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Johnstone says Rangers and Celtic want English football

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

Ibrox side Rangers and Celtic both long for English football, says Derek Johnstone.

Erik Sviatchenko scores the first goal for Celtic

Speaking to The Glasgow Evening Times, Derek Johnstone believes the expansion of the Scottish Challenge Cup to include teams from other British countries might help Celtic and Rangers realise their dream of one day plying their trade in English football.

It was announced on Wednesday that two Welsh clubs and two Northern Irish ones would enter the competition from the last-16 stage in a development which will also see Highland and Lowland outfits take part in the first round.

Rangers' Dorin Goian (L) and Celtic's Fraser Forster clash

Rangers legend Johnstone believes that the motion does no harm to Celtic or the Gers in their efforts to move down South, suggesting it could act as gateway for the long-running proposal.

England's top-flight clubs rejected the proposal back in 2009, but Celtic's majority shareholder Dermot Desmond said via The Telegraph in September of last year that it was "inevitable" for it to happen eventually, noting that the Hoops and Rangers could exit Scottish football by 2025.

Rangers players celebrate after winning the penalty shootout

Johnstone also seems a staunch advocate of the proposal, suggesting that both Old Firm rivals would be delighted if their relocation to English football ever materialised.

"This will be right up the street of both Old Firm clubs who have been trying for so many years to get into the Premiership. This could pave the way that further down the line something could maybe happen," he told The Glasgow Evening Times.

"Rangers and Celtic will be keeping a very close eye on this. Rangers have maybe held back a little bit recently, but Celtic still seem really keen. If it ever did happen both clubs would be delighted."

Rangers fans

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