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. Hamiltontim is praying for Oscar on





    13:59 on 9 June, 2014



    In fairness to Celtic there is nothing that they can do about the safe standing section until it’s given the green light by GCC.



    I’ve been told that the changes could begin within a week or two once the go ahead is given.

  2. I don’t need to repeat what MWD has said. But it’s abut of an insult to be told that filling seats helps us get the players we want. It doesn’t matter whether we fill the seats or not we ain’t getting those players we want!

  3. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon ....The angels are with Wee Oscar in Heaven.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on

    moonbeams wd. wee oscar’s our bhoy and kano’s our mhan.




    The pies are lovely…….!!!!

  4. Steinreignedsupreme on

    kitalba 14:11 on 9 June, 2014



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


    Northmen, Southmen, comrades all,


    We are Celtic supporters faithful through and through,






    Surely “Norsemen, Southmen, comrades all” following Ronny’s arrival?

  5. Geordie Munro


    14:15 on


    9 June, 2014






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






    Am i reading you correctly – are you saying next season there will be no need for this conversation because there will be no problem selling season tickets next year due to some ‘external factor’??

  6. I also have a couple of pet boots who’d love to say hello to you.



    I love candy.



    I’ve heard you like being tickled… I’d love to tickle you.

  7. borgo67



    The wee one is fine thanks!!



    We had intended to have dinner on Saturday night, then hotel, and back in the morning for the tour.



    However, although the vouchers I received for the restaurant have an expiry date of 31/08/14 the Stadium tour can be done anytime at all.



    The wee one is terribly disappointed that the stadium tour has had to be put on hold as I told her I would probably cry from start to finish. She promised to take lots of pictures!!



    The last time I did the tour my dear departed Dad was with me, so it promises to be an emotional return!



    Give my regards to your wee sister too and take care!

  8. Steinreignedsupreme:



    I do wish the guy every success but mate I’m off the planet, I’m a Keane man myself.

  9. Geordie Munro on

    Hoopy -do,



    A bit tongue in cheek and a bit jaded from a heavy weekend.



    What Fergus should have said is buying a season book this season is the only way you’ll guarantee one for next season should that team that masquerades as rangers be promoted and demand goes through the roof.

  10. I’d like to express my sincere thanks for the messages of support following the loss of my brother, Robert, last week – they were very much appreciated.

  11. Billy Boy



    10:15 on 9 June, 2014





    ‘Andy was misrepresented in the Tory/ Labour/Lib Dem/ British Media.



    Basically it was represented that Andy didn’t like Salmond waving the flag.



    When what he actually said was he didn’t like the negative reaction to Salmond waving the flag










    Reading back, the above post caught my eye.



    As others have pointed out the post is nonsense. What Murray actually said was “I didn’t like it when he (Salmond) got the Scottish flag up at Wimbledon.”





    What intrigues me though is how someone could so either misconstrue or misrepresent the truth.



    It’s not like there is anyway one could mistake the truth for the version suggested. There is after all, as you say, a HUGE DIFFERENCE between the two.



    It seems to me that one of the following must have occurred



    1.You read the quote from Murray and so completely misunderstood it that you thought he said something entirely different to what he did say.



    2.You read the quote from Murray, understood it, but decided to lie about it.



    3.You hadn’t read the quote at all but decided you’d just post anything that would be expedient for your agenda.



    4. You know nothing at all about the story other than what you’d been told by a third party.



    In other words you’re either one or more of the following: an idiot, a liar, a chancer or a naive and gullible fool.



    Which one do you think you are?

  12. Steinreignedsupreme on

    kitalba 14:22 on 9 June, 2014



    “I do wish the guy every success but mate I’m off the planet, I’m a Keane man myself.”



    Keane was certainly a terrific player at Manchester United and has been an entertaining pundit on ITV.

  13. darwinsbeautifulidea



    14:00 on 9 June, 2014



    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





    I challenge you to name three players that you would buy – remember they must want to come to Celtic and want to play at ICT on a cold day in December.

  14. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    Ole Dick, no problem.



    We take care of our own.



    Hope to catch up with you next season.

  15. Pogmathonyahun aka Laird of the Smiles on

    KolnCelt, I’ll catch up with you in Hamburg. Good seeing you, again. :-)

  16. Geordie Munro


    13:58 on


    9 June, 2014



    I actually consider it the opposite. If tickets were priced so low that every match was a sell-out then you’d get your season ticket as it would be the only way to guarantee a seat or you’d buy in advance – at a price where you’re still not disadvantaged as a ST holder.



    So it would be like this:



    ST – guaranteed a seat


    Public sale up to matchday – probably guaranteed a seat but not cheaper than ST


    Matchday until half hour before KO – huge discount but risky.

  17. Geordie Munro


    14:23 on


    9 June, 2014


    Hoopy -do,



    A bit tongue in cheek and a bit jaded from a heavy weekend.



    What Fergus should have said is buying a season book this season is the only way you’ll guarantee one for next season should that team that masquerades as rangers be promoted and demand goes through the roof.





    Your tongue in cheekness is probably accurate.



    I reckon when the top division is joined by Sevconians we will end up selling more season tickets



    but i dont reckon we will sell 53000 or anything like that like we did in the Fergus days



    theres too many fans just hacked off with scottish football in general for that but theres no doubt there are a lot of people waiting for Sevconian involvement

  18. I’m just back from a week on the moon. Anything good on the telly tonight?



    PS. Met quite a few CQNers wired to it when I was there.

  19. Hamiltontim,



    i hope its a goer, would make some difference if it does.






    if we the fans can see what the real issues are affecting the support, and as i said before you dont need to be the brain of Britain to figure it out, then what the feck are they (PLC) board doing about it?



    A begging letter from Fergus, are things really that bad? If the are hoping for an uptake next year when the hundead arrive back, i think they will be just as shocked to find these guys wont come back!







  20. Andrew Murray objected to the waving of the Saltire. He doesn’t seem to have any problem with supporters who wave the Butcher’s Apron. His wealth is estimated at nearly 20 million. People with that kind of money usually favour the status quo.

  21. 16 roads - Celtic über alles... on

    Roy Keane did actually play for Celtic.






    Agathe /Lusting.












    The Maestro.









    Robbie Keane/Craig Bellamy.






    That team wins you the Champions League all day long.



    The club has been blessed with some magnificent football in recent times, it has to be said.




  22. Geordie Munro on




    I hear ye and get your thinking but I don’t think there is much hope in selling out. Tickets are tricky to shift for free these days.



    As I’ve mentioned on here in the past, over the last decade or so the tickets have probably increase the least percentage wise. Tickets are only the start of the cost. Imo.



    But I agree. The knowledge that your seat is guaranteed is the clincher.

  23. 79caps



    14:36 on 9 June, 2014



    ‘Andrew Murray objected to the waving of the Saltire.’







    He objected to Salmond trying to hijack and politicise the event by waving a Saltire.



    Different thing entirely.



    But you knew that already, didn’t you?

  24. ernie lynch


    14:26 on


    9 June, 2014



    Neither of you are correct unless the full interview is quoted (it’s in The Sunday Times, I won’t pay for it I’m afraid).



    Do you accept that this quote:



    “I didn’t like it when he (Salmond) got the Scottish flag up at Wimbledon.”



    Could (and I mean ‘could’ not ‘was’) have been followed up by



    “It attracted too much negative comment about whether I value my English fans, I do”



    Equally he could also have followed up with:



    “It pulled me into a political debate I want nothing to do with”






    “It aligned me to the Yes vote, I’m not in favour of Independence”



    I don’t know whether Andy Murray has been taken out of context or not. Do you? If the full article can you C&P? I’d be quite interested to read it.



    Yellow card for Billy Bhoy 05 for not backing up his claim either.

  25. LiviBhoy





    13:41 on



    9 June, 2014





    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.



    *Agreed, I’ve also come to the conclusion after 50+ years in the workforce and more than half of that in management that the people who come on here bitching about Peter L, the Board (not bored…not even funny) Celtic Academy etc. are henpecked and the only ay they can get a word in is on here. I’ve witnessed like behaviour for many years, “yes dear, no dear, 3 bags full dear”.

  26. As far as I know, `entitled` refers to a legal right . I presume that means `entitlements` are outlined in legal literature. That being so, where is it written that we are legally entitled to opinion?



    If, as I suspect, it is not so written, why is it so often claimed that ` We are all entitled to an opinion.`?



    Is someone whose opinion is simply a reflection of the views engendered in the MSSM really `entitled` to an opinion if that opinion causes harm?



  27. ontine Tim



    14:43 on 9 June, 2014






    13:41 on



    9 June, 2014






    Celtic are indeed an extremely well run club. If you notice, those who bitch about the BORED, LIEWELL and YOUTH PLAYERS, never offer their alternative.

  28. Fergus has the right to write to whoever he wants. I don’t doubt his sincerity but can’t help but thinking he’s bailing out a bungling board

  29. TinyTIm


    I think we’ve only played against Bayern twice. I might be wrong though.


    We beat Dortmund at home in the UEFA League, or was it the European Cup. I was at both legs.

  30. !!Bada Bing!!


    12:59 on


    9 June, 2014


    We need pay at the gate turnstiles,not everyone can afford a ST. Should be easy enough to pay with a debit card at the gate,nothing worse than watching folk,queue for 40 minutes,then queue again to get in the stadium.





    I posted some time ago that I thought Sevco would have a masive problem if the majority of fans decide to buy tickets on a game to game basis as seems likely.


    If you look at the transaction time per ticket and multiply by 20-30,0000 there is potential for utter chaos.


    I think it was Turkeybhoy who said that Scotland finest would not allow tickets to be purchased at the turnstile.


    If not then can’t see online purchases picking up the slack.Do they have access to credit/debit card facilities???

  31. gebhoy



    The sorry answer to your question is “I don’t know”, and therein lies the problem.



    We know they made a commitment to the fans in Amsterdam to help where possible. Why could they not accelerate the process for dealing with the uproar caused by their knee jerk reaction to the events at Motherwell and the non-event at Dundee? Why can they not set aside a minimum of 10 to 12 home games that will be played at a suitable 3pm kick off time? After all, Sky and BT want the away fixtures more than the home games?



    I part company with you in calling Fergus’s letter a begging letter, you over-egged it there. He is asking the fans to support the club; there’s nothing at all wrong with that.





    Fergus buys four tickets every year,bud.

  33. weeminger



    14:43 on 9 June, 2014



    I rather think we would have had a broadside from the cyber gnats quoting verbatim if Murray has been quoted out of context.



    And I suspect that the other media outlets would have mentioned that too.



    Don’t you think?

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