Neil Doncaster delivers verdict on Rangers return to Premiership
By Danny Wright
Chief executive of the SPFL Neil Doncaster believes that Rangers’ return to the Scottish Premiership was a massive boost to the competition.
Although the Light Blues struggled to match ambitions on the pitch, Doncaster has said that it has had a big impact on viewership of the league.
Rangers were returning to the top flight of Scottish football following their administration and resulting liquidation in 2012.
They came up as champions of the second tier but failed to come anywhere near to Celtic after a four year absence.
And now, Doncaster thinks that it is great to have them back along with Hearts who joined Gers in promotion last year and Hibernian who, under the charge of Neil Lennon, won the 2016/17 Championship title.
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When asked if Rangers being back in the big time had an effect on Scottish football, Doncaster told the Evening Times: “If by product you mean how the Scottish game is viewed by those on the outside looking in then having Hearts, Rangers and, from next season, Hibernian back in the Ladbrokes Premiership after their respective absences from Scottish top flight football has been very well received by other clubs, by TV audiences and by our commercial partners and sponsors. So, yes.”
Rangers struggled on the pitch and endured turmoil behind the scenes after a training ground bust-up involving Joey Barton before Mark Warburton’s acrimonious exit in February.
He has since been replaced by Pedro Caixinha who managed a third placed finish and qualification for the Europa League.
Celtic finished 39 points ahead of the Light Blues as they secured an unbeaten domestic season and the treble.