British Super League being planned in secret with Celtic and Rangers joining Prem in new US-style play-off system

British Super League being planned in secret with Celtic and Rangers joining Prem in new US-style play-off system

CELTIC and Rangers are wanted to join a BRITISH League as part of the fall-out of the failed Euro breakaway plot.

While the Big Six led the humiliating retreat from the Super League debacle, they remain convinced that reform of the Prem is essential.



Top of the list of plans being actively discussed is an offer to the two Glasgow giants to come south of Hadrian’s Wall.

And unlike the Super League shambles which was condemned globally, it is likely an enlarged Premier League including the Old Firm would be BACKED by Fifa, Uefa and the UK Government.

Celtic and Rangers would jump at the chance to take a slice of the Prem cake, while their inclusion would also see a spike in interest from fans across the world, sponsors and broadcasters.

Even the pair’s SPL rivals are thought likely to be willing to wave goodbye to the two dominant forces north of the border, because it would give them a realistic chance of winning the title and the chance to qualify for the revamped Champions League.

One club source said: “Whether or not the Super League was going to happen, we all feel that the Premier League has to be changed and improved.

“It is time we opened it up to Rangers and Celtic. That would make sense for everyone.”

Reform of the Prem has been a huge discussion point since October’s publication of the Project Big Picture plans drafted by Liverpool and Manchester United.

Prem chief executive Richard Masters was forced to agree to a “strategic review” of the competition’s future, conceding “the status quo is not an option”, which was conducted by US-owned Boston Consulting and is due to report back in June.

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But while the Big Six were battered by the backlash, they believe the wind is in their sales over the need for change.

In addition to the Rangers and Celtic plan, one other idea is an end of season top four play-off, similar to that in rugby union and rugby league.

But they are also still pushing, firmly, for a reduction to the 18 team league that was envisaged at the outset of the Prem when it was formed three decades ago.

Another club chief added: “We have never wavered from the belief that 18 clubs is the only sensible way forward.

“It is also what Uefa, Fifa and the European Club Association have long called for.”

That may be a proposal too far for the 14 members of the left behind club who ganged up to help win the super League battle with the Big Six.

But unlike the doomed Super League, there would be global backing for a British League.

Fifa President Gianni Infantino gave his blessing for cross-border leagues when asked about proposals for mergers between Holland and Belgium and Mexico and the MLS.

Infantino said: “If we want teams to play at the highest level around the world we need to have new ideas and we need to see that.

“I am confident the best decisions will be made in that regard but any mergers must be done with respect to the rules.”

And while PM Boris Johnson launched into the Super League debate by insisting he would throw every possible obstacle in the way of the changes, the prospect of including Rangers and Celtic in a cross-border UK league would be a potential factor in the fight against the proposed second Scottish independence referendum.

Ibrox and Parkhead supporters, excited at the prospect of locking horns with England’s big guns, might be tempted to strengthen resistance against the SNP-led breakaway plans.

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