Thursday 29 September 2016

Brian Kerr: Glasgow's best of enemies are best for game in Scotland

Brian Kerr

Published 10/09/2016 | 02:30

Andy Halliday of Rangers holds Celtic's Tomas Rogic during the William Hill Scottish Cup semi final. Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Andy Halliday of Rangers holds Celtic's Tomas Rogic during the William Hill Scottish Cup semi final. Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Joey Barton (Photo by Lynne Cameron/Getty Images)

There is an old story about how the name 'The Old Firm' came about. How basically the Celtic and Rangers board members realised that they needed one another, because crowds increased on the back of the rivalry. They may not have liked each other but directors liked healthy balance sheets.

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No doubt then Celtic are glad to have Rangers back in the top division. They're glad to have the rivalry back and the sense of importance that goes with these occasions.

Never mind Celtic, I'd say Scottish football is even happier for the rivalry to be re-enacted because outside Scotland, people had lost interest in their league. Celtic, inevitably, were going to win it in Rangers' absence. And they may very well win it again this year. But a doubt exists because Rangers have a fine manager and have signed some high-profile players in Joey Barton, Niko Kranjcar, Philippe Senderos.

With due respect to Aberdeen, Celtic need to be scrapping with Rangers for trophies.

Would Brendan Rodgers have found it an attractive job if Rangers had not have been promoted back to the top flight? I doubt it. Any manager worth his salt would say they want real competition.

A key reason why Neil Lennon left was because he got frustrated with the fact they were turning into a selling club. These are the sort of matches that attract players to join a club, not persuade them to leave.

Irish Independent

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