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Uefa spokesman Rob Faulkner
"Any club must qualify from its domestic league and Rangers and Celtic would have to be registered as English"
 real 14k

Monday, 30 July, 2001, 15:12 GMT 16:12 UK
Uefa rules will not stop Old Firm
Welsh example will not stop Celtic and Rangers
Welsh example will not stop Celtic and Rangers
No Uefa rules exist that prevent the Old Firm to qualifying for the Champions League through competing in the English Premiership.

Uefa spokesman Rob Faulkner has confirmed to BBC Sport Online that Celtic and Rangers would be able to qualify from the Premiership provided they were registered as English clubs.

Wrexham chief executive David Rhodes has claimed that, if the Scottish giants moved to England, they would be barred from competing in Europe in the same way as his own club, Cardiff City and Swansea City.

But Uefa stress that the Welsh scenario does not provide a precedent as their clubs had not come close to being in a qualifying position while playing in England.

"This case would have to be looked at on its own merits, because it would be a first," said the spokesman.

Granted permission

"It is a precedent which the competition committee would have to look at."

Uefa would only make such a ruling should the Old Firm be granted permission to move by the Scottish Football Association and the Scottish Premier League and then received the approval of their counterparts in England.

Celtic chairman Brian Quinn
Celtic chairman Brian Quinn
"We would entertain the possibility, but we can't predict the outcome until the scenario comes up and we know the full details of the proposal," said Faulkner.

"For instance, there are suggestions that Celtic and Rangers could still field under-21 teams in the Scottish league."

Until creation of the League of Wales, the country's clubs competing in the English league had been able to qualify for European competition by winning the Welsh Cup.

Now they are unable to do so as clubs can only qualify through cup competitions if they are also registered in that nation's league.

Uefa also has a policy of encouraging clubs to qualify through their domestic associations and it would not be possible for the Old Firm to also qualify from the Scottish league via their under-21s if their main team play in England.

"But, as it stands at the moment, there is no precedent and no specific ruling created by the Welsh clubs on the scale of Celtic and Rangers," the spokesman added.

Celtic and Rangers moving to England would also have implications for the way national and club coefficients are worked out.

Present TV contract

The seedings of the Scotland international team and clubs like Celtic and Rangers in international competition are interdependent.

Celtic chairman Brian Quinn told BBC Scotland at the weekend that informal talks had already been held with English clubs about the proposed move.

Quinn believes that the Old Firm will be playing in England within three years.

That would tie in with the completion of the Premiership's present television contract.

The way would then be clear for a possible re-organisation, with one possibility being two divisions of the Premiership, each of 16 clubs.

See also:

29 Jul 01 |  Celtic
English keen on Old Firm move
27 Jul 01 |  Scot Prem
Murray suggestion 'an insult'
27 Jul 01 |  Rangers
Murray looks to the future
12 Jul 01 |  Celtic
Celtic set for English future
24 Jul 01 |  BBC Pundits
Life without the Old Firm
25 Jul 01 |  Scot Prem
Old Firm to meet on Saturdays
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