Journalist Pete O’Rourke believes Celtic are in for a big windfall if they can win the league title this campaign.
As it stands, the Bhoys are in pole position to lift the title – they are six points clear with just five games to play. Not only are they on the road to more silverware, but finishing first in the table would see them automatically qualify for the Champions League group stages.
Speaking to GiveMeSport, O’Rourke believes this could have a significant impact on the future of Scottish football. He said: “It’d be massive for any big Scottish clubs to get in the Champions League with the finances that come with it, it can really benefit them in the transfer market going forward.
“It gives you more money to spend, but it also gives you the attraction of luring players to play in the Champions League. It would be a big windfall for Celtic and could maybe help them strengthen and move even further ahead of Rangers.”
What are the consequences of qualifying directly for the Champions League? Read on as we delve deeper.
Carter-Vickers to stay
This campaign, Cameron Carter-Vickers has been one of Ange Postecoglou’s most dependable players. He has featured 39 times in all competitions, scoring four goals, providing one assist, and helping the Bhoys concede just 19 goals in the league.
He is currently on loan from Tottenham Hotspur and is set to return to the north London outfit at the end of the campaign. Postecoglou has previously stated he wants to keep the 24-year-old in Glasgow, and securing qualification for Europe’s premier club competition would surely go a long way in convincing the defender to stay.
Spurs may well qualify themselves, but having made just five career appearances for the English side, Carter-Vickers is perhaps unlikely to feature heavily in Antonio Conte’s plans. At Celtic, he would likely play a key role in their European adventure – an opportunity that would surely be too good to turn down.
Rangers in the dust
The financial incentives on offer from Champions League participation are huge. In prize money alone, Celtic would be on course to pick up a cool €15.64m (£13m, if the distribution stays the same as this year) – a sum which does not include any extra cash based on their results. Add on the considerable TV money and the Bhoys could find themselves very much in the green and with plenty of cash to spend on improving the squad.
Rangers would also have a chance to qualify for the Champions League group stages, but finishing second in the league would see them start their journey in the second qualifying round.
Given some of the teams they could face, reaching the final 32 would be an unenviable task. The Europa League is lucrative to an extent, but it cannot compare with the Champions League, meaning Celtic would have a huge chance to move considerably ahead financially. If they spend the expected windfall intelligently, they could make it incredibly difficult for Rangers to compete.
Celtic were last in the Champions League group stages in 2017/18, when they faced the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich. Even if they were easily beaten in all four of their meetings with those sides, such glamorous occasions are enticing for players who otherwise may not consider a move to Scotland.
Will Celtic win the title?
Ironically, Rangers’ European performances have boosted the country’s coefficient, with them reaching the last 16 of the Europa League in each of the last three seasons. Still, Celtic have peaked at just the right time and could be about to make a huge step towards dominating domestically for years to come.