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Craig Burley: Celtic fans wanted to kill us if we lost

Burley joined the club in 1997 when Rangers had just won their ninth consecutive Scottish Premier League title.

The rivalry and history between the two Old Firm clubs means that ten consecutive titles for one team is a nightmare scenario for fans of the other.

But Celtic and Burley managed to stop Rangers hitting that milestone, winning the 1997/98 title by two points on the final day of the league season.

“No one could really understand the pressure we were under,” Burley told the February 2020 issue of FourFourTwo, on sale now. “The fans wanted to kill us if we lost a game.

“They were besotted with stopping Rangers and would remind us it was the most important f*cking season in the history of the club.

“If you couldn’t handle the pressure then it wasn’t a place for you. Luckily, we had players who thrived on it.”

The tables have turned in the two decades since that season, with Celtic currently on eight consecutive Scottish Premier League titles since 2011/12.

But Burley confessed that the quality in Scottish football has dropped massively since his playing days.

He added: “Let’s be honest, if you need to know anything about a player in Scottish football now, you’d have to go on Wikipedia.

“When I went to Celtic, I can’t tell you how good the quality was. Paul Gascoigne wasn’t getting regular game time for Rangers. You had Sergio Porrini going there in Juventus.

“When I turned up, people were saying ‘What the bloody hell have we signed him for?’”

Read the full interview with Craig Burley in the February 2020 issue of FourFourTwo magazine, out in shops and available digitally now. Our brilliant Euro 96 special includes a 27-page feature on the tournament, plus exclusive interviews with Darren Anderton, David Baddiel, Karel Poborsky, John Motson and Barry Davies, Pierluigi Casiraghi, Craig Burley and many more. We also find out the games that changed Cesar Azpilicueta's life, Juan Mata's Perfect XI, and why Peter Crouch got sick of the sight of Mickey Rourke. 

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