Rangers say they will make the equivalent of a season’s worth of domestic broadcast revenue by featuring in the Sydney Super Cup with Celtic.
News that the Glasgow rivals will have their first international meeting on November 20 as part of a four-team tournament alongside A-League teams Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers has proved controversial.
The competition, which starts on November 16 during the break in domestic football for the World Cup, will be held in Sydney’s 83,500-seat Accor Stadium.
The announcement sparked fierce criticism from some fans of both Glasgow clubs but Rangers commercial director James Bisgrove outlined the financial worth of the competition after the Light Blues accepted an invite from New South Wales Government.
Bisgrove said: “To be frank it’s a sizeable benefit to the club from a commercial perspective to the extent that we have never had an offer of this level for two friendly games, for an international tournament.
“So it is something that the board have unanimously seen as a positive opportunity for Rangers Football Club.
“To put some context around this we have spoken before on the broadcast and media values in Scotland and the club’s view on that has been well documented.
“Participation in this event over eight days will benefit the club to the same level as an entire season in the SPFL.”
The tournament will see Hoops manager Ange Postecoglou returning to his homeland and the two-time A-League winner and former Socceroos boss admitted it would be an emotional trip.
“There’s no doubt it will be special. I know how big this football club is back home and for me to go back as the manager of it, it will be emotional,” said the 56-year-old, who moved to Australia from his native Greece as a small child.
“For the whole football community that I grew up in, they will all take great pride out of somebody who came through their ranks bringing home such a massive football club.
“People are not that aware of the global reach of this football club. If you talk about big football clubs in Australia, Celtic is up there in terms of recognition.
“Hopefully what this means is that we keep looking at these markets and keep growing the reach of this football club because there are opportunities there to keep fertilising that feeling and connection.
“If you support this football club in Australia, it means you are getting up at two or three in the morning to watch them and that’s a hell of a commitment.”