Neil Doncaster, then chair and chief executive of the Scottish Premier League.
But the November 2011 meeting never took place as Rangers plunged into financial crisis.