Outside the Box: In Scotland it's a game of two sides and now Celtic can profit


The magnitude of Rangers' standing in football amid all their current troubles is reflected in research done by the ever-excellent sportingintelligence.com website about which clubs around the world have won the highest proportion of domestic league championships.

Rangers' total of 54 in 114 seasons gives them 47.4 per cent of Scottish titles, which is just above Linfield's 50 out of 110 in Northern Ireland but below that of Olympiakos in Greece, the only European club to have won more than 50 per cent.

The global record belongs to Al Ahly, the Egyptian club recently caught up in rioting after their game with Al Masry. They have won two-thirds of all their country's championships.

The success of their rivals Zamalek also makes Egypt the only country where the "big two" have won a higher percentage than Rangers and Celtic, who account for more than eight of every 10 titles in Scotland. The record number in a row, beating the nine achieved by both Old Firm teams, is 14 by Skonto Riga of Latvia, from 1991-2004.

Perhaps Celtic will now have ambitions of overhauling that.

Taxing times in Argentina

England is not the only country in which the tax authorities are taking a greater interest in football. Argentina's government has just passed new legislation intended to crack down on money laundering, telling clubs that they must supply details of every employee earning more than £8,800 a year as well as everyone they deal with, including sponsors and agents.

In a country where third-party ownership has been common – as Carlos Tevez well knows – the Financial Action Unit could be kept busy.

Leading downwards

Leeds United fans of a superstitious bent would doubtless have been worried about the possible appointment of caretaker manager Neil Redfearn on a permanent basis, given his unfortunate record with relegated clubs.

The Yorkshireman, who was a Leeds supporter in his boyhood, was not exactly a talisman in suffering the big drop with Barnsley, Charlton, Bolton (all from the Premier League), Halifax (to the Conference) and Lincoln City. He could have had an interesting, if doom-laden, chat last Tuesday night at Coventry City, with the home side's Hermann Hreidarsson, who is joint holder of the record for most relegations from the Premier League.

Hreidarsson shares that unwanted record of five (Crystal Palace, Wimbledon, Ipswich, Charlton and Portsmouth) with Nathan Blake (Sheffield United, Bolton twice, Blackburn and Wolves). But the Icelandic defender – nicknamed the Hermannator – faces the prospect of setting a further record if Coventry lose their Championship status this season, giving him six demotions in all.

They were bottom of the table until a 2-1 win over Leeds, whose second successive defeat probably cost Redfearn any chance of a rare promotion – from temporary to permanent manager.

Bell wants to ring changes

Talking of Coventry, their right-winger (appropriately enough) David Bell surely has one of the most unusual kit sponsors anywhere; not the usual small local business or enthusiastic fan but the Campaign For A Referendum On Our Membership Of The European Union.

Where Bell is in agreement with the Prime Minister, who has so far resisted one, is in declaring as he did in last Tuesday's match programme "we're all in it together" – a reference not to the country's economic plight but to City's relegation struggle.

One Sky Blue fan's rather extreme reaction to worries about dropping down to League One for the first time in almost 50 years was to head for the South Pole. Mark Wood, 45, has just become only the eighth person to make it on his own, which took him 50 days in temperatures as low as -27C. He now plans to become the first to complete a solo double by trekking to the North Pole as well.

Burnley's headline inflation

The answer to last week's question about which footballer appeared on the front cover of the first Sunday newspaper colour supplement with model Jean Shrimpton in February 1962 was Jimmy McIlroy, the Burnley and Northern Ireland inside-forward. He was illustrating an article inside about "Britain's £100 a week footballers". (Well it did seem a lot of money at the time.)

Happily McIlroy, who was awarded the MBE last year and has a stand named after him at Turf Moor, is still going strong as the 80-year-old Burnley president.

s.tongue@independent.co.uk; www.twitter.com/@stevetongue

One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Alexis Sanchez missed a penalty before scoring the opening goal with a header at the back post
footballLive! Sanchez makes up for penalty miss to put Arsenal ahead
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all