Rangers having to start again from League 2 didn’t just give Celtic a free run at the league title, it gave them a massive advantage in the revenue and funding race.
Due to the way that UEFA calculates how much money each participant gets in terms of TV money, Rangers need to have a few good years to close the significant gap.
Rangers with £17.7m from qualifying for the group stages and Celtic with £25.2m is a sign of what Michael Beale is up against.
Our UEFA coefficient ranking might be considerably higher than Celtic’s but that is based on a five-year period rather than ten for TV money.
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Bizarrely, it’s a similar scenario that saw teams in the Europa League earn more money than us, even though Rangers reached the final.
There is something inherently wrong about that.
Champions League is still key for Rangers in UEFA money hunt
When a club – take Newcastle United for example – is rewarded for the exploits of others then the system is broken.
Teams shouldn’t be fast tracked when they have no European pedigree purely because of the league that they play in.
It’s 20 years since Newcastle were last in the Champions League, in the meantime, Rangers have been in two European finals.
Unfortunately, UEFA aren’t going to change their ways and the only way to close the gap is on the pitch.
Qualifying for the group stages would, at least, see points won via the playoffs as we did last season with the safety net of the Europa League still a comforting alternative scenario.
The only issue is, we might be more competitive in the second tier competition but Rangers would need a similar run to match what we earned for a disastrous Champions League campaign.
Thursday nights might be more appealing in terms of potential for success but it is on a Tuesday and Wednesday where we need to be if we want to close the gap at the top of the league that really matters.