Rangers and Celtic could be freed to leave Scottish league after landmark ruling

Rangers and Celtic could be freed to leave the Scottish league system if their is a landmark ruling in an upcoming court case.

A court case in Luxembourg could lead to the Old Firm leaving the Scottish Premiership to compete in a cross-border league with other European clubs. Top flight side FC Swift Hesperange have filed a lawsuit against both UEFA and the Luxembourg Football Federation after being prevented from joining a cross-border league.

As part of their case, the club claim that their prospects of growth are being hampered by “rules prohibiting clubs from creating and running transnational competitions”.

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It has been predicted that, should FC Swift win their case, it could impact on Celtic and Rangers, allowing them to join other leagues in Europe.

That is at least according to lawyer Jean-Louis Dupont, who was involved in the famous Bosman ruling in 1995. He told the Daily Mail: "Swift and its sponsor, Leopard, are ambitious.

"The club had already complained publicly in the past regarding some FLF and UEFA rules – in particular, the homegrown players rules, that disadvantage the clubs from small countries. But their voice was not heard. They decided to make it heard in court.

"Celtic and Rangers are great clubs. But how much do they get for their media rights compared to the smallest (English) Premier League club? And this is the lack of domestic incomes that determines negatively their competitiveness on the European stage.

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"Clubs will not ‘move’. But clubs from small countries would be entitled to produce their domestic football in a larger territory, in order to match the production power of the big leagues."

Dupont is convinced that clubs in Scotland, Holland and Scandinavia need cross-border leagues in order to be more competitive in European competition.

He feels that there will be positive repercussions for the creation of such leagues if FC Swift are successful in court, adding: “In my view, yes. But in an organised and clever manner, once the ECJ has decided all legal issues.

“We will have an introductory hearing in the fall in the State Court of Luxembourg and it will be for this judge to decide if she/he refers the case to the ECJ.”


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