Dave King claims Scottish football indebted solely to Rangers for 'dragging up' European coefficient
Scotland has two representatives in the Champions League group stages for the first time since season 2007-08 after Rangers battled through two qualification rounds against Union Saint-Gilloise and PSV Eindhoven to join Celtic at the top table.
The Hoops gained direct entry thanks to winning the Premiership title last season – a benefit of Scotland’s improved UEFA ranking in recent years – which Hearts also profited from by dropping straight into the Conference League group stages after their Europa League play-off defeat to FC Zurich.
King suggested clubs should be indebted to Rangers for the current situation after successive runs to the Europa League last 16 were followed by reaching last season’s final against Eintracht Frankfurt in Seville.
"Was there ever a point where I doubted if Rangers might not reach the Champions League again?," he said.
"I was asked before about winning the league and I said at the time I did think it was possible to win a title again.
"To then kick on from there and into the Champions League group stage, it wasn't just what Rangers were doing - it was where the Scottish league would be positioned in terms of the Champions League.
"I certainly wouldn't have thought, with my most rose-tinted glasses, we could possibly ever have seen Rangers on its own, from where we were, carry Scotland forward into this position where we could get into the groups.
"But we must recognise that Rangers did this. This is not a Scottish coefficient, this is about Rangers dragging Scottish football up and itself up at the same time.
"It is not as if we were equipped to do what we did. We, as a club, have significantly over-achieved in Europe over the past couple of years."
UEFA’s website shows that since returning to European competition in season 2017-18 Rangers have earned 51.25 coefficient points.
Celtic have earned 37 coefficient points over the same five-year period with Aberdeen, Hibs and St Johnstone also making much lesser contributions.
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