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. stevo


    14:14 on


    28 November, 2012





    I would have thought Vanessa Paradis could have made that list



  2. philvisreturns


    14:15 on


    28 November, 2012


    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)






    Every time I leave the house I have to take a stick with me.



    Not because I have dificulty walking – it is to beat off hordes of women who follow me everywhere!



    Damn these continental oily lothario looks of mine!



    It is a curse I tell you!




  3. Seen Sasha Distel and The Reprobates at the ole Burns Howff…what a waste of time and champagne that was.

  4. The nonsense which allows up to 4 teams from individual national leagues strangles the development of the EL while the boring competitive familiarty of the CL grows apace.



    The EL should be developed not destroyed.



    Limit CL entry to a maximum 2 clubs per national league (3 if winners of previous years CL failed to qualify through league placing). This would provide a few more immediate access places for Champions of the best places leagues outwith the big 4. So many great football nations are being short changed and their support disregarded.



    EL would be enhanced by the entry of better, more high profile clubs from the big leagues who otherwise would have stepped into the CL. It is not hard to imagine TV, sponsors & fans would be more interested, making the tournament more attactive financially and as a spectacle. The financial reward aspect is so important to this tourney. Also the winners of the EL should obtain direct entry to the CL group stages of the following season. Maybe then the EPL teams (for example) would stop paying mere lip service to the competition.



    UEFA itself has never really promoted the EL these changes would really allow a proper marketing effort.

  5. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    it’s a little known, if made up, fact that Michel Platini had a trial for Celtic, when they were looking to replace Andy Ritchie.



    Although Michel impressed at training he was homesick and could not settle; deciding a Gregg’s steak bake was a poor substitute for his mum’s home made bouef en daube aux pruneaux.

  6. Dontbrattbakkinanger – I don’t believe Stephane Bonnes really exists. (thumbsup)



    Tallybhoy – What about Jeanne Moreau?!






    General/President Charles de Gaulle?



    Edward Fox had the right idea. (thumbsup)



    stevo – I would have thought Vanessa Paradis could have made that list



    She’s a butterface. (thumbsup)



    sixtaeseven – Sarkozy gets nil points for marrying an Italian. (thumbsup)



    kikinthenakas – Inspector Clouseau should have been on the list, my apologies. (thumbsup)



    The Battered Bunnet – French citizen, therefore French. (thumbsup)

  7. The Battered Bunnet on

    Marie Curie is included in the list of top 10 French people of all time on account of her having married a French fellow. You’d have thought, with that much talent, she’d have been able to nab a fellow from Lanarkshire instead.

  8. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    it’s a little known, if 100% made up fact, that Marie Curie has won more Nobel Prizes than Anthony Stokes.

  9. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    Latest score 2-0 to Marie Curie [physics 1903, chemistry 1911], although of course Anthony has youth, and his undoubted boundless enthusiasm, on his side.

  10. Apology accepted philvis, and a quote to leave you with………



    Insp. Jacques Clouseau: at times like this, I wish I was but a simple peasant.

  11. Paul67



    We need more threads on this particular issue.



    The gates of all the other clubs would increase due to them having a genuine chance of being champions.




  12. DBBIA



    It is a little known, if 100% made-up fact, that the French are the most popular race on Earth.

  13. After numerous letters back and forward.HMRC has told me that,I have to pay back nearly £300 in unpaid tax on my meagre works pension,is there anyway I can get round this?


    Can I claim it was a loan? Can I go to an indepentant tribunal and hope I will win by a majority vote.Does anyone know of a financial advisor that can think of a scheme to beat HMRC.Help,before I am throwing in the dungeons.

  14. oily continental lotharios .




    Worst football related violence I’ve ever seen was before and after a Palermo v West Ham Uefa Cup game in 2006 ————- Madness .



    During the game itself sections of the Palermo support treated the West Ham fans to this ———



    ” If we were you — we’d drink too much too “. .

  15. I thought ole Francois Truffaut was quite good in ‘Close encounters….’ – even ‘though he spoke bloody French most of the time.




  16. Neveralone



    Decent article



    However they want as many big teams from the big leagues as possible ….TV revenue

  17. Just signed up to espn for the extra £6 per month. Bargain. Small beer to pay in order to see Les ‘Oops (well, if Joey Barton can do it anyone can!) play Hertz (Les Couers). See, I love Celtic. End of.

  18. So the stupid zombies dont want to be in the SPL.






    We will continue to enjoy our trips to the likes of Barcelona and they can wet themselves at the thought of QOS in the ramsdens cup.

  19. Now I know. It’s been maddening. But, bien sur, ole Chunkles does model hisel’ on De Gaulle. Sacre bleu, an’ all that hunguffery d’orange.

  20. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    it’s a little known, if made up , fact that Marie Curie’s home cookery books are still so radio-active that they are kept in a lead- lined box.



    Only Kirk Numbnuts is deemed expendable enough to be allowed to use them, and only then in carefully controlled conditions.

  21. For me bowing to UEFA has as much appeal as bowing to the SFA.


    We need to run our own game.


    Bleating to UEFA/FIFA or the courts to sort out our problems is pathetic.



    Our game is skewered by the interest of Celtic and Rangers.


    Both clubs and their supporters have a “hurry up and die” attitude to the game in Scotland based on an untested belief that when the game does die here, they’ll move on to pastures new and greener.


    The English clubs have enough bully boys of their own without posting an invite to 2 more.



    If football is to be a business subject to the same rules as any other, then it is no longer football.