Fergus flies into exile… economy class, of course


Daily Record, 06/04/1999, p21

THEY think it’s all over – it is now.
Celtic supremo Fergus McCann finally bowed out of Scotland yesterday taking his young family with him.
In doing so, he avoided extra time in Britain which would have cost
him £5million in tax when he sells his shares in the Parkhead
club this summer.
He’s made his millions by being careful.
And in true Fergus McCann style, he indulged in one last act of
thriftiness as he substituted life with Celtic for a new life abroad.
At Glasgow Airport he checked in himself, wife Elspeth and children
Ishbel, three, Juliet, one, and 12-day-old Malcolm George, at Sabena
airlines’ economy class departures desk.
Staff never batted an eyelid as the millionaire handed over the
tickets which would bring down the curtain on his life in Scotland.
Struggling with a dozen or so bulging suitcases, he muttered thanks
to those handful of Hoops fans who wished him Bon Voyage.
Elspeth took a stolen moment to rest her head on Fergus’s shoulder as
he cradled his children.Then with a hug and a handshake to a friend,
they walked up the ramp leading to flight number SN682 bound for Brussels at 10.50am.
Clutching his two eldest children, Fergus strode forward towards his
new life, Elspeth red-eyed from her goodbyes at his side, new-born
Malcolm strapped to her chest.
And the Fergus McCann era was at an end.
His shares in the club will be bought and sold, the uncertainty over
the team manager remains and a championship is still to be decided.
But, a world-class stadium and a league title means he will live on
in the hearts and minds of Celtic fans. A fitting legacy for the man
who took control in 1994, saving the club from bankruptcy.
Yesterday he awoke at 7am knowing his time in his £250,000
Glasgow house was at an end. A paperboy delivered his Daily Record,
allowing him to ponder over a picture of himself inside.
Fergus, 57, had spent much of Easter Sunday packing up his family’s
If he had stayed in this country any longer, he would have faced the
huge tax bill when he sells his interest in Celtic.
He will pocket £40million when he severs his shares link after more than quadrupling his £9million investment in just five years.
Fergus stepped down as managing director on Wednesday leaving the
club in the hands of chief executive elect Allan MacDonald. He’ll
complete the sale of his controlling interest in the next few weeks.
But first Fergus and his family will arrive in Brussels before
heading to the south of France for a holiday.
Friends say they will then head to Hamilton, Bermuda, where he owns a
luxury apartment before their expected final destination in the US or
Montreal, Canada.
Fergus refused to answer any questions as he left yesterday. But he
couldn’t resist a wry smile when asked if he would be checking the
Celtic score on Saturday.


Categories: by Shaun Milne, Daily Record articles

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