Exclusive Photos: When the Old Board was forced to put seats in The Jungle

Celtic was skint. David Murray seemed to have discovered a bottomless financial pit and he was taking full advantage of the Bank of Scotland’s generosity to turn Rangers FC from a giant in the doldrums in the first half of the 1980s into a powerhouse of football with even genuine if unfounded optimism for some European glory.

Fergus McCann Celtic director MD with model of new east Stand for Celtic Park

Fergus McCann changed the landscape 

When English hooliganism got their sides banned from European football, Murray was able to take full advantage, bringing some of the top stars from South of the Border to play at Ibrox. Their stadium was one of the first to be redeveloped for the modern era and the irony of that is these days lost on no-one with a brain in their heads. When Fergus McCann arrived at Celtic he simply put in more seats and with that gained a huge advantage over the Ibrox club.

Celtic in the doldrums

The Jungle from The Celtic End

But that was later. Back in the early 1990s with Rangers on a title winning run that would eventually take them level with Jock Stein’s 9IAR from the mid-sixties to seventies, Celtic was in the doldrums themselves and there looked to be no way out. Money was tight, the quality of player was want it once was and there was pressure from Government after the Taylor Report to redevelop the stadium.

Celtic needed to do something quickly to buy some time and the plan was a budget conscious decision to put seats in the Jungle. The work was carried out, but ultimately Fergus McCann had grander plans for a new Celtic Park.

Thanks…Tom Grant

Former Celtic Stadium Director Tom Grant, as we mentioned earlier, kindly gave us a large collection of photographic prints and slides, some of which have already been published on our sister, The Celtic Star. Tom had these prints in his loft but wanted the Celtic support to see them. We still have many hundreds that have never been seen before and today we can show you some images of the seats being put into the Jungle.

Hope you enjoy…

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