Rangers and Celtic Europa League runs earn Scotland FIFTH European spot in new UEFA competition

Scottish clubs have five opportunities to play European football next season – including two in the new look UEFA Conference competition.

Champions League places are up for grabs. (Picture: SNS/Ross MacDonald)

Recent years have seen teams from Scotland take four spots in continental competition, but recent runs in competitions have seen the co-efficient increase and now the new competition opens up further qualification routes for clubs in the SPFL from season 2021-22.

Next season two teams will compete in the Champions League qualifying rounds with the national champions starting in the third qualifier and the Premiership runners-up the round prior.

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The winners of this season’s Scottish Cup – not to be confused with the semi-finals taking place this weekend, held over from last season – will be rewarded with a place in the final Europa League qualifying round.

The winners of the Premiership will have a route to the Champions League via the third qualifying round. (Picture: SNS/Gary Hutchison)

The clubs who finish in third and fourth of this season’s Scottish Premiership will enter the newly created UEFA Europa Conference League from the Second Qualifying Round which begins on July 22, 2021.

Rangers and Celtic are both in Europa League action tomorrow night, with Lech Poznan visiting Ibrox and Celtic in France to meet OSC Lille.

Last season both contributed to the country’s co-efficient, with Rangers reaching the last 16 of the Europa League before being eliminated by Bundesliga giants Bayer Leverkusen, and Celtic winning their Europa League group, defeating Serie A side Lazio in the process.

The new Conference competition will run for at least three seasons, and comprise of eight groups of four teams, followed by a knockout round play-offs, the round of 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals and final.