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Watch Brian Dempsey reflect on Fergus McCann’s 1994 Celtic takeover

Brian Dempsey has been sharing his recollections of the 1994 Celtic takeover that saw Fergus McCann take control of the club from the Kelly and Whyte dynasty that had controlled the club from the early days of the century.

The Celtic Exchange has put together a fantastic series of interviews that trumps anything that the mainstream media or the club has produced to chronicle the most traumatic time in the history of a truly unique institution.

Dempsey’s role was pivotal in achieving what many thought was impossible, generations of Celtic supporters grew up believing that their club would forever be in the hands of two families regardless of their ability. For fans under the age of 30 it was very much the Celtic monarchy.

In 1990 with the first signs of distress coming out of Celtic Dempsey and Michael Kelly were invited on board in May but by the time the club AGM came around in October Kelly teamed up with Chris White to reject Dempsey’s place on the board.

During the podcast Dempsey reveals that Chairman Jack McGinn then suggested that he stay behind for a cup of tea, Dempsey’s reply was that if the Chairman had any dignity he should resign alongside Jimmy Farrell. He used the words integrity and principle, qualities in short supply in the Celtic boardroom.

After a year without winning anything the club faced almost five more trophy-less years with Dempsey on the outside and becoming something of a rallying point for fans who were branded malcontents by those inside the club.

Dempsey reveals that White was paid £1.6m for his shares in the club and that the Bank of Scotland had Noble Grossart in place to handle the administration of the club.

With McCann based in North America Dempsey was the man on the ground, already with connections to the board and across the Celtic support and Scottish business communities.

The demands of the Taylor Report were closing in on Celtic, a scatterbrain scheme to relocate to Cambuslang proved a turning point as more fans realised that there was no vision or finance in the boardroom.

Dave Murray lapped it up, his club played in the 92/93 Champions League and were well on their way to overtaking Celtic’s nine-in-a-row with becoming the second Scottish team to lift the big cup the clear ambition.

McCann and Dempsey formed an unlikely alliance, when administration was getting close McCann flew in from Canada to put down the guarantee and force through the boardroom changes needed to give the club a future.

At that juncture Dempsey opted out, his then colleague was taking on 51% of the shares and pushing through his plan to revive the club and make it fit for the 21st century.

Down the years Dempsey has given occasional interviews about his role in the takeover but the detail from the interview with The Celtic Exchange will go down as the definitive, digital take on the events that paved the way for the current successes enjoyed by the modern generation of supporters.

Give the Celtic Exchange a subscription to ensure continued content of real quality, the podcast is full of great quotes including the classic of how The Biscuit Tin has become The Money Tree.

CLICK HERE for Dempsey’s Celtic Wiki profile.

CLICK HERE for SFA v UEFA the in credible stats of the Crawford Allan regime.

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