As every Scottish football fan breathed a sigh of relief as Trevor Carson palmed away the final Coleraine penalty - the UEFA computers were whirring away adding on coefficient points to the Scottish total. 

While fans rightly cheered on The Steelmen as they added their name into the next round few would have been aware of the true implications of the result in regards to Scotland’s coefficient. 

It set Scotland’s average for coefficient points to 2.250 points so far, ahead of the likes of nations near us in the coefficient chart such as Ukraine (1.400) and Denmark (1.625).

However, the real importance of Motherwell’s win, and indeed all of the Scottish clubs making it through to the next stage can only truly be judged when you compare it to how it leaves Scotland’s standing overall, and how close it brings them to adding on their overall total for future seasons. 

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HeraldScotland:

But in order to explain this, we need to look at how the coefficient is calculated for each nation and what impact each season has. 

National coefficients are based on the results of each association's clubs in the five previous UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League seasons. Scotland’s ranking for season 21/22 has already been decided based on the last campaign, with Scotland set for 14th place. 

However, at the end of each season, the points gained from the earliest season are dropped and replaced with the figures from the most recent season.

This means for Scotland that the coefficient points gained in the 15-16 season will drop off the rankings and the final total of points gained from this season will come in giving Scotland their total coefficient for season 22/23. 

And it’s safe to say that 15-16 wasn’t the finest year for Scottish clubs in Europe. Celtic lost the Champions League playoff to Malmo, before failing to win in the Europa League group stages. Aberdeen were eliminated by Kairat of Kazakhstan, Inverness were knocked out in the second Europa League qualifier by Astra Giurgiu of România, and Armenian outfit Alashkert got the better of St Johnstone. 

In 15-16 Scotland amassed a total of 3.000 coefficient points. 

So far, we have in this season alone, Scotland has won 2.250 coefficient points, with four clubs still in Europe. 

This means that if Scottish clubs secure two more wins in Europe they will equal the total gained in 15-16 - and anything else adds on to our overall coefficient.

To summarise this in another way, as it stands, Scotland’s coefficient for 21/22 is 27.875. Taking away the 3.000 points of 15/16and then adding on this season would make Scotland’s total for 22/23 to 27.125 as it stands.  

We are 0.750 coefficient points away from breaking even. 

To simplify this even further - we are just two wins away from breaking even - and anything else we add on in terms of the coefficient is simply improving our overall total for future 22/23.

Indeed, as it stands, we would be 10th for the start of the 22/23 season. 

Coupled with nations around us in the coefficient chart, such as the Czech Republic and Denmark losing significantly higher points from their coefficient total when the 15-16 season drops off, Scottish fans can take comfort in the fact that our clubs are a Trevor Carson glove away from a coefficient points surplus.