HeadLine: SCOTTISH FOOTBALL IN CRISIS: Celtic chief Desmond’s trail of
The Mirror, 13/05/2002, p5
by SHAUN MILNE
THERE was little to give away how close the Old Firm were to joining
their English counterparts.
But it was Celtic tycoon Dermot Desmond who left a trail that gave the
Just over a week ago the multi-millionaire had an informal meeting in
the resplendent Dorchester Hotel in London.
It was with the Football League’s chairman Keith Harris, a life-long
Manchester Utd fan. Desmond, a 51-year-old financier from Dublin saw a
unique opportunity with the demise of ITV Digital which would allow the
Old Firm to finally claim their place in the English league.
He set the ball rolling.
And the stage was set for Desmond and Rangers’ supremo David Murray to
hold hush-hush talks with the Football League.
Last Thursday they met with Harris at Murray’s Scottish pile, Dunbarney
House, in the Bridge of Earn, Perthshire, where everything bar the fine
print was agreed on.
It means this Thursday will see the prospect of Rangers and Celtic will
being invited to join the Nationwide.
The men said their goodbyes, promising to keep in close touch and to be
Within hours, Desmond snapped up almost three million more shares in
The deal, worth around £1.33million, makes him by far the biggest
investor in the Glasgow club, with a 20.5 per cent stake.
The first most people knew about it was when they read the exclusive
tale in Saturday’s Daily Mirror, and the cat was out of the bag.
A leading football financial analyst said Desmond has made himself “The
ultimate Celtic power broker and created a new dynasty at the club”.
The expert, who didn’t wish to be named, added: “Celtic’s share prices
have dropped from £2.80 two years ago to 50p.”
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