Explained: Why Fiorentina have cost Celtic and Rangers an automatic Champions League group stage spot

Viktoria Plzen took on Fiorentina
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Celtic and Rangers have lost their automatic place in the Champions League group stage for 2025/26 – because Fiorentina failed to win at Viktoria Plzen on Thursday night.

The Scottish Premiership champions have qualified directly for the group stage in each of the past three campaigns, and will do so again next season too. But only the top 10 countries in UEFA’s club rankings receive automatic spots, and it’s now been confirmed that Scotland have fallen outside of the top 10 following their clubs’ performance in Europe this season.

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Chris Flanagan
Senior Staff Writer

Chris joined FourFourTwo in 2015 and has reported from more than 20 countries, in places as varied as Ivory Coast and the Arctic Circle. He's interviewed Pele, Zlatan and Santa Claus (it's a long story), as well as covering the World Cup, AFCON and the Clasico. He previously spent 10 years as a newspaper journalist, and completed the 92 in 2017.