sport

Celtic plan to honour McCann

Celtic have announced plans to honour former managing director Fergus McCann at next season's opening league fixture.

The Scottish Champions are marking the 20th anniversary of a McCann-led takeover at Celtic Park.

McCann was at the forefront of saving Celtic from financial meltdown in 1994 when he helped the club avoid liquidation.

His decision ensured the club's on field history remained intact, not least the glory years under Jock Stein when Celtic became the first British team to be crowed European Champions, while winning nine successive league titles.

The Canada-based businessman defied his critics by successful redeveloping the club's home into a 60,000-seater stadium and launching a successful share issue for Celtic fans to invest in the long-term future of their team.

And chief executive Peter Lawwell is looking forward to seeing McCann return to the east end of Glasgow, where he is expected to unveil the Premiership flag.

Lawwell said: "2014 is a very special year for Celtic as it marks the 20th anniversary of Fergus's takeover of Celtic and it is absolutely right that the special contribution he made to Celtic is marked in this way.

"Fergus's intervention in 1994 delivered the current Celtic Park, at the time the largest club stadium in Britain and ultimately, he re-established Celtic as a footballing force by winning the Scottish Premier League in season 1997/98.

"He enabled supporters to take a stake in the club they loved, to be part of something and once again have pride in their team. He energised and motivated our support and our supporters responded brilliantly by backing his vision.

"A true Celtic supporter, Fergus delivered huge personal investment, sound leadership and tremendous vision during his tenure at Celtic.

"He showed unwavering determination and resilience to ensure his club could once again flourish and his contribution has led directly to the position of health which our club is in today.

"I know I speak for thousands of Celtic supporters when I thank Fergus sincerely for all he achieved at Celtic and I am sure we will join together in August to remember and celebrate his magnificent achievements."