Brendan Rodgers: Celtic would be major threat in English League

By Chris McLaughlinBBC Sport
Celtic's Moussa Dembele and Erik Sviatchenko celebrate against Manchester City
Moussa Dembele (left) scored twice against Manchester City

Brendan Rodgers says he understands why the English Football League has closed the door on any notion of the Scottish champions joining their set up.

The Celtic boss spoke after his side's 3-3 Champions League draw with Premier League leaders Manchester City.

"There's no doubt Celtic are a major threat to nearly every English club," said the former Liverpool boss.

The EFL announced last week that no Scottish clubs would be invited into any expanded set up in the future.

"If Celtic were in England, they would be in the top four/top six clubs there," said Rodgers.

"If you are another club playing in that league or Championship, or League One, would you want that type of threat coming in? I don't think you'd want it and that's the reality.

"It is going to be difficult for Celtic to be in the English pyramid system because of the sheer scale of the club. Most of our games are packed out now.

"Can you imagine Celtic with that resource? Then it can go as far as it wants then. It would be frightening prospect but an exciting prospect."

Celtic assistant Chris Davies and manager Brendan Rodgers look happy in training
Assistant manager Chris Davies and Brendan Rodgers (right) were upbeat at Celtic training

'There has to be opportunities'

Rodgers also said that the performance against Manchester City provided proof that the Champions League should not become a closed shop to all but clubs with the biggest finances.

"Wednesday was a perfect example of that," said the manager, whose side bounced back from an opening 7-0 defeat by Barcelona.

"After the Barcelona game, there were critics, which is natural when you lose so heavily.

"But I think, when you put it into perspective, there has to be opportunities for clubs like Celtic - one of the great clubs of world football - to play in this competition and the competition is better for a club like Celtic being in it.

"I know League One clubs that probably have greater resources than Celtic, but that shouldn't stop us having an opportunity."

Incredible advert for Celtic

Following pressure from Europe's richest clubs, Uefa agreed in August to guarantee each of the continent's top four domestic leagues four places each in the group stage.

However, Rodgers thinks Celtic proved that they deserved the opportunity to be in Europe's elite club competition.

"It was an incredible advert for Glasgow Celtic," he said of the draw with Pep Guardiola's City.

"Manchester City, competing in the most competitive league in world football with the most resources in world football, won 10 out of their 10 games and came up to here and had without question the hardest game they've had all season.

"So, okay, Scottish football may not have the platform of the Premier League, but the clubs here, and the passion here, is equal to anywhere in the world, if not better."

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