Celtic have been given a European backing from an unlikely source, as they start planning for next season’s campaign, the Daily Record reports.
Ajax chief executive and ex-Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar has told UEFA to rethink their qualification process, with teams like Celtic and the Dutchman’s side currently struggling through the sheer number of games that need to be played.
Celtic will be tasked with playing four qualifying rounds just to make the group stages. As a result, the Hoops see their domestic campaign start much earlier and it often has detrimental effects on the squad, especially in years where international football is played over the summer months.
Ajax themselves have come through three rounds of qualifying matches this season and are now one of the stories of the season after knocking out current holders Real Madrid.
The former Dutch goalkeeper confirmed he has held talks with Celtic’s Peter Lawwell.
I have been talking to Peter Lawwell for some time. The ECA is talking to Uefa, trying to make sure there is more participation and more possibilities for clubs from medium and smaller-sized countries, so we can develop and play football at this level.
Many of us are looking at a different way of how teams are set up and how the competition is set up. Maybe to look at theco-efficient of the club see at what the club has done in Europe,than only looking at the national co-efficient. And not just recent years.
Celtic's Champions League journey this season
Alashkert FC 0-3 Celtic
Games like these are the ones Celtic will want to avoid going forward, it means that their season starts as early as 10 July.
Celtic 3-0 Alashkert FC
A very comfortable home win, something that Celtic will be hoping becomes unnecessary going forward. Clearly, the Armenian outfit were never going to trouble the Hoops.
Celtic 3-1 Rosenborg
Celtic put themselves in a very strong position with a commanding home win against the Norwegian outfit.
Rosenborg 0-0 Celtic
A draw in the away leg was enough to see the Hoops through relatively comfortably.
Celtic 1-1 AEK Athens
Celtic drew the first leg against the Greek side but the away goal made for a tricky second leg.
AEK Athens 2-1 Celtic
Unfortunately for Celtic, there was no route into the group stages this season after 3-2 aggregate loss to Greek side AEK Athens. The Hoops will be hoping for better next season.