Len­non: Old Firm ri­valry vi­tal for Scot­tish game to be taken se­ri­ously

The Herald - Herald Sport - - LADBROKES CHAMPIONSHIP -

NEIL LEN­NON has claimed Scot­tish foot­ball will only be taken se­ri­ously by out­siders once a com­pet­i­tive Rangers are back in the top tier,

The for­mer Celtic man­ager is one who be­lieves the Scot­tish Premier­ship has missed the ten­sion and drama of Old Firm matches, and the com­pe­ti­tion of the two of them go­ing for the league ti­tle. This is not a point of view shared by ev­ery sup­porter, es­pe­cially those who fol­low his old club.

Len­non played at a time when the Glas­gow derby was one of the big­gest games in Euro­pean foot­ball. It was dur­ing this pe­riod when the mis­man­age­ment of Rangers even­tu­ally led to their liq­ui­da­tion which sub­se­quently meant the club hav­ing to start again in what was then the Third Divi­sion. If the Ibrox club are un­able to chal­lenge for a few sea­sons more, then for the game in this coun­try to flour­ish, Len­non says Celtic must be­come reg­u­lars in the Cham­pi­ons League once again.

“I don’t think the Scot­tish game will be taken se­ri­ously again [on the out­side] un­til the bal­ance of power is an equilibrium again with Celtic and Rangers,” said the Bolton man­ager. “That will re­ally at­tract the at­ten­tion again. If that’s not the case then Celtic in Europe is very im­por­tant.”

Len­non also re­vealed he has not given up hope of one day re­turn­ing to Celtic where as player, cap­tain and then man­ager, be­came one of the most loved fig­ures in the club’s long his­tory. “It was the right time to leave,” he said. “Do I re­gret it? No. Would I go back? Yes, I would like to be around the club again at some stage in my ca­reer.”

LEN­NON: Has left the door open for a re­turn to Celtic

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