Ally McCoist has made a bold claim to TalkSport, alleging Rangers are a bigger football club than Newcastle United, which is sure to have fans of both clubs talking.
Newcastle’s hunt for a successor to Rafa Benitez has seen Ibrox manager Steven Gerrard mentioned as a possible replacement, with reports claiming he is on their shortlist of candidates.
The Magpies also think the former Liverpool star would leave Scotland for Tyneside, if an approach is made, according to the Northern Echo.
When asked if a move to Newcastle for Gerrard would be a step backwards, McCoist said: “Well, Newcastle play in a far better league but I think Rangers are a bigger club.”
Well the former Rangers and Sunderland striker would say that, wouldn’t he?
In terms of titles and trophies, then Rangers are way ahead of Newcastle, there is no question about that.
But, ask yourself this, over the years, if Newcastle had been playing in a league that is effectively a two-horse race from the outset – barring a few outlier years decades ago – how many titles and trophies would the Magpies have won?
In terms of fans, the two clubs are very similar: both are passionate to a point of the club being more important than anything else in their lives; both sell out, home and away, wherever and whenever they play; and both have had their issues with Mike Ashley in recent times.
But a huge number of Rangers fans are from outside of Glasgow, and while Newcastle have a number of out-of-area fans, the vast majority are from within the vicinity of the city.
Newcastle are also a one-club city, which helps attract almost universal support for the club in their catchment areas.
If Rangers played in England they would not be dominant force
But there is little doubt that were Rangers, and Celtic for that matter, to play in the English leagues, they would not have the success they enjoy in Scotland.
The standard of opposition would see an end to their two-club dominance, and although they would surely grow with the riches of the Premier League, were they ever to make it there, it would take years before they were able to compete for trophies.
In that respect, and considering Newcastle fill their ground, despite being starved of success for years, would see them considered the bigger of the two clubs.
The precedent was set last season, when Brendan Rodgers left Celtic for Leicester, claiming the move to a Premier League side was too great.
If he sees Leicester as a bigger club than Celtic, then there is little doubt Newcastle will be seen as bigger than Rangers.
Of course, as with McCoist’s Rangers and Sunderland slanted views, as a Toon fan, I am bound to see it that way.