Celtic's potential £40m windfall has nothing to do with luck or rivals

By David Walton

April 11, 2022

As Celtic close in on the Scottish Premiership, there’s a particularly frustrating narrative that’s starting to play out surrounding our right to the UCL spot.

There’s an idea floating about that Rangers have paved the way for this season’s Premiership winners to enter the UCL group stages. That they alone have provided Scotland with this glorious opportunity because they’ve reached the quarter-finals of the Europa League this season. That and the fact they managed to reach the last-16 last term too.

But before this week, this was all coming from Rangers supporters who are struggling to accept the reality of Celtic preparing for a historic title success. How disappointing then it was to see Keith Jackson also push the same myth in the Daily Record this morning. His piece stated the following:

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

“At times what they have produced throughout this run has been quite spellbinding and now that they are within 90 minutes of a Europa League semi-final, they will carry with them the best wishes of those of us who are not twisted by bigotry or warped by hatred.

“The truth of the matter is Scottish football ought to be genuinely thankful for the stellar work that was started by Steven Gerrard and which Van Bronckhorst has continued since taking over from the Englishman in the Ibrox dugout. At a time when Steve Clarke has our national side in splendid resurgence, Rangers have also carried the flag for this country with such distinction that they have forced a path for Scottish clubs back into the billionaires’ playground of the Champions League.

“Even despite UEFA’s best efforts to keep the riff-raff at arm’s length. That a rampant Celtic now look set to collect the enormous financial rewards from all of this tireless trailblazing is, of course, the bitter irony where Rangers and their supporters are concerned.”

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Celtic will have earned their spot both domestically and continentally

Last week, we covered exactly why this idea of Rangers having “forced a path” for Scottish clubs into the UCL is totally unfair on Celtic.

It’s almost as if we’re totally forgetting that UEFA rankings for 22/23 is based on the last 5 years of coefficient points not including this year. Even if Rangers had gone out in Europa League qualifying this season, we would still have been on course for a UCL spot come the end of the campaign.

Why is this the case? Because over the previous 5 years, Celtic have racked up 34.00 coefficient points to go with Rangers’ 31.25. Those are the figures that has Scotland in the top 10 of UEFA’s coefficient ladder [UEFA]. And it’s exactly why our league winners will go into the group stages barring a horrendous run of results in this year’s UCL.

Photo by Pierre Albouy – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

So Celtic have actually contributed more than Rangers over the past 5 years. It’s not as if our foes getting through a couple of rounds this season has opened up anything for us. Let’s also not forget Celtic earned more points than Rangers in the group stage also. Necessary context if you’re pushing the narrative that we’re snatching something away from our rivals that isn’t rightfully ours.

Finally, we’re almost forgetting entirely that if we enter the groups it’ll be because we won the Premiership. It’ll be down to the fact that we’ve bossed Rangers up and down the country this season and secured the title. Not because we’ve won a lucky ticket out the raffle.

If Rangers “throw away” their chance at the UCL spot, reported to be worth around £40m [The Herald], it’ll be because Celtic have been better than them and due to our own contributions in Europe over the years. End of story.

In other news, Confirmed: Celtic secure class Sky Sports broadcast boost for all post-split fixtures