Europa League broadcast and KO pain for Rangers

Europa League broadcast and KO pain for Rangers
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 09: Rangers manager Philippe Clement is seen during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Rangers FC and Dundee FC at Ibrox Stadium on December 09, 2023 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

We haven’t covered this yet, but the outrage over Rangers’ home leg v Benfica at 17:45 is quite merited, but, thanks to UEFA and TV coverage rules, Rangers sadly pulled the short straw along with West Ham.

In simple terms, going by the configuration of broadcasts, each competition on Thursday during the KO rounds sees 8 matches per match day – and based on how each competition broadcasts, it’s 4 early kick offs and four later ones.

The problem for Rangers is that both the Conference and Europa Leagues are played under the same rules on the same night and only 8 matches total (between both competitions) can broadcast at any given time.

This means it’s four from the UEL and four from the ECL at any given time, and the real short straw here is that there are four British clubs and UEFA set it up that only two can be shown live at any time in this competition round.

And the further short straw for the second leg is that the prime 8PM slot was given to Brighton and Liverpool, with ourselves and West Ham relegated to the less-desirable 17:45PM slot.

It’s just the way the cookie crumbled – Rangers played a little bit to the galleries by claiming they’d made a robust case to UEFA, but in reality this wasn’t done to hurt Rangers, it was done to fit the fixtures all in, and if Rangers had ‘won’ their case Brighton would have had to take that lesser slot instead.

And it’s a bit entitled to demand we get the best slot just because ‘of who we are’.

We take this one on the chin, as horrible and inconvenient as it is for our fans, because if it wasn’t us it would be Brighton instead.

It was the short straw and we (and West Ham) drew it.

Just have to get on with it.

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