How Celtic will be affected by Europa Conference League

By Hamish Carton

September 25, 2019

UEFA confirmed the name, format and start date of their new Europa Conference League yesterday. But how will it affect Celtic?

The new competition will be ranked below its older brother the ‘Europa League’ as well as the ‘Champions League’. It will effectively give clubs in smaller countries the chance to play European football later into the season by putting them all into one competition.

(FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

26 of the 55 UEFA member nations have already lost all of their teams so far this season – and their interest in European football is over for another year. That’s what Europe’s governing body are trying to fix.

Celtic unlikely to be affected by Europa Conference League

The good news for Celtic is that the champions of Scotland will still enter the Champions League, in the same manner as they do currently. They will also still drop into the original Europa League should they lose in qualification – like we did this season.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

However, non-champion teams in Scotland will be affected. Due to Scotland’s current standing in the coefficient table, we are forecasted to have all of our other European teams enter the new Europa Conference League – alongside similar teams from similarly ranked countries.

While that could be good for chances of progress, we’re not yet sure how the financial figures stack up or whether much glamour would remain in the bottom tier tournament.

The big challenge for Scotland over the next few years is to try and get up to 15th in the coefficient table. We started this season at 26th but are already sure to shoot up given the performances of our clubs this campaign.

(SEBASTIEN SALOM-GOMIS/AFP/Getty Images)

If we can get up to 15th then we will get the best of both worlds. The UEFA access list dictates that the 15th ranked country will get two Champions League spots (one in the ‘champions route’ and one for the second placed team), one Europa League spot and two Europa Conference League spots.

That would give our country a bit of everything. And to get that we would probably only have to replicate the past 18 months form over about four or five years.

The UEFA Europa Conference League is scheduled to start in 2021