Fergus returns to the debate


On many fronts I’m delighted Fergus McCann feels confident enough to get back involved with Celtic, some 15 years after departing the scene.  It wasn’t always this way.  We reached our first European final in 33 years largely as a result of the groundwork he put in place, but he didn’t feel comfortable making the trip to Seville.

He was first tempted back at the unveiling of the Br. Walfrid statue, using the occasion to put the club’s charitable heritage to the fore.  He has since been back to speak at Celtic Charity, now called Celtic FC Foundation, events.

His intervention today, saying “It is important for people to stand up and show their support by buying season tickets. That is my simple message” echoes a letter he sent to season ticket holders in 1995.  Celtic had endured a difficult season at Hampden, if memory serves, we finished below Hibernian in the league, sentiment was low and as season 94-95 drew to a close I remember thinking the rebuilding project was in jeopardy.

Only 31,025 souls turned up to watch an end of season victory against Rangers with many unsold tickets in the Celtic areas of Hampden.   Fergus was also unpopular among a sizable portion of the support, with prominent Celtic supporters only too happy to undermine his reputation.

The season ticket renewal packs arrived with a letter from Fergus which invoked memories of his trip to Kilmarnock in 1963 to see Celtic ship six goals during Jimmy Johnstone’s debut.  Fergus knew what the years ahead would hold for Celtic but he needed faith from you and me or the project would have been in real jeopardy.

To everyone’s pleasant surprise Celtic fans rallied in great numbers as the new stadium opened.  So much so I was scrambling around trying to get a season ticket as the ‘sold out’ sign went up before I got myself sorted.  It took another couple of years before we recorded one of the most momentous league wins in our history but the strategy was sound.  It was always going to get there while others played casino football.

This week, Fergus wrote, “The league is important going forward. Filling the seats makes a huge difference to the club’s chances of getting the players it wants, paying the salaries and getting into Europe.

“The rebuilt Celtic Park has 60,000 seats for a purpose. It was built on my belief that 60,000 at every home game would give the club a key advantage.  And it has.

“Season ticket cash is essential for Celtic to buy players while TV income is a small fraction of that of the bottom club in the English Premier League.  But not all-important.  Personal attendance at every game – through and through – is a key part of our culture.  It shows how important Celtic is in our lives.

“We both know that you don’t stop being a committed supporter of Celtic because the league doesn’t include Rangers, or because you feel you could pick the few big games you want to attend. For years I went to ‘unimportant games’. In fact, I was at every Celtic game, home and away, in the year before I emigrated to Canada.”

Ticket sales is one of those things which bends more with sentiment than we often consider, but we are at a new beginning this summer, one which many feel hopeful for.  I reckon there is a good chance we’ll see an up-click as the Ronny Deila Days start.

Tune in on Friday.  After the CQN Lions night at the Greenock Celtic Supporters’ Club on Friday, we will have Bertie Auld on the blog this Friday, 13th.  More details later in the week.

And just in case you’ve been living on the moon this past week, watch BBC Alba at 21:00 tonight for the Jock Stein film.

Visit the CQN Bookstore to get Tommy Gemmell to sign your personal copy of his tome, All the Best.

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  1. The obssession on here with Peter Lawwell is really putting me off reading much these days.


    If we do not pay our CEO a decent whack we will end up with someone like Terry Cassidy in the role. You get what you pay for.




  2. borgo67



    Many thanks my friend!



    And tell AM I was asking for her!!!!



    In the nicest possible way of course.



    Take care!

  3. mickbhoy1888



    13:37 on 9 June, 2014


    Was the lead article written by the Celtic marketing department or Peter Lawell



    No buy a Celtic supporter who wants people to support Celtic.. I want Celtic park full every week and I have never met Peter Lawwell

  4. mickbhoy1888 on




    13:31 on 9 June, 2014



    No need need to queue for a ticket whatsoever e-tickets freely are available to purchase online from the Celtic FC website on a match to match basis.

  5. the honest cover-up,



    It includes all games, even Europe.


    It’s not a ready made excuse it’s been sick to the back teeth of Celtic as a team being under funded whilst I pay a rediculous amounts for tickets, merchandise and refreshments. Although it sounds personal against PL, it’s not, that’s why I always say CEO, regardless of who is in the seat the salary and add on’s are way to high when the team is in decline and has been for a few years.


    This is not the same Celtic I grew up supporting, the men running the club are making millions whilst the team is going backwards.




  6. bournesouprecipe on

    Kenny Miller says he’s looking forward to becoming the first ever player to have played for all three ‘old firm’ clubs.

  7. timhorton



    13:38 on 9 June, 2014


    byern 15euros.how do they do it?



    what is the cost to run byern.they must be bringing in a hell of a lot of money from somewhere.



    We all talk about TV money but a major input to a clubs finances is the advertising. German football is shown worldwide so they can charge a fortune for stadium adverts.

  8. The Honest Cover-up on




    Indeed. I think for many supporters the real reason is the league we play in and that they enjoy having £400 odd extra in their pocket.


    Fair enough, it’s their money. Just annoys me to hear other reasons which I suspect are often convenient excuses.


    Like I say, do they stand strong with their principles when Champion’s League packages go on sale?

  9. !!Bada Bing!!


    13:35 on


    9 June, 2014



    Actually for a contactless payment you could make the price £15 or less. However you still need to have it print a ticket or it’d be chaos. Except in the standing section. Fine for there.



    I still think for the seated sections the restriction is the average time taken per person.

  10. Bayern’s shirt sponsorship deal alone, with Deutsche Telecom, is worth about €30 million a year.



    CFC receive less than £2 million a year from Magners.




  11. Hamiltontim is praying for Oscar on




    What if I told you that PL gave the instruction that the club would not promote the Green Brigade’s Food Drive after stating that they would, would you still hold him in the same esteem?



    An initiative in line with the founding ethos of our club and the CEO refuses to promote it, I find that disgusting.

  12. HonestCoverUp



    Agree. I utterly realise the point you make, yeah you give your hard earned supporting the club, and good on you. My main point though is, and I suppose I’m kinda envious of people who can get to the games, boy wish I could. When I lived in Scotland , of course there were times when I could not make the games obviously but my heart was there as it is now.



  13. The Honest Cover-up on




    Fair enough if you’re consistent and you’d genuinely miss out on beating Barca at Parkhead as a matter of prinicple.


    The men running the club aren’t making millions though. Peter Lawwell makes, I think, about £600k.


    I agree that’s a bit excessive but how much should we be offering to prospective CEO candidates to replace him? Bare in mind we want to attract a capable operator.


    If the team is going backwards I don’t think it’s the fault of the board. I think the club have done well to qualify for CL 2 years running given the league we play in.



    If PL is over-paid surely the journeymen players in EPL are worse, should we ever be playing at that level.

  14. Steinreignedsupreme on

    The Honest Cover-up 13:29 on 9 June, 2014





    “I can’t understand why believing our CEO is over-paid (I agree he probably is) is a reason to effectively boycott the club and miss out on great CL nights.”



    It’s not the reason why people buy season tickets or refuse to buy them. Not in the real world.



    It is a impact statement for a blog though, to be fair.

  15. Geordie Munro on




    It’s getting pathetic.



    At least we are making it to page two now before some clown questions who wrote the leader.

  16. The Fergus McCann Stand…….has a ring to it.



    Make it happen Big Peter.




  17. The Honest Cover-up on




    I see where you’re coming from and it seems to be a slight case of “absence makes the heart grow fonder” for you.


    If you were to return to Scotland, I’d suggest the novelty factor of going back every week might wane a little after a while. That’s not even touching on the weather here! Today it is bucketting down in Glasgow.

  18. Pogmathonyahun aka Laird of the Smiles


    13:40 on


    9 June, 2014


    Back in from walking the wife and the dug round the ……………………



    Pogmathonyahun, hope you enjoyed your trip to Cologne at the weekend, it was good to meet up for a couple of scoops.



    If I don’t catch up before hand I will look out for you in Hamburg for the St Pauli party.



    take care for now,




  19. Geordie Munro on




    The only problem with the prices you are giving are they would make season books very unattractive.



    Over 21 games and my book is pushing £150 more expensive.

  20. It must be bad if Fergus has been summoned from the wilderness to promote season ticket sales, talk of over 40000 renewals must be yet more PLC spin.



    The continued criminalisation of the support at home and away by focus and over zealous stewards, kick off times starting at 1200 – 1245, £27 walk up pricing, the hounding of the Green Brigade, continued spin and lies from the PLC………forever downsizing..



    Its not really rocket science why fans are not renewing, we could all see it coming, if the PLC didnt there not very astute…



    A start would be to get the standing area in toot suite, commit to not moving kick off times when they are not contractually obliged too, look at alternatives to season cards, 10 or 5 game cards, support the support, lobby for the removal of the ludicrous OB at football bill, sort out stewarding inside CP?



    My own supporters club have lost season card holders who are not renewing, making it increasingly harder to run clubs, which are the life blood of the club.



    I have renewed but i understand why thousands haven’t!




  21. Philbhoy



    Ha ha , will do. I trust O is keeping you young and healthy.


    Shame about the stadium tour , someone on here said the other day that Celtic had handed over to the council the run of the stadium for the commonwealth games , not sure to be honest

  22. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    Is the team ‘going backwards’?



    THe only time the team was definitely going forwards was 1888.



    Since then we’ve had good times and bad times; supportin’ a team doesn’t come with any ole guarantees.

  23. darwinsbeautifulidea on

    If pirate pete got his bonus for on field results,rather than on financial results we might spend more on better players,all this nonsense about raising our own is crap as the quality of scottish youth players is very poor these days

  24. whether we like it or not


    whether we agree with it or not


    The number fans at home games has been falling for quite some time now


    we should ask the reasons why, otherwise how will we halt the decline in attendances






    If PL wants a legacy to be proud of he should have a team of folks working to get us out of the SPFL.



    He would increase attendances by not showing live games anywhere, its too easy to watch it the warm pub in December at 12 noon on a sunday against some wee diddy team



    We should have a standing section



    we should have a bigger GB section



    we should get a beer in the area under the stands



    we should encourage (not disadvantage) supporters buses



    just a few thoughts

  25. Hugh Bonkle fae Dallas on

    Instead of ST cards why can’t we have membership cards. If you want to buy a seat for a full year then your card would be validated for every game. If you can’t make it to every game then you could log in and pre pay for a seat for each individual game and your membership card would be validated to allow entry for that game.


    I’ve no doubt that there’s an app for that too.

  26. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon ....The angels are with Wee Oscar in Heaven.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on

    bobby murdoch’s curled-up winklepickers



    12:09 on 9 June, 2014


    67 HEAVEN



    As I have said before,dissent is healthy.



    Arse-licking can lead to all sorts of diseases,don’t do it!






    I’ll take your word on the diseases…….hopefully not from oersonal experience….hahahaha



    Dissent, for the sake of dissent, is not healthy, but I’m sure you know that already…….I have been critical of the Board, since no-one is perfect, but to say that being currently delighted with the Club I love is unhealthy is just plain silly……



    I will stress again….criticism is healthy WHEN JUSTIFIED Happy clapping is healthy WHEN JUSTIFIED……. what is not Healthy is being negative all the time about everything, as some are on here (not you, I hasten to add) ……. And there are, of course, some hunlurkers, but we know who they are, and just ignore them……HH ….AND HAHA

  27. club should stop criminaliastion of our own supporters.



    club should replace the top gun 3 x-cop security team who’s allegiances willl still be more alligned with the Police Scotland and Stephen House than the interest of Celtic supporters.



    club should admit to playing our own support and admit to pretence club was not involved in producing The Football Bill.



    club should admit to downsizing on field progress and PL should admit that clubs poisition is no more to come out of each transfer window stronger than when we went in.



    Oh and the pies? Ally McCoist wouldn’t even east them!



    MWD says AYE

  28. GuyFawkesaforeverhero on




    Yes great to know Fergus is in fine fettle at present.



    I’m sure he’s answered a call for help here from his old friend and former employee, Eric Riley.



    He wrote that 1995 letter as Chief Executive and Chairman and it’s disappointing to recognise that the current holders of those positions are content to hide behind The Bunnet.



    Bankier is as much a busted flush with the Celtic support as Ogilvie. I smell a change of Chairman in the air for this Autumn.

  29. darwinsbeautifulidea on

    moonbeams fergus has 4 season books for the investment areas ,read his letter in the paper

  30. Does anyone know if the ‘choose your seat page’ for buying season tickets is an accurate reflection of the number of tickets still available?



    If so then there seem to be 53 distinct areas of the park with season ticket availability. They range from having what looks like about 200 tickets available to 2 or 3. So an average of 100 tickets per section, which I think is high, would be 53*100 = 5300 tickets still to be sold.



    If we have 60K tickets and only have ~5K left to sell then why do we need this drive to get the remaining tickets sold?



    Maybe there is a section set aside for on the day purchase that brings to total sold down, but it still only leaves ~5K available.



    If there isn’t one already I believe there should be a section of the ground held back for those unable to go to every match, with a ticket voucher received for every game attended to allow those who regularly attend to have first refusal on available away and European game tickets.



    Apologies if my naive view of the season ticket webpage is inaccurate but if someone has a clearer understanding then I’d be interested to know.



    For the record, I have 2 season tickets for me and my 3 boys, we will not be at every home match because I can’t afford to travel every other weekend to Glasgow. We will get there when we can and support the team.



    Hail Hail

  31. Here we go again, we’re on the road again,


    Northmen, Southmen, comrades all,


    We are Celtic supporters faithful through and through,



  32. Now a partial season ticket i.e. one that you are only allowed to use say 10 times a season – there could be some mileage in that idea



    The average cost per game could be set at somewhere between that for a full season book and the cost of a single ticket



    Might be some logistical issues about whether you have to specify a certain time in advance if you plan to go to a particular game to allow the club to sell the ticket for that seat if you arent going to go



    Either that or it doesnt guarantee you a specific seat, but just allows you to buy 10 tickets per season cheaper than the single match price




  33. Geordie Munro on




    Partial season books are a great idea but I’m not sure it’s worth it for one season.

  34. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon ....The angels are with Wee Oscar in Heaven.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on




    14:08 on 9 June, 2014



    Hail hail to you, sir….!!!!

  35. Here we go again, we’re on the road again,


    Northmen, Southmen, comrades all,


    We are Celtic supporters faithful through and through,


    When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high


    Michael they have taken you away,


    In spite of dungeon, fire, and sword,


    I’d sell all that and more for a promise.


    Sorry not for me whether the sun was shining or not.


    I’ll go to my grave in the company of none but my faith.


    and then God knows where we’ll go.

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