Scotland in Europe: 2024/25 Coefficient Preview

The 2024/25 European season is quickly approaching, with 236 clubs set to compete in UEFA’s continental club competitions this season.

With the first qualifying round draws less than two weeks away, Extratime Talk will be providing a comprehensive coefficient preview. Between now and then, each country will be previewed, and all clubs participating in Europe for the 2024/25 season are discussed.

In these articles, we will provide analyses of what to expect from each country in Europe. We will explore what is on the line from a coefficient standpoint, and the keys to succeeding, in that country’s case.

Scotland is the 26th country to be analyzed in this coefficient preview series. Here is a look at what to expect from the Scottish clubs in Europe next term.

Scotland In Europe: Country Profile

Previous Season Coefficient (Rank)6.400 (16th)
Previous Season’s 5-Year Coefficient (Rank)36.050 (11th)
Starting 5-Year Coefficient (Rank)27.500 (14th)

While it was not a phenomenal 2023/24 season for Scotland’s clubs, it was a considerable improvement from the campaign before, where they earned just 3.500 points. That saw their grip on the top 10 soften, before Czechia pipped them for 10th place last season, courtesy of Viktoria Plzeň’s draw in the Conference League quarterfinals.

Now Scotland has fallen all the way down to 14th to start 2024/25, with next to no chance of top 10. It would take a near-record season, coupled with a Czechia collapse for them to finish 10th. Thus, Scotland will have to aim and maintain at least 15th spot, although 12th or even 11th place is still plausible for Scotland and its clubs.

Scotland In Europe: Club Profile

ClubQualified AsRound of EntryTotal European SeasonsLast Season’s Performance5-Year Club Coefficient (2023/24)5-Year Country Coefficient Contribution, 2023/24 (%)
CelticDomestic ChampionUCL League Phase60UCL League Phase32.00018.575 (51.53%)
RangersDomestic Runner-upUCL Q3 (League Path)59UEL Round of 1663.00010.625 (29.47)
HeartsDomestic Third PlaceUEL Play-off Round25UECL Play-off Round7.2101.000 (2.77%)
KilmarnockDomestic Fourth PlaceUEL Q211N/A7.2100.250 (0.69%)
St. MirrenDomestic Fifth PlaceUECL Q2, Main Path5N/A7.210N/A

Celtic held off Rangers for the title in Scotland once again. As a result, the Hoops will return to the Champions League proper looking to get past the first stage for the first time in 12 years. They have not even made the knockout rounds in Europe since 2021/22, where they lost in the UECL knockout round playoffs to Bodø/Glimt.

Rangers will partake in UCL qualifying for the third year running after finishing second to their Old Firm rivals. The Gers failed to collect a single point in their last UCL proper appearance too autumns ago, but the ambition will be to make a return to that stage this time around. They are seeded in both rounds of the UCL’s league path of qualifying, which should be an advantage to them.

For the second time in three seasons, Hearts managed to finish third, assuring them a place in the UECL proper once again. But, it could get even better for them, as they enter the UEL playoff round in late August. They lost a UECL playoff round tie against PAOK last year, leaving them without continental football in the fall. However, with at least eight European games to enjoy this time around, a new chance will present itself for Hearts to rack up some coefficient points.

Five years on from their last appearance, Kilmarnock makes their return to continental football. They will begin in UEL Q2, assuring them four games in Europe. It will be quite the tall order for the Killies, who will be unseeded in all draws this season. Still, all they need is to win two ties, and they will experience main round football for the first time.

Rounding out Scotland’s representatives in Europe next season is St. Mirren, who’s last European tie came in the 1987/88 UEFA Cup Winners Cup second round. They lost that tie to the eventual winners, KV Mechelen. That was just their ninth European tie. St. Mirren will enter UECL Q2 as a seeded team – the only round they will be seeded in Europe this term. Interestingly, across their five previous European showings, they progressed from the first round four times, but they have never won two ties in the same season.

Scotland’s Season Ambitions

Scotland’s target for this year will be to finish in the top 12 of the five-year ranking. They start 1.250 points behind Israel in 11th, and just 0.500 points behind 12th place Austria. The goal will be to pass at least one of those two countries, as well as Norway in 13th. But, Scotland can seldom just look above them, but also below. Countries such as Greece, Switzerland, Denmark, and even Poland will have a realistic chance to pass them, so they better be careful.

Beyond the 2024/25 season, Scotland will need a good year. They have 8.500 points to defend from the 2020/21 season, which is the second most points they earned in the last five years. If Scotland can at least match that total, or better it, then top 15 will likely be secured, and they will surely have a realistic shot at 12th spot.

What a Successful Season Looks Like for Scottish Football

A successful season for Scottish football would start off by having at least four teams in a league phase. Kilmarnock will be crucial to that happening, seeing that they start in UEL Q2. Scotland has never had more than three teams in the main rounds of a European competition in the same campaign before, and this year is the first time where that could seriously become a reality.

Looking at the seasonal coefficient, the extra games in the UCL and UEL mean that there are now more points available than ever before. Thus, anywhere between 8.000 and 9.500 points has to be seen as a success for Scotland. If they get at least 10.000 points, that would be a splendid year for Scottish football, and would guarantee them at least top 15, with a serious shot at 11th or 12th place.

What to Expect From Scotland in 2024/25

Scotland may struggle this year once again, especially if the clubs outside of the Old Firm do not contribute much to the coefficient. That has been the issue that has been plaguing them for quite sometime, which needs to be improved upon.

Gavin from Scotland’s Coefficient talked about the season ahead, where he remains cautiously optimistic. “I think we have to be optimistic that the new format will bring improved results in Europe for Scottish teams,” says Gavin about the new format.

“It would be foolish to not acknowledge the danger that the three new competitions could expose our duopoly more than ever. We don’t have a Viktoria Plzeň, Olympiacos, Copenhagen, LASK or even Servette. Teams that finish third domestically but would be confident they’ll pick up their share of their country’s coefficient burden.” gavin – scotland’s coefficient

Speaking about his expectations for the 2024/25 season for Scotland’s clubs in Europe, Gavin is also thinking fairly big. “My optimistic expectations are Celtic, Rangers & Hearts all finish in the top 24 in their respective tournaments. If Rangers and Hearts both lose their qualifiers to drop down a tournament, I will be more confident of that happening.” He described Kilmarnock making the league phase as “the icing on the cake,” while expecting Scotland to finish somewhere between 13th and 16th. That is despite his hope them finishing in 12th.

Gavin makes some good points about the Scottish clubs and what to expect from them in the coefficient battle. While the aim will be for top 15 at least, it will be very difficult for them to achieve that. The reason is simply due to the lack of coefficient points won by the non-Old Firm teams. That is a big issue, and in a season like this one, it could very well come back to haunt them.

As Gavin said, somewhere between 13th and 16th is a sensible prediction as to where Scotland will land. To add onto that, expect Scotland to finish no higher than 14th, unless Celtic and, especially Rangers, get some help.

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