The Irish News Archive - Sep 10 1998: Celtic move closer to ending bitter internal strife

Celtic captain Tom Boyd is faced by Andy McLaren during the Celts 2-1 win over Kilmarnock at Celtic Park, Glasgow
The Irish News Archive

CELTIC players and management yesterday moved to end the bitter internal strife that has rocked the Scottish champions by enlisting a top agent to act as mediator on all future financial discussions.

The move, endorsed by managing director Fergus McCann and general manager Jock Brown, calls a truce on the row over bonus payments which marred the buildup to the club’s recent Champions League qualifying exit.

Paul Stretford, of Proactive Sports Management Ltd, is the third party who will now play a key role in restoring working relations between disillusioned players and the Parkhead hierarchy.

McCann, while not divulging what bonus agreement has been agreed ahead of the club’s UEFA Cup first round tie against Portuguese side Vitoria Guimaraes next week, stressed he hoped the matter would now be put to rest.

“The recent dispute regarding bonus plans is no longer an issue of conflict and relations are good,” he said.

“Indeed, Jock Brown has encouraged the players to appoint a representative to deal with any financial issues regarding their work as a group, and they have done so.

“I am assured by Tom Boyd that all future matters will be discussed amicably and in confidence, and the management will take the same approach.”

DESPITE a superb effort by Jimmy Heggarty, Damian Mooney held firm and retained the Ulster PGA Championship title at Castle Hume yesterday. The Fermanagh District Council-backed tournament was delayed in the morning for one hour because of rain but once the action got under way Mooney buckled down to the task in hand of being the first player to retain the title since 1987 when Billy Todd performed the feat at Co Armagh. Heggarty, already a three-time winner, was also determined to make life difficult for the holder, who was his playing partner.

Mooney held a four strokes lead over Heggarty and Gordon Fairweather starting the last round. Fairweather dropped out of the hunt but Heggarty, in his usual style, battled bravely to get on terms but the champion wasn’t letting go.

Neil Manchip had half-adozen birdies on his card in a round of 68 but and opening 81 left him far too much ground to make up. Paul Russell was round in 69 shots after an opening 73 to lurch up the leaderboard. Russell, out in two-underpar 34 had five birdies in his round.

Down girl Leona Ferris will join the stars of hurling on the Croke Park stage at half-time during Sunday’s All-Ireland Final.

The 10-year-old from Drumaness, who represents Rosconnor Gaels hurlers and Drumaness Camogie Club, won through county and Ulster trials to participate in the schools sevens event.

Gene Kelly was a sharpshooter with Eire Og and Carlow for over 20 years on football fields around Ireland – now he’s a sharpshooter on the golf course as he is proving in the Carlsberg West Coast Challenge.

Kelly, after first place with 43 points at Strandhill yesterday, has shot to the top of the individual leaderboard with four points to spare over the chasing pack going into the last day’s play.

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