Rangers promotion a boost for Scottish football - Neil Doncaster

By Chris McLaughlinBBC Sport
Kenny Miller celebrates scoring for Rangers against Celtic in a 3-1 league win in 2010
Kenny Miller celebrates scoring for Rangers against Celtic in a 3-1 league win in 2010

Rangers' promotion to the Premiership will boost the commercial appeal of Scottish football, says Scottish Professional Football League chief executive Neil Doncaster.

Rangers beat Dumbarton on Tuesday to secure the Championship title with four games of the season remaining.

"There's no question Rangers being back in the top flight will help Scottish football," Doncaster told BBC Scotland.

"It will certainly drive more interest in the game."

Doncaster said he hoped Rangers playing in the top tier would further increase the appeal of Scottish games to TV audiences abroad, with a recent deal extending reach to more than 100 countries.

"It creates the return of Celtic-Rangers matches in the league," added Englishman Doncaster.

Mark Warburton's Rangers also face Celtic in the Scottish Cup semi-final on 17 April.

"We've got an appetiser in 11 days' time and up to four main courses to follow next year in the league," said Doncaster.

"Those are genuine global events. For a lot of people around the world that's what Scottish football means.

"They will turn the eyes of the world towards Scotland and help to commercialise the game for the benefit of all member clubs."

Cappielow, Greenock
Neil Doncaster highlighted the benefits to lower league clubs of "the many thousands of Rangers fans" who have travelled to watch their team play

Doncaster denied that phrases such as "financial Armageddon", used by senior football administrators in 2012 when Rangers went into administration, had been proved wrong.

"There's no question that the absence of Rangers from the top flight hurt attendances at some of the clubs," he said.

"I think the warning at the time was fair.

"It was only with the support of the commercial partners at the time that the game has been able to emerge in the health that it is now in."

Doncaster's preference is to look forward "in the better interests of the game to celebrate what will be a stronger commercially focused top flight with Rangers back in it".

He said: "So much of the tumultuous times needs to be put behind everyone.

"We need to look forward and to work together for the benefit of the game overall."

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