Old Firm will never join us, says Scudamore

Premier League chief rules out suggestion that crisis club Rangers and Celtic could make switch

Richard Scudamore, the Premier League chief executive, does not believe Celtic and Rangers will ever be allowed to join the English top flight.

Suggestions the Old Firm clubs will attempt to leave the Scottish Premier League have surfaced again following Rangers going into administration.

One idea would be that Rangers could re-form as a new club and play in England but Scudamore insisted he could not see it happening – and the Old Firm in England's top flight would go against Premier League regulations.

Scudamore said: "Our rules are simple. It says we're a league formed for clubs that play in England and Wales. I don't see that ever changing. I don't see that changing on my watch, not that my watch may last for long. There's more in it for them than there is for us."

The Premier League clubs voted overwhelmingly against allowing the Old Firm clubs into a two-tier Premier League as part of a proposal put forward by Bolton chairman Phil Gartside in November 2009.

The main attraction for a move by Celtic and Rangers would be financial – even the bottom club in the Premier League earns several times more from television than the two Old Firm clubs.

Scudamore also revealed that the next deal for those television rights for the Premier League could be pan- European rather than domestic, which would deter users from buying the right to view matches from other European broadcasters. For 20 years, lucrative British deals with BSkyB's Sky Sports have helped the league become the most successful in world football and in 2009 the satellite broadcaster paid £1.6bn for the 2010-13 contract. ESPN can also screen around 23 league games – a package previously owned by Irish broadcaster Setanta.

The last UK rights deal involved six packages of 23 matches with no one broadcaster being able to bid for all of them. Sky has always been the most attractive partner for the Premier League, providing heaps of cash and award-winning coverage, but Scudamore hinted the next deal could bundle UK and continental European rights. Qatar-based Al Jazeera has been tipped as a potential new entrant into the market after it began broadcasting French football.

"Fundamentally our packages have to be issued on the open market. They have to be sold to the highest compliant bidder, and they have to be sold on a stand-alone basis," Scudamore said.

He also suggested that the comments made by Premier League chairman Dave Richards last week when he said Fifa and Uefa had "stolen the game" from England could have damaged the reputation of the league. "He's apologised sincerely, he's rung the people he may have offended and he's dealt with it," Scudamore said.

"Clearly that's a reflection that he knows what he said was wrong and misguided. It doesn't reflect the Premier League's views. He's away on foreign shores. It detracts from him, it detracts from the Premier League's image, I suppose."

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum
theatre

Returning to the stage after 20 years makes actress feel 'nauseous'

News
peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
news

Watch this commuter make a mad 320-metre, 75-step dash to work
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
lifeShould we feel guilty about keeping cats inside?
News
The programme sees four specialists creating what they believe are three perfect couples, based on scientific matchmaking. The couples will not meet until they walk down the aisle together
tvUK edition of wedding show forced to recast after wave of drop-outs
Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Student
The Guildhall School of Music and Drama is to offer a BA degree in Performance and Creative Enterprise
student

Top conservatoire offers ‘groundbreaking’ arts degree

Sport
Mikel Arteta pictured during Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal
champions league
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week