If Rangers were to go all the way in Seville and get their hands on the Europa League, it would be a huge marketing tool for the Scottish league. It has been a long time since a Scottish side has lifted a European cup, with the last time coming 39 years ago in 1983, when Aberdeen won the European Cup Winners’ Cup in May and the European Super Cup 6 months later in November.
The chance to break that nearly 40-year record of no continental success for Scottish clubs would be a huge asset for Rangers when, for example, negotiating the financial side of any new sponsorship deals, as the ability to point to recent silverware would help. A win in the final would also boost the Scottish league’s reputation as Rangers would be able to point to their success in comparison to some of Europe’s other “big” clubs who haven’t won the Europa League, for example, Lyon.
And as the winners of the Europa League are then given a pass into the Champions League, Scotland could have its two biggest clubs in Europe’s premier competition next season for the first time since the 2007-08 campaign – and for Rangers, it would be their first appearance in the competition since 2010.
For winning the Europa League, Rangers would be given prize money for their success. But because the Europa League winners then qualify for next season’s Champions League, they also receive the money for Champions League qualification, which can be very lucrative.
Furthermore, they will face the winners of the Liverpool-Real Madrid Champions League final in the UEFA Super Cup in August – again, there is prize money for competing and winning that game, and just for their appearance.
It could ultimately prove to be a very profitable summer for Rangers, and they could then use that money for purchasing new players. They can afford to pay bigger transfer fees and higher wages than usual – this could be used in convincing different types of players, for example, young prospects with high potential or experienced older players who are looking for a slower league to play in.
With Rangers potentially being able to attract these kinds of players, there is potential for the league to grow, as ultimately, league champions Celtic will also have to further improve on what has been an impressive season for them.
With the introduction of a new European competition in the form of the UEFA Europa Conference League, it has meant that many clubs who never had a chance of playing European football now can do so.
Clubs such as Slovenian minnows NS Mura or Bundesliga side Union Berlin, who do not usually get the chance to play in European competition, now can. And this can give fans of that club great memories and experiences – fans of Mura will surely never forget their 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur.
So with this new competition, it means that Scottish teams who consistently finish in the top 6 now have the chance to play in European competition. Dundee United have managed to qualify for the Conference League third qualifying round for next season, and Hearts have a spot in the Europa League play-off round.
If clubs like these are able to play in European competition, then they may be able to attract players they want that usually they wouldn’t be able to, as they could now offer European football to those players.
Ultimately, a win for Rangers on May 18th is not just a win for them but is it a win for all of Scottish football. For many years, the Scottish Premiership has been the subject of derision and criticism due to its one-team dominance and lack of quality players. But a win for Rangers at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on Wednesday could change that.