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Posted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 4:41 pm
Apparently next season's Scottish champions will qualify automatically for the Champions League on account of the bonus point earned last night for a draw.
PERFECT. A boost for Scottish football and they STILL got knocked out
Posted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 5:06 pm
A tad presumptuous, naw? If I've read UEFA's convoluted rules correctly, last night's result makes it likely - though not certain - that the SPL champions in 2006-07 will get direct entry into the CL for 2007-08.
For NEXT season the SPL winners will enter at the third qualifying round and the runners-up in the second qualifying round. Your team has yet to win this season's SPL let alone next year's and given what happened in the qualifiers in Bratislava it's jumping the gun a bit to talk in terms of the Champions League.
Posted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 10:08 pm
Decent effort that it was, some members of our press should perhaps take a deep breath before eulogising yet more exaggerated offerings. It cannot be denied that a fairly ordinary Rangers side performed much better than anyone anticipated but, and there are many buts no doubt, the stultifying nature of the UEFA Champions League allowed the Ibrox side to advance to within a goal of the quarter-finals despite winning only their opening group match since the main competition's commencement. That said, I'm sure most non Old Firm supporters would agree that they did as best as they could and at least showed a tenacity and never-say-die attitude that our woeful international side would do well to learn from.
Posted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 10:45 pm
For the benefit of Scottish football as a whole I like to look it at this way. A side currently involved in a battle to determine who finishes 3rd,4th and 5th in the SPL were eliminated at the same stage as Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Liverpool, PSV Eindhoven, Werder Bremen and either Inter Milan or Ajax.
Posted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 2:08 am
The Scotsman is claiming THIS season's SPL champions will get an automatic place in the CL so I've had a check and it seems possible but not certain. Bert Kassie's site (which has always been reliable in the past) says the SPL champs are headed for the qualifiers but a link from his site posits the following scenario.
If the team winning this season's CL also qualifies for next season's group stages then that frees up a place in the group stages for the SPL champions. However if the eventual winners don't also automatically qualify for a place in the group stages then our champions will go in at the third qualifying round.
I stress here that's what's important here is qualification for the group stage not the competition itself. Therefore if Arsenal were to win it the Scottish champions would have to qualify regardless of whether or not Arsenal finished 4th in England (entry to the CL qualifiers) or lower.
As it stands a victory for Lyon, Barcelona, Juventus or AC Milan would give the SPL champs automatic qualification provided the winner doesn't drop below 2nd in their domestic league. Inter Milan would have to overtake either of the two other Italian teams so it's swings and roundabouts there.
Ajax are 20 points behind PSV so no chance there. Arsenal are 13 points away from automatic qualification for the group stage. Villareal are nine points away and Benfica are three behind.
The good news is that if it is automatic qualification and Celtic win the SPL then they could squeeze into the second pot of seeds. No matter who finished second they are likely to be seeded in the second round qualifiers - a certainty if it's Hearts or Rangers. Only Rangers would be seeded in the third qualifying round.
Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 11:04 am
Chances of automatic CL qualification in 2007-08 are now in real jeopardy thanks to the success of Romanian teams this season. Two Bucharest clubs are in the last eight of the UEFA Cup and Romania now need four more ranking points to overtake Scotland.
Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 12:58 pm
And it came to pass. With the two Bucharest clubs being drawn together, thus ensuring a Romanian semi-finalist in the UEFA Cup, it means Romania will overtake Scotland in the rankings and that NEXT SEASON'S SPL champions will NOT qualify directly for the CL
Paradoxically, the Romanian success has been built on weakness. They only had three entrants this year so their co-efficient for the season has been boosted dramaticlly. They will set a new seasonal record for Europe even if their remaining entrant loses both semi-final legs.
More worrying for Scotland is the long-term trend. We are ranked 17th this season though we will finish 11th overall as rankings are worked out over a five-year period. But we will lose the points gained from Celtic's UEFA Cup Final appearance the season after next. If we continue at this rate we are in danger of our champions entry point being the second qualifying round and losing the second place altogether.
Under the present system this will happen if we drop out of the top 16. At 17th this season and 15th last season this is a very real threat.