Armenia ‘beat’ Scotland as Europa qualifers end

Armenia ‘beat’ Scotland as Europa qualifers end
Connah s Quay Nomads v Alashkert - UEFA Champions League - First Qualifying Round - First Leg - Park Avenue Alashkert team line up, Mannschaftsbild, Totale for a photo ahead of the UEFA Champions League first qualifying round, first leg match at Park Avenue, Aberystwyth. PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY Copyright: xBarringtonxCoombsx 60807287

In the aftermath of the playoffs the good news is Slavia Prague crashed out of the Europa League.

The bad news is the rest of the Scottish contingent, with the exception of Celtic, are all out of Europe.

Once more it is the same old story.

They have collectively done little to improve the Scottish coefficient. And they don’t care.

Serial losers Aberdeen lost to the European giants Qarabag from Baku, Azerbaijan, but we all know the Aberdeen fans are happy with coming second, third, or even fourth.

St Johnstone did themselves proud by drawing to Galatasaray but then lost the second leg, and then they drew against LASK, but again lost the second leg, and had two players sent off.

And Hibs, well enough said.

So, why are the coefficients so important, when Scotland now has a ranking where the winner of the league now enters the Champions League group stage.

Well, there are two reasons.

The first is at Scotland’s current ranking we only get one direct entry to the group phase, and there is no guarantee that we will win the league.

And the second is the higher Scotland is placed in Europe, the more money we can demand from TV rights, and we can also demand more money for our players, when we sell.

The players also benefit in obtaining better paychecks and better contracts.

And other teams in Scotland can start to land better players, who just might start to look at Scotland and say why not.

That benefits Rangers, because we then get to play against a better level of opponent on a more regular basis.

Don’t get us wrong… we are not supporting other teams here, but the reality is we do need the other Scottish teams to finally wake up and start to think about Europe more seriously.

In the 10 years since we started The Journey, Scotland has gone nowhere.

The way they condoned nice Hib fans attacking our players and fans as just ‘fans being exuberant’ when they win a trophy, but slaughter us when we celebrate our first title in 10 years, it’s clear that they still look at Rangers like it was the 1960s, and the press is stuck in a time-loop where they just cannot see that Rangers is now an international brand, and we have left the rest of Scotland behind.

We are now looking at Europe as our new benchmark. We now want to play European football at the highest level, in the Champions League, and though we can do it all on our own, Rangers have never relied on anyone else, but the fact is it would be a lot easier if the rest of Scotland started to carry some of the load.

Sadly….it seems far too many teams in Scotland are happy to go on a wee trip to an exotic new city every August, then pack up their passports till another year has passed.

There is no preparation for a European journey, and worse still zero belief amongst the fans of any of the other teams in Scotland that they can go far in any of the European leagues.

For god sake, even Armenia managed to get a team in the Conference League. We got none.

What they don’t realise is the higher we get in the coefficient, the more teams we get into the Champions League and the Europa League.

But I guess losing is so ingrained into some team’s psyche, they just feel more comfortable losing, than trying to change the way they play.

And that is what I find so sad about yesterday’s results.

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  1. Other Scottish teams will never reach the required level. It makes me laugh when I see the annual scramble “to get into Europe”. Why bother.
    I know playing in the English leagues is unlikely but I hope sometime soon the Atlantic League proposal is resurrected so we can play regularly against the best teams from Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, Denmark, Sweden etc.
    The much ridiculed Super League is the way ahead but it has to be merit based and would in turn lead to an Atlantic League and perhaps Eastern European League. These leagues could all be played alongside the current European competitions and the fodder left behind can fight for domestic “success”.
    It just makes common sense to me. Clubs like Rangers and in other countries are being strangled by a lack of competition and resources restricted by where they are playing.

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