BRENDAN RODGERS insists Celtic would be in “the top six bracket” of the English Premier League.

The Hoops manager is more than convinced the club would thrive among the elite across the border.

As he discussed the Champions League riches – with Scotland’s title kings about to rake in £30million-plus in the new set-up  – Rodgers emphasised the importance of the club making certain of this season’s Premiership crown.

The champions hit a bumpy spell in December when they spilled six points in back-to-back defeats against Kilmarnock and Hearts, but they rallied and eventually earned their twelfth flag in 13 years with an eight-point advantage from their nearest challengers from Ibrox.

JUST CHAMPION…a beaming Brendan Rodgers holds aloft the Premiership silverware.

The latest triumph – Celtic’s 54th untainted title in their history – guaranteed direct admittance to the revamped format in Europe’s most prestigious competition which will also see two extra games after the turn of the year.

Significant additional revenue will be added to the assured £30m which will give Rodgers a firm footing while scouring the transfer market in the summer as he strengthens his first-team squad.

The 51-year-old Irishman admitted: “That’s why the league was so important for us this year.

“Especially with the new format financially more rewarding, it’s the best opportunity the club can get to make substantial funds.

“And, clearly, from a football perspective, it’s brilliant to go and test yourselves at that level.

HAIL, HAIL…Brendan Rodgers accepts the acclaim of the Celtic fans after the title had been secured in the 5-0 win over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.

“Celtic and Rangers, and I can only talk from a Celtic perspective, are absolutely massive.

“If Celtic were in the Premier League, it would be up there and, minimum, that top-six bracket.”

Rodgers also believes the club would need a 100,000-seater stadium – Celtic Park’s current capacity is 60,411 – to cope with the demand from supporters on match day.

The former Liverpool and Leicester City, speaking to talkSPORT, continued: “It is absolutely incredible, wherever you go in the world you will meet Celtic supporters.

“The fanbase, the history of the club, that’s what makes it a truly special club.”

Rodgers took time off preparing for Saturday’s Scottish Cup Final against Philippe Clement’s Govan outfit to congratulate one-time target Ademola Lookman after his hat-trick in Atalanta’s 3-0 rout against Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League showpiece in the Aviva Stadium in Dublin last night.

GLORY BHOYS…Brendan Rodgers and the newly-crowned champions celebrate as the retiring Joe Hart takes centre stage.

The Hoops gaffer added: “I was so happy for him. I go back to my first spell here at Celtic, I met with Ademola, he knew he was going to be leaving Charlton.

“We looked to get him up here, but it was so early in the window that by the time the window finished, we couldn’t afford him. The money was too much. And he ended up going to Everton.

“I always kept in contact with him and when he was at Leipzig, I had a chance to take him in at Leicester.

“The only sad part for us was at the end of the season we had a clause where we could have bought him for £14m, but he went out to Atalanta.”

Now the focus on Celtic’s frontmen for the silverware showdown at the national stadium and the decision of who will lead the attack – Kyogo Furuhashi or Adam Idah?




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