Rangers went four seasons without facing their rivals in the league
Lubomir Moravick has spoken of his regret that Celtic spent four seasons without facing Rangers in the league.
The Parkhead legend enjoyed himself in derbies during his playing days, memorably scoring twice in a 5-1 win that silenced the doubters shortly after his arrival in Glasgow.
He went on to make 129 appearances for the club, winning two league titles, and so is familiar with the intensity of British football’s biggest rivalry.
The former midfielder was unimpressed with the spectacle offered by Scottish football as Rangers fought their way through the lower leagues between 2012 and 2016, suggesting that Celtic were negatively impacted by the lack of opposition.
Neil Lennon’s men look likely to have missed their chance of winning a historic tenth successive title, and Moravcik believes his counterpart Steven Gerrard deserves credit for turning the Ibrox side into champions-elect.
As quoted by Record Sport, Moravcik said: “Rangers being in the lower tiers were a loss for all of Scottish football.
“For several years, Celtic had nobody to compete in their domestic backyard and lacked demanding matches including the tension of the Old Firm games.
“The Scottish league was very boring.
“In the Netherlands, Ajax has to battle with Feyenoord and PSV Eindhoven, in Poland Lech Warsaw and Lech Poznan are great rivals.
“But in Scotland, Celtic had no-one to fight with.
“Eventually, Rangers came back and they have surprised everyone this season. Steven Gerrard has done a very good job.
“Unfortunately, neither Celtic or Rangers are able to compete with the best teams in Europe anymore. They are far away from being in the top ten clubs in Europe.
“Back when I played, both the Glasgow clubs could compete with teams from England, now there is a gap between them.
“I haven’t been able to visit Glasgow during Covid, but hopefully I will be able to get back soon.
“I can never forget those Old Firm derbies I played in because they were amazing.
“I always feel great in Glasgow because Scots love their football and get very excited about it.”