Redknapp says Old Firm would be welcome in English league

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The Independent Football

Tottenham's Harry Redknapp yesterday became the latest Premier League manager to voice support for the Old Firm joining England's top division. David Moyes of Everton has already endorsed a plan to include Celtic and Rangers while Aston Villa's Martin O'Neill has said he would "certainly support the idea".

"Absolutely, I would welcome Celtic and Rangers to English football if they wanted to play down here," Redknapp told the Daily Record. "No doubt about it. I'm sure they would be good for the English game."

Bolton Wanderers' chairman, Phil Gartside, will tomorrow put new proposals for a revamped, two-division League to the chairmen of the League's current 20 clubs for consideration. While such a structural change has until now seemed unlikely, Redknapp's contribution will only fuel debate, and with managers at clubs the size of Spurs, Everton and Villa backing expansion, a sea-change could be underway.

"We are talking about two huge football clubs and if they were to join our league you would be looking at great games in great stadiums," Redknapp said. "I was up in Scotland only a couple of months ago to watch Celtic play Arsenal in the Champions League qualifiers and the atmosphere was out of this world.

"If you're asking me if it would be good for the English game then the answer is yes... We are talking about two great clubs and it would be fantastic to compete against them. It would only make the game in this country stronger if we had two clubs with their tradition operating in our league."

Meanwhile yesterday, Tottenham announced a record annual pre-tax profit of £33.4m for the year to 30 June, boosted by a player trading profit of £56.5m, despite revenue falling 1.6 per cent to £113m.