The former Scotland manager Craig Levein suggests that Rangers and Celtic join the Premier League so that other Scottish teams may benefit from the extra money.

St. Johnstone’s head coach suggested a $63 million annual fee for the Old Firm teams. The decision to join England’s high earners would face support for Scottish soccer.

Rejecting Ross County’s Derek Adams’s assessment of the Premiership as “rubbish,” Levein reignited the long-debated prospect of Rangers and Celtic competing in England’s top division.

The Ibrox hosts Levein’s squad on Wednesday, and before the game, the coach told The Telegraph: “I’ve been there. I’ve been upset after games and said things I have probably regretted.

“I’m not going to sit here and criticize other managers for what they say. I have said enough nonsense in my life to fill two books. I don’t know if he will regret it but, I shouldn’t laugh, but I thought it was funny.”

Rangers and Celtic should play in the Premier League

Among the 59-year-old’s many complaints about the present state of Scottish soccer are the TV agreements and the prize money distribution. Still, under certain circumstances, he thinks Celtic and Rangers’ departure would be the best way to raise the bar generally.

“How do you gauge whether it’s in good health? That’s what I find difficult. Is the game in good health financially? Probably not. I think the TV deals we have got are terrible.

“We are sitting next to the biggest football nation in the world, and they get hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of millions and we get a fraction of that. I also think the way the prize money is split in Scotland, the top two get a massive amount compared to the rest and that keeps the rest down.

“There’s a lot of people trying extremely hard, and I see Scotland as a place where people still want to come and play football. The game on the pitch is really competitive until you look at the money the Old Firm have got compared to everyone else. But the rest are really competitive.

“I have seen a lot of good games this season and St Johnstone have been involved in quite a few good games, I think it’s no worse than it was last season or the season before. I will come back to my base camp, I would love to see the Old Firm playing in the English Premier League.

“They would be able to afford to pay $63 million each per season to the rest of Scottish football and then I would support Celtic and Rangers playing in the English Premier League. But will it ever happen? I don’t think so.”

What does Levein think of facing Rangers?

Levein is optimistic about the Saints’ chances at Ibrox. The side has only lost twice in seven games under his tutelage, against Hearts and Celtic.

“It’s going to be tough, but I think we have shown enough to go there with a reasonable degree of confidence, to try and play a little bit and see if we can create opportunities,” he said.

“We need a number of things to go in our favor to come away with points: we need to defend excellently and take any chances that come our way.

“It will be difficult, but I can only talk in a positive manner about the players. They have worked really hard and tried their best to support each other during games and I am beginning to see some encouraging signs.

“Results are the most important thing for confidence and playing well is helpful. We come off the last game against Hibs where we won the game but we also played well.

“I’m a little bit unsure of how we will perform but what I do know is, we will work our backsides off for sure and hopefully we can get something out of the game.”