It’s a question that’s been pondered for years and has even seen semi-serious discussions regarding whether it could ever be a possibility.
Rangers and Celtic are so far ahead of the other teams in Scotland, both economically and from a playing perspective, as to devalue the domestic competitions and make it almost worthless.
The Old Firm have won the Scottish top-flight title in its various guises every season since Aberdeen’s win in 1984/85.
That was the Dons’ fourth title, and along with Heart of Midlothian and Hibernian, that’s the most any other side have ever won. Compare that to Celtic’s 51 and Rangers’ 55, the most recent of which has been earned this season.
Steven Gerrard’s side have been in magnificent form in the 2020/21 campaign and are still unbeaten in the league and in Europe. Seventy-seven goals scored and nine conceded in 32 league games, none of which have been lost is an incredible stat.
As are the nine titles in a row which Celtic had managed, and multiple trebles to boot.
However, as almighty as their records may be in Scotland, we only need look at the Hoops’ forays into the Champions League and Europa League as evidence of when they’re up against the big boys, the tables are very much turned.
☎️ Caller: “Celtic & Rangers wouldn’t win promotion from the Championship!”
📻 Ally: “If they were put in the PL they’d stay up!”
☎️ Caller: “What planet are you on?”
Thoughts? 💭 pic.twitter.com/Rtrolc7yOm
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) January 22, 2020
Heading down south is probably an experiment worth trying because it would answer the question once and for all, and with all due respect to certain Premier League teams, both Scottish giants would almost certainly fare quite well.
The problem for either is a lack of strength in depth that isn’t needed in Scotland but will be a pre-requisite for success in the English top-flight.
It’s worth pondering on Rangers’ current Europa League campaign when making this argument too. Still to lose against the likes of Benfica, Antwerp and Slavia Prague, shows that there’s a solid core to go with an incessant all-out attack.
🏴 Arsenal (W8 D1)
🇪🇸 Villarreal (W8 D1)
🏴 Rangers (W6 D3)
🇩🇪 Bayern Munich (W6 D1)
🏴 Manchester City (W6 D1)
🏴 Chelsea (W5 D2) pic.twitter.com/VOWn8WlE9q
— The Sweeper (@SweeperPod) March 12, 2021
They are very much in the Gerrard mould, but to expect them to sweep aside the likes of Man City, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea et al is fanciful at best.
Despite a hugely disappointing 2020/21, Celtic also have individuals to set games alight.
Odsonne Edouard is interesting certain Premier League sides and may well make the move this summer, whilst Karamoko Dembele is a talent well worth keeping an eye on. If Scott Brown were a little younger, his tough, no-nonsense way of playing would be a delight in the English top-flight.
However, when all is said and done, neither side has enough quality to trouble the big boys.
Would the Old Firm survive in the English league? Hell yes, albeit they’d likely finish mid-table at best.
It would certainly make things north of the border more competitive too, so let’s not rule out a permanent switch in the future just yet.
Stranger things have happened.