With Celtic now top of the table and playing well enough that few can see us losing our way, there are suddenly a rash of stories about how next season’s Group Stage Champions League spot isn’t really “automatic” after all and that there is a chance that it won’t happen.
Of course, none of this is new.
What is new is the sudden focus on the various scenarios where it could happen. And you know what? The chance of the title winners not going straight into the Groups is virtually nil.
None of the scenarios – Juventus, Manchester United or Atletico Madrid winning the tournament without qualifying for the Groups via their domestic leagues – are likely. All are wildly fantastical.
The media is pushing this because of who the favourites are to make it now … this point was raised as a bit of a joke when Ibrox was on top.
Now it’s to be taken seriously?
But all of a sudden we should be staying up nights worrying.
I don’t think I will.
The possibility of this is so remote that there’s a better chance of Ibrox posting profits year on year. The winner of the SPFL title will be in the Groups, I would bet on that, if there was a bookmaker anywhere who would risk their money by offering odds.
You notice too that the money has started to go down?
It’s going down faster than the estimated number of Russian troops on the Ukrainian border is going up.
Remember when it was £60 million? At a four point Ibrox lead it was £50 million. When that lead shrunk to a point it was £40 million. Now we’re top I’m reading that it’s £30 million.
The closer we get to the end of the campaign, the lower that number will go.
In the meantime, they are trying to push this nonsense about the place not being guaranteed.
It is tiresome at times.