Celtic are close to securing a place in the UEFA Champions League next season; doing so will now enable the club to earn more after UEFA confirmed that they will be offering increased prize money starting from next season. The increase will particularly be felt on Celtic qualify for the competition, as they will receive £ 9 million instead of the earlier £ 6.3 million. Winning a play-off match will now the club an additional £ 1.5 million, while every win in the group stage will provide a club with just over £ 1 million.
These funds could not have come at a much better time for the club, who are facing intense transfer rumours surrounding their star asset – Virgil van Dijk. The 23-year-old has become a transfer target for several Premier League clubs after scoring eight goals in eight Scottish league games. This is despite the fact that he is a defender. The Dutch youngsters is not expected to spend a lot of time on Celtic based on this run of form, but manager Ronny Deila reckons that the added money from UEFA may actually help the club keep the player. After having qualified for the Champions League for four seasons in a row, Celtic are confident of making it five.
“First of all, Virgil is our player. He will stay. That’s what we want, to have him through the Champions League.He is so important to us. He still has things to work on to become even better.His chance will come but he is one of the players we really want to keep. Virgil is the leader in the defence, so he is vital for us.Any money we could get for Virgil can’t compare with the money we would get from the Champions League,” said the Celtic manager.