A third year of Champions League money could take Celtic to the next level

As reported by The Daily Mail, Celtic’s qualification for the group stages of next season’s UEFA Champions League would see the club earn a record amount of European income after the governing body announced an incredible 50% increase in the prize fund.

What’s the story?

Brendan Rodgers has guided the Hoops to the group stage of the competition for the past two seasons, giving the Hoops resources beyond anything they’ve ever had before.

That’s allowed them to both manouvre in the transfer market and invest in off the field improvements to the infrastructure at the club.

Now they’re set to receive even more money, if Rodgers can guide them them through the summer gauntlet of qualifiers for a third successive season.

The Daily Mail report that the prize fund of the Champions League will increase by 50% next season, with group stage qualification netting a guaranteed £13.35m in prize money before TV rights and gate money.

With £2.36m for a win and £800,000 for a draw to then follow, say the paper, the Hoops will smash the £30m received for participating in last season’s competition.

How difficult will qualification be?

This summer will be tougher than ever for the Hoops to qualify, having to negotiate an extra qualifying round after UEFA tweaked how many teams qualify from different routes in the group stages.

Their first match will come on the 10th/11 July, which makes their pre-season extraordinarily short, especially in a World Cup year.

If they make it to the play-off round, they’ll be playing qualifiers until the end of August and could face teams like Young Boys of Switzerland or Legia Warsaw of Poland.

The money then is not guaranteed but if Brendan Rodgers can deliver for a third successive season, it’ll give Celtic the kind of spending power that could take their first team to the next level.