It is not a good day to be new Celtic manager Ronny Deila. The Norwegian whiz kid has not been backed by boardroom money, and could only watch as his new team was helplessly dismantled from the UEFA Champions League, 6-1, by Poland’s Legia Warsaw over two legs.
The latest was a 2-0 home loss, one that will keep the vultures circling to snare away stars like goalkeeper Fraser Forster and defender Virgil van Dijk.
The third qualifying round dismissal is their earliest exit from the tournament since a 2011 loss to Braga, and just the second time in Celtic’s last eight UCL appearances that ended short of the playoff round or group stage.
Celtic now moves into the UEFA Europa League for 2014/15.
Joining Legia Warsaw as clubs to advance to the playoff round were Zenit St. Petersburg, APOEL Nicosia, Malmo FF, Standard Liege, Lille, Besiktas, Copenhagen, Ludogorets Razgrad, Maribor, Steaua Bucuresti, AaB, Slovan Bratislava, BATE Borisov and Red Bull Salzburg.
Those 15 teams are joined in the playoff round by unseeded side Athletic Bilbao and seeded clubs Arsenal, Porto, Napoli and Bayer Leverkusen.
The draw for the playoff round will be held Friday, with the first legs played Aug. 19-20 and the second on Aug. 26-27.
Clubs falling to the Europa League with Celtic are Qarabag, Debrecen, Sheriff Tiraspol, Dinamo Zagreb, Aktobe, Maccabi Tel Aviv, HJK, Sparta Prague, Partizan Belgrade, AEL Limassol, Dnipro, Feyenoord, Grasshoppers and Panathinaikos.