Rangers’ Champions League ambitions revealed as boss lets slip

Rangers’ Champions League ambitions revealed as boss lets slip
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)

Rangers’ future plans depend very much on 56 being secured, and Champions League financial injection into the club, as Stewart Robertson let slip in a recent interview despite claiming the club isn’t budgeting for Europe’s premier club competition.

Asked if Rangers needed to sell players, the MD’s answer was initially denial:

“We have always said we’ll sell the right player, at the right price, at the right time for Rangers. We’re building something that’s long-term. We’re not going to win the league every year, you just have to make sure the foundations are in place. The long-term viability of the club is first and foremost. It’s player trading we look at, it’s not just selling players. There’s no need for us to go and sell a player if it doesn’t happen, we don’t budget to be in the Champions League. If it happens then that’s a bonus.”

This seems to be sensible comment and reassuring that the club doesn’t ‘require’ the £30M~£50M injection CL participation would bring in order to grow, but he let slip the reality in the next answer:

“It (winning the league) would allow us to do more around the stadium and there are various plans for the training ground, for example, a second hybrid pitch and a second pitch with undersoil heating to provide greater flexibility during the winter. There are other areas like the academy and women’s team we’d like to expand, so it would help us accelerate those. It would also allow us to have a bit of a reserve for the future if something doesn’t go the right way.”

Now, winning the league is what we did last season, and it earned, purely on its own merits, £2.7M prize money.

There is no way that sum of cash is now suddenly able to achieve a vast amount more – no, Robertson is letting slip that winning the league, ergo the big Champions League pot of gold that comes with it, is vital for club growth.

We can do so much right now, with some limits, and there certainly have been big improvements in the past 5 years, but to take the step Robertson is talking about isn’t about winning the league on its own, it’s about the near-£50M windfall winning the league secures by way of the Champions League.

That money is vital for players, club and beyond – and no one is under illusions the importance of securing 56.

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