Quinn's bad call puts strain on relationship with O'Neill

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The Independent Football

Wrong numbers of all sorts were coming back yesterday to haunt Celtic, whose manager and chairman seemed to be heading for a stand-off about how much money is being invested in the Scottish champions.

Wrong numbers of all sorts were coming back yesterday to haunt Celtic, whose manager and chairman seemed to be heading for a stand-off about how much money is being invested in the Scottish champions.

Martin O'Neill and Brian Quinn have been at odds over the exact figure of the Parkhead wage bill but the latter's attempt to establish his authority on the issue could have damaged the pair's relationship with a misplaced phone call.

Quinn inadvertently phoned Kayley Elkington, 18, of Walsall, instead of the club's PR executive, saying "I'm trying to head off yet another storm created by our esteemed manager who has now, I believe, contradicted the numbers I used in the radio interview. I'm not going to be made a liar by Martin O'Neill so you are going to have to use your skills to try and defuse this thing. Bye."

The call appeared to have been prompted by O'Neill's declaration in Sunday newspapers that Celtic's playing squad wage bill was well short of the £40m that Quinn had earlier said was the correct sum.

Quinn had claimed that only five teams in the English Premiership had a bigger wage bill than Celtic.

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