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. Albert Camus on ‘the beautiful game’.Football



    Camus was once asked by his friend Charles Poncet which he preferred, football or the theatre. Camus is said to have replied, “Football, without hesitation.”[25]


    Camus played as goalkeeper for Racing Universitaire d’Alger (RUA won both the North African Champions Cup and the North African Cup twice each in the 1930s) junior team from 1928–30.[26] The sense of team spirit, fraternity, and common purpose appealed to Camus enormously.[27] In match reports Camus would often attract positive comment for playing with passion and courage. Any aspirations in football disappeared at age 17, upon contracting tuberculosis—then incurable, Camus was bedridden for long and painful periods.


    When Camus was asked in the 1950s by an alumni sports magazine for a few words regarding his time with the RUA, his response included the following:


    After many years during which I saw many things, what I know most surely about morality and the duty of man I owe to sport and learned it in the RUA.[25]


    Camus was referring to a sort of simplistic morality he wrote about in his early essays, the principle of sticking up for your friends, of valuing bravery and fair-play. Camus’s belief was that political and religious authorities try to confuse us with over-complicated moral systems to make things appear more complex than they really are, potentially to serve their own needs.





  2. Im sure splitting gate money is NOT the answer. In fact it would be bad news for everyone.



    It was interesting to see how some clubs engaged with their supporters prior to decisions about TRFC’s possible SPL entry. Suddenly ideas as to how to get more supporters onside and in the grounds were being aired. What the hell were the clubs doing before???



    Alex Feguson, at all his Scottish Clubs, worked relentlessly to engage the local community and although success helps loads it is not the only way to get people motivated.



    I do, unlike perhaps others on here, have some sympathy for the other Scottish cubs in their fight to compete with us. (Most of my long standing friends support the ‘lesser’ sides). They are competing with a Goliath built in part as a consequence of the political, social cultural & religous history of these British Isles. Celtic’s appeal transcended the local & immediate environments… it was a cause. It has been said that the success of Celtic created what Rangers decided to become – the black & tans of football. Wonder how healthier Scottish Football would be had they decided otherwise?



    Anyway the point Im trying to make in my laborious way is that some appreciation of the view from another perspective will help make things better all round.

  3. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    SofA – the Vatican, what do they kno about the ole Franglais soft porn singalonga Serge?

  4. Voguepunter



    Thanks awfully for the info re the CQN annual much appreciated kind sir.



    Oh, and apologies for previous ripping of you and the armchair, well actually…… what I mean is apologies to the armchair cause your fat bahookey is ayeways on it, according to my mhan in the Vogue that is.



  5. Fur..



    Ah fur ,Wan..



    Dinna Want tae see..



    Sammi’s Name…oan The Team-Sheet.. fur Tonight.



    Ah suppose.. You Fellahs and Gals Wull want a Reason..


    frum ME..





    Being.. In Your. Collective Opinion..









    So.. Ah wull Provide wan..






    Because, Sammi..






    Time !



    Time..Tae.. Compose Himsel.. Time, tae Get awe his Ducklin’s In a Row..



    Time.. tae “Psych”… Himsel .. “Up”..






    Begins his Run.. once,he Hiz Gained Control o’ the Fitba’







    He needs.. Time.. To Get Up Steam..






    by a Pesky Opponent.



    if he is Successful,in that Endeavour..



    If He Diz get that all important.. “Time”..



    And He is Allowed..Tae Reach.



    His.. Ideal Revs..



    He becomes..



    Quite.. Unstoappable.



    A Dangerous Attacker.. and.. He is A Wonderful “Passer” ..of the Football.



    As, he Thunders doon the Line.. and Picks oot… a Celtic … Well – Placed Colleague..wi’ a.. Ye Guessed it!..






    A Well- Placed Pass.



    In a Typical.. almost .. it has come tae the Point o’ Being.. “Normal”



    Game.. for Us..when we Face a Scottish Provincial Opponent..



    Sammi.. Along wi’ all o His Fellow Celtic Players..


    are noo Presented wi a Phalanx .. a Human Shield..






    Closely ,Packed.. Grim and Determined.. Provincial Boadies..



    and are..






    No Given the same ..Latitude.. when it comes tae getting Control of the Fitball..



    as.. Baith Sammi and They Dae..



    When ..Celtic are Playing against.



    European Opponents..



    And that is Why.. Ladies n Gentlemen..












    Sammi, wull Be Excess Baggage.. if he Plays..



    In Tonight’s



    Toothy Affair..





    Still, Laughin’

  6. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    Susan Boyle [and pebbles] do a great version of ‘Je T’aime [moi non plus]’.



    Dick Byrne has it on his ole iPad when he’s pumpin’ the ole iron.

  7. Vmhan



    Fat bahookie?????????????????splutta ,I’m built like an adonis.


    It’s all to do with the pelvic floor exercises.hh

  8. winning captains


    16:51 on


    28 November, 2012





    We are shipping the CQN Annual same day or next day. If you have ordered and it hasn’t arrived let us know and we will send out another one.





  9. Doctor Whatfor



    It is a little-known, if unsubstantiated, fact that Albert loved the hoops.




  10. DBBIA- was hoping you would give us one of your Subo & Pebbles tales for Christmas, but was hearing Pebs has been fast tracked to Subo’s pad down south and there’s a new mog ruling the roost in West Lothian?

  11. The Battered Bunnet on

    Can’t believe both Carême and Escoffier have been left out for tonight’s match.



    A front 3 comprising these two plus Fernand Point would make mincemeat out the jam tarts.




  12. cqn annual..



    im no buying it if vp and bb get a flipping mention…



    mini bt you lurking?

  13. DBBIA .



    The woman from Padova went to a very posh and expensive Girls school . Never tires of telling people that The Beatles were banned in the dormitories but Serge’s choon about Lollipops was perfectly acceptable

  14. G10


    ole BT snr was at some event on Sunday evening re ole subo’s new CD launch.. uplamour or sommit?

  15. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    goldstar10- I’ll speak to Pebbles’ people and get back to you.



    He wants the Gazebo to know that he does Movember every day, and he’s got the whiskers to prove it.

  16. So Lord Gilbert…..



    Former Tory Defense Secy…..



    Yesterday Afternoon….



    In A Hoose O’ Lords Debate Oan Cuts Tae The Defense Budget…..



    Suggested That NATO Should Drap A NEUTRON BOMB…..



    Right Oan The Af-Pak Boarder…..



    Tae ‘Discourage’ The Cowardly Taliban……



    Thereby Making Use Of Oor Costly WMD….



    Before They Become Obsolescent…..



    And Hiv Tae Be Scrapped…..






    Ah Like The Way He Thinks…..!!!!



    Mebbies He’s Gettin’ A Wee Bit O’ Inspiration …



    Oan Military Strategy….



    Fae The Illuminated Pages Of Oor Sainted CQN…..





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

    Sacré Bleu…


    Lionel Letizi, French international goalkeeper, who played for Paul LeGuen’s Rankers is infamous for having picked up a back injury while playing…


    … scrabble. Done his back picking up a letter he dropped. Out of the PSG team for 3 weeks.

  18. Very surprised that the Montgolfier brothers are not playing tonight.



    Their aerial prowess is second to none.



    Telepathic understanding as well.




  19. My dear,dear,dear,friend.. The Singing Detective..





    Great tae Greet Ye,this Fine.. Las Vegas, Morn.







    So.. Ye didnae Like Ma Team selection ,fur Tonight’s Confronto?



    Join ..the Rest o’ the Dissenters.. Ye are No alone.






    In Ma Opinion.



    Ah always Begin wi that.. Phrase… when



    Ah Wish tae.. forestall.. the Expected.. Storm o’ Protest. fae Me Critics.



    In Ma Opinion,



    Tonight’s Game ,is No Fur Him.. Victor.



    And … Still. Voicing..



    Ma Opinion…



    Victor, is Too Much o’ a Defensive Type Player..






    Fur Tonight’s Game..



    Ah wid Like tae see..



    A Mair … Thoughtful.. n Flier type, of Player..



    like… Ibrahim.. who Ah believe is jist the Man fur The Joab..in a Game such as






    When.. Guile, rather than Brute Force.. wid Be the Answer tae breakin Doon



    the Stuffy. Hearts..



    Defensive Set- Up..



    Fur Hearts wull… Pack the Boax.. and Play Tight… Dee . Fense!






    In MA Opinion.



    Nice Chattin’, Pally..





    Yer pal..who likes ye aloater..



    Still, Laughin’