Scottish Clubs in Europe 2012/13

With the Scottish Cup final marking the end of the season for the SPL clubs, we now know the 5 teams who will represent Scotland in European competition next season.  Rangers were not granted a UEFA licence as a result of their financial situation, so they will not take part next season – the first time they haven’t been in Europe since 1980/81.

European places were available for the 4 highest placed eligible clubs in the SPL, plus the Scottish Cup winners, with 2 Champions League places and 3 Europa League slots up for grabs.

Celtic (1st) and Motherwell (3rd) took the two Champions League spots, while Dundee United (4th) and Hearts (5th) guaranteed themselves a place via their league finish.  Hearts’ Scottish Cup win means that they take the Scottish Cup slot*, freeing up a league berth for St Johnstone (6th).

*As part of Michel Platini’s drive to restore interest in national cup competitions, the Scottish Cup winners are given the “best” Europa League place, with entry to the tournament at a later stage than the league qualifiers.  The Scottish Cup runners-up only get a place in Europe if the cup winners qualify for the Champions League.

Champions League

Which round will they enter?

Both Celtic and Motherwell will enter the competition at the 3rd Qualifying Round, and will have to win two ties to reach the group stage.

If either team loses their 3rd Qualifying Round tie, they would be parachuted into the Europa League at the Play-off Round. If either team loses their Champions Play-off Round tie, they would drop down into the Europa League Group Stage.

Who will they play?

Celtic will have an easier route – they will only play the champions of other smaller nations.  They will be seeded, but a full list of opponents is not available yet because not every league in Europe is finished yet.  I will post another blog when all of the entrants and seedings have been confirmed.

Motherwell will face non-champions from larger countries and will find it very tough to qualify. They will be unseeded, and in the 3rd Qualifying Round they could face Dynamo Kyiv or Fenerbache, plus 2 of Panathinaikos, FC Copenhagen, Club Brugge, Steaua Bucharest and AEK Athens depending on the outcome of their respective leagues.  The Play-off Round would be harder still, with the likes of Spartak Moscow and Udinese waiting.  Again, a full list of opponents will be confirmed as soon as the other leagues are finished.

When are their matches?

The 2012/13 Champions League starts on 3rd July 2012 – two days after the final of Euro 2012. Scottish teams don’t quite enter that early, but will play their first matches before the start of the SPL season.

3rd Qualifying Round

Draw – 20th July.

1st Leg – 30th July/1st August

2nd Leg – 7th/8th August

Play-off Round

Draw – 10th August

1st Leg – 21st/22nd August

2nd Leg – 28th/29th August

Group stage

Draw – 30th August

Matchdates – 18th/19th September, 2nd/3rd October, 23rd/24th October, 6th/7th November, 20th/21st November, 4th/5th December.

Europa League

Which round will they enter?

Our sides will enter at the following rounds of the Europa League.

Hearts- Play-off Round
Dundee United – 3rd Qualifying Round
St Johnstone – 2nd Qualifying Round

Who will they play?

The list of potential opponents is far too long to list at the moment, particularly since their is still unfinished business across Europe.

In terms of seeding, St Johnstone must eagerly await the outcome of the battles for Europe in Georgia and Bulgaria to see whether they will be seeded.  It looks likely they will miss out.  Dundee United will definitely be unseeded and Hearts will almost certainly be unseeded.

Keep an eye on my Twitter for updates, and I will post again when entrants and seeding is confirmed.

When are their matches?

St Johnstone will play their first European match on 19th July, two and a half weeks before the start of the SPL season.  Dundee United will kick off a few days before the SPL season starts.

2nd Qualifying Round

Draw – 25th June

1st Leg – 19th July

2nd Leg – 26th July


3rd Qualifying Round

Draw – 20th July

1st Leg -2nd August

2nd Leg – 9th August


Play-off Round

Draw -10th August

1st Leg – 23rd August

2nd Leg – 30th August


Group Stage

Draw – 31st August

Matchdates – 20th September, 4th October, 25th October, 8th November, 22nd November, 6th/13th December

About SPLstats
Providing statistics and trivia about Scottish football. Main focus is the SPL, but all Scottish football will be covered. Not affiliated to the SPL.

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