Deila blasts UEFA for Champions League criteria

By Staff Writer  |  July 15, 2014

Ronny Deila has insisted it is “stupid” Celtic have to face three rounds to qualify for the Champion League.

The new Celtic boss faces his first competitive game tonight since taking over from Neil Lennon when they play KR Reykjavik  tonight.

It is the first of three qualifying rounds the Scottish champions have to play before they can get into the lucrative Champions League. And the Norwegian says it is wrong and UEFA should look at the clubs and not the country for their qualifying criteria with Scotland currently 23rd in coefficient system.

Delia said: “Celtic don’t deserve to have three rounds before going into the Champions League groups. It’s very unfair that going to the last 16, as we did two years ago, is not going to be recognised.

“Celtic have been fighting for many years with the best teams in Europe and it is stupid that the Scottish coefficient is not regarded as good enough.”

Delia knows he will be under pressure to get the club into the qualifying faces as he is untried on the biggest stage.

His appointment after Lennon left many fans scratching their heads wondering who he was. But he will write his name in club folklore if he guides the Hoops into the big league. But he is still unimpressed with what he has to at the start of his Parkhead reign.

Delia when unveiled as Celtic boss

Delia when unveiled as Celtic boss

He added: “I knew before I came here that we had three qualifying rounds.  That’s wrong because you have to take into consideration the club, not the country.

“This is a very big club with fantastic history,” he added.

“Celtic in the Champions League sounds good, it sounds like a good relationship.

“But it’s a problem in every small country. We maybe have one good team but the other ones are dragging that team down. I think especially here, when you have a big team like Celtic that has done so well, they should have a shot at the group stages right away.

“Some countries have three or four teams going in and I think that is not right.”

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