Champions League qualifiers do not concern us directly this season, but their outcome will determine whether we ‘earn’ several million pounds. Two potential qualifiers: Copenhagen and Dinamo Zagreb have higher 10-year coefficients than Celtic. That metric rewards qualification on a sliding scale. Celtic will earn an extra £2m if both fail to qualify, half of that if only one reaches the group stage.
Copenhagen were held to a 0-0 draw at home in the first leg against Sparta Prague last night. Dinamo’s game at AEK Athens was postponed after a fatality, the tie will conclude on 19 August. We can be moderately hopeful of collecting that £2m.
Scotland earns 10% of the UK TV pot, a rough approximation of our population split. Newco will earn 40% of that 10% if they reach the group stage; if not, Celtic will retain all of it. That’s slightly over £2m up for grabs, pushing the total in-play variable north of £4m.
Newco’s first challenge is to overcome Servette, who defended their way to a penalty kicks triumph against Genk in the last round. They travel to Glasgow without a handful of injured and suspended players, and one who failed to get a visa from UK immigration authorities (Wimbledon is OK for Russians, football competitions don’t matter, even if you are a Cameroon-born, Cameroon international which Russian dual citizenship).
PSV Eindhoven are the likely opponents of whoever progresses to the play-off round, which brings an added €5m bonus for reaching that stage. This is money Newco desperately need; expect full theatrics at Ibrox tonight.
While we can muse on the money, Brendan and the players will only have thoughts for Aberdeen on Sunday. Automatic qualification is a huge bonus.