The truth about the Celtic co-efficient myth and why Champions League place is fully earned

By David Walton

April 4, 2022

As Celtic close in on the Scottish Premiership title after their win at Ibrox yesterday, there’s a theory going around the Ibrox fanbase that needs put to bed.

Indeed, go on to social media and you’ll see countless Rangers fans complaining about gifting us a Champions League spot. Many believe they’ve done all of the hard work with their Europa League runs in recent years. They feel that’s what’s effectively earned Scotland a guaranteed Champions League place for next season.

And there’s no denying Rangers have certainly helped. Scotland sit 9th in the UEFA coefficient rankings and Rangers making progress in the Europa League in recent years has played a part.

Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

However, what they’re failing to get to grips with is that the UEFA rankings for 22/23 have been based upon the past 5 years of results in European competition not including this season.

Throughout that period, Celtic have managed to qualify for the UEFA Champions League group stages twice and have reached the last 32 of the Europa League on 2 different occasions also. That’s led to a coefficient points total for the club of 34.00 over the last 5 years. Rangers, meanwhile, have accumulated 31.25 in the same period [UEFA].

Therefore, if we’re solely basing it on who has contributed what, the truth is that Celtic have actually done more for Scotland in that period than Rangers have.

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Rangers supporters probably not interested in the reality as Celtic prepare to take rightful UCL spot

In truth, it would be robbery if Rangers managed to take our UCL spot. After all, we’re the ones who have contributed the most to it over that 5-year period. When they were embarrassing Scottish football against Progres Niederkorn, we were fighting away in the Champions League.

Granted, next season the rankings will factor in Rangers’ European success. But as for next year, it’s not as if they’ve handed it to us on a plate.

They’ve contributed, but so what? They always knew that if they wanted to earn the Champions League spot then the league title needed to be won. They’re about to fail in that mission. That’s on them and absolutely nobody else.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

But let’s not pretend the bagging of a group stage spot at Europe’s top table is solely down to Rangers. We more than played our part in the early stages of the period UEFA are basing this on. If anything, Rangers would’ve had us to thank if they’d made the groups.

It’s satisfying to remember it that way too. It does Celtic a major disservice by pushing the narrative that Rangers were the only ones contributing to Scotland’s boost in the rankings.

Hopefully, we see this over the line and bag the spot we evidently deserve.

In other news, Micah Richards and Scott Sinclair react as Joe Hart lauds 700 Celtic derby support