CELTIC risk seeing millions written off the value of their star players.
That's the warning today from former Hoops hero Frank McAvennie as he considers the implications of an SPL without Rangers.
The ex-Parkhead striker fears Scottish football will fall to the level of the League of Ireland if Sky pull the plug – and he is convinced the broadcaster is not bluffing.
With the lack of competition and cash, Macca warns it will be harder than ever to attract good players – and to hold on to the ones already here.
Celtic's Gary Hooper falls into that category. But, while Southampton have already been prepared to offer £6million for him, without the Old Firm stage on which to show his quality, McAvennie reckons it will be tough to prove his worth and retain his value.
Macca said: "These are the kind of guys you want to hold on to. But how will their value be maintained if you no longer have the Old Firm games to judge them in?
"I enjoyed playing against the likes of Motherwell and Aberdeen, but they had good teams at the time. Now, it's not the same, and the Scottish game still has a way to fall. That includes in their European ranking, which will make qualifying for the group stages of competitions even harder in future."
McAvennie has watched in disbelief as the SPL clubs rejected the Rangers newco's application to win a place in the top division, and is astonished it will now be down to the SFL to this week possibly decide where they play.
He considers it has been a massive mistake, which will have serious consequences for every club north of the border.
"I agree Rangers deserved to be punished," he said. "But, what have these clubs who are voting them out of the SPL done?
"It's not the fault of the people who are at the club now. And why should the fans of Rangers, and other clubs, including Celtic, suffer for what has been done in the past by people no longer involved?
"I just don't see where it makes sense to kick them out of the SPL if Sky are saying the clubs will not be getting the £650,000 they are each due to receive in August.
"Sky are not bluffing. In England, it's only the Old Firm games that people buy into and what they are interested in."
McAvennie added: "There will be other clubs who go to the wall. It's going to end up like the League of Ireland. How do you attract players to Scotland, and how do you keep those already there?"