Inverness Caledonian Thistle F.C.
|Full name||Inverness Caledonian Thistle Football Club|
|Nickname(s)||Caley Thistle |
The Pride of the Highlands
as Caledonian Thistle Football Club
|2019–20||Scottish Championship, 2nd of 10|
Inverness Caledonian Thistle Football Club, commonly known as Caley Thistle, is a professional football club based in Inverness, Scotland. The team currently competes in the Scottish Championship, the second tier of the Scottish Professional Football League, and hosts home games at Caledonian Stadium.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle won the Scottish Cup in 2015 and was runner-up in the Scottish League Cup a year earlier. They have also won the Scottish Challenge Cup twice and the Scottish Football League First Division twice. Its highest Premiership position is 3rd in 2014–15.
Formation and early years
Prior to 1994 there were three football clubs in Inverness competing in the Highland League: Clachnacuddin, Caledonian, and Inverness Thistle. There had also been three smaller sides, Inverness Citadel, Inverness Celtic and Inverness Union who competed in the Highland League in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries; the latter of these three smaller clubs merged with Inverness Thistle in 1895.
All three clubs had won a number of local titles, and Thistle narrowly missed out on being elected into the Scottish League in 1973. In 1993 the league agreed to expand by an extra two teams, and improved road links to Inverness now meant that competing in national competitions was more possible.
Caledonian Thistle F.C. was formed in August 1994 from the merger of Caledonian and Thistle, with an objective of taking up one of the two available places in the Scottish League. The merger was opposed by some supporters of both clubs, with Caledonian fans staging a number of protests, but the merger went through and the new club was selected to the Scottish Third Division along with fellow Highland team, Ross County.
Caledonian Thistle started 1994–95 with a game against Arbroath on 13 August 1994, which ended in a 5–2 win at Telford Street Park, the former home ground of Caledonian. Alan Hercher scored Caledonian Thistle's first league goal, and went on to complete a hat-trick. The club eventually finished sixth in the Third Division, and followed this up with a third place finish in 1995-96. Before the start of the 1996-97 season the club changed its name to Inverness Caledonian Thistle F.C. Part of the application to join the Scottish League was a commitment to move to a new stadium and, a year later than originally planned, Caley moved to the newly built Caledonian Park in November 1996. With a new name and new stadium, the club finished 1996-97 as Third Division champions, earning promotion to the Second Division. The club spent two seasons in the Second Division. After a closely fought campaign, they finished runners-up to Livingston in Season 1998–99, securing promotion to the First Division.
First Division (1999–2004)
The club first came to national prominence after their Scottish Cup victories over Celtic in 2000 and 2003: winning 3–1 at Celtic Park, resulting in the headline "Super Caley Go Ballistic Celtic Are Atrocious" in The Sun which is now framed in the foyer of Caledonian Stadium, and 1–0. Inverness also knocked other SPL teams out of cup competitions, including Motherwell and Hearts. Over the first ten years of their existence the club had been responsible for a total of 12 'shocks' and as a result had gained themselves a reputation as being "giant killers". On 25 February 2007, Inverness's run of cup victories over Celtic came to an end following two goals in the last two minutes of their fifth round tie at Caledonian Stadium. Having led 1–0 for the majority of the game thanks to a Graham Bayne goal, Steven Pressley equalised before Kenny Miller netted the winner in stoppage time. However, another victory against Celtic occurred on 16 December 2007, this time in the league, when the team came from being 2–0 down to win 3–2, with goals scored by John Rankin, David Proctor and Don Cowie.
Season 2003–2004 could be regarded as the club's most successful up to that point. In November 2003, they defeated Airdrie United 2–0, with goals from Steve Hislop and David Bingham, to win the Scottish Challenge Cup, and also reached the Scottish Cup semi-final, losing a replay 3–2 to Dunfermline Athletic after a 1–1 draw at Hampden Park. However, the greatest achievement was on the final day of the season, when Inverness defeated St Johnstone 3–1, with goals from Paul Ritchie, David Bingham and Barry Wilson and, as a result, pipped Clyde to the First Division title. This made the club eligible for promotion to the Scottish Premier League (SPL). However, SPL rules at that time stated that all member clubs must have a stadium with a minimum capacity of 10,000 seats. Caledonian Stadium did not meet this criterion, leaving the club's Board with a dilemma: either to remain in the First Division (like Falkirk the previous season) or to groundshare with Aberdeen, over 100 miles (160 km) away. After consulting with supporters, the Board decided the 'sacrifice' of one season in Aberdeen would be an acceptable compromise to ensure Premier League participation for the club.
Scottish Premier League (2004–2009)
A change in SPL rules during the 2004–05 season reduced the stadium seating requirement to 6,000 seats for SPL membership. The Caledonian Stadium was rendered a valid SPL venue after a rapid ground expansion, with two new stands added. The stadium was renamed as the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium in honour of the local building firm that completed the work in only 47 working days. The chairman of Tulloch, David Sutherland, was also chairman of the club at the time and remains a major shareholder. The club returned to playing in Inverness, defeating Dunfermline 2–0 in their first SPL game in their own ground on 29 January 2005, thanks to goals from Barry Wilson and then player-manager Craig Brewster.
A significant event in the club's history was the signing of Romanian international Marius Niculae. Niculae was involved in the club's 2007–08 campaign and played at UEFA Euro 2008, before leaving for Dinamo Bucureşti. He later became involved in a dispute with the club over a share of the transfer fee that was not paid to him when he left. As a result, Inverness were ordered by FIFA to pay £133,000 to the player. The club appealed against the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and in November 2011, the club won their appeal.
During season 2008–09 season, the team incurred a number of bad results and struggled near the bottom of the SPL. Eventually, manager Craig Brewster was sacked after a run of seven consecutive defeats, ending with a 1–0 loss to Hamilton Academical. This was the first time the club had sacked a manager, and the fans had previously voiced concern about Brewster's ability. Brewster was replaced by former England international Terry Butcher, who was unable to prevent the club's relegation, despite an initial improvement in results. Inverness Caledonian Thistle's tenure in the SPL eventually ended in May 2009 after suffering a 1–0 home defeat to Falkirk. Their final total of 37 points remains the highest ever for a team finishing bottom of the SPL.
Return to the First Division (2009–2010)
After a slow start to their first season back in the First Division, which looked set to be won at a canter by runaway leaders Dundee who were 15 points ahead in January, Inverness put together an astonishing run of form which saw them go on a 21-match unbeaten run. On 21 April 2010, Inverness secured promotion back to the SPL with two games to spare after Dundee lost to Raith Rovers. Inverness became the first team in ten years to secure an immediate return to the SPL. The team went on to celebrate their promotion with a 7–0 win at Ayr United, their biggest ever away win. On the final day of the season, Inverness beat Dundee 1–0.
Return to the SPL/Premiership (2010–2017)
Having won the 2009–10 First Division title in their first year back in the division since 2003–04, Inverness have since competed in the top tier of Scottish football. In 2013–14, the club reached their first major final – the Scottish League Cup – losing on penalties to Aberdeen. They then beat Falkirk in the final of the Scottish Cup in 2015. That same season, Inverness secured entry to European competition for the first time, with a best-ever third-place finish in the Premiership.
As part of the push for promotion in the 2009–10 season, Inverness went on an unbeaten away run in the league that continued through the entire 2010 calendar year, culminating in a 1–1 draw against Hearts at Tynecastle on 18 December. This extraordinary sequence ended in defeat at St Johnstone on 2 January 2011 when the Perth side won by a single goal. At the split, Inverness narrowly missed out on a top six spot, eventually finishing in a club record-equalling 7th place. However, two years later, they would finish even higher.
Continued good form over the course of the season consolidated the club's position in the top-half of the table. Victory over Highland derby rivals Ross County on 16 March elevated Inverness CT onto an almost unassailable points-total in their quest for a maiden 'top-6' finish. This achievement was confirmed the following day as the club benefited from a favourable result in the Sunday SPL fixture. This guarantee of a 'top-6' place ensured that the 2012–13 Scottish Premier League season would see Inverness CT record, their then, highest ever finishing league position.
Inverness CT began the inaugural season (2013–14 Scottish Premiership) of the revamped SPFL Scottish Premiership with a 3–0 win over St Mirren. This result saw the club take pole-position in the league table. They remained top of the league until the 9th game of the season when they dropped to 2nd place following a loss at St Johnstone.
On 11 November 2013, Hibernian reached a compensation deal with Inverness for Terry Butcher to move to the club, alongside assistant manager Maurice Malpas.
After an extensive recruitment process, on 4 December 2013, John Hughes was unveiled as the new manager of the club. In January 2014, Russell Latapy was appointed as Hughes' assistant manager.
In February 2014, Inverness defeated Hearts in the Scottish League Cup semi-final. Inverness struck first with Greg Tansey firing the Highland side into the lead. Jamie Hamill then scored 2 goals in 2 minutes and gave Hearts hope of reaching their second League Cup Final in two years. Just when Inverness were on the brink of defeat, Nick Ross equalised in the 94th minute and sent the game to extra time. After no goals being scored in extra time, Inverness clinched the win on penalties.
On 25 February, Inverness beat Ross County in Dingwall in the Highland Derby. The 3–0 win was the first time they had won a Highland Derby in Dingwall in the League since March 2003. They also won the next derby 2–1 on 4 April. The game was also played in Dingwall.
On 16 March, Inverness and Aberdeen faced each other in the 2014 Scottish League Cup Final at Celtic Park in Glasgow. After tense 120 minutes the two teams lined up for a penalty shoot-out. Inverness missed their first 2 penalties with Billy McKay's penalty saved and Greg Tansey firing over the bar. Despite Nick Ross and Aaron Doran scoring their penalties Aberdeen won 4–2.
Inverness finished the season with a 2–0 win over St Johnstone thanks to second half goals from Ryan Christie and Greg Tansey.
Between May and September 2014, Inverness kept a series of consecutive clean sheets, enabling them to achieve a club record of 616 minutes without conceding a goal.
Further success followed that season, with a 1–0 victory away to Dundee confirming a record third-place league finish for the club. This also guaranteed Inverness qualifying for European football for the first time – they competed in the 2015–16 UEFA Europa League.
Scottish Cup victory and European qualification (2014–2015)
Inverness CT capped an extraordinary 2014–15 season by winning the Scottish Cup Final against Falkirk at Hampden Park. This result came after they had defeated Celtic in a tense semi-final.
The Scottish Cup win was the club's first major national trophy and the first won by any club from the Highlands. Furthermore, it entitled Inverness CT to enter the 2015–16 UEFA Europa League in the Second qualifying round. The club were drawn against Romanian outfit FC Astra Giurgiu. An estimated 500 fans followed the team to Romania, watching the team grind out a 0–0 draw. However this was not enough to set up a tie against West Ham United in the next round, as the Romanians had narrowly beaten the Highlanders 1–0 in the first leg in Inverness.
Relegation to the Scottish Championship (2017–present)
The team failed to carry the form from the previous season due to the loss of key players like Marley Watkins, Graeme Shinnie and Edward Ofere. Furthermore, an approach from Dundee United to bring John Hughes to the Tangerines in October was rejected by Inverness, leaving Hughes frustrated.
The club's defence of the Scottish Cup began by beating Stirling Albion after a replay. In the following round, a Jordan Roberts goal set-up a tie against Hibs. Inverness lost a replay to the Edinburgh club, who eventually went on to win the competition. Hughes left at the end of the season after mutually terminating his contract, citing a collapse in relations with the board.
Club captain Richie Foran was appointed as his successor, despite having no previous managerial experience. The club started the season scoring fifteen goals in four League Cup group games. They also recorded a 2–2 draw in the league against Celtic, the only club to take a point off the Glaswegians for close to a year. However, this good form dropped off, and Inverness did not win a league game from October until February – when a last-minute overhead kick from Billy Mckay lead to a 2–1 win over Rangers.
Inverness CT were relegated to the Scottish Championship on the final day of the 2016–17 season, despite recording a 3–2 victory over Motherwell. After Foran was sacked from his position, former manager John Robertson was appointed as his successor on 14 June 2017.
Inverness reached the 2017–18 Scottish Challenge Cup Final, after a 3–2 win over Northern Irish invitee side Crusaders at home, meaning the club's would make their fourth cup final appearance, and John Robertson's second challenge cup final at the club. Inverness went on to lift the cup on 24 March 2018, with Carl Tremarco scoring the only goal of the game seconds before the game was due to go into added time. Robertson became the first manager in the cup's history to lift the trophy twice with the same club.
This cup win kick-started an unbeaten run of 13 games as Inverness went from lingering around the lower echelons of the table to mid-table. However, despite a late push, an injury-time equaliser in the final home game of the season against Dunfermline meant ICT narrowly missed out on the promotion play-offs by just two points, finishing in 5th place despite winning 3–0 away to Greenock Morton on the final day, which would've confirmed a play-off slot had Dunfermlne either drawn or lost to Dumbarton.
In August 2018, the club was saddened to learn of the death of ex-player Alan Hercher at 52 years of age. He was the club's first captain, goalscorer and hat-trick scorer – in their first league game against Arbroath. In tribute, a minute's silence was held at Inverness' first home game of the 2018–19 Scottish Championship season against Ayr United which ended in a 0–0 draw.
Come the new year, Inverness were doing better than they had the previous season, sitting in the play-off spots despite drawing nearly every game. The club beat rivals Ross County to progress into the quarter-finals of the Scottish Cup before making the semi-final after a last gasp winner from Aaron Doran against Dundee United. This was the 4th semi-final appearance for the club, after appearances in 2002–03, 2003–04 and 2014–15. They played Heart of Midlothian, but were unable to proceed to the final, as they were defeated 3–0.
By the end of the season, Inverness had secured a play-off spot, after leapfrogging Ayr United into 3rd place. In the quarter-finals, Inverness defeated Ayr, winning 3–1 in the first leg, and drawing 1–1 in the second, securing a comfortable 4–2 aggregate win. However, the joy was short-lived after facing Dundee United in the semi-finals. In the first leg, at home, they fell to an unfortunate 1–0 loss while down to 10 men after Liam Polworth was handed a straight red for an apparent high foot on Mark Connolly while making a clearance. Inverness went to Tannadice with heads held high hoping to overturn the 1–0 deficit, but hope began to fade after United were awarded and scored a controversial penalty just before half time. The penalty was conceded by a Brad McKay handball, after it deflected off his heel. Again, controversy followed just after half time, when a handball wasn't seen by the referee which resulted in John Robertson being sent to the stands for flicking a water-bottle in aggravation near the 4th official. Inverness went on to lose 3–0, 4–0 on aggregate. After the match, Robertson stated in an interview with the BBC on what punishments he'd receive from the SFA for his actions;
"I don't care. They [the SFA] can ban me for as long as they want. I'm going to start speaking out now because I've had enough of it."
July 2019 saw the beginning of the 25th Anniversary Celebrations: a new 3rd Kit was announced as well as a special friendly game. The League Cup campaign was poor; an 11–10 loss on penalties to Peterhead was followed up by wins over Raith Rovers and Cove Rangers but for the 3rd year on the trot the club failed to progress to the next round. The league, like the League Cup, started off disappointingly, with to a 4–1 defeat by Dundee United at Tannadice Park. However, the following weekend they won 2–1 at home against Arbroath. The game came one year after the death of the club's first captain, Alan Hercher, who scored a hat-trick against the same opposition in the first (home) game of the club's existence, almost 25 years prior. This game saw the debut of the anniversary kit.
By the end of February, the club was close to securing a second place finish, and potentially even winning title ahead of Dundee United, who were dropping crucial points. However, in a situation that had not been seen since the Second World War, the league was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic with the SPFL choosing to shut down all football in Scotland from the Premiership to local leagues. A decision was made to finish the season as it stood and to do away with the play-offs. This was met with controversy, as Inverness, Partick and Dundee planned on voting no, however, Dundee changed their vote at the last minute, leading to the league standings being finalised. Had Dundee also voted no, the SPFL Proposition would have failed and the playoffs would have taken place. Following this outcome, a league reconstruction proposal was made, which would have seen Inverness go up with Dundee United to form a 14 team Scottish Premiership, resulting in Partick being spared relegation into League One. However, as of 22 July 2020, the talks collapsed with Hearts and Partick taking the matter to court and subsequently to an SFA tribunal.
|1996–1998||Le Coq Sportif||Scottish Citylink|
|2016–2017||McEwan Fraser Legal|
In 2017 Inverness cut ties with Carbrini due to delays in manufacturing of replica kits, which angered many fans who had ordered their kits which took months to arrive at their homes. The kits were only available at JD Sports Stores, and did not become available to buy until a month into the 2016–17 season. Inverness partnered up with longtime supplier Errea in May 2017 in time for the 2017–18 season.
In August 2019 a 3rd Kit, which was given a limited release of less than 300, was launched. The kit featured 4 vertical stripes of red, black, white and blue, a silver crest, and the names of all the players who were with the team in the 1994–95 season, as well as featuring the anniversary logo used to promote the occasion and a one-off 25th anniversary sponsor.
In May 2020, it was revealed that the club's contract with Erreà had ran out as well as potentially the sponsorship by McEwan Fraser Legal. In the club's fan podcast, The Wyness Shuffle, it was revealed by club chairman Ross Morrison that Inverness had signed a deal with German sports manufacturers Puma and further details would be disclosed by the club at a later date.
A big derby fixture is the North derby between Inverness and Aberdeen, which is still regarded as a derby even though the clubs are over 100 miles apart. The rivalry started when Inverness were ground sharing with Aberdeen at Pittodrie Stadium in 2004 when Inverness first gained promotion to the top flight, and their ground was being improved to the standards required to be a SPL team.
Aberdeen are the dominant team in the derby with 24 wins to 10.
Inverness has been considered as somewhat of a breeding ground for future Aberdeen players, as players such as Adam Rooney, Jonny Hayes, Miles Storey, Graeme Shinnie, Greg Tansey and Ryan Christie have all ended up at Aberdeen after their time in Inverness.
Inverness also has a long-lasting rivalry with Clachnacuddin, which goes back to before Caledonian and Inverness Thistle merged. All three teams were founding members of the Highland League, and all their grounds were close together in Inverness. This led to the City Derby. Though this rivalry is on a lesser scale than it was before the election of Inverness to the SFL, it still exists through pre-season friendlies. Inverness has 17 wins in this fixture, and Clach only two.
Inverness have had a long-standing rivalry with local club Ross County, who are situated a few miles north of Inverness in Dingwall. The rivalry began when both teams were elected to the SFL in the 1994–95 Season. They contest the Highland derby. Inverness are the dominant team within the derby with 22 wins to County's 16.
The Highland Council contributed £900,000 towards the development of Caledonian Stadium, now known for sponsorship reasons as the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium. The stadium is situated beside the Moray Firth, in the shadow of the Kessock Bridge. Its construction was promised in their election to the Scottish Football League. The former ground of Caledonian, Telford Street, was used until the new stadium was complete. The stadium has 4 stands – The North Stand, The Jock McDonald Main Stand, The South Stand, and the small West Stand. Away supporters are housed in the South Stand, which can hold around 2200 supporters, as well as being given the West Stand and uncovered section of the Main Stand if demand is exceeded, however, if demand is not met, away supporters may be given the uncovered section in the Main Stand. The North and South stands were constructed in 2005 in order to meet SPL requirements. The West Stand was constructed in 2007, holding around 400. It was intended to be used as a singing section, however, the stand remains unused on most match days.
In 2019, the stadium was gifted back to the club, and its original name of the Caledonian Stadium returned.
The club's highest 'home' (league) attendance actually occurred while they were groundsharing with Aberdeen at Pittodrie. With Inverness fans in the traditional home end, and Aberdeen fans filling the away end, a record attendance of 9,530 was set on 16 October 2004. This record may stand for some time, as the crowd that day was bigger than the current capacity of Caledonian Stadium.
The club's highest cup attendance was also recorded in a venue other than their home ground. A crowd of 11,296 watched Inverness play Rangers on 9 March 1996 at Tannadice in Dundee. The game had been switched to Dundee as the club's home ground (Telford Street Park at that time) was deemed unsuitable for the Scottish Cup quarter-final tie.
- As of 1 June 2020
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
|Assistant Manager||Scott Kellacher|
|Goalkeeping Coach||Ryan Esson|
|Head of Youth Development||Charlie Christie|
|Youth Academy Coach||Ross Tokely|
|Sports Therapist||Becky Mussett|
|Club Doctor||Dr Derick Macleod|
Board of Directors
|Honorary Club President||Roddy Ross|
|Chief Executive Officer||Scot Gardiner|
|Company Secretary||Ian MacDonald|
Players who have played at international level whilst contracted to Inverness CT and years contracted to club:
(Players in Bold are currently contracted to the club)
- Richard Hastings (Canada) 1994–2001; 2004–2009
- Davide Xausa (Canada) 1999–2001
- Henri Anier (Estonia) 2017
- Lonsana Doumbouya (Guinea) 2016–2017
- Pāvels Mihadjuks (Latvia) 2009
- Billy Mckay (Northern Ireland) 2011–2015; 2017
- Jonathan Tuffey (Northern Ireland) 2010–2012
- Marius Niculae (Romania) 2007–2008
- Andrew Shinnie (Scotland) 2011–2013
- Owain Fôn Williams (Wales) 2015–2019
- Owain Tudur Jones (Wales) 2011–2013
- Calum Ferguson (Canada U-18 & Canada U-20) 2013–2016
- Bajram Fetai (Denmark U-20) 2005
- Aaron Doran (Republic of Ireland U-21) 2011–
- Adam Evans (Republic of Ireland U-19) 2013–2014
- Jake Mulraney (Republic of Ireland U-21) 2016–2018
- Conor Pepper (Republic of Ireland U-19) 2012–2014
- Adam Rooney (Republic of Ireland U-21) 2008–2011
- Gil Blumstein (Israel U-21) 2010–2011
- Ian Black (Scotland B) 2004–2009
- Mark Brown (Scotland B) 2002–2007
- Ryan Christie (Scotland U-21) 2013–2015
- Craig Dargo (Scotland B) 2005–2007
- Jamie Duff (Scotland U-21) 2008–2010
- Alex MacDonald (Scotland U-21) 2011
- Daniel MacKay (Scotland U-19) 2017–
- Rory McAllister (Scotland U-20 & Scotland U-21) 2005–2009
- Jamie McCart (Scotland U-21) 2017; 2018–2020
- Tom Parratt (Scotland U-19) 2005–2006
- Liam Polworth (Scotland U-17 & Scotland U-21) 2011–2019
- Bryan Prunty (Scotland U-21) 2004–2005
- Nick Ross (Scotland U-21) 2009–2015
- Graeme Shinnie (Scotland U-21) 2009–2015
- Iain Vigurs (Scotland U-19) 2006–2009; 2015–2018
List of permanent Inverness CT managers:
- As of 10 March 2020
|Name||From||Until||Played||Won||Drawn||Lost||Win %||Honours / Notes|
|Sergei Baltacha||1994||1995||40||13||10||17||32.50||Player/Manager of Caledonian F.C. prior to merger.
Became manager after Inverness Thistle F.C. manager turned down offer.
Player/Manager at ICT, made 9 appearances for ICT.
|Steve Paterson||1995||2002||329||147||92||90||44.68||Longest serving manager in Inverness CT history.
1996–97 Scottish Third Division Champion.
1998–99 Scottish Second Division Runners up and Playoff winners.
1999–2000 Scottish Challenge Cup Finalists.
|John Robertson||2002||2004||84||44||13||27||52.38||2003–04 Scottish First Division Champion.
2003–04 Scottish Challenge Cup Winners.
|Craig Brewster||2007||2009||64||22||7||35||34.38||Second Spell.|
|Terry Butcher||2009||2013||209||87||58||64||41.63||2009–10 Scottish First Division Champion.
2009–10 Scottish Challenge Cup Finalist.
|John Hughes||2013||2016||122||50||31||41||41.30||2013–14 Scottish League Cup Finalist.
2014–15 Scottish Cup Winners.
|John Robertson||2017||Present||137||65||34||38||47.45||Second Spell.
2017–18 Scottish Challenge Cup Winners.
Sergei Baltacha had been manager of Caledonian prior to the merger and he carried on as Caledonian Thistle manager after the merger in 1994. He remained in charge for only one season, leaving in 1995 to be closer to his family in Perth. Baltacha was replaced by Huntly manager Steve Paterson, who to date is the club's longest-serving manager. During his seven and a half years as manager, from the summer of 1995 to December 2002, Paterson succeeded in taking the club to the Scottish Football League First Division. He also steered ICT to their famous 3–1 Scottish Cup victory against Celtic in 2000. In November 2002, Paterson was strongly linked to the vacant manager's position at Dundee United. However, he chose to stay with Inverness for another month, after which he left, along with assistant Duncan Shearer, to become manager of Aberdeen.
The club also had a Director of football, with former player Graeme Bennett appointed while Steve Paterson was manager. Paterson was replaced by former Hearts player John Robertson, whose two-year reign as manager was an exceptionally successful period. Under Robertson, Inverness won the 2003–04 Scottish Challenge Cup, gained another Scottish Cup victory over Celtic, this time 1–0 thanks to a goal on the stroke of half time by club record scorer Dennis Wyness and won the First Division Championship, taking the club into the SPL. Robertson eventually left to become Hearts manager and was replaced by Dunfermline's Craig Brewster as player-manager. Brewster succeeded in keeping the club in the SPL. He also introduced new training regimes to increase player fitness and was successful in steering the club to good results against a number of established Premier League sides, including Rangers, Celtic, Motherwell, Hearts and Hibs. After a period of just over thirteen months at the club he left to become the new Dundee United manager after the sacking of Gordon Chisholm.
Former player Charlie Christie was appointed manager on 27 January 2006, after a successful spell as caretaker manager following the departure of Brewster, during which time Inverness achieved three wins out of three games played, including a record victory for the club in the SPL as they beat Falkirk 4–1 away from home. He resigned on 19 August 2007 due to the pressures of the job, and because he believed it to be the correct decision for him and his family. He has now resumed his former role, running the club's Centenary Club lottery. A short time after Christie resigned, Craig Brewster was reappointed. This was a controversial decision by the club, as Brewster had left to manage Dundee United only 18 months previously. He was eventually sacked in January 2009, after a run of seven league defeats.
Brewster's successor, the former England international Terry Butcher was appointed on 27 January 2009, along with Maurice Malpas as his assistant. Terry Butcher managed in over 200 matches for the club, the 100th taking place on Friday 6 October 2012, in the 3–1 win over Ross County in the first SPL Highland derby. In November 2013, after nearly five years at Inverness, Hibernian reached a compensation deal with the club for Terry Butcher to move to Easter Road alongside assistant manager Maurice Malpas.
After an extensive recruitment process, on 4 December 2013, John Hughes was unveiled as the new manager of the club. Hughes left Caledonian Thistle on 20 May 2016, citing frustrations with his player budget and the club's failure to retain players.
Long-term player Richie Foran was announced as the new Inverness manager on 30 May 2016, also announcing his player retirement. Foran was in charge of Caley Thistle for just under one-year before being sacked on 29 May 2017. During his time in charge, the club finished in last position in the Scottish Premiership, suffering relegation to the Scottish Championship on the final day of the season despite a 3–2 win over Motherwell. The club needed a win from Dundee over Hamilton Academical, to secure play-offs, which unfortunately did not come as Dundee succumbed to a 4–0 defeat.
A few weeks after the sacking of Foran, former manager John Robertson, who brought the club into the Premiership for the first time in their history in 2004, returned to manage the club in a bid to get them back to top flight. Doing this, he became the second former manager to return to managing the club, after Craig Brewster left in 2006 and came back for a second spell in 2007. Robertson's attempt to return to the top flight immediately was halted by Dunfermline Athletic after a late goal stopped any chances of Inverness making the play-offs, and took the season, like the previous year, to the last day, where Dumbarton were playing Dunfermline Athletic, and Inverness were away to Greenock Morton. To secure a play-off spot, Dunfermline had to lose and Inverness had to win. Inverness did their part with a 3–0 win, but Dumbarton lost 4–0 after going down to 10 men against the Pars.
The following season did not start out successful, with 9 draws in their first 12 games, which also included failing to defend the Challenge Cup title after being defeated 2–1 by Dunfermline. However results soon picked up and by May, Inverness captured a play-off spot; they also enjoyed a strong cup run with a 6–1 win over Edinburgh City, a 4–0 win over East Kilbride, a 5–4 penalty win over Ross County and a 2–1 win over Dundee United before heading to Hampden where they were beaten 3–0 by Hearts in the semi-final. The play-offs started well, however after beating Ayr United 4–2 on aggregate hopes were shattered with a controversial 4–0 loss to Dundee United in the semi-final.
The 2019–20 season started off, again, with an early League Cup exit. Come March, the club were doing well in the Challenge Cup and league. However, the season was abruptly cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This meant that the season of every league from the Championship down was to be abandoned with the league tables being recognised as the final positions, however, the play-offs would not take place, resulting in Inverness being set for a 4th consecutive season in the Championship, and Dundee United, being promoted to the Premiership. This was officially confirmed on 9 May 2020, after the SPFL announced there would be no league reconstruction as there was not enough support from Premiership sides. Inverness finished their season on 10 March with a 3–1 home win over Queen of the South. On 10 May, a strongly worded statement was released by the club, which agreed with multiple other clubs statements of the SPFL bullying clubs during the Season Ending Vote, and that officials were turning a blind eye to all reported cases.
In recent years, the club have embraced the trend of adopting an official mascot. These have included:
- ICaT – a play on the initials 'ICT', ICaT was designed from the winning drawing in a competition amongst Inverness school children.
- SuperSub – a Submarine sandwich in a Superhero costume was retired after Subway cancelled their sponsorship.
- Nessie – a 'Nessie' costume wearing the club's home kit. This creation has been rebranded as Lionel Nessi, in reference to international footballer Lionel Messi, and debuted at the 2018 Scottish Challenge Cup Final.
- Scottish First Division (second tier):
- Scottish Second Division (third tier):
- Runners up (1): 1998–99
- Scottish Third Division (fourth tier):
- Winners (1): 1996–97
- North Caledonian League (reserve team):
- Winners (2): 1994–95, 1997–98
- Scottish Cup:
- Winners (1): 2014–15
- Scottish League Cup:
- Runners up (1): 2013–14
- Scottish Challenge Cup:
- Inverness Cup:
- Winners (7): 1995–96, 1997–98, 1998–99, 1999–00, 2001–02, 2004–05, 2009–10
- North of Scotland Cup:
- Chic Allan Cup:
- Winners (2): 1994–95, 1998–99
- Football Times Cup:
- Winners (1): 1998–99
- PCT Cup:
- Winners (1): 1998–99
- Highest attendance: 4,931 v Ross County, 23 January 1996.
- Lowest attendance: 491 v Albion Rovers, 11 April 1995.
- Highest attendance: 7,753 v Rangers, 20 January 2008.
- Lowest attendance: 635 v Clydebank, 14 September 1999.
- Highest attendance: 9,530 v Aberdeen, 16 October 2004.
- Lowest attendance: 1,125 v Dundee United, 23 November 2004.
At Tannadice Park*
*One-off, as Telford Street was deemed unsuitable for a Scottish Cup Quarter Final.
- All-time top scorer: Dennis Wyness, 139 Goals.
- All-time most appearances: Ross Tokely, 456 Appearances.
- Longest spell at club: Ross Tokely, 1996–2012, 17 years.
- Highest transfer sum paid: John Rankin from Ross County, £65,000, July 2006.
- Highest transfer sum received: Marius Niculae to Dinamo București, £400,000, July 2008.
- Most goals in a single season: Iain Stewart, 27 Goals, 1996–97.
- Most goals in a match: Billy Mckay, 5 goals, v Arbroath. 23 July 2013. (Friendly).
- Fastest Goal: George Oakley, 58 secs, v Crusaders, 18 February 2018. (Scottish Challenge Cup).
- Fastest hat-trick: Billy Mckay, 15 mins, v Arbroath, 23 July 2013. (Friendly).
- Youngest Player: Daniel MacKay, 16 years, 2 months and 20 days v Peterhead, 7 October 2017. (Scottish Challenge Cup)
- Oldest Player: Craig Brewster, 40 years, 9 months and 9 days, v Heart of Midlothian, 22 September 2007. (Scottish Premier League)
- Youngest Goalscorer: Daniel MacKay, 16 years, 2 months and 20 days v Peterhead, 7 October 2017. (Scottish Challenge Cup)
- Oldest Goalscorer: Craig Brewster, 40 years, 9 months and 9 days, v Heart of Midlothian, 22 September 2007. (Scottish Premier League)
- Most international caps: Richard Hastings for Canada, 38.
- Biggest home victory: 8–1 v Annan Athletic, 24 January 1998 (Scottish Cup)
- Biggest away victory: 0–16 v Fort William, 31 July 2018 (North of Scotland Cup)
- Biggest home defeat: 0–5 v Dundee United, 9 March 2014 (Scottish Cup)
- Biggest away defeat: 6–0 v Airdrie, 22 September 2001 (First Division); 6–0 v Celtic, 22 September 2010 (League Cup); 6–0 v Celtic, 27 April 2014 (Premiership) and 6–0 v Celtic, 11 February 2017 (Scottish Cup)
- Goal milestones: The club's 1000th goal was scored on Saturday 9 February 2008 by club captain at the time, Grant Munro in a 1–1 draw away to St Mirren.
- Clean sheet record: 708 minutes – between 23 September and 25 November 2017.
- Longest winning streak (league): 11 games – between 16 November 1996 and 15 February 1997.
- Longest unbeaten streak (league): 25 games – between 17 March 2018 and 1 December 2018.
- Longest losing streak (league): 8 games – between 29 November 2008 and 24 January 2009.
- Longest winless streak (league): 14 games – between 29 October 2016 and 18 February 2017.
SPL / Premiership
- Record home victory: 6–1 v Gretna, 3 May 2008.
- Record away victory: 0–4 v Gretna, 27 October 2007 and Dundee United, 22 August 2010.
- Record home defeat: 1–5 v Motherwell, 18 November 2012.
- Record away defeat: 6–0 v Celtic, 27 April 2014.
- Most points in a season: 65, in 2014–15.
- Fewest points in a season: 34, in 2016–17.
- Best league placing: 3rd, in 2014–15.
- Worst league placing: 12th, in 2008–09 and 2016–17.
- Most goals scored in a season: 64, in 2012–13.
- Fewest goals scored in a season: 37, in 2008–09.
- Most goals conceded in a season: 71, in 2016–17.
- Fewest goals conceded in a season: 38, in 2005–06.
- Best Goal difference: +13, in 2005–06.
- Worst Goal difference: -27, in 2016–17.
Seasons spent in division: 12/26
First Division / Championship
- Record home victory: 5–0 v St Mirren, 6 May 2000; Raith Rovers, 12 January 2001; Arbroath, 21 September 2001; Brechin City, 29 November 2003 and Greenock Morton, 30 August 2019.
- Record away victory: 0–7 v Ayr United, 24 April 2010.
- Record home defeat: 1–5 v Airdrieonians, 15 April 2000 and Ross County, 25 February 2003.
- Record away defeat: 6–0 v Airdrieonians, 22 September 2001.
- Most points in a season: 73, in 2009–10.
- Fewest points in a season: 48 in 2001–02.
- Best league placing: 1st, in 2003–04 and 2009–10.
- Worst league placing: 6th, in 1999–2000 and 2001–02.
- Most goals scored in a season: 74, in 2002–03.
- Fewest goals scored in a season: 48, in 2018–19.
- Most goals conceded in a season: 55, in 1999–2000.
- Fewest goals conceded in a season: 32, in 2009–10.
- Best Goal difference: +40, in 2009–10.
- Worst Goal difference: +5, in 1999–2000.
Seasons spent in division: 8/26
- Record home victory: 5–1 v Clyde, 17 January 1998.
- Record away victory: 6–1 v Clyde, 14 March 1998.
- Record home defeat: 0–2 v Queen of the South, 21 March 1998.
- Record away defeat: 3–1 v Brechin City, 25 February 1998; Stranraer, 18 April 1998; and Arbroath, 6 March 1999.
- Most points in a season: 72, in 1998–99.
- Fewest points in a season: 49, in 1997–98.
- Best league placing: 2nd in 1998–99.
- Worst league placing: 5th in 1997–98.
- Most goals scored in a season: 80, in 1998–99.
- Fewest goals scored in a season: 65, in 1997–98.
- Most goals conceded in a season: 51, in 1997–98.
- Fewest goals conceded in a season: 56, in 1998–99.
- Best goal difference: +32, in 1998–99.
- Worst goal difference: +14, in 1997–98.
Seasons spent in division: 2/26
- Record home victory: 6–1 v Albion Rovers, 21 October 1995.
- Record away victory: 0–5 v Alloa Athletic, 23 September 1995 and East Stirlingshire, 7 October 1995
- Record home defeat: 0–4 v Queens Park, 20 August 1994 and Montrose, 14 February 1995
- Record away defeat: 4–0 v Forfar Athletic, 3 May 1997.
- Most points in a season: 76, in 1996–97.
- Fewest points in a season: 45, in 1994–95.
- Best league placing: 1st, in 1996–97.
- Worst league placing: 6th, in 1994–95.
- Most goals scored in a season: 70, in 1996–97.
- Fewest goals scored in a season: 48, in 1994–95.
- Most goals conceded in a season: 61, in 1994–95.
- Fewest goals conceded in a season: 37, in 1996–97.
- Most goals conceded in a season: 61, in 1994–95.
- Best goal difference: +33, in 1996–97.
- Worst goal difference: -13, in 1994–95.
Seasons spent in division: 3/26
- Best run: Second Qualifying Round: 2015–16 (lost 0–1 on aggregate to Astra Giurgiu).
- Worst run: Second Qualifying Round: 2015–16 (lost 0–1 on aggregate to Astra Giurgiu).
- Biggest Victory: N/A
- Biggest Defeat: 0–1 v Astra Giurgiu, 16 July 2015.
- Best run: Winners: 2014–15 (won 2–1 against Falkirk).
- Worst run: First round: 1994–95 (lost 1–2 at home to Queen of the South).
- Record Victory: 8–1 v Annan Athletic, 1997–98, 24 January 1998.
- Record Defeat: 6–0 v Celtic, 2016–17, 11 February 2017.
Scottish League Cup
- Best run: Final: 2013–14 (lost 2–4 on penalties after 0–0 draw (aet), to Aberdeen).
- Worst run: First round; (5): 1995–96 (lost 3–5 on penalties after 1–1 draw (aet), (1–1 after 90 mins) away to Berwick Rangers), 2003–04 (lost 1–2 at home to Queen's Park), 2017–18, 2018–19, and 2019–20 (finished second in group stage; eliminated).
- Record Victory: 7–0 v Arbroath, 2016–17, 30 July 2016.
- Record Defeat: 6–0 v Celtic, 2010–11, 22 September 2010.
Scottish Challenge Cup
- Best run: Winners; (2): 2003–04 (won 2–0 against Airdrieonians) and 2017–18 (won 1–0 against Dumbarton).
- Worst run: First round; (4): 1995–96 (lost 1–2 away to Alloa Athletic), 1997–98 (lost 0–2 at home to Queen of the South), 2002–03 (lost 0–1 away to Berwick Rangers) and 2018–19 (lost 1–2 at home to Dunfermline Athletic).
- Record Victory: 5–0 v Gretna, 2003–04, 2 August 2003.
- Record Defeat: 3–0 vs Arbroath, 2016–17, 2 August 2016. (U20s Squad)
- Last SFL goal of the old millennium and First SFL goal of the new millennium: Barry Wilson against Clydebank (27 December 1999) and Livingston (3 January 2000) respectively.
- Longest name in professional football in the United Kingdom.
|Venue||Wins||Draw||Loss||Goals for||Goals against|
|2015–16||UEFA Europa League||2Q||Astra Giurgiu||0–1||0–0||0–1|
- 2Q: Second qualifying round
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