Rangers’ European exploits over the last two seasons have helped secure a second Champions League sport for Scotland from 2021/22 and opens the door for a massive windfall for the Gers next season.
Scotland is now guaranteed to be in the top 15 teams in the European coefficients and can only drop as low as 15th if FC Basel can somehow go on and win this season’s Europa League.
Results in last night’s Europa League games involving the Swiss side and Greek’s Olympiacos means Scotland should finish 14th in the rankings, granting this season’s Scottish champions entry at the third qualifying round while the runners-up enter a round earlier.
If, Scottish sides can perform as they did this season and pick up a similar amount of coefficient points, they could climb as high as 10th or 11th and secure automatic entry to the group stage in 2022.
Rangers have had to negotiate four qualifying rounds to reach the Europa League group stages in each of the last two seasons but could find themselves only two rounds from the riches of the Champions League if they win the title this season.
With plenty already at stake in the Scottish Premiership this season, the added bonus of a much-shorter path to the Champions League for the champions (they’ll have four qualifiers this season) should be an extra motivation for Gerrard’s side.