SPL loses UCL spot, but it’s Celtic not Rangers who will suffer

SPL loses UCL spot, but it’s Celtic not Rangers who will suffer
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 14: A general view inside the stadium as an LED screen displays a 'Welcome to Ibrox' message prior to the UEFA Champions League group A match between Rangers FC and SSC Napoli at Ibrox Stadium on September 14, 2022 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Scotland has officially lost its automatic Champions League spot for season 25/26, but given how the co-efficient rules are changing, it’s Celtic who stand to suffer badly.

So to get you up to speed, Rangers have carried Scottish football mostly single-handedly since 2018. Almost all of the coefficient points won by Scotland have been as a result of Rangers’ endeavours, with one single season (19/20) being aided by some strong performances by other Scottish sides. That season’s points expire next season.

However, since 2018, Scotland’s points in the Europa League (hugely propped by Rangers) have been stonking:

9.750 8.500 7.900 3.500 6.400

As you can see, 22/23 was horrific for all of Scottish football and is why Scotland lost its auto spot as of Thursday night when Plzen drew with Fiorentina.

Czechia is now officially 10th in the list.

But aside 22/23, the points have been great, and they’ve almost entirely been from Rangers.

And because of other clubs’ dreadful seasons, aside 19/20, Scotland now loses that Champions League auto spot for 25/26.

But… here’s the big caveat – it doesn’t actually affect Rangers at all.

From 25/26 the Champions League will be measured by club coefficient and not country, and only the last five years.

Currently it’s 10 years, and it’s country.

And Celtic’s European record in the past five years is just funny. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s a shambles.

But Rangers? Our numbers are brilliant and our participation in 25/26 UCL depends on how we as a club do in Europe more than anything. Not our country’s overall score.

Meaning, us winning the title next season should give us UCL anyway (depending on how the numbers pan out, but not Celtic if they do.

It’s more complex, but simply put Celtic could be facing a barren wilderness of no European football for years, while Rangers get rewarded at last for all the coefficient we’ve earned the past 5 seasons.

That said, this season is a must-win anyway – new Champions League format next season, and Rangers would love to be part of it.

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