Football: Celtic bid `very positive'

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KENNY DALGLISH and Jim Kerr, who are leading a consortium looking to takeover Celtic, yesterday proclaimed their proposals to be "very positive" for the club, and their consortium is seeking a meeting with Celtic's majority shareholder, Fergus McCann.

In a statement issued on behalf of the consortium, Dalglish and Kerr said: "We believe our proposals are very positive for the future of Celtic Football Club and look forward to discussing these in detail with Mr McCann."

The consortium includes Jim McAvoy, a businessman, and the financial backers BT Capital Partners Europe, the London-based private equity investing arm of Bankers Trust.

Their backers have solid business credentials and there appears little doubt over the consortium's ability either to raise the money for the takeover or to finance their future, but the main stumbling block could still be McCann's declared intention to dispose of his investment among existing shareholders. Fan support for the Dalglish-Kerr move could, though, aid their cause.

The supporters want Celtic to build on last May's title and again become the dominant force not only in Scotland and in Europe.

The difficulty in reaching the top is exemplified by another former European champions, Aston Villa, who have accepted that, despite being top of the Premiership, they will not be able to keep their goalkeeper, Mark Bosnich, at the end of the season. The Australian international, who is out of contract in June, has been linked with Manchester United following Peter Schmeichel's decision to leave the English game at the end of the season.

With leading clubs like Arsenal and Liverpool importing French managers, it comes as no surprise that the Football Association would be willing to appoint a foreigner as England coach when the time comes to find Glenn Hoddle's successor.

Noel White, the chairman of the FA's international selection committee, claimed the appointment would purely be made on the basis of track record and not of nationality.