'Absolute game-changer' - Barry Ferguson makes bold £60m Rangers claim ahead of Champions League showdown

Barry Ferguson has claimed that Rangers could hand themselves a £60 million financial boost over bitter rivals Celtic by qualifying for the Champions League.

Steven Gerrard, Manager of Rangers. (Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images)

The Gers come up against Swedish outfit Malmo on Tuesday in the third round of qualification for Europe’s elite competition, and head into that clash knowing that their Glaswegian neighbours have already been dumped out of the tournament.

Booking a place in the group stage of the Champions League is enough to secure a prize pot worth £30 million, and with Scotland’s improved UEFA co-efficient meaning that whichever club wins the Scottish Premiership in 2021/22 will automatically qualify for the round robin next term, they have the opportunity to pocket an extra £30 million in the coming months.

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And Ferguson has been quick to emphasise just how significant that money could be for the power dynamic in the Old Firm.

Writing in a column for the Daily Record, he said: “We all know that this season, the one that kicks-off today, the league winners go directly into next year’sChampions League, so that’s a minimum of £30 million being poured into the coffers.

“But Celtic’s defeat in the qualifiers means they won’t be getting their hands on that £30m this season, while Rangers still have theopportunity to do that.

“But with that kind of Champions League money potentially coming in over the next two seasons, there’s definitely scope to attract some top-class players who might be playing at mid-table EPL outfits, having made their money and now fancy a crack at winning trophies and playing in the Champions League.

“Rangers would still have to pay them more than the wages they’re paying at the moment but with a minimum of £60m in the bank before you even think about season ticket revenue, they’d be able to do that.

“And good players would come, I’m convinced of it.

“They can make a £30m-plus jump on Celtic this season with their rivals already out of the running. That will require first getting past Malmo and although that won’t be easy, I’ve every confidence they can do it and take a huge step on the way to doing that by getting a positive result in Sweden on Tuesday."