As we reported yesterday, Celtic have been busy buying up land around the periphery of the stadium for many years. The club managed to get the deal to buy land behind the Jock Stein Stand done before the mineral seam running below it was discovered. I hear the excavation rights are estimated to be worth £50m to Celtic, who bought the land for £3m in January 2009 with money which had been earmarked to buy Stephen Fletcher. Hibernian thought the Fletcher deal was done but Celtic pulled out at the last minute when the land deal became available due to an emergency cash requirement at the Council, who needed to build schools to educate children arriving in the city from Eastern Europe.
Back then, when I asked why we weren’t signing Fletcher a senior source at the club told me, “We can only spend that £3m once and we need the land for burger vans and stuff.” Before kick-off, fans currently go off-premises to spend their money, cash that could be going to Celtic. Source added, “We’ll be able to buy a Fletcher every year with the catering income we’ll make from this land deal.”
Made sense at the time, makes more sense now.
That £50m is due to arrive in time to get the Co-op off our case and leave a substantial amount available to deal with what could be the first season we ever face Sevco- keeping them in their place.
Good luck to the Celtic fans based in North America ahead of the Féile on the weekend of 17-19 January. Events are based at The Plough & Stars, Philidelphia, include live music, a tour of the An Gorta Mor Memorial, a live Beyond the Waves broadcast and a Q&A with Celtic Youth Coach, Willie McNabb.
Visit ploughbhoyscsc.com for more details, including how to secure accommodation.[calameo code=000390171ece27dd9e54e lang=en page=98 hidelinks=1 width=100% height=500]