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Thursday 8 December 2016

Celtic star Scott Brown blasts UEFA rankings

Scotland captain Scott Brown during a press conference. Scotland Press Conference, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE
Scotland captain Scott Brown during a press conference. Scotland Press Conference, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

Scott Brown believes it is time UEFA started rewarding Celtic for their performances on the continent - rather than punishing the Hoops for Scotland’s European failures.

The Parkhead skipper is frustrated by the governing body’s coefficient system which ranks the Scottish Premiership 23rd from Europe’s 54 top-flight leagues.

As a consequence, Ronny Deila’s champions now have to battle through three qualifying rounds just to reach the cash-rich group stages of the Champions League - and they will not have the safety net of a Europa League place to fall back on until the third of those ties.

Icelandic minnows Stjarnan will provide the first hurdle to be overcome when they travel to Glasgow on July 15 for the second qualifying round first leg.

Now Brown says it is time UEFA throw out the current system which persistently hinders large clubs based in weaker nations and replace it with a new formula which recognises the efforts of individual teams.

Asked if he was irritated at having to play so many games just to qualify, Brown said: “Yeah but we have to do what we have to do to get into the group stages. It’s always hard having just the two weeks off when you are the champions. But it’s different up here. People don’t appreciate us as much as they should. When we play in the Champions League, whether it’s home or away, we always give it a right good go. We’ve done well in the past and hopefully we will do the same this season.”

“It might happen in the future that your coefficient is worked out on what each club does rather than all the teams from your league. But the way it is now we need to deal with the three qualifiers that are coming towards us.”

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