PAUL LAMBERT insists it is NONSENSE Celtic have to qualify for the Champions League group stages.
The former Hoops skipper said: “If you win your league, then you should be straight in there, it is as simple as that.
“To have to get through six games before looking at a place in the competition is a joke.
“People will disparage Scottish football. Fair enough, it is not at the same level as some of the top European league, but there is no league that is easy to win.
“If you are in a country that has access to the Champions League, then the team that is the best in the country should be straight in there.
“It is an unfair system geared towards the best leagues. To me, Celtic have more than earned the right to be in there, as has any team who have won their league.”
Lambert, a European Cup winner with Borussia Dortmund in 1997, added: “Qualifying is so difficult because you need to lift your performances immediately.
“Celtic will go up against teams who are midway through their domestic season and it really does make it very difficult.
“It is a treacherous route just to get there.”
Episode 5 of The CQN Podcast: A Celtic State of Mind comes hot on the heels of one of the club’s most controversial European ties in recent memory.
* What now for the Green Brigade?
* Dedryck Boyata – Are reinforcements on route?
* Virgil van Dijk – The windfall cometh;
* Farewell to Emilio Izaguirre.
Listen to the latest episode here: