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Oct 28, 2009

Richard Scudamore closes door to Rangers and Celtic

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has dealt a substantial blow to the Old Firm's hopes of playing in England by telling ESPN he is personally against such a move.

Both Celtic and Rangers have agitated for a move away from the SPL in recent years as they seek access to greater revenue afforded by increased TV exposure. The recent financial problems at Ibrox in particular have thrown into sharp relief the issues affecting the Glasgow giants, who are unable to compete with the Champions League elite.

While a possible 'Atlantic League' has been proposed, including teams from Scotland, Scandinavia and Holland, a move to the cash-rich English top flight has been mooted for years and Rangers manager Walter Smith claimed recently that Scottish football was "in danger of dying" if the Old Firm remained in the country's league.

But Scudamore does not believe that the Premier League would wish to accommodate the two historic clubs and has revealed that he is also a personal opponent of the proposal.

"I don't think it's a serious proposition for a whole number of reasons," Scudamore told ESPN's new show, 'Between the Lines'. "Scottish football is Scottish football. For a traditionalist like me, that's where the Old Firm should play.

"I see the benefits for Celtic and Rangers if they moved to our Premier League but I don't think our 20 clubs are going to vote to allow these clubs into our league."

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