By Alex McLeish

12th Aug, 2021 | 5:00pm

McLeish issues 'huge' Rangers and Celtic verdict after 'devastating' financial blow

Alex McLeish has admitted Rangers have suffered a “devastating” financial blow by failing to qualify for the Champions League.

The former Ibrox boss, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted having both Celtic and the Gers miss out is a big setback for Scottish football.

Rangers were beaten 4-2 on aggregate by Malmo to see their hopes of Champions League qualification extinguished.

They will instead face Kairat Almaty of Kazakhstan or Alashkert of Armenia for a place in the Europa League.

McLeish admitted Rangers’ financial prospects had taken a big hit.

However, he suggested the Light Blues still need to sign a higher-calibre of player to make their mark on the Champions League.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

“That is a devastating blow financially,” McLeish told Football Insider deputy editor Russell Edge.

“We all want the glory first, to have that feeling of success when you go to tournaments and winning cups.

“Also getting through to the Champions League proper is a feat in itself for a lot of the smaller nations. Although we’re a smaller nation, Rangers and Celtic are huge clubs and both didn’t make it.

“That is a pretty devastating blow to the Scottish game. Rangers had two pretty good seasons in the Europa League, getting to the latter reaches.

“I don’t think we rely on youngsters coming through. We’ve never really said there was a load of guys coming through from the academy.

“It’s more they’ve scouted probables from outside. The squad is fleshed out pretty well.

“You ask me at the end of last season what can they do to impact the Champions League? They do still need to raise the quality factor.”

In other news, “arrogant” Rangers board blasted by Kieran Maguire as £8million deal hangs in balance.