'It's not April Fools Day yet': Celtic and Rangers fans react to claim they could join Ligue 1

Celtic and Rangers should be invited to join France’s Ligue 1 in order to ensure the division is still competitive, according to a leading economist.

Celtic's Ryan Christie (left) tackles Rangers' Borna Barisic during the recent Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park

The claim that Scotland’s two biggest clubs should join France’s top flight has been met with a mix of incredulity and bemusement by football fans in Scotland.

Professor of Economics at Le Mans Université, Jean-Pascal Gayant, proposed that Rangers and Celtic should be invited to join Ligue 1 after a TV deal for France’s top flight recently fell through which could have a serious impact on the French game in terms of other clubs challenging Paris Saint-Germain’s financial clout and dominance.

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Dutch and Belgian football chiefs have already started exploring a cross-border BeNe League in which the countries’ respective top divisions would merge in a bid to challenge Europe’s big five – the English Premier League, German Bundesliga, La Liga in Spain, Italy’s Serie A, and Ligue 1.

Gayant proposed inviting the Old Firm clubs to join a reduced French set-up in a Le Monde column and expanded on his thoughts in an interview with So Foot.

Gayant said: “The Scottish league is a bit wobbly; 12 teams meeting three times and then five more games to find a way to end the season by trying to correct the structural imbalance.

"The title hasn’t been won by a non-Glasgow club for 36 years. Making room for them in Ligue 1 seems to me an opportunity for Scottish football as well as French football.

"Firstly, reduce Ligue 1 to 16 teams or possibly 18 with the two Scottish teams to create a more competitive environment. With approximately the same payroll spread over 16 or 18 teams, the average quality of teams will improve and there will still be time to play European games.”

What do the fans think?

@Dhogg96: That would be some long away days for the Celtic and Rangers fans

@StevenMcLucas: Its not quite April fools day yet ?!

@ExArgyll: Definitely up for that, would be brutal travelling though.

@Sean67_: This is equally one of the most interesting, and most baffling things I’ve ever heard. Marseille at home on a Wednesday, Bordeaux away on a Saturday, send it.

@theweegram: Sacré bleu !