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. Re EPL-Caldwell (who i liked at CP)has been captain of Wigan for 4 years in the so called best league in the world,he wouldn’t get in our team now IMO

  2. Tallybhoy,



    Maybe RIP ( Rot in Purgatory) for a million years or so would suffice.


    Don’t be bitter.



  3. Celtic have dropped 17 pts in 14 games, 12 of them after CL matches, 10 at home, and have made the poorest start to an SPL campaign since 1998.



    Top of the League CSC

  4. Asked yesterday but does anyone know how to download the full FTTT report on them? Would like to keep for posterity.


    Find it somewhat surprising ( ha ha) that not anywhere in the MSM is a link available.



    I smell ……

  5. From previous item


    Geordie Munro


    Not as a CH,did he ?





    Not interested in Scotland,only an observation.

  6. Just to get intae the mood for tonight.



    Some goals from a certain no 7 – including a few against tonights opponents.



    Look out for one at 2.07 against them – remember it well. Bloody freezing it was – we won 3-0, same tonight!










  7. Sixtaeseven 12.40



    Agreed, the idea of having four teams from Spain, Germany, England and Italy is ridiculous and then calling it the Champions League. Arsenal haven’t won a League title in years and swan their way into the group stages of this competition every season.



    If Celtic move to another league then it has to be England by invitation. In all probability Wales will have both Cardiff and Swansea in the EPL next season and yet there is a separate Welsh League.



    We have a very competitive SPL this season and another intriguing game to-night. Let’s hope the spirit of Barcelona returns to Celtic’s play and we get the three points.

  8. KK



    I’m not a bitter person by nature – only when it concerns them!







  9. Ten Men Won The League – He’s a French.



    They have a genius for terrible administration. (thumbsup)

  10. winning tonight will be like 25 new signings



    EPL????? a bit of a bore – real struggle to sit through a whole game. I think we are fine where we are for some time personally.


    Manky Mob – huge bore – dont care if we never play them again and dont care if or when they make their way back to the SPL (by fair means of foul)



    Platini …. and they say we are bampots!!! Off his trolley on power and expenses



    What we need is a real fan based push for financial fair play (which included slabbering over the likes of Barcelona).

  11. philvis



    Platini is indeed French.



    But it gets worse!



    He is of Italian extraction!



    Dio mio!!




  12. A couple of Coppa Italia games live on ESPN this afternoon



    Atalanta/Cesena now followed by Bologna/Livorno



    Well, it sure beats having to listen to Jim Whyte all afternoon until the Bhoys appear at 1845

  13. Top ten French people of all time:



    Eric Cantona


    Stephane Mahe


    Charles Martel


    Brigitte Bardot


    Jacques Cousteau


    Marie Curie


    Rene Descartes


    Captain Picard


    The chef from “The Little Mermaid”


    Daft Punk




  14. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    Je suis desole, but not surprised, that Stephane Bonnes not judged bon enough to make the top dix.

  15. philvis



    What about Jeanne Moreau?!



    Always had a soft spot for her!



    Definite thumbsup!




  16. Hold on a minute!



    We are forgetting Jeremie Alladierre – could have been a Celtic leg-end!




  17. Tallybhoy – He is of Italian extraction!



    They’re sly devils, those Italians.



    I don’t understand why these oily continental lotharios seem to have so much success with the ladies.



    I mean, if archetypical Scotsman John Gordon Sinclair can say “bella bella!”, colour-co-ordinate his polyester clothes, and show girls a good time at North Lanarkshire chip shops, what more do women want? (thumbsup)

  18. sixtaeseven: CQN, antidote to deceptive, selective journalism on




    What about Nappy?


    or Le Grand Charles (whose wife asked him for ‘Appiness when he retired)


    or oui Sarkozy (his femme Carla must be worth a few extra points)?

  19. Philvis



    Inspector Clouseau



    With quotes like this


    Inspector Jacques Clouseau: Yes, well, life is not all shoot-shoot, bang-bang, you know.

  20. The Battered Bunnet on

    Marie Curie was so profoundly talented that she is included in a list of top 10 French people of all time despite being Polish.