Scottish Football: McCann ready for challenge

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The Independent Online
FERGUS McCANN will ease himself into the chief executive's chair at Celtic Park today knowing that although he has won the battle for control of Celtic the job of taking a proud club back to the top of the Scottish game will take some time, writes David McKinney.

If he needs any indication of the measure of the task ahead of himself and his fellow directors, who constituted a new board on Friday night, he need only open his papers and see Rangers sitting six points clear at the top of the Premier Division, seven ahead of Celtic.

More than that, the Ibrox club have won the last six domestic trophies and it is their stranglehold on the Scottish game McCann must seek to loosen.

Before he can do that he must first loosen the purse-strings to bring quality players to the club and he will not have been fooled by the 1-0 win over St Johnstone on Saturday. Paul Byrne scored for Celtic after 80 seconds, but the side steered a downhill course after that.

McCann has promised several million pounds will be allocated to the manager, Lou Macari, and, with the help of the fans whose boycott of last Tuesday's game against Kilmarnock helped precipitate the takeover, he plans to invest in a new stadium at Celtic Park.

Celtic's fall and rise, page 14