Scotland boss Gordon Strachan insists Champions League is about more than just money for Celtic



Scotland manager Gordon Strachan insists Champions League football means more to Celtic than just the money.

The Hoops could bank over £30 million after seeing off a spirited Hapoel Be’er Sheva fightback on Tuesday to reach the group stages for the first time in two years.

Strachan revelled in memorable European nights at Parkhead after leading the club into the group section on three occasions during his four years in charge.

gordonstrachanThe 59-year-old also guided Celtic to the round of 16 twice, where they were beaten by AC Millan and Barcelona.

Even though the Scottish champions are set to receive a significant windfall, Strachan insists money cannot buy the memories that Champions League football creates.

Strachan, speaking to BT Sport, said: “It’s not just the money, it’s the fact you’re getting these huge nights again. It keeps the Celtic family together, and signing and shouting. These nights, we’ve all been there, are phenomenal.

“It was the only time as manager that I’d run down the tunnel before kick-off. You get that five minutes, usually I was last out and shook hands with the opposing manager.

“But I used to like getting down there five minutes earlier just to join them in that atmosphere. When that music starts, ‘we’re in the big league’.

“It helps Scottish football as well, it brings attention here and it helps my players. Celtic might take the money now and buy someone in Scotland, so that money is generated through Scotland, which is much-needed.”

Strachan’s Celtic faced the likes of Barcelona, Manchester United, AC Milan, Benfica and Villarreal but he would love to see Brendan Rodgers’ side be grouped with Spanish giants Real Madrid in Thursday’s draw.

Strachan added: “I was there three years and I always wanted Real Madrid. We had Barcelona, Man United, AC Milan, but Real Madrid has something.”