ON the day Celtic manager Tommy Burns officially announced the men he

wanted immediately by his side -- Billy Stark, his former assistant at

Kilmarnock, and Davie Hay, one of his old managers at Parkhead -- as he

bids to restore pride and passion to the club, Ashley Grimes, appointed

youth team coach by Lou Macari, faced the prospect of doing menial tasks

about the old place.

When Burns was recently appointed as successor to the sacked Macari,

it was obvious he would want his own men in the backroom, which meant a

doubt over the future of men such as Grimes, Chic Bates, and Peter


Yesterday, Burns and managing director Fergus McCann confirmed that

all were still employed by the club and on call, if needed, but I

understand Grimes has been told to report this morning to do a job which

has nothing to do with coaching -- it could be more like cleaning boots.

Grimes, a former colleague of Macari at Manchester United, signed a

three-year contract with Celtic last October. He said: ''We are left in

limbo, in no man's land. Fergus McCann informed me in writing two weeks

ago that I was no longer youth team coach. I wasn't being dismissed, but

the club had no objection to me looking for another job.

''I thought a club like Celtic would have made a clean decision. I'm

sure Tommy Burns wouldn't want the distraction of having us hanging

around, but I'll be here -- this is where I am employed.''

Meantime, Burns spoke of Stark in football terms as being ''my other

half, and I'm delighted to accept his application. Billy and I share the

same thoughts on football. It should be played with skill and passion.

This is what we aim to instil in Celtic teams.

''David Hay is a man for whom I have great respect. He will be engaged

as chief scout and his responsibilities will be worldwide, which

complements his wealth of knowledge of football in the United Kingdom,

Europe, and the United States.

''I also see David's experience as a former manager of Celtic as a

great benefit, especially on the administration side, which will allow

Billy and myself to maximise our time with the players.''

The manager also confirmed that two players, Pat Bonner and Charlie

Nicholas, who had been released by Lou Macari, have rejoined the club.

''Pat will be signed as a player,'' said Burns, ''and he also will

have coaching responsibilities. It is important that Celtic do not lose

a man who epitomises a professional football role model for aspiring

young players.''

And, in announcing his pleasure at the re-signing of Nicholas, the

manager also made it clear the player, who stood up and voiced his

concern about Celtic under the pre-McCann regime, should confine his

activities to the playing field.

''Charlie felt he had to speak out at the time,'' said Burns. ''Some

say he was right, others say he was wrong. I say that is all in the


''He will be signed as a player on a one-year contract. His role will

be to concentrate totally on playing football and not on other issues

regarding the club.

''That goes for every other player here. I'm sure their involvement in

the happenings off the park in the past year must have affected their

performances. This will not be allowed to happen again.''

Money will be made available to Burns to strengthen the squad, but he

made it clear that there would be no huge money signings at the moment.

He said: ''In an ideal world I would be able to go out and spend #2m to

#3m on a player, but that is not the type we need at the moment. We must

re-establish ourselves in Scotland before thinking about what can be

achieved in Europe. We must walk before we run.

''I have made enquiries about two or three players, and am waiting for

the clubs concerned to get back to me.''

Yet another change will be that Celtic will play their Premier Reserve

League fixtures at Cliftonhill, the home of Albion Rovers, because of

the major redevelopment work at Parkhead that has forced the top team to

share with Queen's Park at Hampden.

Celtic, meantime, will set off for Ireland today, where they will meet

Cork City next Tuesday and Brazilian side Flamengo in Dublin next


Celtic will also face the Brazilians at Hampden on August 2.

As well as the serious words and declarations of intent, there was a

light air about Parkhead yesterday. One could sense a change in the

atmosphere, and there were also a couple of light moments provided by


For example, Rangers fan Kenny Edgar, from Forfar, will, no doubt,

have a lot of explaining to do to his fellow Ibrox followers. Kenny was

in Glasgow with some friends who happen to be Celtic supporters. They

turned up at the ground to buy their season tickets, while the bold

Kenny stood by wearing a Rangers sweatshirt.

When Burns emerged from the ground, the Forfar lad put his arm around

him and asked for his autograph.

''I reckon that's my trip to Athens with Rangers out of the window,''

he said. ''How can I ever face going back to Ibrox?''

It was a lovely little moment which brought a smile to all concerned

and should provide food for thought for those, on both sides of the Old

Firm, who shroud themselves in bigotry.

The second burst of laughter was brought about by Queen's Park coach

Eddie Hunter, who made a fleeting visit to Parkhead. ''The only reason I

didn't take this job was that they wouldn't let me have Saturdays off to

watch the Spiders.''