The woes that have befallen Rangers may have rocked Scottish football but they also provide us with an opportunity to address the myth that this is a sports-obsessed country.

All major media outlets have indulged in the corporate equivalent of suicide watch in the past few weeks as one half of the Old Firm has torn itself apart and that, in itself, is an indication of the importance of Rangers and Celtic to Scottish culture.

However, in real terms that is where interest in Scottish sport begins and ends for a disturbing number of our citizens and, as understandable as it has been for the two clubs to exploit that to the maximum, it has had a suffocating effect on all other sporting activity.

Long before Rangers' troubles were of sufficient significance to register with the London-based networks and newspapers, we had only to look at the balance of coverage of sport within the Scottish media.

Sports bulletins on Scotland Today or Reporting Scotland have invariably started with a Celtic or Rangers story for decades and the same applies to the back pages of, in particular, Scottish tabloid newspapers.

That is not an indictment of those outlets since their output merely reflects the supposed Scottish obsession with sport which goes no further than people aligning themselves passionately, to the point of fanaticism, with one or other of these clubs.

What all of this also means, though, is that any individual or, more particularly, business looking to gain benefit from sponsoring sport in Scotland looks first and foremost at ways of investing in the Old Firm.

Those clubs themselves are businesses, a long way removed from their origins when set up purely as sports clubs, so have been perfectly entitled to take the view that this was all right for them and that the broader considerations of what was good for Scottish sport was not their problem.

However, Rangers' collapse and the impact that looks like having on the rest of the Scottish Premier League is forcing people to think again.

This week there was a documentary on BBC Scotland asking what needed to be done to improve Scotland's footballing fortunes, followed by a debate on the subject.

My own view is that it missed the point, though, because they talked about football in isolation.

What has to be done if Scottish football is to improve is for Scottish sport to improve. That requires a cultural change.

Does Scottish football need Rangers? That is debatable. Does Scottish sport need to revolve around Celtic and Rangers? I would suggest quite the opposite.

Examples abound all over the world. Mention New Zealand and sport and, inevitably, we all think of the All Blacks, but anyone who has visited that country, significantly smaller than Scotland in population, will know that sports such as sailing, cricket and netball are granted considerable media coverage and support.

If that's a bit too far away for us to grasp, then how about an example from closer to home. Many of its residents may head over to Scotland on ferries every weekend to support the Old Firm, not to mention Liverpool, Manchester United and other clubs in the Barclays Premier League, but Ireland's sporting culture is vastly superior to that of Scotland.

Looking at what I consider to be the three major team sports: the Irish football team have qualified for the European Championships and was a Thierry Henry palm away from reaching the World Cup in South Africa; their national rugby team have won a grand slam and three triple crowns in the past decade, while Ulster, Munster and Leinster have all been European champions; and their cricketers are now well ahead of Scotland in the rankings, with many players on the books of English counties.

Scotland may lay claim to being the Home of Golf, but Ireland is the home of Rory McIlroy, the current world No.1 while three others – Padraig Harrington, Graham McDowell and Darren Clarke – have all won majors since Paul Lawrie won his Open Championship.

Perhaps because no big corporate entities have predominated, Irish sporting culture is sufficiently broad that it has been able to adapt to opportunities as they arise. Twenty years ago, anyone suggesting that their provincial rugby teams would garner attention and support that was anywhere close to that of Gaelic Athletic Association sports would have been laughed at. Yet when rugby turned professional, there was no shortage of youngsters possessed of the necessary skills.

Some in the Gaelic games community doubtless detest rugby's rise and those of us whose main interest is in the wider world of sport have long observed a similar isolationist attitude within a significant section of the Scottish football community. They should note that Irish rugby's rise has not been to the detriment of other sports, but has been part of a golden age of sport in their country.

Instead of seeking to preserve Rangers' status or that of Scottish football, the real challenge is encouraging our youngsters to participate, rather than merely support. In the long term that will be good for Scottish sport as a whole, good for Scottish football and maybe even good for the Old Firm.