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McCann: my Celtic revolution may not have happened if original bid had been accepted

Fergus McCann claims his Celtic revolution may never have happened had his original bid for change at Parkhead been accepted.

It's 20 years since the Scots-Canadian businessman saved the Hoops from being placed into receivership by the Bank of Scotland, completing his rescue deal with just eight minutes to spare.

However, the former Parkhead supremo says the story could have been very different had the old board accepted his 1989 offer to finance the construction of two new stands.

McCann's proposal was knocked back but he returned in 1994 to oust the board led by Jack McGinn before rebuilding Celtic Park into a 60,000-all-seater arena and bankroll the squad which eventually won the club's first Scottish title in a decade in 1998.

McCann told the Celtic View: "Around 1989 the original offer was a £6million loan at half the bank interest rate, to fund a 16,000-seat stand on the north side [but came with] no shares or board position. And a marketing contract to do a Season Ticket campaign.

"This was before the Taylor Report. The park would have 24,000 seats and 48,000 standing.

"In hindsight, this would probably have not worked well. With no authority and subject to a board driven by fear and suspicion, and with no business sense, my position would have been too weak to make the required radical change in the culture of Celtic's leadership."

McGinn and fellow directors Chris White, Kevin Kelly, Jimmy Farrell and Tom Grant unanimously opted against taking up his first offer.

This was at a time when Celtic was still a privately owned company, unsuited to the modern challenges facing the club such as the Taylor Report which demanded that the club built an all-seater stadium within four years due to safety concerns following the Hillsborough disaster.

And when McCann returned with a fresh offer five years later, he was again turned away as the board refused to give up their Parkhead powerbase.

But on March 4, 1994, McCann eventually managed to push through his rescue bid to save the club he loved.

Now the man whose intervention help halt Rangers' bid for 10-in-a-row says he would be happy to go back to being a regular fan.

"I would be quite content to just be the anonymous supporter I used to be," he said. "I want the best for Celtic, and like every other supporter, I want to be proud of the club. This is what matters."

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