There is no Old Firm as infamous Celtic prankster returns to guarantee Hotline a comedy act are heading one way

We’re just six days away from the return to domestic action with the Premier Sports Cup group stages kicking off on Saturday.

But the excitement levels are starting to build ahead of the new Premiership season too - and it’s no surprise that it’s the Celtic support who are bounding into the new campaign with a swagger in their step. Hoops fan Gordon Ashley, Ayr, said: “What a fantastic position the champions are in.

“A mountain of cash in the bank with another avalanche of cash coming in from all angles this season, hoovering up trophies, share prices rocketing and a second training centre well down the line. When you compare it to the utter comedy show shambles going on over the garden fence you can see that this long running battle is now over.”

Michael Emonds, Northampton, added: “Caller Chris Lowe has definitely got a case of Celtic-phobia and O’Riley Syndrome. He slates Celtic’s shortcomings in Europe and blames it all on 23-year-old Matt. In O’Riley’s time at Celtic, he’s won three league title and three cups, against one League Cup won but the Govan Galacticos. I’ll bet any player or supporter would swap young Matt’s tally for their’s all day long. Go on admit it Mr Lowe, you would too.”

Rangers have been busy in the transfer market reshaping Philippe Clement’s squad with seven new signings this summer. Gavin MacLeod, Bearsden, said: “I’ve been fairly happy getting some early business done, but how many of Rangers signings are going to impact the first team this season? The lack of outgoings (bar the out of contract players) is not promising as we enter pre-season. I’d like to see the ones who are going to be gone and replaced with genuine upgrades. I think Big Phil has a vision of what he needs and I hope the recruitment department can execute it.”

And Robert Livingstone, Palm Beach, also hopes the Light Blues are preparing to make a major move in the next few weeks. He said: “Well if it’s really true that Rangers have been offered over £4million for Cyriel Dessers, that has to be an exceptional piece of business recouping all costs. It’s probably best that Dessers goes elsewhere and restart his career like Sam Lammers, who was dire and unloved at Ibrox.

"Dessers scored 22 goals last season but there were so many bad misses, so many clumsy moments in front of goal for him that it all went toxic, with the fans turning on him in droves. If Rangers do get £4million-plus, the fans know who to replace him with - Lawrence Shankland or Bojan Miovski.”

Celtic began kicking off the cobwebs as they played out a 1-1 pre-season draw at Ayr on Friday night - with Kyogo slotting home from the spot.

Rab Hunter, Dumfries, said. “It’s good to see that Willie Collum is already using his new position as Head of Referee Operations to influence refereeing performances across the board, even in pre-season friendlies, ensuring his life-long mantra is being strictly adhered to from day one - 'penalty to Celtic'. Undoubtedly we will be seeing many more of these as the season progresses, yet again.”

Meanwhile back at the Euros, England continued with their snooze-fest campaign as they edged out Switzerland on penalties. Andrew Lamb, Fraserburgh, said: “Despite the criticism levelled at Gareth Southgate and England, can I say how proud of these guys I was on Saturday night against the Swiss. That took guts and England showed great spirit and courage.”

The Three Lions’ result left John Steel to ponder: “Considering how well Switzerland and Germany have done so far, maybe Scotland just met two teams on form at the wrong time. Perhaps if Scotland where in another group things could've been very different… or is that just a get-out for Steve Clarke and his players? Maybe under different management it could have been better."