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Scottish Club Football Will Struggle To Attract Top Players

Football News 24/7
As the clubs, players, fans and the Scottish Football authorities rake over the embers of a Eurppean season that has already gone out there is a view that bigger changes might be needed. Rangers had already missed out on around £15 million in Uefa prize money, broadcasting revenue, gate receipts and commercial income because of their Champions League exit to Malmo. Last season, they earned a total of £16.5m from Uefa and the television market pool alone from playing in the group stage of the Champions League and their subsequent last 32 and last 16 ties in the Europa League.

The Europa League pales in comparison to the elite tournament in terms of finance, but Rangers and Celtic would expect to earn around £4m each from group stage participation. Celtic, who saw their turnover slump to a ten-year low last season from having just two home European games and no group stage football, had stressed the importance of progress this time around yet find themsleves out of the competition - and out of the money before August is out.

The earlier start to the SPL season should in theory have ensured there were no fitness issues, but many of the lower ranked countries Scottish teams are facing are playing summer football and are well into their season.

This week's results have seen Scotland slip to 17th place in this season's provisional list, behind Cyprus, and they could yet be overtaken by Israel, Czech Republic, Croatia, Belarus, Romania, Poland and Sweden, all of whom have at least one team left in Europe, before the end of the season. The rankings will decide which stage clubs enter the European tournaments in the 2013-14 season, when Scotland will have one Champions League representative, facing three qualifying rounds to make it to the group stage, and three Europa League places.

Things will get worse 12 months from now, when Scotland loses the 2007-08 season (when Rangers reached the Uefa Cup final) from the five-year cycle used to determine the co-efficient table. As it stands, Scotland are expected to drop to 28th place next season, eclipsing their previous all-time low ranking of 26th which was recorded in 1998.

Interestingly, Irish Football is on an upwards curve and this in some people's view is a result of the change to a summer schedule. With Shamrock Rovers making the knock-out stages of a European compeition - the first Irish Premier League side to do so and there is weight to this argument.

The shortfall from the European debacle can only add velocity to the downwards spiral as even the two Glasgow Clubs have struggled to attract top names in the summer as the gap bewteen richer leagues becomes bigger. The manner in which Herats were seen off by Spurs in the Europa League supports those who believe Scottish football is getting further and further behind.

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