Willie Henderson reckons Rangers will be ready to challenge Celtic’s domestic dominance in “two to three years” but fears the Ibrox club will be unable to stop their old rivals winning 10 league titles in a row.

Celtic are running away with the Ladbrokes Premiership this season under the guidance of Brendan Rodgers and currently sit a massive 19 points ahead of second-place Rangers in the standings.

The Gers emulated Celtic’s run of nine league crowns on the spin in 1997 but were denied a new record the following year when Wim Jansen’s Hoops thwarted a perfect 10.

With Celtic seemingly unstoppable in their pursuit of a sixth Scottish Championship title on the bounce, Rangers legend Henderson has conceded that the silverware could be locked in the Parkhead trophy cabinet for a while yet.

He said: “I can’t see, with the way things are going, that there’s any way to stop Celtic doing 10 in a row. I just can’t. It’s a figure I’m not looking forward to seeing.

“Money has a huge part to play in stopping Celtic doing 10 in a row. Unless there is a hard cash investment for the club to spend on players then it is going to be tough for the next few years.

“What is causing a problem regarding money being spent on the pitch is that there are so many problems behind the scenes. This goes back to people involved with the club and what they were doing. That’s the position they have left the club in. Let’s hope the people that left the club in that state get attended to.

“I would hope (Rangers could challenge) next year but being realistic? I’d say two to three years.”

As Rangers continue to wrestle with the aftermath of the grim financial mismanagement which brought the club to its knees, Henderson, 72, insists Mark Warburton is the man who can leave them standing tall once again.

Henderson added: “I think he’s done very well considering he’s working with one hand tied behind his back. He has limited amounts of money to spend on players. At the moment there is a strong chance Rangers could finish second.

“I have never been happy in my life to finish second top to Celtic. But I don’t think there is any other manager who could have done better than Mark Warburton. Rangers players and fans don’t want to finish in second place, but it is a hard ask to do anything else under the current circumstances.

“I think Mark is the type of guy who would like to see the job done at Rangers. I think he would love the pride of putting Rangers back alongside Celtic. He’s the kind of guy that would relish that and it would be a big feather in his cap. I think he likes being at Rangers.”

Warburton’s transfer dealings over the summer came under scrutiny as the prolonged Joey Barton saga dragged on to a sorry conclusion. The Gers gaffer also suffered an unfortunate stroke of luck when his other big name signing, Nico Kranjcar, was sidelined with a serious knee injury.

Henderson added: “I had my doubts about Barton and Kranjcar. Scottish football is quick and to bring in people at 34 into the midfield or up front is a big deal. I did question it. I would not like to see many 34-year-olds brought into the club.

“I would like to see more young players. I can understand he wanted experience but that (youth) is a better direction.

“I think somewhere along the lines, it may take a while, but when Joey Barton looks back on his life he will agree he could have done a lot better for Glasgow Rangers.

“Rangers gave him a great opportunity and he will be disappointed in himself.

*Willie Henderson was speaking at the official opening of the new UTILITA ENERGY offices in Glasgow City centre