“Rangers aren’t a big club” – was ex-player correct?

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It’s not like we’re really that bothered what ex-Celtic men say. Sutton, Hartson et al have spewed some absolute piffle over the years about Rangers and indeed about their ex clubs, and just how seriously you can take these guys who make their comments for attention is open for debate.

One ex-Celtic man however who does have a bit more respect in the world is Bulgarian Stilyan Petrov. The football world united for him during his horrific (but thankfully successful) battle with leukaemia and the guy has more than a sense of perspective, and appreciated the backing from all corners, not just that of a green and white persuasion. When health comes into it, rivalry goes out.

It’s why his comments recently on Rangers carry a little more gravity and weight than the likes of Sutton.

Sure, a bunch of media used it as a clickbait story and claimed Petrov was taking a big dig at Rangers, but the reality was he was simply calling it as he saw it and pointing out Rangers’ woes are a bad thing for both us, Celtic and the country in general.

He said:

“One big club in a competition is not interesting. You need another few clubs to compete and make sure the league will improve, but at the moment it’s just a one-horse race.”

Right now the SPL rather resembles the old Eliteserien in which Rosenborg dominated solely without challenge – today they’re in a lowly sixth with five evenly-matched sides ahead of them. And that’s better for the quality of the league.

He went on:

“I think it’s still a big gap and a long way to go for Rangers. As a Celtic fan, I am delighted because more success for Celtic is better, but it’s not healthy for Scottish football and Celtic as well, because they need someone to compete with. At the moment, if you look at it, people don’t take Rangers as a threat, it’s more Aberdeen or Hibs. Rangers are not one of the biggest clubs. People always say Celtic v Rangers will always be one of the big rivalries, but if Rangers don’t challenge, it will lose its intensity and it’s important for Scotland.”

Unfortunately, going by performances on the pitch, he is again correct. Sure, our stadium is huge and iconic, and we have thousands upon thousands of fans compared with the Dons and the Hibees, but the product on the park doesn’t currently reflect that and while we are a bigger club off the pitch, on it Petrov, at present, is sadly correct.

It’s clear Petrov is concerned about this, and isn’t saying it for point scoring. Celtic fans all miss Rangers being at the old level – right now the lack of quality competition in Scotland weakens Celtic for Europe, meaning they get utterly gubbed in the Champions League season after season.

Which is not to in any way say we want Celtic success, hell no – but we’re talking from his point of view, which is, reciprocally, wanting Rangers to be stronger.

“That’s what Scottish football is all about; the Old Firm and that’s why people all around the world love Scottish football. If that doesn’t come back, it will be very difficult for Scottish football to recover.”

Again, bang on. A Scottish football without a competitive Rangers and a worthy Old Firm is not a Scottish football at all.

Think about the two years the SPL couldn’t even find sponsorship without Rangers in it! This country’s prize is the Old Firm – colossal historic battles between two foes with more than a hint of vitriolic bitterness. When Rangers got promoted, hundreds of sports papers around the world regaled in joy with front page headlines about how the Old Firm was back. It is the focal point of Scottish football.

And Scotland needs it as much as Rangers fans need our team to be strong.

9 COMMENTS

  1. It's heresy in Celtic circles to say it but the truth is we need a strong (but not too strong!) Rangers back. The unspoken reality is that under current circumstances the SPL is won before a ball is kicked and the Cups as well barring once-off shocks. This infects the Celtic squad's mindset and it's almost impossible then to rise to the occasion in Europe. It's not a coincidence that Celtic were matching the likes of Manchester United, Milan, Barcelona, Juventus, Liverpool, Barcelona not long ago while now we're getting blown away by their equivalents.

    WIth the old Rangers points dropped to the weaker teams could and did mean the loss of the Championship. Now nobody cares – least of all the players it seems – if Celtic drop points time and again in boring 0-0 draws at home. This cannot be good for anyone in the game.

  2. That is wrong we are not a big club we are huge with the fan base we lack big money tv deals but we are a big club,big clubs send out the message we are winners some thing we are not doing but that comes down to the type of players we have most are just not good enough to play for a big club we need big players that play for big clubs,what we have is a bunch of day dreamers that have never played for a big club before they came here the penny will drop when they move out.

  3. IN. The reality is we are the most successful club in the world and Them and their supporters/ex players and most other clubs/their supporters couldn't care less regarding our situation,Them and their supporters will only be happy when they are classed the most successfull club in the world and so on.

    Which now takes me back to our 9iar,did we and our club worry or care about Them and the rest of Scottish football during our Great success, did we hell !!!

    So regarding all this stuff about Scottish football needing a strong rangers is a load of nonsense,we as rangers supporters need a strong rangers and we all know the lyrics…. No 1 likes us we don't care. watp Helicopter 2005

  4. It is foolish for anyone to say we are not a big club especially with the global fan base we have, however the longer we languish in mediocrity on the park, although at times this season there were glimmers of hope, that fan base will deteriorate, potentially in a state of deterioration at the moment.
    I am one of these fans, for the first time in 31 years my son and I will not be renewing our season tickets. His reason mainly for the forthcoming season ahead due to work and family commitments, for me it I see the utter disgust on how our club has been run.
    I have become sick and tired with the boardrooms mismanagement, fan service bickering about the board, King, managerial appointments and their failures and of course the recent on and off field debacles.
    On the subject of the on/off field matters I ask the question; who is the mole in the dressing room? who is the spokesperson that the rat senior BBC Scotland sports reporter obtains his information from? Chris McLaughlan has had his press card revoked at Ibrox, for a number of years now, yet he is still able to obtain exclusives?
    In saying, Sky, BT, STV and BBC all give Rangers massive headline coverage which rebukes the idea in the original article in Ibrox Noise in that Rangers still are a big club.
    Footnote: Although I am not renewing my season ticket, it is still my intention to attend as many games as I am able to. I am proud to say that I have been a Rangers no no way for 60 years, since I was 3.

  5. Big clubs have big plans, dynamic chairmen. Immediate action is taken when expectations are not met.
    Does Rangers have any of these attributes for success. Absolutely not.
    King, Robertson and Allen are cowed excuses for leaders that our club is screaming out for and need replaced immediately.
    With the financial position of the club absolutely dependent on the next five results it is incomprehensible and gross neglect to continue with Graeme Murty as manager of Rangers.
    The man should have resigned within an hour of the weekend massacre.
    As should the afore mentioned excuses for Rangers officials.

  6. Just Because Of The Trouble of The Last 6years doesnt mean we aint a big Club Anymore 😂

    We are RANGERS
    The Most Successful Team on the Planet!

  7. weve won nothing for years still packing ibrox packing away grounds ,not another team in britain compares sellic lucky to get 25000 at home games and there going for dbl treble ,we have had thiefs stealing probablly in the region of 100 million over ten years ,from the biggest club in the land ,all were lacking is a decent manager ,ibrox noise dont go listening to x sellic players ,no surrender

  8. if we are judging Clubs on fan base then have a look at where some European Clubs are now. Leeds, Fiorentina, Napoli…all had/have huge fan bases. It can all be eroded away in a generation.

  9. No matter what guys and gals , as a Celtic fan I want it back to competition nerve shredding days like old and no disrespect but I don't care where it comes from tbh, but having a choice I would say from ibrox for the intense rivalry going back the years , I love the banter but hate the bigots ( which is rife on both sides ) look forward to the good old days coming back ….from a Catholic Celtic fan with 2 protestant children …1 gers ….1 Celtic. … ( sorry but hail hail lol ) oh and my missus is in the skinning park lodge and brothers are in the GPB band , and I do enjoy the banter at the blue star when I pick up my mother and father in law every week , we need strong teams for Europe no matter who it is ..

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