Rangers and the Champions League – how group participation is and isn’t guaranteed

Rangers and the Champions League – how group participation is and isn’t guaranteed
TURIN, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 14: UEFA Champions League logo at The Juventus Stadium during the UEFA Champions League Group H match between Juventus FC and Sevilla FC at Juventus Stadium on September 14, 2016 in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)

So, we’re going to not talk about Rangers managers for an entire entry, would you believe, and are in fact focusing on next season’s Champions League and 56.

Now, a lot has been made of Rangers winning the SPL to secure group stage participation in next season’s iteration of UEFA’s premier competition, but that isn’t quite accurate.

It’s close, but not exact.

Rangers (and Celtic) on winning the league this season are NOT guaranteed group participation, but they practically are.


The winner of this season’s competition, whoever that is, must NOT fall outside their own country’s domestic league CL slots.

So, say PSG (for example, could be any CL side) finally crack the CL and win the thing – if somehow they screw up domestically and finish fourth, outside the 3 CL spots for Ligue 1, then sadly Rangers (or Celtic) will be dumped into the qualifiers.

Why? Because winners are guaranteed to be in the group stage next season by right, but if they’re in their domestic league CL slots anyway, that winners’ place goes to the lowest ranked CL qualified side outside the top 32.

And that would be the SPL winners, given how Scotland’s coefficient has now leapfrogged Ukraine.

So, the chances of the SPL winners NOT being in the group stage next season is tiny, but it’s not impossible.

And that’s that taken care of.

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