Dermot Desmond and Celtic shareholders have given Rangers a helping hand to soon become Scotland’s richest club.

So says finance wiz and new Football Insider columnist Kieran Maguire, speaking after a week of PR gaffes from the Hoops hierarchy.

A widely criticised trip to Dubai and subsequent press conference meltdown from manager Neil Lennon came amid Rangers extending their yawning lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership.

Celtic’s nine-year spell of dominance is collapsing, and so too is their financial advantage over Rangers.

Maguire believes that the Parkhead moneymen’s decision not to invest in the club during their footballing supremacy may have opened the window of opportunity just wide enough for Rangers to slip through.

He told Football Insider: “If the owner had put a little bit of money into the club, and he hasn’t put any money into the club for a long time now, Celtic could potentially have stretched the financial gap over their rivals to make it very, very difficult for Rangers to come back.

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“They didn’t do that and now Gerrard’s side are clearly competitive and going to win the Scottish Premiership this year.

“I was on a radio show in 2018 and I said that Rangers just need one big season to eliminate the financial gap between themselves and Celtic.

“If Rangers win the Premiership and qualify for the group stages of the Champions League, that would not only be eliminated but I think Rangers could potentially overtake Celtic in terms of their ability to generate revenue.

“Although Europe is absolutely essential to that.”

Celtic’s revenue fell by 15.8% to £70.2million over the last financial year — a pre-tax profit of £100,000.

Rangers, by contrast, enjoyed an 11% upturn in revenue to £59m, although they posted a £15.9m loss.

The Light Blues are accelerating away from Celtic atop the Scottish Premiership, with the gap between the clubs now at 20 points.

In Europe, they have far outstripped their Glasgow rivals too, advancing to the first knockout round after Celtic finished bottom of their group.

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