Sir Walter? One Knight in Dublin.

Last updated : 12 November 2010 By Number Eight.

It's a credit to all involved at the club that a particular topic has grown into a fascinating debate within the Rangers support: which is the more desirable prize - the national league title, or the Europa Cup?

I would have expected a European trophy to rank a country mile ahead of another league title win, but a recent poll on saw a handsome majority preferring a fifty-fourth domestic championship to winning a second European pot.

The Europa Cup has been referred to, quite disrespectfully, as the Thursday Cup, and yet this is a trophy that would outrank every one of our world record fifty-three titles. A brief glance at our trophy haul on the official Rangers website sees our 1972 ECWC triumph at the top of the pile - along with two other final appearances in the same tournament - followed by our recent UEFA Cup Final appearance.

Our fifty-three domestic titles are next in the pecking order, and that's understandable. Success in a European context is more widely-acclaimed and respected than domestic glory. Essentially, international achievements are more prestigious than local successes.

The financial argument has been put forward, and of course no football club can ignore the importance of money in the modern game, but it's mildly staggering that the beancounter point of view - amongst supporters - has taken precedence over having a second European notch on our belts. Supporters now talk of the financial windfall that goes with qualifying for the Champions League, and many believe this is more desirable than winning the Europa Cup.

I remember being told during the 'nine in a row' years that we were so far ahead of Celtic that they'd never come back at us, but they did, and they have. It would be nice, of course, if we could finish Celtic off as a major domestic football force, but even if we win the league this year, Celtic will bounce back in the future. The idea that they'll never recover if we win the league again this season is far-fetched and over-stated.

It has to be asked: is our ongoing and age-old battle with Celtic a level of parochialism that will happily let European success drift by - just as long as we finish above 'them' in the league?

Tell me it isn't so. Surely a quarter of a million Rangers fans assembled in Manchester to be part of a special moment in the club's history. They would have been fully aware that European glory passes this way only very rarely, and they no doubt hoped to be part of an experience that has been all too rare for Rangers fans: witnessing their club triumphing in Europe.

The modern game has marginalised clubs from outwith Europe's big five nations, and this is a problem which needs to be tackled head-on, but while it remains, Rangers competing in a European final is the stuff of dreams - the length of Great Western Road ahead of domestic success.

Naturally, while the club still has an involvement in the Champions League, that's the priority - the Holy Grail - but if our progress is halted, and if we enter the Europa Cup instead, a Dublin triumph would provide a glorious bow-out for manager, Walter Smith.

Another domestic trophy won't tip the scales towards a knighthood for Smith, but a European pot?

That just might.