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Rescued publisher promises £3000 Celtic book will go ahead

The publisher behind the delayed Celtic Opus, a limited edition history of the football club which costs between £1700 and £3000 per copy, has been bought out by its management one day after it went into administration.

The publisher behind the delayed Celtic Opus, a limited edition history of the football club which costs between £1700 and £3000 per copy, has been bought out by its management one day after it went into administration.

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Kraken Sport & Media, which specialises in glossy coffee table books on the likes of football teams and celebrities, is now controlled by the company's two sole directors, chief executive Karl Fowler, a former Goldman Sachs investment banker, and commercial director Paul Murphy.

The London-based firm, now Opus Media Group Ltd, promised that the delayed Celtic Opus, for which fans paid between £1700 and £3000 per copy and was due to be delivered last November, will now be available mid-August. A spokeswoman said it will give the publishers time to include a section on new manager Tony Mowbray. "Every order that has been placed will be fulfilled," she said.

The Celtic book was to have been published in three editions. The Limited Edition, signed by Billy McNeill had a original print run of 1217, and retailed at £1700, the European Champions Edition, signed by the squad that conquered Europe in 1967, had a run of 500 and was priced at £3000, while there was to be an Icons Edition signed by a host of Celtic greats to sell for £3500.

However, yesterday the Icons Edition was no longer available to buy and the Limited Edition print run had been cut to 500.

Mr Fowler, who formed Kraken three years ago, said it was "business as usual", adding that there will be no job losses and that all projects will go ahead.

"The past 12 months have been difficult for many commercial sectors and we have not been immune to that. However, by restructuring and bringing in additional finance, the company is set to accelerate its output which is good news for the business and our partners," he said.

The Celtic Opus documents the story of the football club from its beginnings in 1887 to the modern-day successes of Gordon Strachan and Martin O'Neill. The glossy book, bound in leather and protected by a silk-covered case, pays tribute to famous figures in the club such as Jock Stein and Jimmy Johnstone.

It also includes exclusive interviews, 1000 photographs and features on Celtic legends such as Henrik Larsson and Kenny Dalglish.

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