Rangers TV pundit issues 'massive' verdict after news for Celtic & Hearts

By Alan Hutton

5th May, 2022 | 10:00am

Hutton issues 'absolutely massive' Rangers claim after official statement

Alan Hutton has insisted it is “absolutely massive” Rangers and Celtic are guaranteed group stage football in Europe next season.

The former Gers defender and Rangers TV pundit, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted it is only right the Premiership winners head straight into the Champions League.

As confirmed on Monday (2 May), no Russian sides will be allowed to participate in UEFA club competitions and the access lists have been rebalanced

As detailed by ESPN’s Dale Johnson on Twitter, Celtic, Rangers and Hearts will all play European group stage football next term.

Hutton insisted the development is good news all round for Scottish football.

Hutton told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “It’s absolutely massive. These are the competitions you want to be in.

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“You want to be playing in Europe. I always found it difficult in previous seasons that you could win your league and you’d still have to qualify for the Champions League.

“It’s called the Champions League for a reason. You look at all these other nations that get four teams in there. I understand they’re in a strong league but if you win your league, you should be in it.

“The way things have worked and everything that’s going on, it’s not ideal.

“But it’s good for Scottish football the teams are going to progress.

“Rangers go into the third qualifiers for the Champions League, Celtic are straight in it if they win. It’s nice to see other teams, like Hearts, to be playing European football.

“It spurs the rest of the league on to say: ‘We can do this. We can push for this as well.’ So I think it’s just good for the league in general.”

This season’s Premiership champions will play in the Champions League.

Meanwhile, the runners-up will enter the Champions League qualifying rounds knowing defeat would send them to the Europa League group stages.

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