What Celtic’s Champions League exit means for the club

What Celtic’s Champions League exit means for the club

Celtic saw their Champions League bid crumble on Tuesday night as they suffered a shock 4-3 defeat at home to Cluj, sending Neil Lennon’s men out on aggregate.

The nightmare defeat saw the Hoops miss out on an initial €15million windfall but the costly implications go further than that.

Here PA takes a look at what the result could mean for Neil Lennon’s side.

Finances

The Hoops’ coffers have recently been swelled by Arsenal’s €27million deposit for the purchase of Kieran Tierney but that cash bonanza will now have to be used to cover the lost income from Celtic’s failure to qualify for the Champions League.

Uefa’s main competition offers an immediate €15.25million payout for reaching the group stages, with €2.7million handed out for a win and €900,000 per draw.

On top of that, group stage participants take a share of a €292million TV market pool while there is also a ranking bonus worth over €1m per place calculated on the 32 competing clubs’ coefficient points tallies. Teams reaching the last 16 each receive a further €9.5m.

Unfortunately for the Parkhead paymasters, the prizes on offer in the Europa League are nowhere near as generous. Just €2.92m is awarded to the 48 teams making it to the group stage, with €570,000 awarded for every win and €190,000 for a draw. The TV market pool is worth only €168million and the coefficient ranking bonus just €71,430 per place.

Group winners are paid €1million and the runners-up €500,000, with a further €500,000 distributed to those reaching the round of 32.

Playing squad

Callum McGregor, right, struggled as a makeshift left-back against Cluj (Jane Barlow/PA)
Callum McGregor, right, struggled as a makeshift left-back against Cluj (Jane Barlow/PA)

Lennon last week suggested he might look to bring in another five players before the September 2 transfer deadline – but that was before his side let their Champions League windfall slip through their fingers. Yet the Cluj catastrophe has only underlined the need for fresh recruits.

Tierney’s departure has left Lennon with only one recognised left-back in Boli Bolingoli but the €3million summer recruit from Rapid Vienna was not trusted to started against the Romanians following a less than impressive start. Callum McGregor was shifted from midfield to cover in defence but the ploy backfired as the Scotland midfielder toiled out of position.

Finding a reliable replacement for Tierney will now be Lennon’s number one priority while he may be rethinking his goalkeeping plans after seeing Scott Bain wobble in both Saturday’s win at Motherwell and again on Tuesday night. Another right-back and a third striker would be useful additions too but the loss of Champions League action will make it harder to entice top talent to Glasgow’s east end.

Title race

Rangers will be out to halt Celtic’s quest for 10 in a row this season (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Rangers will be out to halt Celtic’s quest for 10 in a row this season (Andrew Milligan/PA)

For a number of Celtic supporters, the Champions League was of secondary importance this season anyway as their team edges closer to the holy grail of 10 league titles in a row. But the Scottish champions now face the hardly-enticing prospect of Thursday-Sunday fixtures against some of the continent’s lesser lights at a time when Rangers are growing in strength under Steven Gerrard.

Celtic still have a play-off round to navigate against either Swedes AIK or Sherrif Tiraspol of Moldova but for a portion of the Parkhead faithful, it would come as no major disappointment should they bail out before the group stages and ensure their players’ legs and minds are kept fresh for the Ladbrokes Premiership battle ahead.

- Press Association

More on this topic

Real Sociedad return to winning ways to go fourth in LaLigaReal Sociedad return to winning ways to go fourth in LaLiga

Lecce spoil the party after denying first AC Milan win for birthday boy PioliLecce spoil the party after denying first AC Milan win for birthday boy Pioli

Ligue 1: Ben Yedder at the double as Monaco snatch last-gasp winLigue 1: Ben Yedder at the double as Monaco snatch last-gasp win

Serie A: Lukaku brace helps Inter Milan edge past Sassuolo in seven-goal thrillerSerie A: Lukaku brace helps Inter Milan edge past Sassuolo in seven-goal thriller


More in this Section

Haringey boss pulled ‘frightened’ players off pitch amid alleged racist abuseHaringey boss pulled ‘frightened’ players off pitch amid alleged racist abuse

Guardiola praises makeshift City defence for clean sheet in 2-0 win at PalaceGuardiola praises makeshift City defence for clean sheet in 2-0 win at Palace

Ballintubber win fifth Mayo senior title with three late pointsBallintubber win fifth Mayo senior title with three late points

East Kerry gain revenge on Dingle with Clifford brothers on fireEast Kerry gain revenge on Dingle with Clifford brothers on fire


Lifestyle

It’s the personal stories from Bruce Springsteen that turn his new ‘Western Stars’ documentary into something special, the director tells Esther McCarthy.Bruce Springsteen's Western Stars documentary more than just a music film

Apart from the several variations in its spelling in Irish and English, Inishtubbrid, Co Clare is also recognised by three other names: Wall’s Island; O’Grady’s Island and Inishtubber which surely puts it up there as the island with most names — not counting say Inisvickillane, Co Kerry which has about 33 variations to that spelling.The Islands of Ireland: In search of tranquility

More and more communities and volunteers are taking on environmental tasks around the country. In Clonmel, Co Tipperary, for example, people have united to get rid of Himalayan balsam, an invasive plant, from the banks of the River Suir.‘Bashing’ invasive plants

Halloween has become a consumer fest in recent years but there are a number of ways to reduce costs and waste — and make itHappy sustainable Halloween: Don’t be horrified with the waste at Halloween

More From The Irish Examiner