The financial crisis in Scottish football is escalating as Rangers reportedly prepare to follow Celtic’s lead by furloughing their under-18s.

That is according to finance expert and new Football Insider columnist Kieran Maguire, speaking after their Glasgow rivals Celtic announced they would furlough their youth side.

Rangers could be next, suggests The Sun, and it seems likely that other Scottish clubs may follow Old Firm.

The pandemic-induced financial emergency in which teams at all levels of the Scottish football pyramid find themselves is worsening.

And Maguire believes more economically vulnerable teams will mimic Rangers if they do indeed decide to make use of the government’s furlough scheme.

“Things are accelerating as far as Scottish football is concerned in terms of the financial crisis in the game,” he told Football Insider.

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“So smaller clubs will say: ‘Even Rangers are doing it and they have almost the highest revenues in Scotland.’

“They will ask: ‘If Rangers are able to do it, surely we should be doing the same? That’s indicative of one of the richest clubs in Scottish football.

“‘If their financial situation is that precarious that they need to do things of this nature then any debate we may have had historically, as smaller clubs, surely we just have to ignore that and go ahead and try and minimise costs as much as we can.'”

Rangers’ revenue is up by 11% in 2020, as per the club’s annual financial report.

In the same document, Rangers outline the value of their youth system: “The progression of Academy players is central to the future of the Club… Any sustainable player trading model needs a steady supply of quality Academy players.”

In other news, Nottingham Forest submitted a loan-to-buy bid for a long-time Rangers target.