The eventual winner of the 2024/25 Scottish Premiership will not earn automatic qualification to the UEFA Champions League group stage. Title holders of the league have grabbed one of the 32 places in the prestigious European competition in recent years. As a result of cementing a spot in the group stage, clubs generally earn at least $37 million.

Celtic, the 2022/23 Scottish champions, featured in the Champions League group stage during the current campaign. The Hoops, however, ultimately finished bottom of Group E alongside Atletico Madrid, Lazio, and Feyenoord. The runners-up in the Scottish division also receive a place in the third-round qualifying of the tournament.

Nevertheless, things are about to change for Scottish sides due to recent UEFA coefficient shifts. Winners of the top 10 European leagues typically move directly to the Champions League group stage. Scotland previously had the final spot in these rankings. The Premiership, however, has fallen to 11th in the latest ratings. The Czech Republic’s First League is now holding onto the 10th spot.

Plzen-Fiorentina draw bumps Czechia above Scotland in Champions League rank

Scotland’s fall was ultimately due to Viktoria Plzen’s Europa Conference League‘s scoreless draw with Fiorentina on Thursday. The Czech side weathered the storm against the Italian club by playing a tough defensive match. The two teams will face off once again, this time in Tuscany, on Thursday, April 18. Plzen is currently sitting in a distant third in the Czech First League.

The 2024/25 Scottish Premiership winners will now have to play in an extra Champions League qualification round. This is the round where typically the division’s runners-up are placed. As a result of the move, the new second-placed Scottish club is set to play additional rounds of qualifying.

Nevertheless, the move will not be in place for another year. This means that the Scottish champions this season are still set to feature in the 2024/25 Champions League group stage. Celtic currently leads rivals Rangers by just one point in the standings. The Gers do have an extra game in hand compared to league leaders though.

Rangers may grab UCL group stage spot with title next season

Rangers, however, could still qualify for the 2025/26 Champions League group stage by winning next season’s Premiership. The complicated scenario comes down to the club’s coefficient ranking. Rangers have performed fairly well in European competition in recent seasons. The Scottish side reached the Europa League final in 2022. Eintracht Frankfurt eventually edged the club on penalties on the night.

Rangers then reached the round of 16 of this season’s second-tiered European tournament. They advanced in the competition by topping their group alongside Real Betis and Czech team Sparta Prague.

Scotland could also potentially lose one of their current spots in the Champions League if their fall-off continues. Two Premiership clubs now qualify in some form for the competition. Nevertheless, the winner of the league may soon be the sole Scottish team to take part in the tournament if the division drops below 15th in the UEFA club rankings.