By Wayne Veysey

Celtic may still be smarting from their early-season Champions League exit but they are set for a major Europa League windfall of around £8.5million, Football Insider can reveal.

The Scottish champions could earn nearly four times that sum from Europe’s premier competition but it still ranks as a major cash earner for the club.

Uefa’s Europa League distribution data shows that Celtic will earn £2.6m from their group stage allocation and £1million for progressing through three Champions League qualification rounds.

In addition to the guaranteed £3.6million sum, a Celtic source has told Football Insider that Scotland’s richest club expect to pocket a further £5million from Uefa handouts, prize money for their performances, the Scottish clubs’ share of the TV pool, their Uefa co-efficient ranking as well as matchday, commercial and merchandise income.

Parkhead is usually a 60,000 sell-out for European matches and the club will be expecting more bumper attendances for attractive ties against Lazio, Rennes and Cluj.

That would increase even further should Neil Lennon’s side progress from the group stages into the knockout rounds as they did last season.

Celtic earned around £30million from the Champions League in each of the first two seasons in which Brendan Rodgers was in charge.

The Europa League is not quite in the same league as a moneyspinner, but the club will regard it as significant compensation.

In other Celtic news, it can be REVEALED that a rarely-seen Hoops player is set for a major role after Lennon blown away in training.