Aberdeen vice chairman George Yule has told Celtic to savour beating Barcelona because the Pittodrie club aim to replace them in next season’s Champions League.
Neil Lennon’s side were the toast of Europe following their astonishing victory against the world’s best team but Yule believes they are vulnerable on the domestic front. The man brought in during the summer in a board room shake-up that saw Willie Miller sacked is convinced the SPL title is up for grabs this season.
It is 27 years since Dons legend Miller picked up the Championship trophy under Alex Ferguson but Yule believes this could be their best chance since.
When asked if it was too soon for Craig Brown’s promising side to win the title Yule said: “No, it is not. Celtic have proven this season they are there to be taken down. Kilmarnock beat them recently at Parkhead and Celtic were two goals up on Dundee United but were held to a draw. There’s not that much between SPL teams this season. Clearly, Celtic have greater spending power than anyone else in the league but they are there to be knocked down.”
Aberdeen will soon get the chance to test that theory as the defending champions are due to play at Pittodrie on Saturday week. Yule’s comments will simply add more spice to the noon showdown but someone who was previously in charge of a successful energy company is used to setting tough targets. Even before a ball was kicked this season manager Brown was warned that finishing out of the top three was unacceptable.
Now the aim is higher after a start that has seen Aberdeen lose just twice in the league so far having conceded the fewest goals along with Celtic.
Yule added: “This is a team that should be up at the top end of the league challenging every season. Aberdeen is the third biggest city in Scotland and the only city in Britain, apart from London, to beat the economic recession. There is a lot going for the city and the club needs to be an accurate representative of a city that is very buoyant.
“We appreciate that many fans have felt let down and we have to work hard to get their support. We cannot demand their support, we have to earn it. In the case of the football club, it would have been very easy to stay below the radar when things haven’t been going very well. But my ethos is that it’s time to meet things head on. I believe that there will be good times for the fans but there is still a way to go.”