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Celtic fans delight at Rangers' woes

The rivalry between the Old Firm has always been fierce on and off the pitch and the Celtic fans displayed a banner celebrating Glasgow rivals Rangers financial woes during the Clydesdale Bank SPL game at Easter Road in Edinburgh where the Hoops thrashed Hibernian 5-0.

There is an element of revenge to the old enemy’s predicament, since Celtic were on the verge of bankruptcy in the mid-1990s. At the time, Rangers had won nine successive league titles, equalling Celtic's record, but also Sir David Murray, their owner, taunted Celtic by claiming that his club would always spend double in the transfer market.

It is reported in the Belfast telegraph that Murray, and his financial management of the club during the last decade contributed directly to the current woes, the club has not paid PAYE tax since last May, generating a £9m bill that led to the administrators being appointed last week.

This financial mess is in stark contrast to the prudence at Celtic Park. Peter Lawwell, the chief executive, has occasionally been chided by Celtic fans for not spending more freely, but given their rivals' problems are justified.

The two clubs owe their heritage to the Old Firm rivalry. The teams fed off it, financially, emotionally and competitively. If Rangers were to go out of business, Celtic would inevitably have to downsize or move south of the border or see gates and TV revenue fall.

TS

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