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Will Irish winger Paddy McCourt play in the Premier League for Celtic someday? Photo by: SNS Group 0141 221 3602

Glasgow Celtic chief wants team to join the Premier League

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Will Irish winger Paddy McCourt play in the Premier League for Celtic someday? Photo by: SNS Group 0141 221 3602

Celtic chief Peter Lawwell has repeated his team’s desire to play in England’s Premier League, and Old Firm legend Ally McCoist believes the time is right for Celtic and Rangers to quit Scotland.

English clubs are to meet again next week to discuss changes to the current format of the Premier League, with more than one club anxious to invite the Glasgow giants to move south.

Lawwell told BBC Radio 5 Live, “Celtic and Rangers are massive clubs. Celtic certainly has a global reach. Our frustration is that we play in a very small market and we don’t have a regular platform to tell the Celtic story from.

“We’re looking for an opportunity to participate in an environment that gives us that global exposure. And hopefully, through time, that will come.

“We need someone to want us. And, if that benefits Celtic and its supporters, then we’d be delighted to take part. For certain, things won’t stay the same. There are so many dynamics in world football at the moment and the world is getting smaller.

“We have very strong fundamentals. In the last Deloitte’s report we were the eighth biggest club in the world for match-day takings.

“If we had the TV rights value that you get in England, then there is no barrier for Celtic.”

Meanwhile, McCoist is confident that both Rangers and Celtic would be able to hold their own in the Premier League if allowed to move south.

“I definitely think they could compete,” said the Rangers assistant manager. “I don’t have any doubts about that. Rangers and Celtic are as big as most clubs in England.

“Manchester United are way out on their own but Rangers and Celtic, in terms of stature of the clubs, are bigger than most in England.

“If it did happen, certainly within four or five years, we would be competing at some sort of level. I’m not saying for a minute we are going to win it, but we would be able to compete.”

Former Celtic captain Tom Boyd also has no concerns about the Old Firm struggling to cope in England.

“There would be no problems with that,” he said. “With the size of support both clubs have, I don’t think it would cause any problems going down there.”

Sky have confirmed that the first Old Firm derby of 2010 has been moved from January 2 to January 3, when Celtic will host Rangers at 12:30 p.m. local time.

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