Charlie Christie believes the English FA won't want Celtic or Rangers in their Premier League any time soon - because within five years they'd be challenging for the title.

The former Hoops attacker reckons both sides of the Glasgow divide are massive clubs with huge reputations. Hampered, in Scotland, only by the finance they receive from TV deals and sponsorship. Neither outfit would have any such problem should they move south to play in the world's richest league, though, and Christie is sure top players from around the globe would want to sign for Celtic and Gers.

He said: "There are several players up here who could easily do well in the Premier League. Brendan Rodgers has shown that with showing interest in a few Celtic boys already. I've said it for years, if Celtic and Rangers got to the Premier League - and it's one of the reasons I don't think they'd want us in - within four or five years I'm convinced they'd be up there challenging for the title.

"The TV money is huge and the fan base of Celtic is colossal. You look at the TV money they get in Scotland compared to down south it's just a world of difference. It would take time but I think within five years they would be up there, they are that big a club."

Charlie's son Ryan has been a top player for the Hoops over the past few seasons and Charlie is sure eventually his son will want to move on and test himself against the best in the game down south. And Christie Snr is adamant there will be scouts already keeping a close eye on his boy. "Ryan is very ambitious and he loves playing for Celtic, but I have no doubt there will be other clubs looking at him," he added. "To score 20 goals from midfield by March, it would be mad for scouts not to have him on their radar, and I mean at the very top level.

"I would temper that by saying that he's having the time of his life at Celtic. He's got a nice flat in a nice area of Glasgow and he says there's a real bond in the changing room and he's very close friends with a lot of guys in there.

"I think Ryan could play at that level, there are a lot of Celtic players who could. They have an abundance of talent. We watch the English Premiership and see how John McGinn has thrived, how Stuart Armstrong is doing so well. I just don't think we give our players enough credit."