Off it, Rangers' unmatched financial might seemed to give them a stranglehold on the Scottish game.
Rangers believe they will prevail against Celtic in Saturday's Old Firm derby at Ibrox, according to Brendan Rodgers. "It's not until you look back on your career that you realise how fortunate you were to be involved in those games.?"
Brown, who made his senior debut for Hibs in May 2003 before joining Celtic in the summer of 2007, has managed to make more than 450 appearances in all competitions for the Hoops, helping the club to win seven league titles, three Scottish Cups and four Scottish League Cups.
Perhaps feeling the pressure begin to mount, Rodgers was quite bullish speaking ahead of this weekend's crucial derby.
Their enforced absence allowed Celtic to dominate on a scale not seen since the late 1960s and early 1970s when Jock Stein's side swept all before them at home and scaled the summit of the European club game as well. The second time they were talking about the managerial situation.
Celtic, meanwhile, have failed to hit the dizzying heights they reached last season, with a record-breaking 67-match unbeaten run brought to a halt in December.
Celtic are top of the Scottish Premiership, but Rangers are just six points behind, which is a remarkably small gap compared to the recent history of the two sides.
Although something of a domestic challenge would perhaps be welcomed by Celtic's sated supporters, their form in Europe has been the determining factor amongst those willing to cast the slightest of doubt on Rodgers' progress.
"We're still chasing them and whether we chase them down or not won't just be on this one game - it will be on the games after it, so we have to make sure that what we do, from Sunday, is put ourselves in as good a position as possible but we have to continue our improvement, because we're not the finished article as yet".
"This is the biggest test we now have and we have got a group of players who are really positive, really hungry and desperate to do well, which is a great thing for a manager".