BRENDAN RODGERS believes all talk of collusion between Europa League rivals Leipzig and Salzburg is just a load of Red Bull.

Both the German and Austrian clubs are owned by the energy drink manufacturers and UEFA only gave both permission to play in the same competition last summer after a month-long investigation, claiming their ownership structures allowed it.

Celtic open their Group B campaign against Rosenborg at Parkhead on Thursday night, but there has been controversy in some quarters over Leipzig and Salzburg in the same section.

Billionaire Red Bull chief executive Dietrich Mateschitz said last week: “May the better team win. It’s a great story for everyone in our family and it will be interesting and fun.”

Rodgers remains unconcerned and insisted: “I tend to not overthink it so much. Your job is to go and play the game whoever you are playing.

“If you look after your own selves and do your job then, hopefully, that doesn’t come into it.

“But, yeah, two different sort of stories, though with the same backers. Is there a link?

“Absolutely, but again, don’t overthink it. Time will tell, eh?”

The champions travel to Salzburg on October 4 and then take on Leipzig in Germany three weeks later.


About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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