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Football: Fergus: my time at Celtic is over.

FERGUS MCCANN'S reign at Celtic is over. He ceased being managing director on Wednesday and now chief executive-elect Allan MacDonald is in control of the club.

And the indications are that McCann will no longer be a British resident by the beginning of next week.

Speaking at a charity event in Glasgow, he confirmed he had given up the day-to-day running of the club. And while he refused to be drawn on his plans to leave the country, he gave a strong indication that head coach Jo Venglos will still be in charge of the team next season.

McCann said: "My contract has expired and now I am a

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non-executive director. Allan MacDonald will spend the majority of his time at Celtic Park from now on and he will take the day-to-day decisions.

"I think that in Allan and Frank O'Callaghan we have two outstanding people who are well equipped to take Celtic forward.

"I also think we have a high quality head coach and as far as I am concerned I hope he will continue."

If McCann wants to avoid paying around pounds 15million in tax when he sells his shares this summer, he will have to quit being a UK resident by the next tax year, which starts on Monday.

But he refused to answer directly whether or not he will be leaving the country this weekend.

McCann said: "I plan to go away on holiday very soon.

"I will be at the match at the weekend."

Asked if that will be the last Celtic game he attends for some time, he said: "I will be looking at things one game at a time as managers say."

He also confirmed that he will be selling his 50.3 per cent share in the club by the end of the summer, and that no one individual will have control of the club.

McCann said: "I will sell my shares in late summer, or early autumn.

"The important thing is that the personnel are in place and that there will never again by one person acting as the controlling shareholder

"All we need now is a general manager and we are talking to people at the moment."

There was evidence that McCann is feeling demob happy.

He was invited to the charity event to hand out prizes to volunteers of the Saffron Befriending Service - and made a pounds 3000 donation even though he hadn't been asked for one.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:Sinclair, Paul
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 2, 1999
Words:411
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