Scottish giants Celtic have, on Monday, been on the receiving end of some monumental news when it comes to the club's hopes for next season.
A short time ago, official confirmation was forthcoming that, amid the nation's ongoing invasion of Ukraine, Russian clubs will not be permitted entry into the 2022/23 edition of the Champions League.
As per a statement across UEFA's website and social media platforms:
''Russia will have no affiliated clubs participating in UEFA club competitions in the 2022/23 season. Consequently, the respective access lists of the men’s and women’s club competitions have been rebalanced in accordance with the principles set out in the relevant competition regulations.''
This decision, as alluded to above, has since had major ramifications when it comes to one division in particular, in the form of Scotland's top-flight.
As per the reliable Dale Johnson of ESPN, Russia's expulsion from the upcoming Champions League campaign means that the winners of the Scottish Premiership - 99% likely to be Celtic - will skip the qualification process to take their spot directly in the competition's group stage next season.
So, what does news of Celtic's imminent Champions League return mean for arch rivals Rangers?
The Light Blues, of course, are currently in the midst of an impressive European campaign of their own, a goal down after the first-leg of the club's Europa League semi-final tie with RB Leipzig.
Should Giovanni van Bronckhorst's men, from here, go on to defy the odds and turn things around at Ibrox before sealing glory in the competition's finale, then they, like Celtic, will too secure direct qualification for the Champions League next time out.
Should Rangers, on the other hand, fall short, then they will nevertheless be guaranteed a spot in the 2022/23 Europa League groups.
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