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Page last updated at 16:41 GMT, Thursday, 30 April 2009 17:41 UK

Mowbray questions Old Firm impact

Tony Mowbray
Mowbray has played and managed in the Scottish Premier League

Tony Mowbray has questioned whether Celtic and Rangers would make much of an impression if they ever became part of a revamped English Premier League.

"The Old Firm would relish the chance because they are huge clubs with huge support," said the West Brom manager.

"Yet there are huge clubs with huge support in this country that can't get anywhere near the top four. So why would Celtic and Rangers?

"It won't be because they attract 60,000 fans every week."

Mowbray knows the Glasgow giants well, having spent four years as a player with Celtic and enjoying a two-and-a-half year spell as manager of Hibernian before moving to The Hawthorns in October 2006.

His side are currently bottom of the Premier League, with the English top flight due to discuss the possibility of a new two-tier structure, with the addition of the Old Firm also on the agenda.

I think Celtic and Rangers would relish the opportunity, but it doesn't necessarily mean that they would catapult themselves into the top six

West Brom manager Tony Mowbray

But Mowbray believes there would be no guarantees of Rangers and Celtic being successful south of the border.

"Would they be able to attract better players than, for instance, a Newcastle United?," he added. "I don't know. So why would they be any better than a Newcastle United?

"There are a lot of teams who would love to be at the top end of the Premier League and they aren't because they haven't got the quality players those teams have got.

"I think Celtic and Rangers would relish the opportunity, but it doesn't necessarily mean that they would catapult themselves into the top six in the England, because it is very competitive league."

Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill has already voiced his backing for a possible switch for the Old Firm.

However, the idea would have to overcome a number of obstacles if it was to come to fruition, such as opposition from clubs at the lower end of the English set-up, who would see their positions threatened.

Uefa's director of communications William Gaillard told BBC Scotland the matter would be something to be decided between the leagues and associations involved.



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see also
O'Neill talks up Old Firm switch
29 Apr 09 |  Aston Villa
Top-flight 'reticent' on Old Firm
23 Apr 09 |  Premier League
Boyle cautious of Old Firm exit
20 Apr 09 |  Motherwell
Bolton chief wants radical change
23 Oct 08 |  Premier League
Strachan predicts new Euro league
12 Nov 07 |  Football


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