THEY are clubs equally drenched in history with a special shared heritage of players.
A long line of greats have pulled on the blue jerseys of Everton and Rangers; from Gary Stevens, David Weir and Duncan Ferguson to Nikica Jelavic in the most recent era.
And news yesterday that the Ibrox club faces liquidation was likely to have been met with dismay by many at Goodison Park; from Glasgow native David Moyes, to fellow Scots Alan Irvine and Jimmy Lumsden.
A creditors’ deal to save the financially stricken club was rejected by HMRC on Monday, meaning Rangers will have to re-form as a new company if it is to continue football operations.
The remaining 11 Scottish Premier League clubs will then have to vote on whether to re-admit the “newco” to the league, and other issues remain unanswered about membership of the Scottish Football Association.
The new Rangers will also be hit with a three-year ban from European competition by UEFA, ensuring that this week has become a new low for supporters of the Old Firm side.
Croatian striker Jelavic admitted he was heartbroken when he found out Rangers had entered administration back in February, just a month after he departed for Goodison.
And despite being involved at Euro 2012 his thoughts will be with his former club this week as players, staff and fans come to terms with the latest set-backs.
On Sunday night Jelavic’s ability was there for all to see when he produced a trademark finish in his country’s 3-1 Group C romp over the Republic of Ireland, and even though it capped a happy six months for the 26-year-old, he has been left shocked and stunned by events at Ibrox.
“Things have been great for me since I signed for Everton but I do have a lot of sympathy for the guys at Rangers,” he said.
“I can’t actually believe what has happened to the club since I left. I still speak to some of the players there so I know what is going on and I know how difficult it has been for them.
“It’s incredible – how can a club like Rangers get into this state?
“They can’t go into liquidation, can they? That’s just not possible.
“It would be a disaster and I can’t imagine what Scottish football would be like without them.
“It is so sad to see. I love that club and I love the supporters, a club as big as this should not be in such a terrible state.”
Jelavic hopes to show that he is one of the continent’s top strikers during this month’s tournament, but he will never forget his 17-month spell in Scotland.
He added: “In a way you could say I left at the right time but I’m not sure I see it like that.
“It is heartbreaking to see the problems I left behind because I will never forget what Rangers did for me.
“They gave me a big opportunity and if it was not for my time in Scotland then maybe I wouldn’t be here today at this tournament.
“What is in the past you can’t change. I am a positive person and always prefer to look forward.
“But although I have moved on Rangers will always be in my heart. I’d just like to take this chance to wish them all the best.”