By Sam Stone

16th Sep, 2022 | 1:40pm

Tam Cowan: Rangers and Celtic not Champions League level

Daily Record journalist Tam Cowan believes Rangers and Celtic should be focussing on Europa League and Conference League football.

The Old Firm rivals have failed to pick up a win in their opening Champions League fixtures, with Rangers suffering two heavy defeats to Ajax and Napoli.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst has previously spoken out about the financial disparity between Rangers and Champions League clubs. Cowan suggests that is how the rest of Scottish football feels domestically when it comes to the Old Firm.

Talking on the PLZ Football Show,[25:45, 15 September] Cowan said: “Giovanni van Bronckhorst coming out and saying that he feels they are at a disadvantage in Europe is how the rest of Scottish football feels about Celtic and Rangers.

“Celtic and Rangers need to look at the Europa League and even the Europa Conference League and think that’s our level if they want to play European football after Christmas.”

Big stretch

Even now it seems like a big stretch for Rangers to reach the Europa League, with Ajax, Liverpool and Napoli standing in the way of third spot for the Gers.

This is the Gers’ first time in the Champions League for a number of years and it’s going to take a while for the club to really feel the financial benefits of qualification. Celtic have had Champions League opportunities consistently over a number of seasons and it’s clear to see that they are now benefitting.

It will be the same story for Rangers, with patience required for the Gers to actually compete in Europe’s top competition. Another shot in the Europa League would’ve been ideal for van Bronckhorst’s side after their run to the final in the 2021/22 season.

Rangers’ hopes on the European front do look somewhat dead and buried at the moment and that could leave the Light Blues solely focussing on domestic honours this season. It may not be a bad thing for the club with a less daunting schedule perhaps what this squad needs to regain form and confidence.

In other Rangers news, a video has highlighted how some fans clashed with police inside Ibrox at the end of the defeat to Napoli.