Football

Michael Ball: 'UEFA Allowed Rangers & Celtic To Move To Premier League'

Michael Ball: 'UEFA Allowed Rangers & Celtic To Move To Premier League'

Michael Ball doesn't look back on his four-year stint with Rangers very fondly. Signed from Everton in 2001, Ball's £6.5 million price tag still puts him third on the list of most expensive transfers in Scottish football.

Plagued by injury - and the competing presence of Dutch left-back Arthur Numan - throughout large swathes of his spell at the club, Ball's top-flight experience in England with Everton made his move north something of an unusual turn.

However, speaking on the All Together Now Everton Podcast, Ball disclosed the dream that was sold to him by Rangers' former chairman, David Murray:

I went to Ibrox and met David Murray and he sold the move to me. He showed me around Ibrox and told me stories. It was fascinating.

He told me what he wanted to do, which was to be in the English Premier League in two years time.

Often identified as the sole strategy to alleviate the domestic dominance of the Glasgow clubs, the idea of Rangers and Celtic joining the English Premier League never appeared to be a serious proposal.

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However, according to Ball, the former Rangers chairman informed him that the deal had already been "agreed with Celtic and UEFA."

Crucially, as reported in The Scotsman, the desire for both Celtic and Rangers to move south had "always been blocked by European football's governing body."

That Murray claimed a deal was in place leaves one wondering what it is that derailed the process from advancing beyond this point. Although Ball at no point discloses what the governing body of the English Premier League made of the proposal, the anecdote is muddied further perhaps when we consider the eventual fate of Rangers, and, indeed Murray himself.

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