Celtic legend Kenny Dalglish believes qualifying for the group stages of the Champions League will give the Hoops a “significant” advantage in next season’s title race.
Rangers could also still qualify, via either winning the Europa League or going through the qualifying rounds, but Dalglish believes that, if their Glasgow rivals don’t make it, the Hoops are likely to be firm favourites to finish top once again:
“You’d have to fancy my former club to win the title again. But it’s so, so tight between Celtic and Rangers. There is very little between both teams, as the last three Old Firm games have shown. Rangers may well also have financial riches to come their way if they win the Europa League on Wednesday night.”
“That will make it all the more interesting, for sure. But Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s men need to deliver. If they don’t, Celtic would likely have a significant financial advantage. Having that kind of power may lead to them being way out in front. It all makes for an interesting summer, and hopefully, it leads to a tight title race.”
You can’t underestimate the significance of securing a Champions League group place. Celtic are expected to receive an additional £40m, at least, from participating in the competition.
Whether that will all filter down into Ange Postecoglou’s transfer budget, we shall have to wait and see, but there is no doubt that it will give the manager greater flexibility when buying players.
While Dalglish appears to be hoping that Rangers also qualify to make it a “tight” battle for the title next season, Hoops supporters will have very different feelings about the matter.