Green: Old Firm will leave
Rangers chief executive Charles Green believes the Old Firm could be playing in English football within five years.
- Related Content
The Rangers chief is adamant that under European law, Gers and arch rivals Celtic could not be stopped from moving south to ply their trade in England.
The man behind the most successful club in Scottish history says he would not even accept an invitation to play in the Premier League or Football League but would wish to start their English adventure at Conference level.
"Whether it is next week, because the English authorities change their mind, or in five to 10 years, Rangers and Celtic will leave Scotland," Green told the Daily Mirror.
"I would like to think within five years. I say to English clubs: Don't be afraid of the unknown. There will be cross-border leagues and that will change the face of European football. These doors are opening.
"I don't want to go into the Premier League. It would be wrong. If the Premier League sent me an invite saying we could start next year, I would turn it down.
"I don't want to go into the Football League. But what I do want to do is to start playing football in England, and knowing that if I win that league, I get promoted to the next one and the next one. And no one can stand there and say we can't get promoted because you are a Scottish club.
"Could you imagine the income generation Rangers and Celtic would create in the Conference? Every Conference stadium would be full. And then to work through the leagues over the next three or four years would refresh English football because this staleness that is affecting Scottish football is prevalent here."
When the idea of the Old Firm joining the Premier League has been floated in the past, the English authorities have shown little appetite to admit either Rangers or Celtic - but Green is still pushing the idea.
"Why would football clubs or football authorities not want Rangers and Celtic?" "If they say: 'It wouldn't add anything into the game', they are lying," he said.
"I watched Southampton play Wigan. The stadium wasn't full - there were empty seats. Now there is no way on God's earth that any team that Rangers play will have empty seats.
"That is what football wants - to bring the money in. Not just to keep banging Rupert Murdoch's door and say we want some more money.
"When you say the English FA and Football League don't want us, when you look at some of these clubs, Portsmouth have gone bust three times in four years. Two English clubs have come to me and said: 'Buy us and close us down. Take us for free and take on the liabilities'.
"I have spoken to a number of chief executives from Premier League clubs and all of them would welcome Rangers. Of the people I have spoken to directly, or people on my behalf have spoken to, throughout the leagues - 20 - only two have said no."
Green insists that EU law would be behind his idea, adding: "Under European law, (stopping us) is categorically a restraint of trade.
"It is clearly the same law as Bosman. If people think that is right, they are in cloud cuckoo land because it is not right. I am an outspoken Yorkshireman, I call a spade a spade and I say it. Others whisper in corners and I think it is wrong.
"Now if we are not good enough, and the Football League clubs vote that they don't want us in, I accept that. That is fine. But don't tell me there is a law that is outside of the laws of this country and outside of the laws of the EU.
"I don't ever want to go to court. The club secretary is in contact with the FA to try to fix an appointment for me to meet them. This is not Cheryl Cole v Ashley Cole. We want to talk face to face."