A lot of press are making a bit of a deal out of the value of Rangers’ squad, prompted by Gio’s comments, given the market number over the group is the fourth-smallest in the UCL.
Only Donetsk, Haifa and Plzen are worth less than Rangers, and we wanted to see if that has any bearing whatsoever on the result.
Well… Plzen were crushed by Barca in the Camp Nou, and Haifa were beaten 2-0 in Lisbon but what of Donetsk?
Well, the lowest-value side in the UCL… travelled to Leipzig and destroyed them – it ended Domenico Tedesco’s reign as RB manager as he shipped four goals to arguably the poorest side in the UCL.
Celtic’s squad is the 6th lowest value in the UCL.
So what does this mean?
There is no question there’s a gap between rich and poor in this tournament – the best sides invariably destroy the small sides.
But Leipzig, as one of the seemingly better sides (pot 2), have had a rotten start to this season and being horsed at home by a pot 3 side was viewed as the final straw.
Let’s not discredit Shakhtar though – they are an experienced UCL team who have been active in this competition for years.
And that still, for us, is a huge deal that Rangers lack – experience.
You can babble all you like about the UEL and our great run to the final, but it just doesn’t compare to the UCL.
However, there IS something to be said for Rangers’ squad being so modest. That we started matchday one with an XI costing around £14M is literally absurd at this level.
But again, Leipzig’s is worth a fortune and the Ukrainians went over there with their pennies and lamped them.
Having all the money in the world is no use when your players aren’t up for it.
And if they’re not up for it AND you have very little cash as well you have zero chance.
Lesson learned we hope.