Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell has admitted that the Hoops face a massive challenge to stay relevant in Europe ahead of the upcoming campaign to qualify for the Champions League next season.

The Hoops have qualified for the CL group stages for the last two seasons, and Lawwell is acutely aware that for the Hoops to be involved in any potential changes to Europe’s elite football tournament they will have to keep qualifying for the money spinning group stages.

“For us at Celtic we need to stay relevant. There are huge challenges. The gap is getting bigger between the elite clubs, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester Unite, Bayern Munich and the rest” he said, as quoted by the Evening Times.

Lawwell seems to think that there will be a change in European football after 2024 and the Hoops must be at the forefront of it.

“From what we have done in the past and what we hope to do in the future, we will remain relevant and remain part of it and our job is to try and influence post 2024 onwards and be as big a part of it.”

The Hoops will begin their process of qualifying for next season’s CL in July.

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Football Insider verdict

For a multitude of reasons it is pivotal for the Hoops to ensure that they qualify for the CL group stages, the exposure and prestige is of course important, but most important of all is the money that will be generated for the club, as the shortfall for not qualifying would inevitably have to be made up with player sales. Lawwell and Brendan Rodgers will be desperate to prevent that from happening, and it will be interesting to see if the Hoops spend big in the upcoming transfer window in an attempt to make qualifying easier than it has been for the Bhoys in recent seasons. Once more though, the Hoops’ most important games of the season are to take place in July and August, and Rodgers will have to have his players ready for the challenge that lies ahead, Lawwell will be confident though that the Hoops boss can make it through to the group stages for the third season in a row.

In other Celtic news, Chris Sutton has named a player the Hoops must not sell in the summer

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