Maybe my arithmetic can be a bit dodgy at times, but I make domestic honours in the 21st century as follows…
Scottish League Titles – Celtic 16, Old Rangers 5, New Rangers 1…
Scottish Cup – Celtic 10, Old Rangers 4, Hearts 2, St Johnstone 2, Dundee United 1, Hibs 1, Inverness 1, New Rangers 0.
Scottish League Cup – Celtic 9, Old Rangers 6, St Mirren 1, Aberdeen 1, Livingston 1, St Johnstone 1, Hibs 1, Kilmarnock 1, Ross County 1, New Rangers 0.
That is 65 trophies since the start of the 2000/01 season – this year’s Scottish Cup final has yet to take place, of course – and the total is Celtic 35, Rest of Scotland 30. If you want, you can add another League Cup to include the 2000 Scottish League Cup in March 2000, but that would also involve including the other two trophies that year. So let’s just start from Martin O’Neill’s arrival in summer 2000, shall we?
And looking at that role of honour, some things would amaze anyone who died in 1999. Aberdeen win one honour out of 66! No Dundee success at all, and no Motherwell. Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital, collects only 4 (OK, maybe 5 after next week!), the names of Ross County, Inverness Caley Thistle and Livingston make an appearance, and the team that comes third in this Scottish football roll of honour is St Johnstone!
And that is before we begin to talk about bankruptcies, administration and liquidations! And that Annan Athletic, Cove Rangers, Kelty Hearts (and soon Bonnyrigg Rose) have joined the Scottish League (and are doing well!) at the expense of teams like East Stirlingshire, Brechin City and Berwick Rangers who once beat another team of that same name. Aye, aye, some things do change, but some things remain the same as well.
As far as Celtic are concerned, we have achieved the following…
Trebles 2001, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
SPL & Scottish Cup Double 2004, 2007, 2013
SPL & Scottish League Cup Double 2006, 2015, 2022
SPL only 2002, 2008, 2012, 2014, 2016
Scottish Cup only 2005, 2011
Scottish League Cup only 2009
Barren 2003, 2010, 2021.
Curiously we have never won both the Scottish Cup and the Scottish League Cup Double in the same season, but not the SPL. We have to go back to season 1974/75 to find that phenomenon.
Our barren seasons can be explained as follows; in 2003, we played some of our best football ever, but maybe got too obsessed with a run in Europe which took us to a final (in Seville, of all places!); in 2010, that likeable old Celt Tony Mowbray (sadly always a loser as far as we are concerned) simply found the job at Celtic Park too much for him (after having done so well at Hibs), and in 2021 we had a struggling Manager, a few ill-willy players, no fans, and the world manipulated by the media into thinking it was on the brink of extinction. In addition, all good things have to come to an end sometime.
But this season has proved that we can come back again!
Sadly, there is one area of life that is omitted from any list of Celtic glory, and that is Europe. Our history in that area since 2000 has been, frankly, awful. And yet we have beaten Manchester United, Barcelona, AC Milan, Liverpool, Blackburn Rovers, Lazio, Leipzig and many others – but we have had no sustained success, and these moments of glory have to be balanced against some real shockers, usually against teams that we had never heard of.
This is clearly an area in which we now look to our new Messiah to improve and develop. No-one is saying “Win the Champions League” – and yet why not? In 1965 and 1966 when I talked about a European Cup, they all laughed at me for being such a silly young fool!
But returning to that list of honours, two things have to be said. One is that the moaners and the trolls ( the “the worst I have ever seen” “I’m no’ comin’ back” and “the Tony Ralston/Carl Starvelt/Greg Taylor is not Celtic class” brigade) really have to take a long, hard look at themselves and decide to shut up.
The other is that if there is (as so many people tell me) an anti-Celtic conspiracy involving handshakes, flutes, referees, politicians, policemen, newspapers, TV stations and the Scottish Parliament, then it must go down as the most unsuccessful conspiracy of all time!
I repeat – Celtic 35 – All Other Scottish Clubs Put Together 30. Simply put, you could say that Celtic are Better Than All the Rest put together..
David – As always enjoyed your reminisces. Being a sad statistician type I thought I would do a similar look at the first 22 years of my life. Considering that those years embraced the 1950’s and early 60’s I was surprised to discover that Celtic in fact dominated those years too. That was mainly due of course to Jock Stein. And Scottish football was more competitive then. According to my arithmetic (which is not too reliable either} Celtic won 8 Titles. Rangers had 7, Hibs 2, Hearts 2 and Aberdeen, Dundee and Kilmarnock 1 each. In the Scottish Cup we had 7 wins. Rangers had 6, Clyde 2, Dunfermline 2, and Aberdeen, Motherwell, Hearts, St Mirren and Falkirk 1 each. As for the League Cup we won it on 7 occasions. Rangers had 5, Hearts 4, Dundee 2 with Aberdeen, Motherwell, East Fife and Partick Thistle getting 1 each. However as a 21 year old I had genuine expectation of Celtic winning the European Cup. As a 71 year old that expectation has gone completely. I also expected in 1972 that other Scottish teams would get to the latter stages of European competitions. I do expect that Rangers will win the Europa League this season but that is I feel going to be a blip. Considering what I have seen this season I cannot see Motherwell or Dundee Utd getting more than 1 game in Europe next term. As you say the one area where we have regressed this millennium is Europe. At our ages we are running out of time. All this domestic dominance is fine but we have to drastically improve in Europe now. As someone who lives away from Scotland I know that Scottish football is not regarded highly outwith our borders. In fact most “foreigners” I would suspect consider that Celtic’s dominance says more about the paucity of opposition rather than the greatness of Celtic. I am really pleased with Ange and what he has done but we have got to perform a lot better in Europe next season. Not promises of being better next time- This one!