Last year, I read a superb book by the Celtic fan and author Stephen O’Donnell.
It was called Tangled Up In Blue.
I wrote a review of that book for the blog, in which I called it “an alternative history of Rangers” and listing some of the amazing revelations in it.
Stephen has a new book coming out soon, and I reckon it’s going to be just as good as that one was. The new one is about the rivalry between David Murray and Fergus McCann. There is little doubt about who won that particular war.
Fergus left a structure behind him that endures to this day.
Celtic is the biggest club in the land and we have been for more than a decade. What McCann put in place was not only a bigger stadium with the potential to earn us around £5 million a year more than Ibrox, but he built a professionalism into Celtic which endures to this day. He knew what he was doing.
Murray left Rangers in the hands of Craig Whyte. He saddled him with the EBT case and a club that was running on empty. When they failed to get to Europe in Whyte’s first full season at the helm the writing was on the wall. The roof fell in on 14 February 2012.
McCann is a hero at Celtic Park. Murray will forever be a pariah at Ibrox.
He once sat atop the game and made even the media dance to his tune.
His reign brought the phrase “succulent lamb journalism” to the fore; it is to the eternal shame of the hacks here that they allowed themselves to be so easily swayed and cowed by this blusterer and bullshit artist.
Stephen did a magnificent job of writing about Rangers and its sordid history.
There are elements of his book that were just begging to be explored on a larger canvas and I think he’s chosen a brilliant one to focus on.
The power struggle between these two men has defined our game.
For years the media thought Murray had won that war … or perhaps it was just another example of his ability to con them.
But Fergus was the real winner.
Fergus McCann Versus David Murray – How Celtic Turned the Tables on their Glasgow Rivals, by Stephen O’Donnell is out on 27 July.
Expect a full review to follow.
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