It was a transfer that few Celtic supporters understood or wanted- 12 years later Steven Pressley admits it was also a mistake on his part.
The Hearts skipper- alongside future Celts Paul Hartley and Craig Gordon- had led a mini-revolt against Vladimir Romanov that brought his departure from Tynecastle forward.
As a former Rangers (IL) defender Celtic fans had never rated Elvis, a player hyped up by his media profile, his boring delivery on radio and television was as predictable as his actions on the pitch.
Gordon Strachan had stated that he needed greater experience in defence but when the move for Pressley came about the whole of Scottish football was shocked.
Now as an out of work football coach the former Scotland assistant finds that doors are closed due to his past allegiances at three major clubs.
“I had a great two years as a player at Celtic but if I could turn back the clock, maybe it wasn’t the best move for me,” he told the Daily Record. “Before only half the city didn’t like me but after joining Celtic I suppose it made me unemployable where both clubs are concerned.
“I was only looking at it through the eyes of a player who just wanted to win trophies.”
Pressley has everything in his profile to one day manage Hearts but moving directly to Celtic following the ‘Riccarton Statement’ is a blot on his CV that most Jambos could never overlook.
He added: “Would I do that again? No. It certainly didn’t do me any favours but I was doing it because I felt I had to speak up for others who were being so badly treated.
“But when it got to the point that the heat came on and I looked over my shoulder I didn’t see too many of them standing behind me.
“So I didn’t benefit from it at all. In fact, I turned down a testimonial and the opportunity to become assistant manager.
“I probably lost the chance to become Hearts manager a couple of years down the line. But my conscience wouldn’t have allowed that.”
Pressley only made 24 appearances for Celtic but did pick up SPL and Scottish Cup winners medals before ending his playing career at Falkirk.