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Premier League clubs would block Old Firm move - Smith

Rangers boss Walter Smith believes any attempt by the Old Firm to join the Premier League would be blocked by English clubs.

Bolton Wanderers chairman Phil Gartside has proposed a new two-tier Premier League that would include Rangers and Celtic.

But Smith doubts whether Gartside could gain enough support for his plan because other teams would feel threatened by the Glasgow giants.

He said in the Daily Express: ''It has been a big talking point but, personally, I'm not sure the English clubs would want Rangers and Celtic there.

''There is a realisation we have two huge clubs and if we went into the Premier League, with the finance there, we would be among some of the top clubs.

''I don't think that would please a huge number of clubs in the Premier League or English Championship, which is where we would have to start.

''So I'm not sure that is something that would come off. It would be fantastic for both clubs if it was to happen, but I just don't think the English clubs would allow it to.''

Gartside's proposal is the latest in a long line of schemes which have raised the possibility of Celtic and Rangers quitting the Scottish Premier League.

Blackburn Roves boss Sam Allardyce claims the proposals put forward by the Bolton chairman would be bad for the game.

Allardyce, who worked under Gartside at Bolton until falling out with the Wanderers chairman, said: ''From what I have heard I'm not in favour of it. From a personal point of view I believe we should keep all football as active and positive as we possibly can.

''We have to consider what might happen to Scottish football if Celtic and Rangers came in (to the Premier League). I'm a football man and I'm in favour of keeping football going in as many places as it can.

''The opportunity to get in (to the Premier League) would be so limited that some owners of clubs might consider it to be too much of a risk to keep the clubs going.''


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