MARK WARBURTON believes Rangers and Celtic will one day head south of the border and join the English league system. Dermot Desmond, the majority shareholder at Parkhead, this week rekindled the debate about the Glasgow giants leaving Scottish football and becoming members of a British league.

In February, the English Premier League signed a record £5.14billion television rights package and the huge success of the EPL brand has often been seen as a major stumbling block to any hopes Rangers or Celtic had of a switch. When asked if he could see a move to England happening, though, manager Warburton said: "Yes. But there is a lot of things to be worked out beforehand. But I think one day it will happen. I think the people will want it because of the draw of Celtic and Rangers and their supports. All the obvious things.

“But I think there are many, many avenues that have to be worked out first. It would need people far more clever than I am to work that one about. But I don't think you would go into a league straight away. Whether you would go into a cup competition first... I don't know.

“I am not sure how they would do that. It's just my opinion. But I think sooner or later it has to be given some serious focus."

The new TV deal will kick in next year and run for three seasons as the money in the Premier League continues to escalate. The levels of finance available to Rangers and Celtic are dwarfed by even lower ranking Premier League outfits as they are overshadowed in terms of transfer fees and wages.

The implications of a switch south would be considerable for both sides and put them on a more level playing field with other major clubs in Europe, and former Brentford manager Warburton believes the status quo in England can only remain in place for so long.

"For me what dominates English football is the TV money,” he said. “We have spoken about the quality of the product and so therefore you always want to keep it fresh. If you keep things stale, all you are going to do is lose viewers and clients etc.

“I would imagine it would be seen as keeping it fresh with something new and new additions who are big clubs with big fan bases. Sometimes you turn on Monday night football and it's Club X v Club Y - does it really appeal to the average man in the street? Suddenly you would get Man Utd v Rangers or Arsenal v Celtic... So I would imagine that would be one aspect."