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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 October 2007, 17:59 GMT
Old Firm take part in G-14 talks
Alan Hutton and Lee Naylor clash in an Old Firm derby
Celtic and Rangers are both in the Champions League this season
Peter Lawwell says Celtic's invitation to an expanded G-14 confirms their standing as one Europe's major teams.

Celtic and Rangers will be among 40 clubs that will gather next month to discuss the formation of a new grouping of elite European outfits.

And the Scottish champions' chief executive told BBC Sport: "It is a great compliment to the club."

Rangers have been invited to become an associate member to the new group, while Celtic will be a full member.

The 18 current members of the G-14 are Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Valencia, AC Milan, Internazionale, Juventus, Bayer Leverkusen, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Lyon, Marseille, Paris St Germain, Ajax, PSV Eindhoven and Porto.


Celtic, Sevilla, Chelsea, Roma, Monaco, Werder Bremen and Benfica are expected to be among the clubs admitted to the expanded organisation.

"This is very positive, but we see ourselves as a major club in Europe," added Lawwell.

Rangers and a number of names from Eastern Europe - such as Red Star Belgrade, Steaua Bucharest, CSKA Moscow, Dinamo Kiev, Sparta Prague, Wisla Krakow and Levski Sofia - will also take part in the conference.

Anderlecht, Fenerbahce, Olympiacos, Basle, Maccabi Haifa, Rosenborg, FC Copenhagen and Austria Vienna will also attend the meeting in Brussels, on 13-14 November.

Rangers' chief executive Martin Bain told the club website: "The club has been invited to participate in the discussions about the expansion of the group, which will require the creation of a new organisation.

"We are pleased the existing G-14 group has recognised Rangers and the proposals for the new group would lead to the club becoming an associate member based on domestic football performance criteria."

G-14 communications manager Derek McGlynn said: "This will be an initial meeting with the clubs.

"It will be used to explain the idea behind the organisation, as well as gauging the level of interest of the clubs we have invited, who will potentially become members.

"The event is an opportunity to meet the clubs, present ideas and get some feedback."

G-14 is a pressure group of major clubs and have recently challenged football's governing bodies on such matters as the Champions League format and compensation for players taking part in international matches.


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