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Parkhead morphs from derelict scheme to tourist attraction in one generation

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Old Celtic Park 90s

The scene above is of Celtic Park in the 1990s, with the stadium and surrounding area pretty much as they were when Fergus McCann, you, me and 10,000 others stepped forward to buy the club. Improvements had been made on a decade earlier: the Celtic End roof ran to the front of the terrace, while you would walk around the east side of the stadium.

No one has ever satisfactorily explained to me how Fergus was able to decamp for a year, buy footballers and erect a 60,000 seater stadium after raising less than £20m capital, but when he left the stage 17 years ago next month, we had a facility appropriate for the times.

The east end of Glasgow has seen many economically poor decades – over a century’s worth, in fact. The area was built to cater for dirty industries and house workers and their families in as little space as possible. Poverty, social diseases and dreadful mortality rates have blighted the place ever since.  As a consequence, housing and industrial land was cheap, and people prepared to plough money into the area were scarce when Peter Lawwell arrived the club started to acquire land around its footprint. The chief executive has always had a plan to move the club beyond its confines, in many ways. Celtic Park was going to be a visitor attraction all year round.

The long-disused London Road School (the large building to the right of the photo above) had a stone outer wall, but in all practical ways it was an unusable eyesore. Metal had been stripped from the outer and inners walls by thieves, the building was not watertight and vegetation had taken root high up the walls.

Celtic wanted to rip it down and develop the area, but the same forces which will prohibit you from parking within one kilometre from the stadium on match days from next season, denied the club permission. They only changed their mind when it became clear that the Queen would have to approach the stadium for the Commonwealth Games alongside the crumbling school.

If it wasn’t for one visit by the Queen, none of what subsequently happened in the area would have been possible.

Now Celtic plan to build a hotel, retail facilities and the long-awaited club museum (below) in the area to the south west of the stadium. The money and necessary partnerships are in place.

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Don’t assume that the Council will welcome what is a stunning improvement to an enormously neglected area of their city. CQN’er, the late Councillor George Ryan, told me an SNP opponent at the Council objected to planning permission for the Celtic Superstore as it would have a negative economic impact in neighbouring supermarkets. You will deal with parking chaos next season for a reason.

The economic impact of Celtic on the east end of Glasgow for the decades ahead will be significant. Parkhead will morph from being a derelict scheme to being the site of a tourist attraction within one generation.

The community who laboured to level the ground to build the first Celtic Park on the site could never have imagined the process they were setting underway.

Well done to all, we can be very proud of the legacy we will leave future generations.

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  1. THOMTHETHIM FOR OSCAR OK on 22ND FEBRUARY 2017 12:14 PM

     

     

     

    ‘I believe that the Foundation are exceeding Walfrid’s vision in areas that were unimaginable back in the 1880’s.’

     

     

     

    ##

     

     

     

    Yes, but who funds the Foundation?

     

     

     

    You seem to assume that the Plc hands over a wodge of cash to the Foundation, who then distribute it.

     

     

     

    That’s not what happens.

  2. ‘The long-disused London Road School (the large building to the right of the photo above) had a stone outer wall, but in all practical ways it was an unusable eyesore.’

     

     

    ###

     

     

    It was only an eyesore to those without an eye for fine architecture or an appreciation of the city’s heritage.

  3. Very exciting times, although I don’t underestimate the work that will need to be done to to make it happen (both in lobbying the council and in physically building the new facilities).

     

     

    Here is my take on the hotel etc… Yes, it does make fun of Sevco!

     

    https://theclumpany.wordpress.com/2017/02/21/celtics-yurt-hurt/

     

     

    And here is my latest piece, about the 60 billion applicants for the vacant Sevco manager’s job…

     

    https://theclumpany.wordpress.com/2017/02/22/up-to-60-billion-applicants/

  4. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    The orcs will be happy the queen played such a big part in the redevelopment of Celtic park and the surrounding area

  5. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Some excellent posts earlier on the hotel – BlantyreKev, BRTH, BMCUW and others.

     

    While I share some of BK’s concerns, I agree with BRTH in that it should be seen as an overall development which includes a hotel. I think the retail/museum aspect is what brings us up to parity with other major European clubs.

     

    If there is a move towards a European league in the future, a development like this will be a big selling point for us.

  6. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    CHARLIE Gallagher is the proud owner of a special record. The Celtic great was the first-ever Scottish-born player to represent Ireland when he was called up to Johnny Carey’s side in 1967, after the rules on exemption had been relaxed the previous year.

     

    That game against Turkey in Ankara, took place on February 22, 1967 – 50 years ago today – and it remains a proud milestone in an impressive football career.

     

    While the cultured midfielder would only make two appearances for the Irish in total, he will always cherish the fact he pulled on the green shirt. It was a country dear to him.

     

    The Gorbals Bhoy, part of the legendary Lisbon Lions squad, previously spoke to the Celtic View about his love of the Emerald Isle, and his feelings at becoming an Irish internationalist.

     

    Did you always have a strong connection to Ireland

     

    Although my parents were Irish, I was born in Glasgow. Every year I would always find myself going over to Gweedore in Donegal during the school holidays. I was still playing for Celtic and was still going over. After I got married I still went over with the wife occasionally but it kind of drifted away a bit. Because I was over every year in Ireland my roots stayed with me all the time. Most of my friends were in Ireland then and a lot of them moved to Glasgow, with me playing for Celtic.

     

    Do you remember hearing the news that Ireland wanted to call you up and how did you feel?

     

    I remember it very well as we were away on a trip abroad. Sean Fallon had received a message from the President of the Irish FA, asking if I would be willing to become an Irish internationalist, as they had opened up the rules the year before. I think Sean was quite proud that another Irishman was playing for Celtic. They contacted me through a very famous sportsman in Ireland, Jimmy McGhee, who would have been the Arthur Montford of Ireland at the time. And then I spoke to my aunt over in Donegal, and she said there had been quite a bit of excitement there because I was getting capped for the Republic.

     

    What was your parents’ reaction when you were capped by Ireland?

     

    Both my parents were Irish so they were very proud of me. My father was a shy person. I don’t think he ever boasted about me to people because I played for Ireland. My father would always say to me you should have done better in a game, he never saw me, but that was his way. My mother died first but when he died, we were going through his possessions and discovered that he had taken every cutting out of every newspaper that he could find. I had never realised the depth or passion for the game and me because I was playing for Celtic. So that was quite a surprise.

     

    What do you remember about your debut for Ireland against Turkey in February 1967?

     

    It was a hard game against Turkey. It was a really difficult baptism. There was no crowd control, you were walking through crowds going on to the park and they were spitting on you, doing everything to put you off. That was a very difficult game.

     

    Your second cap came in Dublin against Czechoslovakia. What do you recall about that occasion?

     

    The second game was against the great Czechoslovakian team, who had finished second in the European Championships. That was a difficult game as well. That was in Dublin. They were a fabulous side. They held the ball all the time and passed, passed and passed. That’s the way Celtic played eventually when Jo k Stein came, that style of football. So it was nice to play a couple of games for your country, and I am very proud to have played twice. Any time I go to a supporters’ club I get introduced as the first Scots-born Irishman, which is a great thing.

  7. BLANTYRETIM IS PRAYING FOR THE KNOX FAMILY on 22ND FEBRUARY 2017 12:36 PM

     

    The orcs will be happy the queen played such a big part in the redevelopment of Celtic park and the surrounding area

     

     

    Surely the very definition of “State Aid”.

  8. paul 67 do you think CELTIC would like my wee green book 66/67 for the museum.if it’s the only one in existence it might be worth them buying it.

  9. Ernie Lynch

     

     

    Is there nothing about Celtic, it’s CEO or board of directors that doesn’t annoy you.

     

     

    Celtic have a charitable foundation doing fantastic work in a wide range of areas, but it’s still not good enough. If Celtic announced a freeze on player recruitment and diversion of all funds to charitable works how long do you think there would still be a Celtic? Without Celtic there would be no charitable foundation.

     

     

    The school was not considered to be of such unique architectural value that it should be saved, going by your logic Fergus McCann should never have modernised the stadium destroying terracing which had been such a huge part of our glorious history.

     

     

    Give it a rest we know you are anti board but do you have to say it every day.

     

     

    Ps

     

     

    If you think about it Celtic are being run in accordance with Brother Walfrid’s ethos. The club he founded had to make a profit, after expenses running the team, inorder to fund the “dinner tables for the poor”. No profit no dinner table.

  10. 67Heaven .. CHALLENGING THE LIE ..I am wee Oscar...... Ipox belongs to the creditors on

    FAVOURITE UNCLE on 22ND FEBRUARY 2017 12:45 PM

     

     

    …or you could donate it ….. hahahahahahaha

     

     

    Absolutely FANTASTIC news about HOTEL HUNSKELPER ……

     

     

    Can anyone give me more detail on the proposal to ban parking within 1km of Celtic Park from next season ??

  11. ERNIE LYNCH on 22ND FEBRUARY 2017 12:30 PM

     

    ‘The long-disused London Road School (the large building to the right of the photo above) had a stone outer wall, but in all practical ways it was an unusable eyesore.’

     

     

     

    ###

     

     

     

    It was only an eyesore to those without an eye for fine architecture or an appreciation of the city’s heritage.

     

     

    ——–

     

     

    What were your views on the architectural significance of the site and what it lend to the local area, Ernie? Was it built in an architectural style you are particularly fond of?

  12. The improvements planned and work already completed are outstanding and big credit to all involved including the supporters who help to fund and maintain it.

     

     

    If only rangers were still around to appreciate what can be done (smiley)

     

     

    V

  13. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on

    walfrids ethos went out the window a long long time ago, reading fantasy drivel now is as bad as fake news.

  14. Paul67

     

     

    Good news that we announce formally what was planned many years ago.

     

     

    The only downside is the timescale and that we’ve to put up with the temporary

     

    environment that still surrounds Celtic Park for some years to come, before its complete. The area around Celtic ticket office, superstore, and behind the Jock Stein stand still looks very shoddy, now that we’re part way redeveloped. Similarly the approach to the Lisbon Lions end is woefully incomplete.

     

     

    We can’t buy all of the surrounding area ( not even with State Aid ) but priorities

     

    should be made in improving the present match day experience . The continuing lack of facilities (let alone parking) , the long overdue redevelopment of the outdated Front and Mainstand?

     

     

    Hmmm CSC

  15. I must confess to finding myself torn by the hotel/museum stuff.

     

     

    On the one hand if we are investing in infrastructure to make the club richer in the future and therefore reinvesting the money into making the football club (remember the football) more successful then I applaud the move.

     

     

    But its a big IF. If it is simply to grow bigger and get bigger turnover with the aim of getting bigger (and presumably paying bigger salaries and bonuses to our board and shareholder then its not good – because all that is happening is that the supporters money is being used for something palpably not for progressing the football.

     

     

    My innate distrust of the board (for good reason) makes me suspicious. As ever I hope to be proven wrong.

     

     

    Paul says the funding is all in place – that’s not what Celtics statement says. I fear that once again we will be treated to the “spectre” of net bank debt as a means to managing your expectations on the football field.

     

     

    But perhaps my favourite comment goes to VFR who studiously tells us:

     

     

    “What should also be noted is that Celtic are very cash rich and without significant expenditure (in the playing and non-playing divisions) a whole chunk of money will disappear (sic) in Corporation Tax. The bean-counters will have devised the optimum strategy to reduce this to the barest minimum.

     

     

    It’s a good position to be in when we are debating what the club should spend our millions on; what seems to be the case though is that it isn’t being spent on big dividends for shareholders! ”

     

     

    Now its one thing to finally admit celtic are cash rich. But his voodoo logic on spending on capital expenditure helping with the P&L and reducing corporation tax is of course just plain wrong from an accounting perspective. But ignoring that I find it risible that we are soooooo keen to avoid paying tax. No where have I seen that attitude before? Even if its legal don’t we love to take the moral high ground on this stuff? Pot, kettle, black.

     

     

    As for not being used for big bonuses? Really VFR? Do you know something we don’t?

  16. OWEN on 22ND FEBRUARY 2017 12:45 PM

     

     

    I’m not sure how you have managed to construe what I have said as an attack on Celtic, its CEO or the Board.

     

     

    Some posters, not me, have suggested they have mixed feelings about the proposed development, others, again not me, have suggested that they would like to see an increased commitment to helping the homeless. For their efforts they have been sneered at and insulted.

     

     

    All I’ve done is point out that the Plc makes a contribution to the Foundation, it doesn’t fully fund it. I’m not sure everyone is aware of that.

  17. AN TEARMANN

     

     

    From previous article: I’m afraid our lambing days are over big chap, but thanks for asking. :-)) HH

  18. BT

     

     

    From the previous article: That was a belter, “D” just burst out laughing when I told her. Lol. HH

  19. By Putting a Hotel on London Rd, every time an Orc lands there, they will have to pay us $150 (don’t have a flippin pound sign. Then, when they can’t afford the $150 they will have to give us their property (low value but it’s better than nothing) and we eventually watch them declare bankruptcy. I love Timopoly…

  20. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    NEGANON

     

     

    Investment in your business is a good thing. Even the tax authorities recognise that,it’s why they allow it to be tax-deductible.

     

     

    As an example,Honda in Swindon proudly proclaim that they have never accessed Government loans or grants in order to grow and build their plants in the area. Their outlay to date is in the region of £2bn

     

     

    Well done. But that’s £2bn which were removed from the tax liability. The return on it is 30-odd years of sustained employment for around 4,000 workers directly and the same in supply chains,social taxes as a matter of course,and increased TAXABLE profits for Honda UK.

     

     

    If that tax allowance was removed,so too would investment. And all of the above would never have happened.

     

     

    That’s just one example. There are myriad others,it’s how investment works.

  21. Booby I agree – investment in your business is good thing. But. What is the purpose of Celtic Football Club?

  22. If this development benefits the football side of the club I am all for it, I’m watching the news at present BBC Scotland gets 30m,the boss of the BBC needs to ask questions of BBC Scotland sport who employee people who have some kind of link to the dead club and are continually cheerleaders for Sevco, it seems you cannot turn on the radio or TV and not hear from someone who played for the deceased club and has a positive comment about Sevco.This is not a balance that reflects the demographics of the country

  23. FAVOURITE UNCLE on

    67HEAVEN .. CHALLENGING THE LIE ..I AM WEE OSCAR…… IPOX BELONGS TO THE CREDITORS on 22ND FEBRUARY 2017 12:51 PM

     

    FAVOURITE UNCLE on 22ND FEBRUARY 2017 12:45 PM

     

     

     

    …or you could donate it ….. hahahahahahaha

     

     

    i offered it to PAUL to either raffle or auction off.if it’s worth a tenner then i will give it to someone who collects .but if it’s worth £2k then it will feed a lot of hungry kids.

     

     

    we can but live in hope.

  24. NEGANON2 on 22ND FEBRUARY 2017 1:18 PM

     

     

    Good question.

     

     

    It’s a chicken and egg business based around the entertainment generated by a successful football team.

  25. Another example, The Croke Park Hotel, Dublin.

     

     

    Owned by the Doyle Collection, opposite the stadium.

     

     

    It’s marketed for Dublin City, the airport, access to motorways.

     

    Events in Croke Park, matches concerts, conferences etc, etc.

     

     

    How quickly can you get to the airport by taxi/shuttle bus from Celtic Park using the M8 improvements?

     

     

    https://www.doylecollection.com/hotels/the-croke-park-hotel

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