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. whitedoghunch on

    An Tearmann



    the way the club manages its customers is outdated and costing it money.

  2. WeefratheTim on

    Good afternoon to you too HT. The ole school hols are creeping up fast. How’s the Minx this weather? Her bestest buddy was getting titivated up over the weekend and today. He’s not finished yet either. :-)))



    Weefra HH praying to Wee Oscar.

  3. Michael Gove has outlined his 3 point plan:


    1) Eliminate illiteracy


    2) Eliminate innumeracy



    HH :-)

  4. WeefratheTim on




    He’ll always be Captain Flashheart to me. :-)



    Weefra HH praying to Wee Oscar.

  5. hoopy-do



    15:17 on 9 June, 2014




    15:15 on


    9 June, 2014






    what was your opinion on Mandela wearing that Springbok jersey






    Your question sounds like you reckon i have already given an opinion on salmond waving the saltire, which i havent (if you ignore the tongue in cheek comment about politicians being cringeworthy when they try to get all sporty)






    Sport and politics will always be inextricably linked. Have been since Ancient Greece, through to Berlin and Moscow Olympics and everything in between.



    Nelson Mandela’s decision to wear the Springbok jersey was the classiest act of reconciliation and nation building I will ever see given the cultural and historical backdrop of the Bokke. At that point I still hated that Jersey and wanted the wearers to lose to whoever they played. But old Nelson was a better and wiser Mhan than I will ever be.



    By contrast I thought Alex Salmond’s behaviour at Wimbledon last year seemed a bit cheap and opportunistic. A quiet, beaming unspoken GIRUY (!) would have been far more statesmanlike…..



    Sometimes less is both more and classier…….






    HH jamesgang

  6. lennon's passion on

    Mr 67 your blog is one of the most negative aspects of everything Celtic. The nonsense wrote on here about Celtic is embarrassing. There would be a uproar if the MSM wrote it.

  7. weefrathetim



    16:23 on 9 June, 2014


    Good afternoon to you too HT. The ole school hols are creeping up fast. How’s the Minx this weather? Her bestest buddy was getting titivated up over the weekend and today. He’s not finished yet either. :-)))



    Weefra HH praying to Wee Oscar.






    Weefra! Dinnae be speaking about HT like that on here!!!






    HH jamesgang

  8. Dontbrattbakkinanger



    16:20 on 9 June, 2014



    ..cojones is what they need to grow ;/)





    I was in the trenches, with a few guys from various places, I was Dr.Unk and I said, what this team needs is Men with Balls, it worked for a few rounds, probably more with me than anyone else. We lost that Match, there was obviously not enough men with the requisite balls.



    I topped the charts and the only one that responded was bottom, it is just a game, the ? is, is it.



    I never watched the Honduras :: England game, if Emilio has been fully committed, Brilliant.



    I listened to the Radio last night for a while and all the moments were etched in the mind, before the audio only was played of all the amazing moments of World Cup football.



    Gordon will take us bach there.



    The Champions League is a pathetic TOURNAMENT, compared to the World Cup, that All nations try to win. Given Time that magic will be eroded.

  9. WeefratheTim on




    Lol wi that one. Nope, I’m afraid HT would require more titivating than the ole Smurf to make any challenge at the Royal Highland Show. Hahaha.



    How you this weather? Well I hope.



    Weefra HH praying to Wee Oscar.

  10. WeefratheTim



    16:25 on 9 June, 2014






    He’ll always be Captain Flashheart to me. :-)



    Weefra HH praying to Wee Oscar.








    Am I pleased to see you, or did I just put a canoe in my pocket.




  11. Pre-World Cup Player Spot:



    Wouldn’t mind us looking into Marco Fabian. Mexican attacking midfielder – yet to make the move to Europe.



    This guy can hit them! Rarely seen a player be able to hit the ball with such power and pace. Could be a dangerous weapon against teams who sit back and fill the box.

  12. whitedoghunch


    16:19 on


    9 June, 2014


    An Tearmann



    the way the club manages its customers is outdated and costing it money.



    I agree.lets look at where those costs can be used more efficiently for the club and close the perceived distance between fan and club and set up a digital relationship between the two.


    Thats why i suggest a membership scheme which could mean a more tailored response to the individual Celtic fan from the club.



    hope your well mhate



  13. Weefra. Grand my friend. Hope you are too. Going away with the family in a few weeks. Need a break. Bought some xxl surfing tops yesterday cos they block out the rays on ma peely wally skin. I looked like a big sausage fit to burst!



    If only I could get the fabled CQN budgie smugglers, the ensemble would be complete!!!



    Take care big Mhan.



    HH jamesgang

  14. ArranmoreBhoyLXV11 on




    recall seeing Rik Mayall @ Glasgow Uni in the early 80’s.


    was funny.



    He d a bad quad bike accident too many yrs ago ..




  15. Hamiltontim is praying for Oscar on




    I prefer using the ole phonetic alfabet :-)

  16. WeefratheTim on




    I’m afraid the vision of that in my head is boggling my mind. Lol. Take care kiddo. :-))



    Weefra HH praying to Wee Oscar.

  17. Counterstrike Global Offensive is the game, that I manage to keep in touch with my wee brother in Switzerland, although he hasn’t been on for a long time, 2 weeks noo.



    I know James, he is dedicated and runs Marathons, My Son, Aidan, needs to be exposed to his Uncle as much as possible. I’m the least dedicated person ever, I do know the Truth though.



    Hopefully mair Tims will join so we can make it a CSGO CQN Army.

  18. theglasgowcelticway on

    Can’t believe Rik Mayall is dead.Loved The New Statesman, the Young Ones was ok but thought his partnership with Ade Edmondson was at its best in Filthy Rich and Catflap.Never seen it repeated,for shame for shame.

  19. mickbhoy1888 on

    the celtic way



    15:47 on 9 June, 2014



    Up until Fergus took over,for years myself and my faither sat in the front stand back row,free of charge, courtesy of my faither knowing the fella who was was in charge of the wee door on the exit gates from the same stand. For the last 20 years I have paid for two season tickets Ifor Celtic Park , I didn’t feel any less of a supporter having paid nothing compared to paying what I do now for season tickets


    If buying season tickets is a measure of how big a supporter you are of your club then there are an awful lot who have claimed to be supporters in the past who don’t really measure up

  20. Antearmann


    Was it not Einstein who said there were two infinites, one being the universe and the other human stupidity but then I’m not sure about the universe.




  21. Good evening friends. Rain, rain, rain.



    Saddened to hear that Rik Mayal has died. Just 56 years young.

  22. Hamiltontim is praying for Oscar on




    The titivating has ceased until the Minx takes the scantily clad images of new guy Ronny off the CQN Faceache page :-)

  23. eddieinkirkmichael 16:41,



    Amazing comment last night.



    The Battle is coming more in to the open. That is good.



    The forces of hell are being unleashed, of that there is nae doubt, the Angels, well, they urnae idle.



    As I say, An Amazing comment.



    God Bless ye.

  24. Hamiltontim is praying for Oscar



    15:25 on 9 June, 2014



    Most of the folk I know who aren’t renewing are doing so as a result of the action/inaction of the bored in relation to their treatment, or lack of backing, of the support.



    That’s the reality, certainly that I’ve discovered and maybe some posters need to consider that although they perceive the club to be well run and financially prudent, others look beyond the balance sheet.



    That’s not a criticism just an observation.




    I have heard this too and it would be the supreme irony if the actions or failures of our board are the factor that allows our principled supporters attracted to the club by a good ethos to be outnumbered by them’s unprincipled lot who are attracted by cheating.

  25. SFTB,



    What gets me is, surely the club look at the risks that will affect their income, and then they should implement measures to mitigate those risks, right?



    Crimanlising fans – fans fed up being treated like shiote!



    The Green Brigade debacle (in my view the biggest marketing tool the club are missing out on), the next generation of youth only want ultra, like it or not, the few young bhoys that travel in our club, lap it up.



    Price – £100 off, well that’s good, kids tickets excellent value, but the risk is they will have to go back up at some point, people will refuse to pay it when it does. Needs to be more value in having a season ticket.



    Walk up prices are disgraceful – £27 adult and £17 kids……we have 10000 empty seats, this has to be addressed.



    Match day experience – Not much bang for buck, the Kerrydale bar was a good start, but again pricing a major issue, you can get the same pint in the CSA nearly a quid cheaper, no GB, no atmosphere (UCL nights apart).



    The Living Wage – an unmitigated disaster, goes against everything the club was founded on.



    Kick off times – how many fans miss games because of early kick offs? this risk should not be underestimated IMO.



    OB act – Again for many, even tho the club did eventually issue a statement against it, know the truth, that the club were instrumental in its drawing up, and the allegations of passing personal details onto FOCUS, again a massive mistake.



    Secret meetings and spinning bloggers, the outcry after Dundee and Motherwell was laughable in the extreme, anyone that was actually there knows the score, yet on cue the usual suspects were out spinning the truth, it dosent help unity between the fans and this season more than any recently did we see disharmony in the support, again dosent help when people are wavering over whether to renew or not.



    In 10 mins i came up with the issues above, there will be people inside the club far more intelligent than me with access to all kinds of data to look at this, i just dont see much happening and the actual will to tackle these issues, the bottom line for me is UCL cash has gave them a parachute to take the hit on dwindiling season ticket revenues, and they are putting all there eggs in the Hundead returning next season basket!



    One things for sure, i would like to see the risk register when it comes to season ticket revenues….







  26. HT



    Ach away Mhan. He may be a 30 something tactical genius and a 6 pack to go with it, but it’s only you/ewe she wants!!!



    That said, the Bhoy’s a teacher and she obviously likes them sorts!



    Weefra will put a good word in for you mhate!



    Laters dudes…



    HH jamesgang

  27. Gene's a Bhoy's name on

    Just in and heard the news about rick mayall -very sad – loved him as kevin turvey

  28. WeefratheTim on




    Smurfs foties on faceache now. If you want m’ladies log in, txt me. He’s not finished yet, but looking good. :-))



    Weefra HH praying to Wee Oscar.

  29. Gebhoy 16.57



    Good post as you say very little time required to come up with a list of improvements plus actions required to improve the experience of being a Celtic fan home and away

  30. gebhoy



    16:57 on 9 June, 2014






    What gets me is, surely the club look at the risks that will affect their income, and then they should implement measures to mitigate those risks, right?




    A great post as it goes on, but ask yourself this: Would a club that never thought anyone would nick the CELTIC WAY sign be liable to asess risk on other matters.

  31. Stairheedrammy on

    Rik Mayall- shame- Bottom is slapstick genius and the young ones remains a great memory from my teenage years