Liam Brady was the man in the hot seat for season 1993-1994 and the team did not start well. Of the first 9 League matches, Celtic had won 2, drawn 5 and lost 2 ; in the League Cup, they had been knocked out of the competition 0-1 by Rangers, after disposing of Stirling Albion (2-0 A), Arbroath ( 9-1 A) and Airdrie (1-0 H) in the early rounds ; while in the UEFA Cup, Celtic had been drawn in the first round against Young Boys Berne, the Swiss side proving difficult opponents, only a single goal in the home leg putting Celtic through.
With results like that, there could be little doubt that the manager was under pressure and matters came to a head after Celtic visited Perth to play St Johnstone in their 10th league game of the season on 6th October 1993, where they lost 1-2. Brady decided that he could not go on any longer and informed Chairman Kevin Kelly on the bus journey back to Glasgow that he would be resigning. And that led to a fairly chaotic following few days.
After only one day in charge as caretaker Boss, Brady’s assistant, Joe Jordan, also left the club and Frank Connor, back at Parkhead in a coaching capacity, took over. And it was Connor in charge when Celtic ran out at Parkhead on the evening of this day in 1993 for a first leg, second leg tie against Sporting Lisbon. The side chosen was Bonner, Grant, Gillespie, Mowbray, Boyd, Byrne, McGinlay, McStay, Collins, Creaney and Nicholas.
The Portuguese side was under the managerialship of Bobby Robson and controlled the play for most of the 90 minutes. It was Celtic, though, who scored the only goal of the contest, in the 9th minute, through Gerry Creaney and although the visitors always looked threatening, they could not put the ball in the net, leaving Celtic with a single goal lead to take to Lisbon for the second leg.
NB On the day of the match, it was announced that Celtic had received permission from the directors of Stoke City to approach their manager Lou Macari and had also agreed compensation terms.
NB2 In the number 10 shirt for Sporting Lisbon was a player by the name of Jorge Cadete.
NB3 The League Cup tie against Arbroath mentioned above was played on 25th August 1993. Celtic’s 9 goals were shared between Mark McNally, Pat McGinlay, Charlie Nicholas, Frank MacAvennie (3) and Andy Payton (3), the latter coming on as a substitute. Sadly, the Arbroath manager was Danny McGrain.