Celtic should be delighted as rivals miss out on major cash bonus
Celtic will be left delighted tonight after Rangers missed out on a potential UEFA Champions League cash bonanza.
The Ibrox club managed to lose out against Malmo as they were dumped out of the UCL at the third qualifying round stage. Despite being 1-0 ahead at half-time and up against 10 men, they conspired to let their advantage slip as Malmo bagged two goals in the second half without reply. The tie finished 4-2 to the Swedes on aggregate.
Had Rangers managed to qualify for the UCL proper, they would’ve banked £13.64m [Scottish Sun]. The defeat also ensures that Rangers miss out on what would’ve been a bumper payment for reaching the playoff round too. That could’ve banked them £4.2m.
Had our rivals qualified, they would also likely have banked extra cash in performance-related bonuses. For example, a win in this season’s competition secures clubs an extra £2.4m. A draw guarantees a further £800k [Scottish Sun].
Rangers missing out on this level of money is huge for Celtic. Especially after our own exit from the UCL qualifiers against Midtjylland.
Malmo had former Celt Jo Inge Berget starring for them at Ibrox too, giving the result an extra sweet taste to it for Hoops supporters.
Celtic rivals dumped out of UCL qualifiers in beautiful fashion
Tonight could also prove crucial to Celtic in terms of the title race. Whilst no points were earned, this could lead to a big confidence knock for our rivals.
They’ve now suffered three defeats on the spin, with any notion of invincibility having been removed from their aura. Not to mention the fact that this could have a damaging effect on their potential to keep their best players.
It remains to be seen if Rangers are able to hang on to all of their high earners. Given how damaging tonight was for them as a football club, there could be more than one looking at the exit door. It could be vital for their club financially.
Their failure to bag UCL cash a least will limit what else they could do in the transfer market. Had they banked the money, it could’ve given them one or two higher-profile names before the window was up.
Now, they’ll have to settle for Europa League qualification without any sort of heavy cash injection. Not to mention Rangers will find themselves either away to Armenia or Kazakhstan several days before the first Glasgow derby of the season later this month.
This is exactly the tonic Celtic needed after Midtjylland, and who knows how the rest of the season could pan out as Rangers’ fragilities get put on display for all of Scotland to see.