The financial impact laid bare of a strong Rangers Europa League run

Steven Gerrard believes continued Europa League progress holds the key to his ambitions of making further improvements to the Rangers squad.

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard is aware of how crucial Europa League football is to the Ibrox club. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

A third consecutive appearance in the group stage of the tournament kicks off for the Ibrox club on Thursday evening when they face Standard Liege in Belgium.

Gerrard’s outstanding record in the Europa League since taking charge of Rangers in the summer of 2018, with just five defeats in 35 matches so far, has restored their credibility on the continental stage.

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Just as significantly, it has also delivered critical streams of income as Rangers rebuild the fabric and status of the club in the aftermath of their financial collapse back in 2012. They have earned around £5 million in UEFA prize money in each of the past two seasons, with similar sums again from matchday income from home games.

The Rangers board have reinvested much of those funds into Gerrard’s strengthening of his team and he is aware of how crucial it is to maintain that balance.

“Without a doubt,” said the Rangers manager. “Without giving too much information away, this club needs to be in Europe for financial reasons and I have probably had the backing and support I have had up to date because we have been so successful in terms of manoeuvring through the three qualifying campaigns.

“This year is different because of Covid and having no fans in the stadium but, without a doubt, I think as a staff we have earned the support that we have got (from the board) and it has enabled us to go and try and improve certain individuals and bring in others to support the good players that we have got.

“That needs to continue. We are not a finished team, we are not a finished group and there are still some areas where we need to keep trying to strive to be better.

“But we have to play our part as well by trying to play as many games as we can in Europe because it certainly helps and gives the board confidence to go and back it up.”

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