Fergus McCann and ‘The Rebels Have Won’ – 26 Years Ago Today

“The war is over, the rebels have won” – 4 March, 1994, 26 years ago today Fergus McCann paid the banks and took over Celtic, overthrowing a century of the Whyte’s and Kelly’s running the club and so created the modern day Celtic.

Without Fergus it could have ended up so differently for Celtic. God bless Fergus.

David Low, now Chair of the Celtic Trust, was there advising Fergus back in 1994. When he was interviewed on The Celtic Star he talked about all of the events that even 26 years on still seem like yesterday. Snippets like…

• Weisfeld still nipped in at the end, before McCann took over. Weisfeld’s step-son, Michael McDonald, is still on the board.

• That Celtic had 5,000 Rangers shares in 1994 and they were quickly sold, this echoing Craig Whyte who found and sold shares in Arsenal when he took over at Ibrox before that club died, going into liquidation in 2012.

It was Fergus who delivered.

• That it was definitely Michael Kelly and Chris White who held out for a wedge, and that Tom Grant, Kevin Kelly and Jack McGinn didn’t; and they still go to Celtic Park unlike the others.

• That the Masterton / Murray relationship had nothing to do with the hardball tactics from the bank towards Celtic.

• Low gave ‘Celts for Change’ their place, he describes them as a “street movement” who wouldn’t have forced change without the ‘money men’.

Celtic have thrived and Rangers have died since Fergus took over 26 years ago today.

He built the 60,000 seater Stadium that he promised – and The Celtic Star is currently showing you the remarkable photographs courtesy of Tom Grant – who worked for Fergus in re-building Paradise – you can catch previous instalments using the links below and today’s remarkable photos are unmissable an will be up later this morning.

Maybe Fergus deserves more than this recognition at Celtic Park?

Celtic since Fergus arrived have Won 15 League Titles, with another on the way, which will of course mean another 9-in-a-row. Add to that ten Scottish Cups have been won and we are through to another semi-final against Aberdeen.Plus ten League Cups and three Domestic Trebles – before Fergus Celtic had only won three Trebles in our history, if we can win the Scottish Cup and the League we’ll have won four since Fergus’ takeover – on and one of those Trebles an unprecedented Invincible Treble (Matt Corr has just completed his first Celtic book, titled INVINCIBLE) and of course reached a European Final in 2003 when Martin O’Neill took Celtic to the UEFA Cup Final, losing in extra time to Porto.

All of that happened because the Rebels Won – more accurately because Fergus McCann won. God bless you Fergus and thank you from every Celtic supporter – even the ones who booed you as you raised the first league flag of the new era. Forgive them because they’d been reading the MSM.

Celtic posted this on social media a year ago today…

Here are the links to Tom Grant’s photographs which show the demolition of the old Celtic Park, Jungle, Celtic End and Rangers End and the building of a 60,000 seater Paradise – all the vision of one man, Fergus McCann. First, here is yesterday’s instalment which show the beginning 1995 and the new stadium emerging and then go back to the instalments from 1994 when the old ground is knocked down.

Tom Grant’s Celtic Park Photographs, Day 1…

Tom Grant’s Celtic Park Photographs Day 2…

Tom Grant’s Celtic Park Photographs Day 3…

Tom Grant’s Celtic Park Photographs Day 4…

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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