Haughey denies wishing to buy Desmond’s Celtic shares

A LEADING Scottish businessman has dismissed reports that it is looking to buy Dermot Desmond’s stake in Glasgow Celtic football club.

Willie Haughey, a millionaire businessman in the city, denied moving to take a controlling interest in Celtic from Mr Desmond, who owns 20.5% of the club’s shares. Mr Haughey is a former director of the club, but was removed by chairman Fergus McCann.

He has recently pulled out of Scottish league club Livingston prompting speculation that he had met with Mr Desmond at his luxury Sandy Lane resort in Barbados last month to discuss the cost of the transaction. This would then allow Mr Desmond to make a bid for Manchester United and bring Celtic’s manager with him to replace Alex Ferguson.

“There is not a shred of truth in this story,” he told the Glasgow Evening Times newspaper. “For one thing, I have never been to Barbados. I’ve also never spoken to Dermot about the possibility of buying any, never mind all, of his shares.

“As for my investment with Livingston, it was always going to be a four-year deal and they have now repaid that loan. Anyone who believes that that would be enough for me to buy Celtic is just off their head.”

Interim results from Celtic show a further loss of stg£6 million bringing the overall losses to stg£24m. The company’s shares are also at an all-time low after turnover for the period tumbled 17.5% to stg£30m because the club did not qualify to compete in the UEFA Champions League.

Mr Haughey added: “This is simply not true. There is no chance of me buying any major block of shares at this time. In fact, I haven’t spoken to anyone about buying up shares, and no one has contacted me, either.”

Mr Desmond is not the only high profile Irishman with shares in Celtic. Eddie Jordan and Denis O’Brien also pumped money into the club a couple of years ago.

More in this section

IE logo


The Business Hub

News and analysis on business, money and jobs from Munster and beyond by our expert team of business writers.

Sign up
Puzzles logo

Puzzles hub

News Wrap

A lunchtime summary of content highlights on the Irish Examiner website. Delivered at 1pm each day.

Sign up
Cookie Policy Privacy Policy FAQ Help Contact Us Terms and Conditions

© Irish Examiner Ltd