'Celtic sells itself' - Matthews

PA Sport
Adam Matthews

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Adam Matthews

Adam Matthews believes Celtic would still be able to attract quality players to Parkhead even without the carrot of Old Firm games.

With crisis-hit Rangers battling to avoid liquidation, Sunday's visit of the Ibrox men in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League could be the last such fixture for several years.

Following heavy sanctions imposed on Rangers by the Scottish Football Association this week, after being found guilty of five charges in relation to their finances and the appointment of Craig Whyte as chairman, manager Ally McCoist admitted he could now be in favour of dropping down to the Scottish League Third Division.

If that previously unthinkable scenario came to pass it would, for a few seasons at least, outside cup ties, bring an end to the famous Glasgow derby which dates back to 1888.

However, Matthews, who joined the SPL champions last summer from Cardiff, is confident that the Parkhead club would retain its pull.

"Celtic sells itself," said the Wales full-back, speaking at Celtic Park where he was modelling the new home kit which marks the club's 125th anniversary. "The size of the club and its history makes players attracted to it.

"It is a great club to be at. It is a massive club with a huge fan base and if you want to win trophies this is the club to be at, that's why I came here and hopefully I can do that.

"So, even if Rangers aren't in the SPL, Celtic will still be able to sign quality players."

Matthews admits the game in Scotland would suffer a "massive blow" if Rangers departed the SPL but claims Celtic would simply have to look after themselves.

"Obviously Rangers are a great team and there is a great atmosphere when we play against them," said the 20-year-old. "But if Rangers do have to go into the Third Division then we have to live with that and we have to keep doing our job."

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