This is one of the photos currently doing the rounds, which purports to show two ‘Celtic legends’. Tommy Burns was certainly a club legend, but can Fergus McCann really be described in such terms?
20 years on and there’s a load of hogwash being written and uttered about the Scots-Canadian businessman who invested in Celtic and saw a return of £37 million on his initial outlay. He walked away from Celtic a considerably richer man than when he arrived. No shame in that, he put his money in and he wasn’t doing it for charitable reasons, despite the tripe that is being written on some blogs and websites.
McCann is probably the most right-wing, conservative, anti-republican person to ever have headed the Celtic Football Club. He hypocritically eschewed politics in the stands, but he joined and was chairman of his local Conservative Party branch while he lived in Glasgow. He lied to supporters groups during a period of sectarian and anti-Irish violence against our fans and he financed and supported those ‘anti-sectarian’ groups that are the most vociferous and critical of Celtic supporters and which, even today, seek to further criminalise our community.
If you want to find the link between what happened then and what is happening now with regard to the club’s anti-political stance, the Green Brigade and the criminalisation of Celtic supporters, look no further than Fergus McCann. He set in motion the corporate monster that is Celtic PLC today. I had no love for the old board, but I certainly do not regard McCann as a ‘hero’ or a ‘legend’. He was a businessman with an undoubted affection for the club, but who saw a healthy profit from his investment in Celtic.
In a world where profit for profit’s sake and the greed of bankers and the wealthy elite is celebrated, it is perhaps fitting that we are being duped into believing that this financier who now lives in a tax haven is some kind of club legend.
There is probably no better picture to illustrate the myth that has built around McCann, because Tommy Burns and Fergus McCann did not get on… not at all. These were two very different ‘Celtic men’ with opposing views of the club’s history and future.