Rangers Champions League conquerors Malmo scored their first goal in the competition this season – before suffering late heartbreak against Zenit which cost the club £1.5m.
The Swedish Champions landed an early-season blow on Steven Gerrard’s Rangers team which cost the club a figure in the ballpark of £30m and almost certainly impacted the Ibrox transfer budget.
However, we’ve mused repeatedly about the gap between Malmo and the rest of the competition in their group and it has taken to matchday 5 and the visit of Russian side Zenit St Petersburg to register a goal let alone a point.
Also joined in the group with Chelsea and Juventus, the Swedes were on a hiding to nothing in this year’s competition but still would’ve laughing all the way to the bank.
However, Malmo would’ve been disappointed to see the not insignificant sum of £1.5m slip through their fingers in the closing stages of their home tie with Zenit
Malmo in Champions League prize money blow as Rangers look on enviously
Jon Dahl Tomasson’s side were leading 1-0 heading into injury time – courtesy of a Soren Reiks goal – with the Russians reduced to ten men after Dmitri Chistyakov was sent packing late on.
However, Ukrainian centre-back Yaroslav Raktitskyi was the hero for Zenit after he dispatched a late penalty.
This gained the Russians a noble draw bonus of around £800k and whilst Malmo can count their first goal, point and cash bonus in this match they miss out on the £2.3m a victory earns clubs in the competition [Goal].
To put the value of a victory in the Champions League into perspective, the winners of the Scottish Premiership – a 38 game season – received only a touch over £3.3m in 2018/19 [SPFL].
It’s precisely why this season’s Scottish Premiership has so much riding on it with Rangers well aware of the financial implications of earning 56 and potential automatic Champions League qualification next season.
However, whilst domestic duty remains of the utmost importance attention turns to the Europa League and Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s debut as Ibrox manager against Sparta Prague.