Scotland has dropped down a place in the coefficient rankings after dire European campaigns for clubs involved in UEFA competitions this season.
Celtic and Rangers toiled in the Champions League group stages, while Hearts rounded off a dismal showing with a 3-1 defeat to Turkish outfit Istanbul Basaksehir in Thursday’s Europa Conference League fixture.
The results mean Scotland has moved from eighth to ninth in the UEFA coefficient rankings – slipping below Belgium in the table.
It comes after a steady climb in recent years which allowed the Scottish Premiership winners a guaranteed place in the Champions’ League group stage.
If the country drops out of the top ten rankings, Scotland’s teams lose the benefit of automatically qualifying for the competition.
Just 3.5 points have been added to the ranking, following a campaign which saw just two wins registered by a Scottish side, both from Hearts in the Conference against Latvian side RFS.
Rangers, last season’s Europa League finalists, finished the campaign on 0 points and a goal difference of -20 to be branded the ‘worst ever’ Champions League team while Celtic finished bottom of their group with two draws.
In qualifying, Dundee United were knocked out of Europe after a humiliating 7-0 defeat at the hands of AZ Alkmaar, while Motherwell were defeated 3-0 on aggregate by Irish side Sligo Rovers.
Despite losing all of their games, Rangers finished as Scotland’s highest contributors to this year’s rankings, with 6.5 points, after winning two games in Champions League qualifying.
Celtic managed six, Hearts four and Dundee United one, while Motherwell’s brief tenure added nothing to Scotland’s overall total.
The country’s next coefficient threat is Austria who sit in tenth.
Their final representatives, Red Bull Salzburg, are in the knockout stages of the Europa League.