Glasgow Rangers have improved immensely this season but the Ibrox club are still not close enough to catching Celtic, according to former England striker John Barnes.
The Gers have shown great improvement in terms of results under Steven Gerrard who made a wholesome change to the squad in the summer transfer window.
However, Barnes has told BeIN Sports that he believes the Gers are three or four years away from challenging Brendan Rodgers’ side for the title.
Rangers have seen Celtic winning back to back domestic trebles in the past two seasons, and in the last 12 meetings between the two sides, the Ibrox side have failed to win once.
Barnes is aware of the expectations from Gerrard but he believes the former Liverpool skipper needs time to mount a serious challenge for the Scottish Premiership title.
He says the gulf between Celtic and Rangers is huge in terms of players and salaries, and that is why the Gers may require another three to four years to challenge Celtic for the title.
“It’s sink or swim,” Barnes said. “It’s an unforgiving environment. When I went up there, Celtic were much closer to Rangers; they were Champions and had much more money. But the demands to win were far greater.
“Rangers fans understand that it may be three or four years before they have the financial cloud to challenge Celtic. Rangers is equally a big a club as Celtic. In terms of the players and the salaries, Celtic are streets ahead.”