By Dan Carter

21st Sep, 2023 | 11:10am

Rangers must reach Europa League knockout stages as £77.4m difference revealed

For Rangers, the Europa League presents an opportunity for a second chance in Europe after a disappointing Champions League qualifying campaign.

The last time the Light Blues competed in the competition they made it to the final, losing on penalties to Eintracht Frankfurt. This year Michael Beale and the Ibrox crowd will be hoping for a similar run as they look to get their season back on track.

But getting out of the group stages has to be the priority and anything less than qualification to the knockout rounds of the competition will be nothing short of disastrous for Rangers, given the strength of their side compared to the other teams in their group.

According to the Daily Record (20 September), the Rangers squad is the second most expensive in Group C with a total value of £93million, having spent roughly £15million this summer. Real Betis’ team is the most expensive at £181million, while the other two teams in the group have nowhere near the spending power, with Sparta Prague’s side worth £36million and Greek side Aris coming in at £15.6million.

That makes the Light Blues squad £77.4million more expensive than Aris and £57million more than Sparta and that sort of difference in money will make it unacceptable should Beale not manage to guide his side into the knockout stages.

The pressure is already on the Ibrox boss to have a successful European campaign this season, as in failing to qualify for the Champions League Rangers missed out on a projected £25 million that would have been gained.

Betis’ squad may be more expensive than the Gers’ but they have been ravaged by injury in the early stages of the season and if Beale can get a result in one of the two matches against Manuel Pellegrini’s side, qualification will be much easier to attain.

But should Rangers slip up against either of the other two sides in their group even once, the calls for his sacking will start up again and it will be very hard to justify why Beale should keep his job in charge at Ibrox.

Hopefully, Beale and his side can make their summer spending worthwhile and give the Ibrox crowd another exciting European campaign.

In other Rangers news, Nicolas Raskin has broken his silence following his injury ahead of the Europa League campaign