OId Firm bid foiled by precedents

Scottish Review

Kieran Daley
Sunday 13 January 2002 01:00

David Will, a vice-president of the world governing body Fifa, has warned the Old Firm they will never be allowed to join the English Premiership.

Celtic and Rangers have expressed their desire to play south of the border, but Will, an honorary life president at Brechin, says Fifa will never sanction the move. "This will not be acceptable," he said. "Fifa will simply not allow clubs to move into a major league in a different country on a whim or at their wish. There is a history of this – Fifa has refused permission for this on a number of occasions in the past."

Manchester United's chief executive, Peter Kenyon, believes the introduction of the Old Firm in England could spark similar scenes across Europe. "The Premiership has 20 clubs and there is a view that it is too big as it stands," Kenyon said. "If there is any review, it will be part of a general review of football. The whole discussion point around the Phoenix League and it starting next season is not going to happen.

"There are big franchises for big clubs but there are lots of big clubs. Pretty soon you might get people saying: 'Why don't we bring Juventus or Real Madrid into a league?' and you have got to ask where this stops."

St Johnstone fell further adrift at the foot of the Premier League when Gary Mason's late goal was enough to give Dunfermline victory in a game neither side looked like winning. His deflected 80th-minute strike broke the deadlock in a fairly dull encounter, stretching Dunfermline's unbeaten run to six matches.

Goals from Tommi Gronlund, Steve Fulton and Gary Wales secured a comfortable 3-1 win for Hearts over Aberdeen at Tynecastle. Again Aberdeen proved inconsistent on their travels, with only one away win this season despite the progress they have made.

James McFadden proved his worth to Motherwell once more when his opening goal helped them to a 2-0 win against Dundee United – his third goal this week after an impressive brace against Dundee. Motherwell were dominant and victory was sealed as Steven Hammell scored 11 minutes from time.

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