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Page last updated at 16:50 GMT, Saturday, 19 September 2009 17:50 UK

Old Firm switch to be discussed

Celtic and Rangers enjoy a huge following
Glasgow giants Celtic and Rangers enjoy a huge following

The proposal to create a two-tier English Premier League will be raised again at a league meeting in November.

Bolton chairman Phil Gartside is the driving force behind the idea that could pave the way for Celtic and Rangers to play in England.

Gartside's plan to include the Old Firm in two divisions of 18 teams was mooted earlier this year but not formally discussed by the Premier League.

European governing body Uefa has said it would not oppose such a move.

Uefa has consistently indicated that teams will not be allowed to play in leagues outside their own country but director of communications William Gaillard told BBC Scotland in April the matter would be something to be decided between the leagues and associations involved.

Those bodies would be the Premier League, the Football Association, the Football League, the Scottish Premier League and the Scottish Football Association.


BBC Scotland understands that neither Old Firm club has been actively lobbying for the change, though both are likely to be keen on the switch.

Speaking in April, Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell said: "If the right proposal comes along, we will give it serious consideration.

"I think there is a very strong rationale at the moment for an EPL2."

Rangers boss Walter Smith would also like to pit his wits against England's finest.

When the topic was raised earlier this year, he said: "If they were lucky enough to be invited then it would take a number of years to build up.

"But Rangers and Celtic would not be fighting relegation, they would be adding to England's top four."

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see also
Celtic chief open to England plan
22 Apr 09 |  Celtic
McClelland doubts Old Firm move
14 May 09 |  Rangers
Smith bullish about England move
01 May 09 |  Rangers
Top-flight 'reticent' on Old Firm
23 Apr 09 |  Premier League
Bolton chief wants radical change
23 Oct 08 |  Premier League
How to watch Match of the Day
09 Aug 11 |  Match of the Day

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