Rangers are one of the biggest clubs in British, European and world football – no matter what their detractors south of the border might say.
The Glasgow giants boast a fantastic global fanbase, punctuated by celebrity supporters as varied as Gordon Ramsey and ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson.
It’s a support group that will likely swell even further if manager Steven Gerrard is able to bring another Scottish Premiership trophy back to Ibrox.
However, the progress the club have made under the Scouser’s watch has already earned them one new fan – former England international Kevin Phillips.
“I’m delighted that Rangers have caught Celtic up because them Old Firm derbies are cracking and obviously Rangers winning the last one it’s fantastic,” he told Football Insider.
“They’re both huge, huge clubs with massive support but I’m so pleased Rangers are challenging again and the league is so exciting. I’m a fan of them.
“Unfortunately, as big as Rangers and Celtic are, it’s almost impossible to stop the best players heading to the Premier League.”
Is Phillips right about the allure of the Premier League?
In a word, yes.
There’s simply too much money and too much opportunity south of the border for players to commit to staying in Scotland when there’s the option to play in the Premier League.
There are countless examples of the best players in Scotland moving to middling top flight teams, with the big clubs rarely taking a risk on them. Even then, the allure is still too strong for them to resist.
That’s why SPL standouts like Gary Hooper, Fraser Forster, Steven Naismith and Steven Davis ended up with the likes of Norwich City, Southampton and Everton. The pay-days are still bigger at those clubs than at Ibrox and Parkhead.
There’s no solution to that problem in sight for the Old Firm clubs. However, having someone like Gerrard in charge of Rangers gives them an extra bit of prestige that they haven’t had for some time.
In other Rangers news, Gerrard has confirmed that a prominent first team player is out injured for another month.