Is the Premiership in Scottish football a better place for having no Old Firm rivalry? If you're holding a gun to my neck, I'd have to say, absolutely not.

This question, posed by a special YouGov survey for HeraldScotland, has elicited a range of responses.

I miss the Glasgow derby. So does just about every other fellow-hack I know. Warts and all - and God knows the fixture is bedevilled - the Old Firm is both a gripping spectacle as well as a title race.

If some people thought a two-horse race was tedious, then a one-horse race is a decided non-event. Whatever your view is of the old/new/same Rangers FC, I want the Ibrox club back in the top flight as soon as possible.

The media miss the Old Firm. The SFA and the SPFL, amid all their other time-honoured tut-tutting, miss them. The TV companies certainly miss them. Many football fans in England, otherwise unfussed by Scottish football, miss them.

Then you come to the fans, the lifeblood. Ah, the fans…now here it gets a bit more complicated.

It is in vogue just now for certain sections of Celtic and Rangers fans to declaim all interest, to aver they don't miss their great rival one bit. To some extent this comes over as self-serving bravado.

Some Celtic fans have loved the demise of Rangers. They wallow in it, they crow and mock endlessly. Never in a month of Sundays would you hear such types claiming they miss the great fixture. To this group, Rangers have died, and they say good riddance.

Other Celtic fans - I would say the vast majority - do miss Rangers and, openly or otherwise, want them back in the top flight. To them football rivalry, especially ancient city rivalry, is magnificent and they want it restored. The Old Firm game was gripping, a sight to behold - why would you not want it back?

Rangers fans also have their factions. Just as with Celtic, a group of them deign not to miss Celtic or the top flight at all - to admit to it would be to admit to a sense of hurt or loss. This Rangers faction are already planning to deplore the Premiership the moment they get back to it.

Other Rangers fans, just like their foes across Glasgow, are more open. They crave getting back to the top. They crave the Old Firm fixture once more. They want release from the purgatory of Forfar, Brechin and Alloa as soon as possible. Can you blame them?

The rest of Scottish football is quite a kaleidoscope in terms of the Old Firm question. If you look at certain clubs - Dundee United, Aberdeen, Caley Thistle, even Hibs with Terry Butcher - there are exciting things happening.

Do these supporters miss the Old Firm, and find the Premiership diminished without them? Many of them say they don't miss the Glasgow beasts one bit - a point reinforced by the number of home-end empty seats you'd see whenever Celtic or Rangers were in town.

For me, hand on heart, it is hard to comprehend how Scottish football could be better off without the Old Firm fixture. And this is from someone who, maybe more than most, has panned the fixture's excesses down the years.

Football thrives on big crowds and big occasions. In Scottish football this usually means either Rangers or Celtic, or preferably both of them together.

The sectarianism often associated with this fixture is not to be lightly dismissed - far from it. But nor can you deny the value of the Rangers/Celtic rivalry in our football culture. As Davie Weir, the ex-Rangers player, told me recently: "I've played at the top in England and I've never known anything like an Old Firm game - nothing to match it."

In financial terms alone there is an argument that the Old Firm largely fund the club game north of the border, in terms of gates, media rights, etc. Though supporters, I guess, are not much interested in finance.

I believe I'm in a majority here when I say, I miss it. Haste ye back, Rangers. We need the Glasgow derby in Scotland. As bad as it is, it is very good.