Celtic are on the brink of guaranteeing that Scotland end the season significantly higher in European wide co-efficient rankings that determine qualification places for UEFA competition, according to ESPN journalist Dale Johnson.
Currently, Scotland only receives one slot in Champions League qualifying, with matches beginning so early in the summer that an off-season lasts just a matter of weeks.
Scottish clubs entering the Europa League also have to start qualifiers in that competition exceptionally early.
If Neil Lennon’s side progress to the last 16 of the Europa League tonight, however, it guarantees a new qualification process for clubs at different levels.
Two Champions League spots will then be available to Scottish teams ESPN’s Johnson has stated on Twitter.
Only way Scotland can now miss out on 2 UCL places is if ALL:
Celtic are knocked out by Copenhagen
Olympiakos beat Arsenal and go much further in the UEL.
FC Basel (likely) reach the Europa League final OR APOEL overturn the 3-0 defeat and go further in the UEL.
— Dale Johnson (@DaleJohnsonESPN) February 26, 2020
His summation states that an achievable 13th position in the co-efficient table will see next season’s Scottish Premiership champions enter the Champions League at the third qualifying stage, with any second-placed side entering the non-champions route at the second qualifying stage.
Three further teams, including next season’s Scottish Cup winners, will take part in lesser European competition.
Clearly then the entirety of Scottish football should be cheering on Lennon’s Hoops tonight, with the national game on the verge of taking a significant step towards digging itself out of a European slump that has persisted for too many years.
Of course, Lennon’s team won’t be thinking about all this right now.
They’ll be solely focused on their gameplan tonight and helping Celtic through a European knockout round for the first time since 2004.
It’s a massive occasion at Celtic Park. Let’s hope the Bhoys can deliver.