Quick links



Joey Barton says Celtic fans must enjoy Rangers return

Burnley's Joey Barton celebrates promotion

Ibrox side Rangers are gearing up for a Scottish Premiership return, which Joey Barton says should please Celtic fans.

Burnley's Joey Barton gestures to fans before the parade

Speaking to The Telegraph, newly signed Rangers midfielder Joey Barton has suggested Celtic fans should agree that the renewed Old Firm rivalry will bring the best out of their side.

Rangers dominated the Scottish Championship this past season, winning the division by a cool 11 points en route to sealing their promotion back to the Scottish Premiership following a four-year absence from the big time.

In that time, Celtic have monopolised Scotland's top flight, winning it every single year since 2012 without much resistance from their so-called rivals, although Aberdeen did, at one point in the final months of the campaign, look to be in within a shout of a huge upset.

Rangers manager Mark Warburton celebrates winning the Scottish Championship with the trophy

Signing Barton, a vastly experienced Premier League footballer, was a huge statement of intent from Rangers, who have also managed to lure 19-year-old midfielder Jordan Rossiter from Liverpool.

If they continue in the same vein regarding transfers, the Gers will be quietly confident that they can challenge Celtic next term in a bid to deny the Bhoys a sixth successive Premiership title.

Whether Rangers can challenge remains to be seen, but one thing which cannot be debated is the fact that the famous Old Firm rivalry will be alive and well again on a regular basis next term, and Barton suggests that it will bring the best out of Celtic as a result.

Celtic fans as New Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers is presented after the press conference

“That is what makes football great. You can’t have one without the other and people north of the border have realised that in recent years," the Rangers man told The Telegraph.

"Even the most staunch Celtic supporter will admit that the rivalry is what brings out your best."

Burnley's Joey Barton celebrates promotion to the premier league

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch