‘Selfish’ breakaway Super League bid has not helped Old Firm, says Alan Stubbs

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Andy Newport, PA
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Rangers and Celtic’s chances of landing a Premier League invitation have been hampered rather than helped by the “selfish” actions of England’s big six, insists former Hoops defender Alan Stubbs.

The Sun claims plans discussed in the wake of the failed Super League breakaway include the possibility of asking the Old Firm to join a new British set-up.

It comes after Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham were forced to abandon a bid to form a new closed-shop competition with six other top European clubs.

According to Thursday’s report, the big six remain committed to reforming the Premier League – and believe welcoming Glasgow’s big two south could breath fresh life into England’s top flight.

But Stubbs – who won two Scottish titles during a five year stint at Parkhead and also made almost 200 appearances for Everton – insists the chances of that happening are even more remote than they were before the Super League plot was hatched.

“To see Celtic and Rangers in amongst the Premier League would be fantastic,” said the 49-year-old. “But the reality of it actually happening is another thing.

“As we’ve seen from the last few days and the outcry that followed the big six clubs in England acting so selfishly (it) means there will be a lot of debates and arguments still to come.

“I mean, how do we actually get Celtic and Rangers into the Premier League?

“Are all these clubs in the Championship, League One and League Two just going to accept it? It’s a minefield.

“I’d love to see it because I think it would be amazing. It would certainly add to the Premier League.

“There would be a lot of clubs worried if Celtic and Rangers were to join. Give them a couple of years to find stability and revenue, attract the players to compete at that level and then they’d be a huge force at the top end of the league.

“But I can’t see it happening in the short term. We’ve been talking about this for years now and nothing has happened.

Bristol City v Everton
Alan Stubbs played in the Premier League with Everton (David Davies/PA)

“It’s been brought back up because of the selfish acts of six clubs down south. I think the last few days has made it harder (for it to happen). I really do.

“The way these six clubs have gone behind their partners and allies, and so selfishly gone about it, it’s made it so much more difficult for anything like this to make any progress.”

Former Rangers and Scotland midfielder Stuart McCall agrees the plans are a non-starter.

But he would like to see UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin back up his claim that European completion “needs” clubs like Rangers and Celtic involved by boosting the number of guaranteed Champions League slots Scotland receives.

“I don’t think Rangers and Celtic moving south will happen,” said the former Motherwell boss. “Years and years ago I thought it might have been something that was exciting. But like the Super League I can’t see it now.

“The way they went about the Super League was absolutely ridiculous and thankfully it’s been quashed inside 24 hours.

Soccer – Scottish Premiership – Play Off – Semi Final – Hibernian v Rangers – Easter Road
Former Rangers boss Stuart McCall was pleased to see the breakaway attempt fail to succeed (Danny Lawson/PA)

“Rangers and Celtic are two huge clubs globally but play in a small league.

“A while back we did have two clubs into the Champions League qualifiers and I was fortunate enough while at Motherwell to sample that.

“It would be terrific if we could get that again. Has Scotland’s hand been strengthened because of the Super League backlash? Possibly, but I’m not intelligent enough to know if that will definitely happen.”

:: Stubbs and McCall were promoting exclusively live Premier Sports’ coverage of Hibernian v Motherwell this Saturday from 4.30pm and Rangers v St Johnstone this Sunday from 6pm. Premier Sports is available on Sky, Virgin TV and the Premier Player.