Desmond: Celtic in Premier League within 10 years

DUBLIN - Scottish champions Celtic could join the English Premier League within 10 years, one of the club's top shareholders said on Monday.

"They will open up some time to us but I would think it could be in the next 10 years," Irish billionaire financier Dermot Desmond said, adding it was inevitable that the Scottish Premier League leaders would eventually compete against the bigger English clubs.

Given the financial difficulties facing many Premier League teams, the idea of inviting Old Firm rivals Celtic and Rangers south to help generate more broadcasting revenue was again being discussed among clubs, British media reported last week.

Desmond, ranked Ireland's fourth-richest man with a fortune of 1.6 billion euros in the Sunday Times newspaper's latest rich list, said the Glasgow club remained financially sound, unlike some top-flight English sides.

"We have no debt. We are probably one of the most independent clubs in the whole of Great Britain and Ireland," Desmond said in an interview with local radio station Newstalk.

"Ten or 11 clubs will go into administration. I would not be surprised if three or four go into administration in the Premiership," he added.

Desmond also said clubs should also cap their spending to bolster their bottom line.