Was this bigger than Seville? It’s an easy answer, yes.
Now, while the rewards on offer for winning in Seville did eclipse what we’ve secured by this route, there was a lot more riding on this one.
So, let’s paint the picture. What would we have won in Seville:
The Europa League, the trophy, UCL place in pot 1 as second top seed behind last year’s winners, super cup final place and £60M.
What did we end up with?
A place in pot 4, and £65M.
Now, while the second option seems a lot less sexy than the first, it goes deeper.
First, you’re wondering where the extra £5M came from. Well, that was from the playoff round, something we wouldn’t have got by winning the UEL final.
Secondly, where’s the ‘deeper’?
Well, getting to Seville was big, but the reality is the Europa League is the diddy league. The Thursday cup. And even then, we failed at the final hurdle. We didn’t win, so while winning these days does earn a lot more than it used to, even winning the UEL isn’t that sensational, so losing?
No one remembers the losers.
So what’s the deeper?
We failed in May. We failed to win the UEL. This, on Wednesday, was absolutely do or die.
Failure to beat PSV would have seen Celtic fans swarm all over our pages, all over Ibrox Noise, pointing the finger and laughing.
More tellingly though it was securing our place as always the bridesmaid and never the bride.
We didn’t want to fail yet again, to trip up as we’ve done every season in Europe.
We wanted to finally win something, and at last, when it REALLY counted, and it was do or die with everything on the line, we did.
Sevilla wasn’t everything on the line – we wanted to win, sure, but just getting to the final was, for our club, a win.
Losing out was gutwrenching, but losing out v PSV would have been absolutely agony, worse than Sevilla.
To fail twice in a row.
This was, once again, winner takes all. For the winner, the Promised Land and the prizes, for the loser, the ignominy of the UEL and failure.
We finally won. We secured our destiny at last.
It has been a LONG time coming but we are finally back where we belong.
Let’s stay there.