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Rangers hoping to put boardroom troubles to one side as they rekindle Old Firm rivalry with Celtic


Rangers prepare to take on their oldest rivals Celtic in the first Old Firm derby for the first time in nearly three years, after another dramatic week in the boardroom.

The rivalry between to two Glasgow clubs is one of the biggest and fiercest in football, with the pair having regularly contested the SPL title over the years.

Ranger's last bout of dominance came under former manager Walter Smith, before the financial troubles that have plagued the club ever since saw them put in administration, and subsequently demoted to the fourth division of Scottish football.

Since their relegation, Celtic have stood largely unchallenged as the dominant team in Scottish football, however this season they have found sterner opposition in the likes of Aberdeen, Inverness and Dundee than in previous seasons.

Similarly, Rangers have endured a tough campaign in the Scottish Championship, having gained successive promotions fairly comfortably in the last two years.

They are currently 13 points behind Championship leaders Hearts, who were relegated from the SPL last season, and the ongoing issues surrounding the ownership of the club have seen manager and former assistant to Walter Smith Ally McCoist step down from his duties.

This week Newcastle owner Mike Ashley laoned the club £10m through his company Sports Direct to help with the running of the club, further securing his position in the boardroom.

The loan has been secured against the club's Murray Park training facilities, although the club's Ibrox Stadium was not included in the deal.

The SFA has subsequently informed both Ashley and the club that they will face hearings in March to determine whether Ashley's stake in the club, which currently stands at just under 9%, breaches the association's dual interest rules, which are related to a person having an owning stake in two clubs at once.

With fans wary of investment from Ashley, as well as other potential suitors to the club, the chance to get one over on their rivals, and against significant odds, would go some way to making the Ibrox faithful feel like their club was edging closer to reclaiming it's rightful place in Scottish football.
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