Celtic: Peter Lawwell expects 'stronger' Rangers in top flight

Rangers will return to the top flight a "much stronger" force in Scottish football, according to Celtic's chief executive Peter Lawwell.

Asked whether they would be as strong a force as Celtic, Lawwell replied: "We would plan not."

Lawwell has not held recent discussions with English Premier League chairmen about Celtic moving to England.

"There is no specific league we want to play in - you need someone to want you," he stressed.

"We want a model that provides Celtic and other great clubs the ability to earn the revenue that allows them to compete at the highest level."

Rangers will return, I'm sure, as a much stronger force in Scotland in the coming years

Peter Lawwell Celtic chief executive

Rangers will play in the Scottish Championship next season after winning the League One title - their second promotion in two seasons.

And Lawwell expects Rangers to provide a stern test when they return to the top flight.

"I think they are in real challenges financially, but the fundamentals of Rangers and the Rangers support are strong; in terms of the size of support, the facilities they have, and that will bring them back," he said.

"Rangers will return, I'm sure, as a much stronger force in Scotland in the coming years.

"I think the fundamentals of Rangers are strong; and I mean their support and the fundamentals are strong against Celtic.

"So, I believe that, through time, Rangers will be a much stronger force in Scotland than they are at the moment."

Lawwell is confident manager Neil Lennon will stay with Celtic as they seek to defend their league title and make further progress on the European front.

"I think one of the consequences of being successful as a club and as a manager is that people notice and ultimately they might court you," said the club's chief executive.

"There has been nothing, no approaches for Neil as yet.

"He is a great young manager, but Celtic is a big part of Neil Lennon, as much as Neil Lennon is a big part of Celtic… so, I'm hopeful that Celtic can provide his ambitions and aspirations as a young manager."