MORE of Scotland's biggest football clubs will be forced out of business – if Rangers fail to survive their serious financial problems and go bust.

That was the stark warning from the St Johnstone owner Geoff Brown yesterday as he cast his eye over this week's events at Ibrox.

As a long-serving club chairman – he spent 25 years at the helm of the Perth club before standing down last year – Brown is well qualified to assess the wider implications of the Scottish champions' troubles.

The businessman believes that already cash-strapped SPL sides would face serious, and in some cases fatal, consequences if the Ibrox club goes into liquidation.

Peter Lawwell, the Celtic chief executive, maintained his club do not need their Old Firm rivals as he announced a small profit in their annual financial figures on Monday. However, the effects of Rangers being put into administration are already being felt by top-flight clubs across the country.

Hearts, who sold Scotland internationalist Lee Wallace to their for £1.5m last summer, are still owed of £800,000 while Dunfermline and Dundee United are also due significant sums from games they have played against Rangers in the last fortnight.

Brown, who transformed the fortunes of the McDiarmid Park club during his time in charge, fears those cases would just be the tip of the iceberg. He said: "The Rangers and Celtic supports are huge in comparison to any other club in Scotland. In many respects, we are hanging on their coat tails.

"The loss of Rangers would have a massive impact on Scottish football. There is more and more pressure on clubs. Some may not be able to withstand the pressure if Rangers go down."

Brown believes the death of Rangers would result in a vastly reduced broadcasting deal with ESPN and Sky and to less lucrative contracts with other SPL sponsors and he doubts if clubs already struggling to stay afloat would be able to remain as viable businesses.

He explained: "The biggest thing at stake here is the TV deal. That is key. The TV deal revolves around Celtic and Rangers because of the size of their fan bases.

"Sponsorship deals also revolve around Celtic and Rangers. It is very, very important to Scottish football that we do have them [the Old Firm clubs].

"At this stage, with Rangers in administration, it is not going to make any difference to those contracts which are in place as they are still fulfilling fixtures but where it will make a difference will be in the future when the SPL is trying to sell the league.

"For example, at the moment, the SPL is trying to find a replacement for their title sponsor as the Clydesdale Bank is be coming out at the end of their current agreement.

"How much is a company going to invest without the involvement of Rangers? Less than they currently do, I would suggest."

Tommy Wright, the current assistant manager at Brown's club, played in front of a packed house at Ibrox to celebrate Ally McCoist's testimonial and what he saw that night has him convinced Rangers will never die.

Wright was in goal for Newcastle United in 1993 when they travelled north to mark the current manager's service to the club and the Northern Irishman knows all about the support Rangers command across the globe, the fans will rally round and save the club.

He said: "I have a huge amount of sympathy for Ally and everyone at Rangers. I played in his testimonial and 48,000 fans were there that night. That shows the support Rangers have and the respect the supporters have for Ally.

"He is Rangers through and through, so I think the fans will rally round him and his players. "Hopefully, Rangers will be able to get through this and with the support base Rangers have that gives them a good chance."