Celtic will win by Christmas! Furious Bocanegra blasts SPL for killing Scottish football
22:12 GMT, 9 July 2012
Rangers defender Carlos Bocanegra has accused the SPL of killing Scottish football — and tipped Celtic to wrap up next season’s title by Christmas.
The USA international captain returns to Glasgow on Friday to start pre-season training with newco Rangers but his future with the club remains shrouded in uncertainty.
In what could yet be a parting shot, the 33-year-old insisted he expects next season’s top flight to be so uncompetitive following the SPL clubs’ decision to exclude the newco that Neil Lennon’s team, the current champions, will retain their title in record time.
Furious: Carlos Bocanegra said Celtic could win the league by Christmas
‘Celtic are going to win the league in December. It’s frustrating,’ said the American.
‘Sometimes, I don’t understand. The people in the league, they want to punish (Rangers) for wrongdoing, but then they are just hurting themselves.’
Referring to this Friday’s meeting of SFL clubs to decide on which league the newco will play in, Bocanegra added: ‘Hopefully, they don’t put them down there (to the Third Division) because I think that is going to set Scottish football back so far.
‘Rangers is such a big institution, such a big club. I love going to work there every day. It is seriously the coolest club that I have ever been a part of.’
Bocanegra is free, however, to leave Ibrox for no fee under the terms of the wage-cut agreement signed when the club went into administration in February.
At the weekend, he admitted he would consider a return to the MLS in his homeland after eight years away, with New England Revolution keen to land him.
He has already watched as Rangers’ biggest stars have walked away from Ibrox, including Steven Davis (Southampton), Steven Naismith (Everton), Allan McGregor (currently unattached), Steven Whittaker (Norwich City), Jamie Ness (Stoke City) and Kyle Lafferty (Sion).
Left and leaving: Players are abandoning Rangers
But Bocanegra agreed with former
Rangers boss Walter Smith that no blame should be attached to those
players, whom he could shortly be joining, in heading through the Ibrox
The defender added: ‘A lot of the
fans are now starting to turn on the players because that is all they
have left to get angry at. It is just a very tough and unfortunate
‘Anybody who is leaving Rangers or staying there, it’s just a personal decision for those guys. You can’t blame anybody.'
Bocanegra plans to seek an urgent meeting with boss Ally McCoist on his return from the United States this week.
He said: ‘I have got to explore my options. I need to speak with the manager, as well. We kept missing each other. It wouldn’t be fair to speak out of turn if I haven’t spoken to him yet.
Goodbye Bocanegra could leave Ibrox for the MLS
‘I would never rule out this (MLS). I like the league. I started there. I think that it is a good league with stadiums like the one here (New England Revolution) and in Kansas City and New York.
‘It’s awesome how much the league has grown. It’s certainly not a second-tier league.’
Meanwhile, Portsmouth are lining up a deal for former Rangers midfielder Rhys McCabe, even though the Fratton Park club are themselves in administration and currently cannot sign any players as they are under a Football League transfer embargo.
But the club are hopeful that their troubles will soon be behind them and that they can land the promising young midfielder.
Meanwhile, international clearance has not been granted by the SFA yet for the five players — Naismith, Whittaker, Davis, Lafferty and Ness — who have found clubs since refusing to transfer their registrations to the newco club.