Scottish Football: Celtic in 'phone tap'

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FERGUS McCANN, the Celtic chairman, is considering starting criminal proceedings against his Kilmarnock counterpart, Bob Fleeting, over a telephone conversation Fleeting allegedly recorded in America. The threat of legal action is the latest development in the dispute between the two clubs over the recruitment of Tommy Burns as the manager of Celtic.

McCann has already placed the prospect of a record pounds 100,000 Scottish League fine for hiring Burns in the hands of his lawyers. Celtic may become embroiled in further legal action over the club's recruitment of Burns's predecessor, Lou Macari. Stoke City are claiming they have not been paid compensation for Macari's departure a year ago. Macari, who has since returned to the Victoria Ground, has started legal action against the Parkhead club, claiming pounds 431,000 for damages for 'wrongful dismissal'.

The alleged incident involving the Fleeting telephone call came when the Kilmarnock chairman was on holiday in Florida and McCann requested permission to approach Burns. McCann said a transcript of the call was used in evidence when the Scottish League management committee imposed the fine.

'The evidence involved Mr Fleeting taping a telephone conversation. We believe this constituted entrapment,' McCann said. 'If someone tapes my conversation without my consent I think it is a very serious matter. I reported it to the police.'

Fleeting said last night: 'What tape is he talking about? I know of no tape. I find it abhorrent.'