Despite being Scotland's most successful club side, both domestically and in Europe, there was something that had worked its way under Collins' skin.
While it has been 12 years since that memorable night in Seville where Celtic came close to a second European trophy, the Glasgow club have had some decent runs since then.
Yet Collins was annoyed and, to a degree, he had a point.
As will every other Scottish Premiership club who has had the honour of qualifying for Europe.
Unfortunately, Celtic, Aberdeen, Inverness Caledonian Thistle and St Johnstone will have to begin their European adventures before the domestic season in Scotland even starts.
Despite fending off challenges from the rest of the top flight (and the SPFL in Inverness' case given they beat second tier Falkirk in a cup final to qualify), those involved in Europe have had to schedule pre-season training much earlier than those who failed to book a place at the Uefa table.
And Collins has a right to be miffed - after all, it does feel like not qualifying for Europe is being rewarded.
However, he directed his ire at the wrong target.
Collins hit out against the rest of Scottish football for 'not pulling their weight' when it came down to performing on the European stage.
The fact that Celtic, who as mentioned earlier have had a few decent runs of late, were being punished because Uefa based their seedings on a nation's co-efficient as a whole instead of individual club performance is an argument that can be made.
But for Collins to blame the other clubs misses the point and lets Uefa off the hook.
Celtic in terms of financial resources, stadium capacity, average attendances et al, dwarf everyone else in the Scottish game.
The likes of Aberdeen, Dundee United, Hearts and Hibs - while having decent-sized supports - do not even come close to playing catch-up with Celtic on every off-field front.
As for what happens on the pitch itself, there's no contest - Celtic have by far and away dominated on the honours front.
However, the sight of a man employed at the castle hectoring those in the villages on how they are holding him back from progressing carries an unpleasant whiff of snobbery.
I am sure the other Scottish clubs in European action this season would love to have a fraction of Celtic's budget, wage bill, squad quality and a bigger stadium that can be easily filled with hordes rushing to the ticket office to ensure that they don't miss out on seeing them.
But they don't. If they did, Collins' rant may have a greater degree of substance to it.
Indeed, those at Tannadice and Pittodrie might think that he has a bit of a nerve to say what he did and should check up on his history of Scottish football - particularly the period that was the early to mid-80s.
We can argue until the cows come home of how football was different back then, on and off the pitch, but the fact remains that in terms of history and stature, Celtic - and the club formerly known as Rangers - dwarfed the likes of Aberdeen and Dundee United.
They did so back then, before then, and in only Celtic's case (given the other club was liquidated three years ago), do so now.
But back then, on the pitch, it was a different matter. Especially in Europe.
Between Celtic reaching the semi-final of the European Cup in 1974 and them reaching the already-mentioned Uefa Cup final in 2003, their best achievement in Europe was one quarter-final appearance in the European Cup back in season 1979/80.
Rangers between winning the European Cup-winners Cup in 1972 and reaching the Uefa Cup final in 2008, fared slightly better with two European Cup quarter-final places in 1978/79 and 1987/88 as well as being one match away from making the final of 1992/93.
However, take those three seasons away and they too underperformed on the European stage.
In the early to mid-80s, the Glasgow giants' European performances were being overshadowed by their smaller north-east rivals.
Between 1981 to 1987, Dundee United managed a European Cup semi-final (1984) two Uefa Cup quarter-finals (1982 and 1983) and of course the Uefa Cup final itself (1987).
Aberdeen meanwhile won both the European Cup-winners Cup and the European Super Cup in 1983, made a semi-final in the European Cup-winners Cup (1984) and the quarter-final of the European Cup (1986).
During this short period of time, both Celtic and Rangers would fail to be involved in European competition after Christmas.
One does not recall Alex Ferguson of Aberdeen, nor Jim McLean of Dundee United, moaning about how Celtic and Rangers were 'holding them back' because they were not 'pulling their weight'.
Collins was understandably frustrated but he poured his anger out on the wrong people.
He should have directed his fury at Uefa themselves.
The governing body of European football once based their seeding system on individual club performances over a five-year period.
Then abandoned that procedure if favour of the one we have now based on a country's co-efficient as a whole.
Celtic could go on a decent run this season, playing European competition after Christmas, but because their fellow Scottish clubs, who lack the Glasgow club's massive resources, are unable to punch 'above' their weight - they punch at their current level Mr Collins I assure you - then Uefa's somewhat lop-sided policy penalises them.
Aberdeen, Inverness Caledonian Thistle and St Johnstone will no doubt try their best - as will Celtic - and it is hoped that all four do well.
But realistically, only one will probably do so.
And I'm sure the other three will welcome any miracles or slices of good luck that John Collins has to offer.
In the meantime, he best get on the phone to Uefa.
There's a policy change that needs to be made.