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Last Updated: Sunday, 3 August, 2003, 15:51 GMT 16:51 UK
Wenger warns of Scottish woe
Arsene Wenger watches his side at Celtic Park
Arsene Wenger had a close look at Celtic in Glasgow
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes that Scottish football would be killed off if Celtic and Rangers were to join the English Premiership.

The Old Firm have recently pledging their future to the Scottish Premier League after clubs in England's top league came out against any invitation to join.

But, while the Frenchman believes they would enhance the Barclaycard Premiership, he fears a grave end for the clubs left behind.

"You would have to say that's a problem for Scottish football," said Wenger.

"I can't see Scottish football surviving if they lost their biggest clubs to the Premiership.

They are already a big club, but they could get even bigger
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger
"They are big clubs and can get bigger, but I can't see how the others can survive without Celtic and Rangers."

Some of Scotland's other top-flight clubs argue that their attendances would rise without the Old Firm.

They presently lose fans because they have little or no chance of challenging the two Glasgow clubs for the Scottish Premier League title and find their attendances increase after relegation, when they can challenge for the First Division trophy.

The major drawback would be the television revenue that could be lost if the large audiences guaranteed by the Old Firm were lost.

"Of course money doesn't give everything," admitted Wenger. "But it helps.

"You see Chelsea have a big budget and are buying lots of good players.

"I think everyone needs to freshen things up and buy good players and they would get an extra income.

"They have a capacity of around 60,000 at Celtic, so they have the potential to be a big club.

"They are already a big club, but they could get even bigger."




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