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John McGinn ("Jack McGinn")Jack McGinn was appointed to the club in 1965, being taken on to establish and run the Celtic View. With his background in publishing he saw a niche to get the club's views across to the fans without going through the mainstream media. He was given a grant by the Board to set the newspaper up and this was easily paid back within the first season. McGinn was the View's first Editor.
The venture was so successful that he was appointed Commercial Manager in 1981 and given a seat on the Board
Following the death of Desmond White in July 1985 he was appointed Vice Chairman and with the death of Tom Devlin in September 1986 he became the Chairman.
His reign was never an easy one, and it was in particular during his reign that the term "Biscuit Tin" was first coined by the fanzines to describe the board's handling of finances at the club.
He was responsible for the re-appointment of Billy McNeill as Manager at the end of the 1986-87 season and the sacking of Davie Hay, and a prime mover of the plans to relocate the club and build a 'super-stadium' at Cambuslang but he resigned as Chairman of Celtic on 17th October 1991 prior to the launch of the plans. He still maintained contact with Celtic as a non-executive Director at the club.
He retained his position on the Board after Fergus McCann's take-over of the club but on the 4th August 1994 he announced his intention to stand down (after being asked to stand aside by the new Board). He still maintained some kind of role and was said to be a 'Legislative Advisor"' to the club.
In the meantime he had also been appointed as Treasurer of the SFA and he continued in that post. He went on to become SFA Vice-Chairman and President of the SFA in 1997. He resigned as President prior to his 70th birthday, in the summer of 2003 but he retained his positions as a Scotland representative of Uefa's club competitions committee and Fifa's World Club Championship committee.
It is difficult to assess Jack McGinn's influence and period at Celtic as a fan. Without doubt an able manager and organiser, he presided over the Board at a time when the predominantly 'family' ownership of the club was being seriously questioned. Under his Chairmanship the club missed vital opportunites in a period when the influence, mass appeal and money in football was expanding rapidly. It took the McCann 'revolution' to bring Celtic into the modern age. Jack McGinn's period in office spans this crucial period in the club's history.
QuotesMcCann recalls: "The stadium had to be rebuilt and peoplewere saying why don't you just buy the players Fergus? We'll stand in the mud.
But the stadium was a tool. We had to have a season-ticket base. Jack McGinn was saying, "We don't want season-ticket holders, they are nothing but trouble." Well, I just couldn't live with that marketing philosophy at all.The answer is that you have got to fill the park. The average crowd was 28,000 and we built a 60,000- seat stadium. How smart was that? Well, it was the right thing to do."
Fergus McCann highlightsMcGinn's comment, and possibility illustrates why the old board member's mentality and why they weren't good enough to manage the club then or after the takeover.
- After the atrocious refereeing of the Legue Cup (Skol C up) Final in October 1986, the manager David Hay had asked for McGinn to resign from the Scottish League Management Committee as a protest. This proposal sank without trace and it is interesting to note the further rise of Jack McGinn through the halls of power at both the Scottish League and FA later in his career. An earlier protest resignation would no doubt have somewhat stunted that glorious rise.
- His grandson Stephen McGinn is a player for St Mirren, and in 2007 scored against Celtic, but in Oct 2008 he scored the single goal to win a game against Rangers that put Celtic to the top of the table (if Rangers had drawn at least they'd have gone back up to the top).
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