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Celtic Face Uphill Champions League Task



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So it appears it’s looking less plausible that Celtic will be playing in the money spinning Champions League next season.

With nearly every domestic league completed this term, we now know who will be participating in the qualifiers for Europe’s top stage along with Celtic.

And the Hoops, because of recent poor performances in Europe, have a low coefficient, which means they will be un-seeded for the third qualifying round and, if they get there, the play-off round.

At first, they will face one of the following sides: Ajax, Dynamo Kiev, Zenit St Petersburg, Fenerbahce or Sporting Braga.

Although Braga may be replaced, depending on what happens in Romania, Celtic will still be remain in the un-seeded category, and if that is not tough enough, progression into the last qualifying round is awaited with even more daunting opposition.

At the final stage, Spurs, Sevilla or Werder Bremen could face a club who have been without a permanent manager since Tony Mowbray was sacked in March.

Many Celtic fans will have resigned themselves to playing Europa League football again next term, which is guaranteed if they are knocked out from either round.

This is unless major investment is injected into to a side who failed miserable both at home and in Europe last season. There is a big decision to be made by Peter Lawwell and the Celtic directors in the coming weeks.

Do they gamble and spend lots of money in the hope that it will bring about the estimated £12 million Champions League revenue?

Or do they maintain the healthy balance sheet and spend limited funds to prevent falling into higher debt?

The answer is likely to be the latter, as the Parkhead board have never been known for taking too many risks. And, although this will frustrate many of their fans, possibly angering some, it is the sensible option to go for.

Even if they invest heavily in some good players, it will take time for them to settle and gel together as a team. The ill-fated Mowbray experiment told them that buying too many players at the one time – as they did in January – is likely to have a detrimental effect on results.

However, let’s just say they did somehow managed to click immediately; the quality of opposition is still likely to be above that of what Celtic could muster up in this summer’s transfer market.

Both Celtic and Rangers have limited squads, and last season told us they’re both way out of their depth at the highest level in Europe.

No, it is doubtful Celtic will broker such a strategy which threatens the long-term sustainability of the club. They only have to take a look across the river Clyde to see what problems arise when you do this.

Two years without the finances the Champions League will obviously hurt the football club and force a period of downsizing.

This is what fans across Scotland have to come to terms with, particularly Rangers.

Celtic are no different, despite unrealistic calls from some to splash the cash and bring in a big name manager.