Is McCann Really The Man?

_953651_fergusmccann300Everyone and their granny has spent the last week lavishing praise on, generally fawning over, and paying tribute to good ol’ Fergus McCann for not only rescuing Celtic from near death but instilling financial prudence into Celtic’s work ethic off the field.

Even Dermot Desmond. Yes, the man of few words has also said his piece this week. You could probably count on one hand the number of public statements Desmond has made in the last 20 years.

Despite shying from publicity and more often than not taking a vow of slience, the Irishman has received far less praise for putting far more money into Celtic than McCann. When will we be marking his 20th Anniversary?

I don’s subscribe to the hero-worshipping of McCann (despite sharing a surname).

Am I grateful that he spearheaded the team that saved Celtic? Of course. Only an idiot would think otherwise.

But McCann also walked away with something estimated to be in the region of £40m. For five years work. 15 years ago. Imagine what value that would be now? Did he deserve the pay-out? Maybe, but let’s not be kidded here – he was a shrewd businessman who saw an opportunity. I find it preposterous than an already wealthy man took that amount of money with him. Worst still, he’s a Celtic fan like you and I.

Figures banded about at the time said he’d invested £9m of his own cash and got five times the return.

Some say, it was £1m of his own dough, with £8m borrowed. A high risk strategy or a cunning plan by a clever, feisty businessman?

When I learned, at the time, of the sum he set off into the sun with I can’t say I was too pleased. I’m still not. If he had doubled or trebled it, fair play. But he pocketed five times this. There was no parting financial gift. If it were me, I would have donated money back to help with the team – the core of the club.

How often have you dreamed of winning the Lotto? How big was the win? When Colin and Christine Weir of Largs won £161m my first thought was – “I’d give Celtic £50m for the transfer market”. Of course, that’s after I’d sorted my family out and bought an Island.

That sum is off the scale in terms of what we, as ordinary people, could fully understand.

£45m fifteen years ago is unimaginable wealth to the ordinary guy in the street. Even nowadays it’s a ridiculous amount of money. And let’s not forget – McCann had made his fortunes elsewhere. Why, as a Celtic fan, would you not give a good wedge to the club you love? I’d happily donate £15m to help the cause, unless you think £30m wouldn’t see you through to the next pay day?

I am by no means ungrateful for what McCann did but the lavishing of praise doesn’t impress me. I totally get how near Celtic was to going out of business. I can remember the caring attitude towards me by Rangers fans at the time. There was a lot of hugging and counselling from them – it was almost becoming an obsession. (I’ll now take my embedded tongue out of my cheek).

He also introduced “Bhoys Against Bigotry” which to me was the prelude to The Offensive Behaviour Act. He set out to sanitise Celtic Park and that’s one thing I believe he succeeded at. Every one of the 53,000 sat in fear of being banned from Paradise for having a sly fag, smelling of drink and of course, using any form of sectarian words. The police then were heavy-handed and some of the Celtic support, most of whom were plucked from the middle-classes, turned into snitches. The cultured has changed. It’s gone.

McCann sought to turn Celtic Park into your typical American baseball arena. He wanted it filled with families chewing gum, sipping Coke and munching hot dogs. The working class man was confined to the skelf-ridden bleachers.

What I found ironic at the time was that Celtic had launched an anti-sectarian initiative when most of it’s fans come from Irish Catholic backgrounds and had been subject to the very thing they were to campaign against.

To be fair Celtic has done extremely well and will continue to do well because of financial prudence. Sometimes, I just wish they would loosen the purse strings. Give us a marquee signing; speculate to accumulate. Take a risk for God’s sake. But they won’t. McCann’s aim was to ingrain this in Celtic from the day the he took over to the day he left, and his legacy continues.

I applaud Fergus for what he did at the time and that’s not lost on me but spare me the the razzamatazz and the cheerleading.

There are others more deserving of it. Like the fans who really did save Celtic, and build the stadium.

Our monument is what we leave to our children and their children. It’s all we ever cared about.

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Gavin McCann

A dipsomaniac funambulist steadying himself on life’s tightrope through the medium of writing. I “suffer” from diphallic terata with mild polyorchidity. Like a dug wi’ two dicks.

78 thoughts on “Is McCann Really The Man?

  • 12 March, 2014 at 1:35 pm
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    “If it were me, I would have donated money back to help with the team” = “If I won the lottery, I would have donated money to help with the less fortunate”

    Typical pretentious, arrogant, high-and-mighty nonsense. This is the kind of stuff you get when someone plays the contrarian for the sake of playing one.

  • 12 March, 2014 at 1:53 pm
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    What a crock of s**t

    If it wasnt for this man there’d be no Celtic.

    Every Celtic fan should thank the stars that he did, taking 40 million in profit and deservedly so.

  • 12 March, 2014 at 2:16 pm
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    thats got to be the biggest load of rubbish ive read in a very long time

  • 12 March, 2014 at 2:20 pm
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    The thing that irked me at the time was he said he’d put £1 million toward the building of a training complex and to my knowledge he didn’t. But apart from that he done everything he said and everyone knew he had a “five year plan” so I can’t fault him.
    Think about it for a moment,we could have had a Murray,green,or whyte!!!!

  • 12 March, 2014 at 2:35 pm
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    I agee very much with the posts above.
    We heard a lot about superstar millionair celebs lining up to save Celtic, but at the end of the day NONE where forthcoming.
    Fergus, God bless him, dstepped up to the plate and squared up the banks demands with his own cash whilst owning not one share in the club and organised the following investment in Celtic.
    Serious question, since the bank demanded this cash within 24hrs, if Fergus had not paid them, and in the full knowledge that the existing board didn’t have it (Fergus did ask them), what do you think was ging to happen, again, in the full knowledge of the Murry orchestrated agenda of the bank, who exactly was going to step up?
    Bono?
    Rod Stewart?
    Dalgleish and Jim Kerr?

    Get real ffs!

    HH

  • 12 March, 2014 at 3:04 pm
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    File under ****

  • 12 March, 2014 at 3:06 pm
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    The next person that can’t post a reply without using an insult is getting blocked, alright? Watch the language. All I ask.

  • 12 March, 2014 at 3:12 pm
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    I think the recent razzamataz surrounding Fergus is to promote the idea of a successful business man who if he is honest is allowed to take a large profit for the temporary use of his capital. A bit like the Laxey/Easdale loans.I too would be uncomfortable with the profit extracted from the fans.

    It is also to continue to promote the idea of a sugar daddy being the answer to the current ills of Rangers. How many times have our craven and corrupt sports press proffered the suggestion that “what Rangers need is their own Fergus McCann” without adding that other solutions are available.

    I’m puzzled as to why you think it is ironic that Celtic launched an anti-sectarian initiative. It’s not enough to say Celtic fans were usually on the end of it without recognising that they themselves had an issue. In any event it certainly put it on the agenda and clearly posed the question to Rangers (who did not very much in response)

  • 12 March, 2014 at 3:15 pm
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    Tripe of the highest calibre.

    If this article was an object it would be a stale jobby.

  • 12 March, 2014 at 3:19 pm
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    Some pretty lengthy leaps of imagination and facts there too. I particularly laughed at the ideas that Bhoys Against Bigotry was the prelude to the OBF act and most of the Celtic support were plucked from the middle classes. Never read so much garbage in one place before, hope I never do again.

  • 12 March, 2014 at 3:26 pm
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    What! I can’t believe what a just read there, for me he deserved every single penny and as for sanatising the stadium, haven’t we, celtic always been anti sectarian, did/do we not want to be a modern day modern thinking club and support, I for one past the stage of singing, chanting in support of terror along time ago, though I will continue with my support for a united Ireland until the day I die, I do realise and so should all who enter celtic park that we don’t all share a hatred of all things British or protestant, and for those who do harbour this hatred they should know better than to vent it at or in the presence of those who have come along with their kids for a day out a coke and a hot dog, we have always seen ourselves as being more tolerant than our now defunct neighbours who have demonstrated all too often their dependence on such hatred, bigotry, its what they fed off and never, thank god, has our club needed nor wanted to employ policies such as they did. I don’t and would not expect you to criticise the king of kings henrik larsson for the money he was paid and expect him to have handed celtic a parting gift, would you? Of course not! and neither would I, in this day and age no one gives their time or expertise for nothing, but in this case all benefited.

    Thank god for fergus is what I say, we could have got worse and did have worse and whether you like it or not, ordinary everyday people do not want to be subjected to sectarianism, the best way to combat it is let them who glorify in it to keep on digging and not let them drag us down with them, our acceptance by all will be our victory, sometimes it is better not to react.

  • 12 March, 2014 at 3:26 pm
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    I agree with a lot of the sentiment of the author but not as strongly.

    I believe that McCann came in and saved us when needed and pretty much did what he said he was going to do.

    By walking off with a massive profit and not putting any of it back in I believe that in this money he has got much of his his reward.

    I am grateful but I refuse to worship.

  • 12 March, 2014 at 3:50 pm
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    Sorry Gavin, IMO you don’t have a scooby.

    ABout finance, the reasons for the Bhoys Against Bigotry campaign and for God’s sake don’ give me that “speculate to accumulate” line – I’m going to “speculate” the next 4 months mortgage payments on black to accumulate the next 8 months mortgage payments! By this time next year Rodney, we’ll have won the Champions League!!!!

  • 12 March, 2014 at 3:50 pm
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    Tell the truth. That article was written by Mc.Murdo or the guy who “exposed” Celtic’s corrupt land deals.
    Perverse for the sake of being perverse.

    I blame whoever let him on to the blog.

  • 12 March, 2014 at 3:55 pm
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    McCann did exactly what he set out to do .. he hid nothing!

    Well done you if you’d give these massive amounts of money away! Easy to say …

    McCann deserves the praise he gets – look across the other side of the city to see why.

    And grow up … you can no longer say/sing sectarian words at Celtic Park! Boo Hoo!

    BAB was a great idea and much needed – it’s not all big bad rangers fans fault for the poisonous atmosphere at, the now defunct, “old firm games”…

  • 12 March, 2014 at 4:06 pm
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    Great article. 100% agree with every point made

    HH

    GBTP

  • 12 March, 2014 at 4:15 pm
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    That is a load of rubbish. He made the money because the share price went up. The share price went up because of what he helped the club achieve.

  • 12 March, 2014 at 4:25 pm
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    That is the biggest load of rubbish I’ve ever read. Do you actually believe what you’ve written or are you trying to be some sort of devil’s advocate. I for one never feared being ejected from Celtic park and I dont believe any law abiding supporter did. Ive never heard of anyone being ejected for smelling of drink or having a fly cigarette (smoking ban came in long after Fergus left). Your comments about bhoys against bigotry and the offensive behaviour bill are laughable. You really need to engage your brain before you pen another article as this one is pure mince and says a lot more about you as a person than it says about Fergus.

  • 12 March, 2014 at 4:39 pm
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    I totally agree!
    Fergus will always get my thanks for what he did for the club.
    Let’s say Fergus did put £9m in, he walked away with something like £45m or £46m.
    Quite simply If i had put £9m in initially, i would have left with £9m!
    That’s £36m remainder safely in Celtic’s bank account, as i say that’s what i would have done.
    Fergus should have bought more quality players to the club during his tenure & paid them top wages.
    Thanks for what you did for Celtic Fergus.
    Hero?
    No for me! HH!

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