Joy from Inverness rekindles memories of 10 years ago today


News this morning that Uefa president, Michel Platini told newspaper, Quest-France, that the governing body are considering dispensing with the Europa League and broadening the Champions League from 23 to 64 teams is far from welcome.

Celtic fans have grown to love the Champions League since our early exploits in the group stage in 2001 but while national TV market values continue to determine who has a chance of winning the tournament there will continue to be a need for a second competition.

10 years ago today Henrik Larsson scored the only goal of the game as Celtic beat Celta Vigo 1-0 in the Uefa Cup on their way to an away goals victory which ensured they were in European competition for the first Christmas since 1979.  That was a huge tie for us and an unlikely victory, given 23 years of failure experienced without exception at that level.

The excitement rolled on, Stuttgart, Liverpool and Boavista were eliminated at Celtic reached the final in Seville but all this happened after we’d lost to Basel in the Champions League play-off round.  I remember looking at the quarter finalists of the Champions League that year, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Milan, Inter, Valencia, Juventus, Barcelona and only Ajax from outside the then top three leagues in Europe, all of them tier-one clubs.

It’s difficult to imagine our progress in the Uefa Cup meaning any more to us if we had been Champions League but the other quarter finalists were Besiktas, Lazio, Boavista, Malaga, Liverpool, Porto and Panathinaikos.  I was really glad Real Madrid & co were not in the same competition; we needed more mortal opponents to stand a chance.  For me, it’s infinitely better to beat Boavista than lose to Milan.

Compare this scenario with the SPL, which currently have five teams within a point at the top, a truly magnificent competition.  St Johnstone, in sixth place, could go clear at the top if they beat Hibs tonight and Celtic stumble at Tynecastle.

We are the only fly in the ointment.  It doesn’t really matter how well Inverness or Motherwell prepare, Celtic have vastly more resources than all other challengers combined.  For that reason and that reason only, they will win the league, probably by some margin as their stronger squad allows them to ease through the injuries and suspensions which will have a disproportionality sever effect on others.

CQN Annual – perfect Christmas present

I read some joyous tweets from an Inverness Caley supporters’ account last night, including, “This has to be one of the most exciting spl seasons yet! Very close and all to play for. Who needs Rangers?!”

Who needs Rangers?  Certainly not Inverness Caley.  I wonder if they realise they don’t need Celtic either.  Together these two clubs have robbed Scottish football of what it has a wee taste of right now, genuine competition.  Those running the game here are still concerned with squeezing more life out of the broken model instead of giving fans what you and I got a taste of 10 years ago tonight – a sporting chance to compete and win a tournament against a group of our peers.

It’s time to tell Celtic to stop talking and go find themselves another league to play in, they are not needed in Scotland.

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  1. My dear,dear,dear,friend..Hankray..






    Nice, tae chat wi ye..










    Ah am a Fan o’ the Celtic…



    And.. Ah am very interested in Everything aboot..



    How THEY Fare… No Anybuddy Else..






    Ah hiv a few ither Reasons why Ah widnae Play Victor ..in Tonight’s Game..




    And wan o’ them is..



    We hivtae Get Used tae The Coming .Possible.. Probable..






    Of his Services…



    Manchester, are Getting quite desperate.. because.. of their recent Set-Backs..








    Fergie.. Really, Really.. Wants Victor..









    Wull ..Get ..Victor..



    Ah am glad tae see that You are anither Fellow..






    Thinks Sammi..is a Wonderful Chap tae hiv in Your Line-Up..






    Certain… Parameters..fur Daeing So…






    Using the Parameters which should be used when fielding a Line-up


    to Compete



    against Provincial and Rural.. S.P.L. Opponents…




    Sammi ‘s Name…should Never be oan the Team- Sheet…







    of Course!





    Yer PAL..who likes ye aloater..




    Still, Laughin’

  2. channelislandcelt



    I thought you would know him.



    I have never met him, but have corresponded a bit by e-mail, a gentleman is Paddy.



    A fair few Tims then, more than I thought there would be, I would imagine about the same for the other mob.

  3. Ah am no Feart tae Spout AFF.



    That is ,mainly , whit .. Subscribing tae a Public Forum ..is Awe aboot..




    Ye should tak the Opportunity..



    Tae … Really..



    Spend Yer Nickel..



    And Dinna Be Fright!



    Sure, Many Ah time..



    Ah am Wrang, in Ma Thinkin’






    Like Ah hiv said..




    This Is Ma Chance tae



    Chinge the Thinkingf o’ the World..






    Ah am Damn sure..



    Ah wullnae Pass it Up.








    a Loata Fun!






    Still, Laughin’

  4. voguepunter



    18:23 on28 November, 2012!!Bada Bing!!Scheme? Correction my friend It’s a village ,actually.:O)


    Oh the temptation…….

  5. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on

    That SSB don’t half talk a load of old shoite …….. Mon the Hoops…. Really looking forward to the game tonight……

  6. Vmhan



    We named hundreds of CQNers in the ANNUAL, basically we got the names from the site from people who were active at the time we were working on this. It was a nightmare trying to avoid doublers. James isn’t involved anymore.

  7. harryhoodsdugbitme on

    Winning Captains….Nice one skipper!! btw got two one for me and one for the rest of the bhoys. It’s quite something…HH.

  8. channelislandcelt on

    TET . Yeah about the same number I would imagine , you wouldn’t know it tho- judging by how quiet they been in recent months :0)

  9. blantyretim



    Got a wee fright in your toon the other week there,decided to walk up to asda,


    on way back not only was I knackered but i saw a lady walk towards me looking to


    ask a question…she says” Has any told you ,you have the gift of second sight?”


    I replied ” I’m a Ruglonian,get me out of here”:O(

  10. Winning Captains?



    Wur You..



    “Winning Gemmell”..in anither Carnation… or.. even.. an In-Car… wan??





    Still, Laughin’

  11. neilybhoy,



    made it to Flann’s…am the tall scruffy beardy one. Hope u make it :)




  12. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Just seen the bold Charlie’s latest quote:


    “….work our way to the top division – whatever that top division is called.”



    This just after the reconstruction talks mention that the SPL needs to be “re-branded”. Now this could be purely coincidence. But I don’t believe in coincidences…..

  13. Gotta Go..



    Goat a Million things tae dae.



    Afore.. Ah settle Doon tae Enjoy tonight’s Game…



    Seeyou Guys,ans Gals.Anon.







    Still Laughin’

  14. I would prefer The Hoops to be silky soccer masters this evening.



    However, the scruffy one nil victory shall be cheered by me.



    Should that happen.



    Mon them Hoops.



    Lassad in….mmmm.

  15. BT



    Still be the Vogue for me mate ,drank there for 36 years,though I don’t mind a wee jaunt


    to Chapmans or the PV. HH

  16. Think you are projecting Kojo.



    You are the multiple moniker mainstay, no?



    gotta go battery low …



    Goodnight Tooting etc, etc :)

  17. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on




    18:37 on


    28 November, 2012



    I like Lassad ……class …..he’ll be a good one once he settles in

  18. Tonight’s Starting XI: Forster, Lustig, Ambrose, Wilson, Mulgrew, Commons, Kayal, Wanyama, Ledley, Lassad, Hooper Celtic Subs: Zaluska, Matthews, Miku, Samaras, Brown, Watt, McGeouch.

  19. Tonight’s Starting XI: Forster, Lustig, Ambrose, Wilson, Mulgrew, Commons, Kayal, Wanyama, Ledley, Lassad, Hooper Celtic Subs: Zaluska, Matthews, Miku, Samaras, Brown, Watt, McGeouch.

  20. sitting in the house nice and warm,


    do I go out or watch at home…bearing in mind I am going to Ipox tomorrow and I don’t drive…

  21. Jist.. bin .. drawn Back..






    if THAT is Neil’s Starting Line – Up..



    An am Dee-lighted tae see that He .. Has Tumbled



    This Is No A Game .. fur Sammi.






    Commons.. Wid No be Ma Choice.. It wid be McGeough…and



    Joe Ledley.. widnae Be there.. Eethur…










    Seeya.. Latah.

  22. Delighted to see Lassad playing. Apart from him, Lenny is going again with the old reliables. I have a very good feeling about tonight, I expect us to pull out all the stops and win by 3.