Old Firm to join Premier League?

O'Neill in favour of Old Firm proposals

April 29, 2009

Martin O'Neill has backed proposals which could see his former club Celtic and Rangers becoming part of a revamped Premier League.

The league are due to discuss the possibility of extending to two divisions - including the two Scottish giants - during the summer and the Aston Villa boss believes the duo would become ''monumental players'' if they decide to move south of the border.

O'Neill told Aston Villa TV: ''My personal thought is that Celtic and Rangers would enhance the Premier League.

''Glasgow is a phenomenal football city. Celtic house 60,000 fans and Rangers house 50,000 fans every game. I'm not sure about Rangers but I know Celtic's capacity could go from 60,000 to 80,000 overnight, without a doubt.

''When I was manager of Celtic a number of years ago, there was some talk of both teams joining the Premier League in some capacity. There was mention of them being put in the Championship too, or maybe even lower down than that, and then making them work their way up through promotion.

''If forced to do that they would eventually get to the top and end up as monumental players in the Premier League. Of course, the sceptics would say 'Why do it?' But I'm talking about enhancement.''

O'Neill managed Celtic from 2000-05 winning three Scottish League titles and three Scottish FA Cups.

The proposals, which are the brainchild of Bolton Wanderers chairman Phil Gartside, are likely to face serious opposition, a point and O'Neill concedes.

''I suppose Belgian teams could then ask to join the Dutch league and Dutch teams could then request to join the Bundesliga. All of those points would have to be considered.

''But, if you're asking for a personal opinion, I think Celtic and Rangers joining would enhance the Premier League and make us all strive to get better. That's my view.