Sky Sports pundit Kris Boyd believes Scott Arfield’s winning goal against Standard Liege on Thursday night could have significant ramifications for Rangers and Scottish football at large.
As well as sealing the Light Blues’ passage to the knockout rounds of the Europa League, Boyd also explains the victory could help seal an automatic spot for the Champions League group stages next season if they win the title:
“The victory for Rangers boosted the all-important coefficient and kept Scotland ahead of Ukraine and Turkey in 11th place in Uefa’s standings. That could pave the way for next season’s title winners to go straight into the cash-rich group phase of the Champions League.”
Qualification for the group stages banks a team a minimum €15m (£13.5m) with an additional €2.7m (£2.4m) for every win and another €900,000 (£810,000) for each draw.
Of course, a lot has to happen for Rangers to grab that spot. Continued participation in the Europa League will keep Scotland ahead of Turkey and Ukraine, while they must also ensure they stay focused on securing the league title ahead of Celtic.
Considering former Rangers chairman Dave King has stated that the club’s financial situation will mean it will be “essential” to sell key players next summer, this could prove crucial to keeping Steven Gerrard’s team together.