MARK Warburton may have hit the headlines this week with his admission that finishing second in the Ladbrokes Premiership was always going to be good enough for Rangers.

For some Rangers supporters, it was a terrible statement from a man in his position.

But the simple truth is what Warburton said was a statement of fact. The budgets at Ibrox and Parkhead are very different. Celtic are a lot better off.

At the same time, the money that Rangers have to spend on players is far greater than Aberdeen and Hearts, their main rivals for second place in the top flight.

But Celtic are certainly operating at a completely different level to Rangers – and it is hard to see how the gap can be bridged in the short term.

It will either take years and years of very careful team building or a sudden influx of cash to close it and there would appear to be little chance of the latter happening.

I think that most sensible Rangers fans understand that it is going to take time for them to get back to the level they were at before and there are no quick fixes.

It can certainly be done. Borussia Dortmund were on the brink of financial oblivion at one stage, but they were, within a few years, transformed into one of the best clubs in the Bundesliga and Europe.

Promoting young players to the first team played a big part in that and I think that is the road which Rangers should go down as they continue to rebuild.

But until then there is always a danger that a section of the support will look at the situation and say: "Sorry, that’s not good enough! Rangers should be challenging for the Scottish title!”

It is clearly unfair given the huge strides forward that Rangers have made under Warburton.

Yes, there have been ups and downs, this season especially. But they are unrecognisable from the team which he inherited.

Barrie McKay is a good example of a young Scottish player who has produced his best football under the Englishman.

Rangers supporters should recognise the difficulties which their team face and appreciate that it will take time for them to recover.

But in the west of Scotland managers are judged on how their team does against the side on the other half of the Glasgow divide and Warburton could very well be a victim of that.

I think it is fair to say that 2016 has very much been the year of the underdog with Leicester City winning the Premier League in England and Iceland and Wales doing well at Euro 2016.

But I can’t see a similar situation in the Premiership in Scotland in the future.

What Leicester did last season was very much a one-in-a-lifetime event. They also had resources which dwarf anything that any club has in this country.

The dynamic in a league can change quickly, but I honestly can’t see Rangers challenging Celtic at any stage in the near future.

Brendan Rodgers has a good team which is brimful of confidence and I expect them to dominate the league for some time to come.

But that is not to say that in a one-off match, like the Premiership match against Celtic at Ibrox this afternoon, things can’t go Rangers' way.

That was certainly the case in the Scottish Cup semi-final last season. In the League Cup semi-final this term they were also level with their opponents until just a few minutes from the end.

If they play well and their opponents don't perform to the best of their abilities they can triumph.