Celtic's Brendan Rodgers rejects finances claim from Rangers' Dave King

Celtic's Scott Sinclair shares a joke with manager Brendan Rodgers
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers (right) was unperturbed by Rangers' claims

Manager Brendan Rodgers rejects the idea that Celtic's domestic dominance would be undermined by failure to qualify for the Champions League.

He was responding to Rangers chairman Dave King's suggestion that Celtic's strength would be significantly undermined by a one-season absence.

"The board have done a brilliant job here in ensuring the pillars of the club are very strong," Rodgers said.

"I couldn't be happier here with how the club is developing and improving."

Rodgers said that, although he would have to be always aware of what his opponents are doing, Rangers and King's comments are "not something that's at the forefront of my mind".

"We're defined on what we do - not on anyone else," he said. "Our measure is ourselves, can we be the best that we can be?

"We do that by having a strategy off the pitch that allows us on the field to work with players, make them better and hopefully win as many games as we can.

"We always respect every team, every club, but I'm not one to be looking over the garden fence at anyone else."

Rodgers also rejected the suggestion that Celtic's finances hinge on Champions League qualification - or reaching the group stage.

"Celtic won't win the league absolutely every single year," he said. "It's what you can build and are creating so it's not dependent on that."

Rangers chairman Dave King
King is hoping to raise £6m for Rangers through a share issue

Neither did he think that a failure to reach the group stage would be a disaster.

"Before we came in here, the club hadn't qualified in three seasons and I think the club was in good hands and progressing," Rodgers explained.

"It's a real treacherous path in terms of the teams, obstacles that are in your way, the time of the season.

"Thankfully, over the last couple of years, it's something we've been able to do. The club is in a really good position because of it.

"If it never happened for one year then the club is still in a good position."

Rodgers did not expect Celtic to be forced to spend more should Rangers increase their own investment.

"I don't think we've ever done that in the time I've been here," he added. "In the last game against Rangers, there was nine of the players that played that were here when I arrived here.

"We have to improve each year. We brought in players to do that and we'll look to do that this summer because each year you have to look to be better."

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