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. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    MADMITCH on 27TH JANUARY 2021 4:20 PM


    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.





    Madmitch – to Not TheBus’ point – it kinda was on our dollar?



    We bailed out Lloyds (due to their lack of reserves) who had bought HBOS who (as Halifax PLC) had taken over Bank of Scotland who handed money to Murray who didn’t pay it back?



    Row of dominoes admittedly but, then again, not too many dominoes?



    Hail hail



    Keep The Faith

  2. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    WHAT IS THE STARS on 27TH JANUARY 2021 5:22 PM


    Team sheet latest………………………………Jonny Hayes…




    I loved wee Jonny Hayes – a man made of muscles that looked as hard as marble – 100% committed to the cause, skillful, fast, and never let you down.



    10 more of his ilk, with matching specialist-position-oriented skills please!!!!



    Well, maybe 9 more plus Big Gorgeous George Samaras (or, at the very least, his wife).






  3. prestonpans bhoys on

    Well what will be Lenny’s line-up tonight, Bain at RB and Hazard up front with Johnston, you know it makes sense😵😯😕

  4. Ryan will be thinking if Frimpers is worth £11m I must be worth loads more!!!!!!!!!!!!!



    So I must!



    Give me the lolley!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Rock Tree Bhoy on

    The Athletic



    Celtic right back Jeremie Frimpong has signed for Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen, reports Kieran Devlin.



    The 20-year-old has signed a four-year contract with the German side.



    The Netherlands Under-20 international joined Celtic from Manchester City in September 2019 and quickly became a first-team regular for Neil Lennon’s side.

  6. Rock Tree Bhoy on

    Manchester Eve New



    “Manchester City are expected to bank up to £3.5m from the January transfer window thanks to a clause inserted into one of their 2019 deals”



    talking about the deal they made with us re JF

  7. Crazy world of football transfers accepted, still no idea how Jeremie Frimpong’s valuation jumped from a cross border £340,000 development fee we paid, to the reported £11M sale to Leverkusen.



    It certainly wasn’t based on Jeremie’s Celtic form this season, this will go down in history as an astonishing sale for Celtic. Peter Lawwell will be on the phone to his son back slapping at the amount of money they both pulled in for City and Celtic over the resale of JF.



    Hope someone else gets to spend it CSC

  8. WESTCRAIGS on 27TH JANUARY 2021 4:07 PM


    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.




    Next time your in Parkhead have a look around you.


    .Fergus built that.i feel you omit quite a lot.To say Dr jo was cheap and undemanding misrepresent both i feel..Fergus had to view figures and act accordingly.He put in the foundations of our success.build it and they will come.and they did.your point also has no account of our then board who were ploughiin our club into the ground.



  9. Rock Tree Bhoy on

    Really want Celtic to hammer Hamilton Accies tonight,



    but if we go on a winning run it will strengthen the boards hand re sticking with the current management team,



    but then again, even if we got beat its unlikely to make them do anything,



    not the best of times

  10. ROCK TREE BHOY on 27TH JANUARY 2021 5:59 PM


    Really want Celtic to hammer Hamilton Accies tonight,





    Fixed that for you!



    C’MON THE CELTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. AN TEARMANN on 27TH JANUARY 2021 5:59 PM



    On the other hand he didn’t widen the share ownership, which is now concentrated pretty much as it was under the old regime, with the fans as powerless and as alienated as ever. The main difference now is that the main shareholder is so wealthy he wont be starved out.

  12. my hot tub time machine has transported me back to 1970s tv on sky sports



    Jim White with a turtle kneck and suit jaiket, rambo with a brown suit and a pale green shirt and tie (think of the people away top).



    either its that or the colour is going on my tv.

  13. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    ROCK TREE BHOY on 27TH JANUARY 2021 5:54 PM


    Manchester Eve New



    “Manchester City are expected to bank up to £3.5m from the January transfer window thanks to a clause inserted into one of their 2019 deals”




    Interesting spot RTB.



    That £3.5m will pay their first team squad’s wages …..



    ….. for 3 days.



    Hail hail



    Keep The Faith

  14. glendalystonsils on




    I want us to hammer every team we play in the rest of the season .



    Then get shot of the management team regardless .

  15. BSR


    Valuations are on the MCT formula.



    If Morelos is worth £40m then you look at the Morelos Comparison Table for any player and you get the valuation.




  16. GENE



    Ahh,……………. the ole MCT formula, forgot about that.



    The 40M Lardy Boy valuation will only ever exist in the barren wastelands of their tiny minds 👍



    p.s. How do Leverkusen develop a player that,



    can’t cross, can’t shoot, can’t head, can’t tackle, can’t block?



    Admittedly those attributes aside, the young Frimpers has got the lot.



    Dick Turpin CSC

  17. I thought El H was homesick and was going back to Israel. Are we just waiting on an offer or has he changed his mind.

  18. An tearmann.


    We have the most beautiful history and tradition of any football club.


    Our club was founded to put food into the empty stomachs of starving children. Anyone who turned up at the door looking for a meal was fed, irrespective of race or religon.


    In my opinion when fergus walked away with a record breaking £31m profit for 5 years work he betrayed our history and tradition. Maybe in the fullness of time I will be proved wrong by Fergus. Maybe fergus will give back to our club some of his huge fortune. I am not holding my breath.

  19. jimbob71 & little Miss jimbob on



    I thought that about El Hamed. I assumed he was leaving as soon as the window opened.



  20. Westcraigs


    I understood that Fergus did offer his shares to the supporters, but the take-up was insufficient and DD underwrote it and took up the slack. That is my, admittedly vague, recollection, although could be wrong of course – it was a while ago.



  21. @CelticFC v Hamilton line up …



    Bain, Ajer, Bitton, Duffy, Taylor, Soro, McGregor, Turnbull, Edouard, Griffiths, Elyounoussi



    Subs: Bain, Ralston, Ajeti, Christie, Klimala, Rogic, Johnston, Welsh, Laxalt

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