Football: Celtic to move out of town

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The Independent Online
CELTIC said yesterday they are pressing ahead with plans to move into a purpose-built stadium at Cambuslang, on the outskirts of Glasgow. The current board also outlined plans to recast the capital structure of the club within the next six months in order to realise funds.

The Cambuslang project, which many observers have long viewed with scepticism, will become a reality, according to David Smith, the deputy chairman, who said: 'The pounds 20m cornerstone funding has been guaranteed by a leading financial institution and will lead to the most exciting proposal any team in this country and even Europe could contemplate.'

Detailed planning is expected to take around four weeks before work can begin on the stadium, which will hold 40,000 spectators, with an

indoor arena for 10,000 as part of the complex.

The Celtic board have gone further in an attempt to find a compromise to suit all parties, and will next week issue a motion for an EGM to make 25,000 shares available, at pounds 240 each, which would generate revenue of pounds 6m, the majority of which would be given to the manager, Lou Macari, to strengthen the team. This issue will be followed, some time over the next year, with a public issue of shares, and a board of directors will be appointed in addition to form Celtic plc, which would own and run the stadium complex.

Smith made it clear that the current board are prepared to yield control for the good of the club. 'It is very unlikely that any of the present directors will serve on the board of the public company. We will look to appoint a chairman designate who would be sufficiently strong-minded to appoint his own board from people with Celtic leanings.'

The directors, who have endured increasing pressure over the last few months, have given a clear indication of the future direction of the club although many people refuse to believe that the plans will provide a panacea for the club's ills.