Cost of Rangers Champions League failure clear as Celtic spend £20m

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As Celtic’s summer spending tops £20m, Rangers and the club’s fans may well be counting the cost of a failure to automatically qualify for this season’s Champions League.

The Parkhead side may have lost experienced campaigners in the shape of Nir Biton and Tom Rogic, but in adding Cameron Carter Vickers (up to £10m), Alexandro Bernabei (£3.75m) and now Jota (£6.5m), our Old Firm rivals’ spending has already reportedly topped £20m.

Photo by Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

Couple this with a perceived lack of transfer business at Rangers – albeit with a proposed move for Croatia striker Antonio Colak in the background – and some fans are a little nervous heading into the new campaign.

It’s natural of course; seeing your rivals spend £20m while you spend zilch is a cause for concern in any league let alone Scotland, but it needs a little context.

Technically, over £16m of that investment is for two loan players who were at Celtic last season and it’s not like they’re bolstering on top of what they had with them.

But the fact they have been able to go out and spend this money so early in the window is telling when it comes to the Parkhead side’s Champions League qualification.

Rangers’ Champions League loss is Celtic’s gain

Celtic have taken advantage of Rangers’ immense European success of recent seasons to earn an automatic place in the group stage as complacency at Ibrox overlooked a 12 point swing in the title race in the latter half of the season.

This means the Parkhead side know they have a reported £40m coming into the club while Rangers have no guarantee of these riches and must navigate two rounds of tricky qualifiers to get their hands on it.

Rangers would have also gained safe passage to the Champions League had they beaten Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League Final and came within a penalty kick away from doing so.

You can also compare the transfers of Jota and Rangers winger Ryan Kent; Rangers had to wait until Europa League qualification had been secured to make the £7m move permanent in 2019.

Photo by Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

Similarly, until Rangers know they have that boost to the budget this time around the club have been clear they will not spend recklessly and for the time being the transfer situation at Ibrox feels pretty static as a result.

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Instead, the club has focused on a series of renewals with John Souttar the only signing which has bolstered the club’s first-team squad to date this season.

It’s true that Rangers are notoriously tight-lipped when it comes to transfer dealings and despite the silence the club will have a clear and succinct plan with what they need next season.

This is after all a squad which made the Europa League Final last season and but for that wretched complacency might have fared better domestically.

Rangers did allow Celtic to catch up last season but the notion there’s much, if anything, between either squad in either direction is a tad indulgent no matter which side of the Old Firm you sit on.

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

There’s still plenty of time to come in the window and there’s that old adage about focusing on ourselves, but as the season creeps closer there’s a feeling among the Rangers support that it’s high time we see some movement.

After several static transfer windows at Ibrox – both in and out of the club – fans are expecting some money to be spent to improve a side that came up short last season.

But where that investment goes might just depend on what competition we’re playing in come September and we’ve got no one to blame but ourselves for allowing that to happen.

Meanwhile, Rangers have reportedly pipped Old Firm rivals Celtic to their latest signing as the player was announced by the Ibrox side.

Rangers midfielder set to leave Ibrox this summer – report

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