Not long now. There was no word of any representatives being at Tannadice from AC Milan, their first Group H opponents on September 18, but it is safe to assume the Italians will arm themselves with a thorough report of Celtic's performance in this dull match. They will have to, because the international break means that Celtic have only one more fixture before they turn up at the San Siro.
The spikes of adrenaline and drama the European nights give them are invariably followed by games like this one, where it is difficult to tell if they have a pulse at all. Celtic actually began promisingly; they were bright and crisp but withdrew into a display which was as featureless as Dundee United's. Their satisfaction came in harvesting all three points from the sort of day in which they have previously often drawn or lost, thanks to Anthony Stokes's controversial but exquisitely-struck free-kick three minutes from the end.
Neither of their two recent Dutch signings, Derk Boerrigter and Virgil van Dijk, started against Shakhter Karagandy last midweek but both were on from kick-off on Tayside. Boerrigter, playing on the left of the midfield four, beat right-back Keith Watson on the outside and whipped over a delicious cross in the opening minutes. It was highly promising, but disappointingly he was rarely seen again before going off with another knock in the closing minutes.
Van Dijk has something of Lorenzo Amoruso about him: the height, the physique, the hair, a shared tendency to push upfield with the ball at his feet. David Goodwillie, Gary Mackay-Steven, Stuart Amstrong and Nadir Ciftci - United's front four - can have plenty of life about them but van Dijk and Efe Ambrose had few difficulties on Saturday. "I think this was one of the best games I've played . . . but I've not played many," said van Dijk. "The best is still to come from me, definitely. I've never been 100% fit. That is coming and I also need time to adapt to the Scottish game and to my team-mates. First of all I want to be fit and then I know what I'm capable of producing."
What his mates want him to produce are tickets. The 22-year-old, signed from Groningen, has found himself more popular than ever among those who want to watch the group games against Ajax. "It's been an unbelievable response. My friends have been on wanting tickets and they have already booked flights. Barcelona, AC Milan and Ajax is a very tough draw and this is my very first time in the Champions League. This group is unbelievable but I like it and I can't wait to play in it.
"Ajax are always a team that likes to play good football. We have to have confidence in our own game and then everything will be alright. They lost Christian Eriksen and Toby Alderweireld in this window [to Tottenham and Atletico Madrid for £11.5m and £6.4m respectively] and they were two of their best players last season, so that's not good news for them.
"You never know in the Champions league, everything is possible. We have to stick together and work hard. There were those who doubted the move I made to Scotland, people said that the league was not so good. But they don't watch the Scottish league. I think reaching the Champions League shows I made the right move."
Celtic were unsuccessful their in attempts to sign Lee Tomlin, the Peterborough winger, for £1.2m and Alexander Buttner, the Manchester United left-back, on the transfer window deadline, although 18-year-old goalkeeper Max Oberschmidt will come on loan from Fulham. The completion of the transfer of Teemu Pukki from Schalke for £2.4m meant they will register four forwards for the Champions League group: Pukki, Stokes, Georgios Samaras and Amido Balde after Lierse confirmed Tony Watt had joined them on a season-long loan. Balde played the final half hour at Tannadice without making an impression, while Stokes made the contribution which upset United and won the match.
As he ran at the United defence he made sure his leg made contact with Armstrong's to go down for a free-kick just outside the penalty area. When referee Crawford Allan was attending to the wall Stokes dragged the ball back a couple of feet, giving himself some precious additional room to get the ball over the wall and under the bar. "Maybe that's why our wall was about 15 yards away when he hit it," said Paul Paton.
The United midfielder's irritation with Stokes did not reduce his admiration for the Irishman's skill. "I could see it was clearly a dive. I don't think there was any contact but you still have to put the ball in the net and Stokes did that superbly. At the end of the day he has gone down, there is nothing we can do about that. I felt it was a dive but that's balanced by the fact it was a great free kick. We had a similar free kick and we hit the wall. Maybe that's why they are the champions and we aren't."