Dr Jo’s season against £32m financially doped opponent


History records that Celtic won nothing in season 1998-99 as Rangers, their former rivals, won the domestic treble, but the record books never tell the whole story.  Jozef Venglos, Dr Jo, was appointed Celtic manager on 17 July 1998, five days before our first (ever) Champions League qualification game.  He had little time get to know the players, never mind prepare for the challenges ahead.

Having lost the title the previous season for the first time in a decade, Rangers reacted by spending £32m in the transfer market, and kids, that was a time when £32m was a LOT of money.  Into an already talented Ibrox dressing room arrived two who won the World Cup that summer: Guivarc’h and Charbonnier, the German national team keeper, Klos, Numan, van Bronckhorst, Hendry, Kanchelskis, Amato and the legendary Daniel Prodan.

As a consequence, Dr Jo was never going to win the league that season, however, the talent he added on a £7m budget was significant: Lubo Moravcik, ‘Marko’ Viduka, Johan Mjallby and a loaner keeper, Tony Warner, who played a memorable cameo.

14 matches into the league campaign, Celtic had yet to win successive games when Rangers came to Celtic Park.  Mjallby made his debut with Moravcik playing his third game.  Lubo and Henrik Larsson destroyed Rangers as Celtic ran out 5-1 winners.  It was a tough season to be a Celtic supporter, but not totally joyless.  We finished the season playing brilliant, attacking, football.

Fergus McCann later noted that he wished he met Dr Jo earlier in his time in charge of Celtic.  The Slovak brought a knowledge of scouting, sports science (mocked by Craig Burley) and tactical awareness not seen, even under the more-feted Wim Jansen season.  Despite winning nothing, the fans also knew how Dr Jo upped our game against a financially doped opponent.

In the summer of 1999, new major shareholder, Dermot Desmond, appointed Kenny Dalglish director of football.  On paper the Dalglish appointment looked wise.  Kenny had won the English Premiership with two different clubs, repeatedly getting the better of Alex Ferguson.  It was not wise, not in the slightest.  Kenny wanted rookie John Barnes as manager, a mistake that cost Dermot a substantial sum to put right in a subsequent £25m share issue.  Oh how we missed Dr Jo, may he rest in peace.

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  1. Not enough being made of the financially doped team at the top of the league. Losing 8 figures year on year. Whatever happens, never forget that mob will win nothing fairly.



    Now roll on tonight.

  2. Def huns reaction to Celtic stopping the 10 and the end of the line for a Legned…Spend Spend Spend….Wee Dick, aforementioned players, Murray Park



    all on the taxpayers dollar.



    be interesting to see our reaction

  3. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Rumours Paulo Fonseca might be on thin ice at Roma. An ambitious club would be sounding out his agent……

  4. Here is a record of Rangers/Sevco losses since 1989:



    (Loss) £000


    1989 -£2,955


    1990 £1,214


    1991 £43


    1992 -£362


    1993 -£3,262


    1994 -£2,202


    1995 £455


    1996 -£2,137


    1997 -£20,513


    1998 -£12,491


    1999 -£24,393


    2000 -£24,999


    2001 -£16,879


    2002 -£35,328


    2003 -£29,606


    2004 -£5,939


    2005 -£2,326


    2006 £92


    2007 -£6,253


    2008 £7,172


    2009 -£12,651


    2010 £4,209


    2011 £2,411 Never audited





    2012 -£80,000 Assumed loss on declaration of TAX



    2013 -£14,000


    2014 -£8,100


    2015 -£7,500


    2016 -£3,300


    2017 -£6,700


    2018 -£14,300


    2019 -£11,300


    2020 -£15,200







    Total £347,100,000 net loss with 2021 to be added.

  5. Bhoy From The Boyne on

    DAVID17 on 27TH JANUARY 2021 1:49 PM



    Not enough being made of the financially doped team at the top of the league. Losing 8 figures year on year. Whatever happens, never forget that mob will win nothing fairly.




    Now roll on tonight.






    Indeed – there also seems to be a misconception in Celtic cyberspace and fan podcasts that all of Sevco Rangers debt will be wiped out if they qualify for next seasons champions league.



    I fail to understand how given their year on year losses. Surely there will be another day of reckoning in one way or another at some point.



    That being said, they don’t seem to be carrying external debt – bank loans, ticket companies etc this time around but from internal investors who soak it up by taking further equity.



    I know Paul67 had planned to do an article on their finances back in Oct/Nov but seems to have held off, probably due to our implosion since. Would be a good read once he publishes it.

  6. Thank you Dr Jo (for putting up with the ignorant, parochial, xenophobic Scottish football “journalists”) and thank you for giving us Lubo.

  7. Go tell the Spartim on

    Did Squinty not say that Sevco would need to sell players in the summer? I know to treat anything that comes out his mouth as a lie

  8. garygillespieshamstring on

    Spidey from last thread



    Thanks. I was trying to think about how many old hands we had as the squad seems comparatively young

  9. Interesting team selections here is mine but also what I think the manager will pick.























    Edouard (if fit)
















    Bitton/El Hamed












    Edouard (if fit)

  10. GuyFawkesaforeverhero on

    Good luck to the Celts tonight, another important game to win. I expect we’ll have black armbands on in memory of Dr Jo Venglos and Johannes Edvaldsson.



    Dr Jo would have a good answer to the conundrum Jeremie Frimpong presents to me; his acceleration is world-class everything else is a work in progress, so is it easier to teach an athlete how to play football or to train a footballer how to become a better athlete? No matter which, watching JF is a blast.





    It’s always good to moan about something that isn’t really any of my business – Celtic Star, you’re up. I don’t like your language on the headline you use to announce deceased Celts.



    A general on a podium might bark out the instruction to rest to his assembled troops on a parade ground somewhere but that’s no good reason for you to take that tone with our own. Catch yourselves on.



    Rumours Paulo Fonseca might be on thin ice at Roma. An ambitious club would be sounding out his agent……



    Fonseca put 6 subs on when they got hammered by in the Coppa by Spezia, but he won at the weekend so he’s keeping his job for now.

  12. TheLegendOfPeterGrant on

    Dr Jozef Venglos – Grant Eternal rest unto him O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him always.



    My parents and I were fortunate to spend one evening in his company while he was Celtic manager and he truly was a gentleman: polite, humble, kind and generous with both his words and actions.



    As far as football goes, Dr Jo put together a good side within the confines of the strict budget he had to work with at at a time when our club was far from unified:


    – an unhappy squad and support who felt the CEO (Fergus McCann) and GM (Jock Brown) had forced out a title-winning boss (Wim Jansen);


    – a squad who were angry at the bonus money on offer for Champions League qualifying matches;


    – a support who were angry at the players for being ‘mercenaries’ in their demands for larger bonuses;


    – a CEO and GM who were unhappy at how ungrateful/unrealistic the demands of the players/support were;


    – a support who, unfortunately, still believed/trusted the Scottish Media despite decades of clear and obvious bias against our Club.



    After a stop-start beginning, things did come together on the pitch and from 7th November 1998 until the final league game of the season (23rd May 1999) our record in all competitions was: Played 28, Won 21, Drew 3, Lost 4, GS 78, GC 23 and we finished the league campaign only 6 points behind the financially doped (and administrative rule-breaking) original Rangers (and we had a superior goal difference of 2).



    The season gave us many memorable victories including: 7-1 at Fir Park, 5-1 at Pittodrie, 4-2 at Tynecastle, 6-1 and 5-0 at home to Dundee, and 5-0 at home to Dunfermline and St. Johnstone.



    It also gave us a 5-1 victory over the original Rangers at Celtic Park in November 1998. This was a truly miraculous result. Martin O’Neill’s 6-2 victory in August 2000 and the many comprehensive thrashings that both Ibrox clubs have received in the 20 years since, make it hard to get anyone who did not live through the 1990’s to understand just how unbelievable Dr Jo’s 5-1 victory was.



    Overall that season in the league we faced the original Rangers 4 times: Won 1, Drew 2, Lost 1, GS 7, GC 6.



    Dr Jo signed four established international players Vidar Riseth, Johan Mjallby, Mark Viduka and Lubomir Moravcik, all of whom continued to benefit our club long after his own managerial tenure was over.



    One achievement of Dr Jo’s that I feel is always overlooked, is the fact that he led us to the 1999 Scottish Cup Final. Again, since Martin O’Neill’s arrival in the summer of 2000, Celtic have reached 11 out of the 20 finals making it more likely than not that we get there, but in the 8 finals prior to Dr Jo’s arrival we had only featured in one. It was a shame this astute football man was not rewarded with a trophy whilst at Celtic, but I know he felt he was rewarded with something much greater – the love and respect of Celtic supporters the world over, which grew with each passing year.



    You will always be remembered Dr Jo – thank you for all you gave to our beloved Celtic.

  13. HRVATSKI JIM on 27TH JANUARY 2021 2:05 PM


    Here is a record of Rangers/Se



    That’s eye watering.



    What’s happened to the SFA threatening to get involved if they thought FC’s were operating beyond their means ?.



    One rule for everyone apart from the covid cheats

  14. Dr Jo RIP i remember that game well and thank you for Lubo one of the best players i have seen.

  15. Sevco dead being absorbed by private shareholders. Like King, there will be a day of reckoning. All that 1872 cash for shares is going right into Kings pockets.



    My view, they bet the house on £20m fee for Morellos in summer and spent the money before it arrived. Overplayed there hand and the £20m injection fell apart. They were then “all in” for Cl cash and selling off any assets the have as soon as a decent bid arrived.



    The run of form without fans has surprised and delighted them . Celtics collapse and the unexpected good form has given them oxygen. A fawning media desperate to report on Sevco success helping to keep the feel good factor.



    Make no mistake, the media are playing a huge part. Clyde superscrebaord has SIX ex Rangers players as regular contributors. They have ONE ex Celt. Sky Scotland have dumped commons and gone with Boyd as their permeant member. BBC have an ex rangers player guess presenter with regular input by ex ranger pundits. Guys like Alex rae and Neil McCann shuttle between Rangers TV and MSM , often without changing their delivery. Tam Boyd couldn’t get a job im MSM if he did it for nothing.

  16. didn’t see it coming but what a performance what a day



    pure gentleman



    rip DR JOE

  17. Go tell the Spartim on




    One of the technical team got the sack for that Fonseca got off Scot free but his jackets on a shoogly peg cause he’s fallen out with players

  18. How long does it normally take to complete a transfer?



    ie When will we know for sure that young Jeremie has actually gone?

  19. GO TELL THE SPARTIM on 27TH JANUARY 2021 3:48 PM



    He’s only fallen out with Dzeko, who they’re trying to move on.

  20. 1998 November




    On the way to the game with my 2 sons, my friend and his dad I remembered that I had dreamt the night before that we had won 5:0.



    We all laughed as during the week we were thinking that if we managed a respectable performance (and even sneaked a draw we would be delighted).



    After the game we met up with my friend and his dad.


    “Your dream nearly came true”



    I replied



    “The Huns never score in my dreams !!.



    Thanks Dr Jo. RIP.





    The Onlooker

  21. Dr.Jo was cheap and undemanding. That’s why he was appointed by Fergus. With Fergus it was all about the financials. The balance sheet, the profit statement, the bank balance and the share price.


    This, of course, is only my opinion.


    Accountants and bankers don’t make good chairmen and CEO’s of football clubs.


    They are conservative, small c, by nature and training.

  22. WC



    Fergus on a promotion for season tickets think it was post Mowbray or maybe NL’s first stint wrote to season book holders or potential season ticket buyers stating your company is well run.

  23. NTB @ 1.54’ish



    TFOD and their losses — it was not on any taxpayer’s dollar.


    SDM had access to one of the BOS magic chequebooks that carried over into the HBOS era.

  24. Celtic paid an initial £350,000 for Frimpong and there are also up to £650,000 in potential payments which would take the total sum up to £1m. City will also receive 30 per cent of any fee should Celtic sell the youngster in future.

  25. Notthebus



    Agree with most of your post. Foundations of sand. They have remortgaged themselves so often its frightening. Interesting to see the extent to which the money men are prepared to swap debt for (worthless) equity.



    Dont agree with SMSM playing a huge part. Not to me anyway. I dont read, click or listen. They only have as much power as we’re prepared to hand them. Irrelevant to me.

  26. Go tell the Spartim on




    He’s fallen foul of more than one, especially those that spoke up against the sacking of the team manager (not to be confused with coach, no, me neither 🤷🏻‍♂️) regardless he’ll be binned soon considering Allegri is reportedly interested in the Project, but who really knows

  27. “NEUSTADT-BRAW on 27TH JANUARY 2021 4:20 PM”



    Not really my scene, man (!) but I found that interesting.


    Thanks for posting.



    Time to start mentally preparing for tonight`s episode of ” Celtic 20/21 : A Mystery. “

  28. hahahaha “what he really meant wis he could nae swim”



    “meet Mike …he swims like a fish”



    keep on reeking …



    smiley it is wit it is loon thing




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