Scottish football encounters with top-class English Premier League outfits tend to come along every five years or so, and finish with a crucial reminder to English supporters that just because their club belongs to one of the richest leagues in the world, it doesn’t automatically confer class, style or a sense of decorum.
Which, as every Scottish football fan will tell you, is a reminder that remains essential.
There has always been a sense that English supporters look down on Scottish football, clearly marking the Scottish teams as nothing but an easy game for those bigger clubs and a prime option for the best football free bets.
Perhaps they resent those, admittedly, juvenile outlooks of some Scots who still enjoy watching teams getting beat.
Perhaps they class their success as higher when Scottish players move south of the border for a chance to play better football.
Or perhaps its even just simply because they are tired of all the stories about how some of the great English sides in the 1960s and 70s had Scottish skill and determination.
Whatever the reason, this attitude of seeing Scottish football as ‘less’ just demeans those who advocate it, and makes fans of English football look bad. Especially since Scottish football is thriving.
Even now as Glasgow champions Celtic progressed to another league title win by a margin so big that it may become a European record, English writers and commentators still have the audacity to criticise Scottish football.
Back in March, an article in the Times newspaper slated Scottish football for having having ‘Europe’s worst title race for 85 years’.
And to really stick the boot in, the Times’ Twitter account posted the link to the article, alongside the caption: ‘Is there any point in the Scottish Premiership?’
The article was poorly researched, and didn’t make it to the paper’s Scottish edition.
Later that week, former footballer Jason Cundy, who spent most of his career in the English Premiership, spoke on TalkSport radio and called Scottish football “embarrassing”, suggesting that Celtic would struggle to beat Stoke City.
No one can deny the massive difference in money between the Scottish Premiership and the English Premiership – of course these English clubs have more money.
But that aside, if you were to compare Celtic to Stoke City based on skill level alone, then Stoke City’s only real achievement in football was winning the League Cup back in 1972, when George Eastham scored the winning goal.
Celtic have achieved so much more than that this year alone – having gone the entire Scottish Premier League season without tasting defeat, sealing an undefeated domestic season and the Treble for the fourth time in the club’s history and cementing their status as ‘The Invincibles’.
The only reason English writers and commentators can imply that Stoke City is better is simply because they have more money.
And if people are going to try and justify that for being a reason why Scottish football is ‘pointless’, then perhaps Italian, French and German writers and commentators will start asking what is the point in English football?
Not to mention that Celtic have proven time and time again that they have what it takes to not only face the bigger clubs, but to beat them.
Since meeting Liverpool in the semi-final of the European Cup Winner’s Cup in 1966, the Bhoys have been drawn to play an English side countless times and have, so far, won seven games, lost six and drawn seven.
One of their best performances was when they faced Manchester City last year where they showed the rest of the English Premier League exactly how to take on Pep Guardiola’s high-pressing, high-energy tactics that many thought made them unstoppable.
In their line up, they had one player who cost more than the entire Celtic first team.
In Scotland, where the champion club makes only £2.8 million for its efforts, the game is in a good place, despite its faults, and Scottish football does have its faults, but that doesn’t mean it should be looked down on.
On a whole, attendances have increased, debt has been cut and in the past eight years nine clubs (outside of Rangers and Celtic) have won a national cup competition. In Scotland, football is thriving.