As Football Is Ever More Run By Small Men, The BBC Is Right To Honour Celtic’s Great One.

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The news that the BBC is finally set to air a documentary on “The Man Who Saved Celtic” is annoying only in that it hasn’t happened sooner.

There’s also a slight mislead in the headline itself. We were not the first Ibrox club 2012 back in 1994; if Fergus hadn’t stepped in to delay the bank’s action there were at least two other parties willing to do the deed.

That’s the difference between Us and Them. In our hour of need, in the moment where it had to be done, there were people queuing up to put the funds in on our behalf. At Ibrox nobody came forward until the vultures were picking the bones off the corpse.

Never, ever let certain people forget that.

But Fergus did come forward. Fergus was there.

He did step in.

And unlike a lot of the others who had an interest in the club at the time, Fergus came not with vague ideas but with a fully formed strategy, including the scheme which was to rebuild Celtic Park. Fergus was the “no half measures” guy this club needed.

He was The Man With The Plan.

From the moment he was in office, the club across the city saw its strength start to drip drip drip away. From the moment Celtic started to rise again, they began to shrink.

Murray famously said when Fergus’ time was almost done that “whoever takes over next better have very deep pockets” and that shows just how thoroughly he misunderstood (or tried to misrepresent) what it was that Fergus aimed to do at our club from the moment he was involved.

Fergus wanted to build a financial powerhouse.

He knew that having a bigger stadium meant more income.

He knew that renegotiating all our commercial deals and pushing the Celtic brand to its maximum effectiveness would get the job done, and so it was never about his successor having deep pockets (his successor, in some ways, turned out to be Dermot Desmond, with pockets far deeper than Murray could have imagined) … it was about how deep the club’s spending power was once the machine was rolling as well as it could be.

There was no “pie in the sky” about Fergus’ plan for Celtic.

There were no moonbeams at any stage. He knew what he was coming in to do, he knew exactly what he wanted to do, and he knew not only that it would work but that it would present Murray and his club with the kind of difficult choices he didn’t want to have to make. Murray’s own “deep pockets” were an illusion; he was spending the bank’s money all those years, and Fergus knew it.

The media treated Fergus abysmally. Abysmally.

There was no excuse for their constant bitching and sniping, with The Daily Record being far and away the worst of all publications when it came to telling lies about him and smearing him as some sort of tyrant.

The truth is that Fergus was no fool and would not suffer fools. He was a “get stuff done” guy and would not tolerate anyone who fell below those standards … and he knew hypocrisy when he saw it and he knew cheating when he smelled that and would not accept those either.

The man is a legend. He is one of the most formidable figures in the history of Celtic, and whilst I might dispute the truth of the notion that he “saved us” – only in that he got there first and that his plan was better than the rest – the impact he had on us, and which he continues to have on us, is momentous. He is one of our towering heroes.

And just so long as the BBC isn’t doing a hatchet-job here, I think it will be must-watch stuff. It is overdue.

This is the man who changed everything.

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    The BBC in Scotland will not miss the chance to re-write history and thus save the blushes and salve the consciences of its key stakeholders the denizens of the Bowels of Hundom at the Debt Dome.
    Those ‘Staunchest’ of the Mc Stauncesteses must be kept onside lest the Yoonion lose is most ardent Division of knuckledragging Troops.
    The Monarchy kneebenders need to be kept grovelling as it is their natural state.

    I will not watch it as it is on the BBC.
    It’s against my religion.
    Literally as well as euphemistically.

  • Johnno says:

    Could be interesting to see how distorted the BBC will try to protray Fergus?
    Still think they won’t give him the credit he deserves as a brilliant visionary?
    At the time football was changing, due to the Hillsborough disaster regarding stadiums.
    With our own cash problems in place, it always remained a huge risk to invest so much into a stadium, especially within such an uncertain footballing market at the time.
    Sky and it’s introduction had us very well placed as a club to benifit hugely from the opportunity’s that the game created, and took full advantage in doing so.
    Fergus killed the scum with the backing of the Celtic support, but that won’t be mentioned for sure.
    Will always fondly remember Fergus as the scum killer, as setting the tone that the scum can’t and never will be able to match.
    HH Fergus
    Still can’t see the BBC promoting the movie that Fergus set in motion as
    “The ultimate Scum Killer”

    • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

      He did ultimately kill them indeed…

      But my goodness his counterpart at Liebrox Murray did every bit as much to self kill The Huns –

      David Murray – The man who killed The Rangers – Beautiful indeed !

      He who laughs laughs loudest…

      Laugh at Murray eternally Fergus !

  • Kevan McKeown says:

    Agree that Fergus fully deserves his recognition and our eternal gratitude. Tho will have tae watch it first, tae see exactly what type of picture they build. Could be wrang, but ah don’t trust the bbc, tae be totally honest in their portrayal. Don’t forget, they were dealin with someone who put the fear in them all at that time, somebody who wouldnae tolerate any shit from any of them. Could dae wi him these past years wi some of the SFA, Scottish media bs thats been happenin.

  • SSMPM says:

    I think Fergus handled the media pretty well back then and the many disgruntled Celtic fans tbh. During the rebuild I was able to do a tour of the ground with my bhoys, this during the moveable stand time.
    Sadly it was also during Rangers 9IAR years but looking back it also gives me many happy memories of Tommy as manager and the style in which we played.
    I also remember the many Celtic fans though, unable to contain their abuse acting like that lot across the city now, giving Fergus pelters for not stopping the winning the nine. The hun defenders were better then
    He had a vision for Celtic that was longer term and advanced. Perhaps not evident to those fans or those that simply yearned for the shorter mid term league success to halt the nine. Yet Fergus did invest in the team whilst enacting a club strategy that was forward thinking. Actually we had some damn players. good teams and played some really silky football. Forward players such as DiCanio, Hooydonk and Cadete, I hope the spelling’s right, would easily fit into and add to our team now.
    During that time even the head of the SFA was cheating for them, hiding Jorge Cadete’s registration so he couldn’t play against the huns the weekend after we signed him. Sadly for all the good play during those years we just couldn’t get the ball passed probably the huns best and chunkiest ever goalie, the hun Golum. I know it’s Goram, ha ha, but even now I still feel bitter even now at him, the SFA and ref cheating. Cheating that was subsequently proven of course, too late the SFA stated was not rectifiable. Funny how when it suits they can do what they want for the dead team and now this lot. Maybe one day we’ll find out what really happened during the Covid season. No change there eh?
    I hope this BBC documentary shows Fergus in the light he deserves to shine in as our club’s saviour. Hail Hail

  • James Archibald says:

    that man should have a statue at celtic park he did what he said he would do built a great stadium got the club stable and would leave with a profit and yes those 2 rags did everything in there power to discredit him in the fans eyes which they did to an extent and the reason why I started buying the herald just gave the wee guy too much abuse HH

  • Effarr says:

    I remember answering Fergus`s advert in the papers at the time inviting the Celtic support to get behind him. Gerry McNee, McNeill`s old sparring partner, laughed at his plans, a copy of which was sent along with an architect`s drawing of the proposed new Celtic Park. It is the only time in my life that I ever saw a proposed drawing come to fruition exactly as planned. Nothing too fancy, no floating pitches
    or new railway stations. No removable pitches
    or world class breakfast bars, it was just as seen at the moment. Plenty of Celtic fans didn`t answer to his initial call, I even heard him referred to as “Ben Turpin” to gain a laugh.
    Even Michael Kelly scorned the idea of a 60,000 seater stadium, saying it would never be filled. Who do you think got the last laugh?
    As for the BBC, I refuse to pay for a licence.
    Despite around 8 million catholics in the UK, they delight in reporting any scandals, as, of course, they should do, but despite the many
    countries visited by the Popes over the years
    and the many millions who have welcomed them, they rarely get a mention. A typical example was the recent World Youth Day in Portugal where over 1.5 million young catholics from all over the world attended and it didn`t even merit a sentence. You can be sure the Fergus documentary will be geared to suit their own agenda.

    • Kevan McKeown says:

      @ effarr. Ye forgot the ‘world class’ casino and hotel. Instead they’ve winded up wi a fkn dump, wi hardly 2 seats the same shade. And yeah, that’s what ahm suspectin about the BBC as well.

  • Eugene Cairns says:

    I have always thought the North Stand should be the Jock Stein Stand
    The present JS Stand should be the McNeil Stand
    The Lisbon end is fine as it is
    And. The Main Stand should be named after Fergus
    He absolutely deserves that honour

  • Dan O'Connor says:

    St Fergus of the bunnet.

  • Roonsa says:

    After years of being served up amamteurish garbage by the Whites, Kellys and Grants it was so refreshing to hear Fergus speak who, most definitely, was NOT an amateur. He had a clear vision of where Celtic needed to be. And he was also clear from the start that this was a business venture for him but he wasn’t an opportunist. It was a win win for him. Save Celtic, make money. What a man.

    When Charles Green swept up the ashes at Ibrox, everyone could see (except the gullible hordes) that he was a conman. He was doing ice bucket challenges trying to call out Peter Lawwell, it was embarrassing. Fergus talked of balance sheets, season ticket number targets, plans for a new Celtic Park (which he quickly delivered on). He spoke of Celtic being Champions again within 5 years. Mission accomplished. Everything Celtic achieved in the time Fergus ran the show was achieved organically which is what makes what he did all the more remarkable. Can Sevco say the same thing? LOLZ!

    There might have been other people waiting in the wings to take over at Celtic but I’m glad they weren’t needed. If it wasn’t for Fergus, there’s no way anyone could say Celtic would be where they are now.

    I remember the day he was booed by the Celtic fans on Flag Day at the start of the 1998/99 season. A total embarrassment.

    God bless that man. He is a true Celtic hero.

  • John Austin says:

    When is it on tv and what channel?

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