Football: Rangers' win boosts Scottish status

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THE SCOTTISH Premier League's chief executive, Roger Mitchell, has put the champagne on ice after Rangers' 1-0 victory at PSV Eindhoven in the Champions' League on Tuesday.

The win, secured by Jorg Albertz's late goal, puts the Glasgow side in line for at least third spot in Group F, which would bring a place in the third round of the Uefa Cup. Successes in next month's Ibrox double- header against PSV and Valencia could even see coach Dick Advocaat take his side into the second group stage of the main competition.

While glory perhaps awaits the blue half of the Scottish city, Rangers' success is good news for the whole nation. "Obviously last night was fantastic for Rangers, but it is a major step forward in terms of our co-efficient for European qualification," said Mitchell. "When the SPL was created I stated that a place in the top eight or top 10 of European nations was a realistic aim.

"If Rangers and Celtic keep performing the way they have done so far this season we are looking at moving up to 12th in the rankings list, which would give us two automatic places in the Champions' League.

"That would be a significant step forward and although the SPL cannot take too much credit for the improvement, it would be a cause for celebration. Rangers fully deserved their win and it will do an enormous amount for our reputation across the globe."