Fergus McCann pays tribute to Wim Jansen as legendary ex-Celtic owner praises his ‘incredible career’


Former Celtic owner Fergus McCann has paid tribute to Wim Jansen.

McCann, who saved the Hoops in 1994, spoke out after his former manager’s death was confirmed on Tuesday.

The Dutchman, who has died aged 75, was in charge of the Glasgow giants at a time when McCann was in charge in the 1997-98 season.

That season Celtic memorably won the league title, denying rivals Rangers their tenth successive crown.

Jansen, who also won the Scottish League Cup in his only campaign in charge, was also the manager who worked with McCann to oversee the arrival of club legend Henrik Larsson from his former club Feyenoord.

Celtic football training in March 1998 when Paul Lambert and Wim Jansen share a joke
Celtic football training in March 1998 when Paul Lambert and Wim Jansen share a joke

Fergus McCann, who now lives in Canada, told the Record: “I am so sorry to hear of Wim’s passing. He had an amazing career.

“Winning the European Cup with Feyenoord and playing two World Cup finals in ’74 and ’78.

And of course being Celtic’s head coach and winning the league title in a very important year.

“My thoughts are with his wife Coby and his family. May he rest in peace.”

In 1994, Celtic faced the biggest crisis in their history with the threat of bankruptcy staring the club in the face.

Wim Jansen is the manager who signed Henrik Larsson to Celtic in 1997
Wim Jansen is the manager who signed Henrik Larsson to Celtic in 1997

During the first few months of the year, they were even closer to the brink before being rescued minutes early thanks to McCann’s intervention.

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McCann and Jansen had a well-documented rocky relationship after Fergus brought Jansen to the club in 1997 to replace Tommy Burns.

In 1998, Jansen resigned as manager less than 48 hours after guiding the club to the league title.

At the time it was reported that a miscommunication with general manager Jock Brown, in addition to McCann’s reluctance to match the Rangers’ buying power in the transfer market, led Jansen to exercise his opt-out clause in his contract. .

McCann then insisted that Jansen’s decision to resign would not dampen his appetite for success.

He said: “Celtic have overcome adversity and gotten stronger and stronger every season for the last four years.

“I have no doubt that this will continue next season as the club progresses and rises.

“A lot of people said it was wrong to appoint a new manager at this time last year and there were headlines screaming criticism at the appointment of Wim Jansen.

“But despite all the noise, Celtic have not lost sight of the ball, they have won the League and the League Cup, a 60,000-seat stadium will hold 50,000 season ticket holders and the stage is set for the next exciting stage in Europe. Celtic history.

“All of this was not the result of one season or one man’s efforts,” McCann added. “I want to pay tribute to everyone at the club, especially the players, all of whom have worked very hard to achieve success, some for four years or more.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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