THEY thought frustration had driven him back to Canada and out of the

picture altogether, but Fergus McCann's determination to resurrect the

fortunes of Celtic remains strong, and he has come up with a plan to

redevelop Celtic Park at a cost of around #36m, which would provide a

60,000 all-seated arena.

Since 1988, the Scottish-born McCann, now a Canadian businessman,

increasingly has been taking an interest in Celtic, and although he has

walked away in disgust a couple of times because of what he saw as a

lack of respect from the club's directors, he has returned to ask more

questions of the supporters, who hold the key.

A few weeks ago, he placed advertisements in newspapers seeking the

reaction of the fans to the club's problems.

He claims the ''heavy response'' to his questionnaires have made it

worth the effort to continue his quest to see Celtic on to a more solid

footing, and his latest plan -- the basic details of which are on their

way to all those who registered an interest -- allows for a rebuilt

stadium on the existing site.

He commissioned construction consultants Bucknall Austin to deliver a

concept design of a stadium with a capacity of 60,000 seats, and

although it should be made clear no planning permission has been sought,

McCann believes his scheme to be the only viable one, and given

sufficient support, all planning problems could be overcome.

The important thing so far as he is concerned is that he has the money

to put his plan into operation should he win over the fans, and then the

directors who have shunned him and his approaches in the past.

McCann says the last time he went public, Michael Kelly threatened

legal action, but so far there has been no move on that front.

''Michael Kelly should not make empty threats. That is not the way to

do business,'' McCann said, ''but if he wants to make them, he is free

to do so.''

McCann is aware that some people consider him to be something of an

eccentric, but the fact is he has a scheme which, he says, can be


In previous attempts to make the directors -- Chris White, Kevin and

Michael Kelly, Tom Grant, Jimmy Farrell, Jack McGinn, and David Smith --

listen to him, he had sought the backing of Brian Dempsey's group, but

differences of opinion prevented the blossoming of that alliance. At the

time he had to back off because he did not have enough money of his own

to continue, but that has changed.

''In the past year, Celtic have grown weaker while I have grown

stronger and I can raise the initial capital of #12.5m without them,''

he said last night. ''Also I have someone willing to back me, another

Canadian who has a passionate interest in Celtic but who does not want

to be in Glasgow thumping a table.

''I don't want to do it alone because it will all but dry me up

financially, but I feel it is worth pursuing. Around 5m, I believe,

could be raised from supporters, executive members, and other


Of course, Celtic would be entitled to grants from the Football Trust,

and if he is allowed his way there would be a shares issue which, he

says, means there would be no take- over bids. The existing shares would

not be bought but the new shareholders would hold the majority.

In return for his investment McCann would want a 50% stake and the

right to run the club's business affairs only for a five-year period,

after which his shares would be offered to other shareholders.

He added: ''Under my scheme there would be money available for

increased salaries and transfers over the first three years. I want the

supporters to know all this and to see the sort of stadium which we can

all have if we are reasonable about this. I want them to be with me.

''All along I have heard excuses from some who said they would back me

in the past and also a terrified silence from the directors, but if the

fans can focus on something they know can happen, they could be a

powerful force.''

He is using another advert, this time in today's Herald, to measure

further the level of fan interest, but even if he receives another

encouraging response, he must realise it will take a mighty effort to

make the directors listen or, it seems, present their own financial

package for the Cambuslang dream.

A great many questions about the new Celtic Park remain unanswered

with deadlines for announcements having been set and missed.

McCann points out that since being formed, only #17,500 of

shareholders' money has gone into the club while from club pools,

something like #6m has been handed over and wonders who exactly is

paying for the Cambuslang venture which many believe is unlikely to

become a reality.

His own stadium plans have flaws, like the projected overhang of the

cemetery behind Janefield Street, but it is still only a concept and is