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Scottish soccer hits skid row; Ireland's Shamrock Rovers celebrates
BBC Sport Scotland, August 26th, 2011 12:53PM

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TAGS:  europa league, scotland

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The elimination of Rangers, Celtic and Hearts from the Europa League means that Scotland will have no clubs playing in Europe this season. Writes Chick Young, "Scottish football has a new address -- right at the bottom of Skid Row. If you can't find it, it's just beside the end of the world."

Translation: Scottish soccer is doing so poorly that in two years its champion must begin qualifying for the Champions League in the first preliminary round against the likes of the champions of San Marino and Andorra.

The Scottish FA started the Premier League schedule three weeks early to prepare its clubs for European battle, but Rangers went winless in four qualifying games, two in the Champions League and the last two in the Europa League.

Meanwhile, Shamrock Rovers celebrated its qualification for the Europa League -- the first by an Irish club -- by drawing London power Tottenham in the group stage. It should earn more than $1 million for playing in the group stage against Spurs, Rubin Kazan and PAOK Salonika.

"Six years ago we were relegated, then the fans took over the club," Shamrock Rovers chairman Jonathan Roche said. "We would have taken anybody. It's a great draw for our fans."

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