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Kheredine Idessane reports
"Appointing John Barnes was a high-risk strategy"
 real 28k

BBC Scotland's Jim Spence reports
"Can John Barnes survive? That's the question on the lips of football fans everywhere"
 real 28k

Former Celtic manager Billy McNeill
"It was a major shock to be honest"
 real 28k

Andrew Cassell reports from Parkhead
"An intolerable humiliation for Celtic fans"
 real 28k

Scottish football finance expert Stephen Morrow
"It has implications for Celtic's business aspirations"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 9 February, 2000, 19:05 GMT
Celtic chief plans 'full review'

John Barnes montage John Barnes: Where now?

What now for Celtic? Should John Barnes be sacked? Should the players shoulder the blame? Perhaps you want to congratulate Caley Thistle. Click here to send us your views. Click here to read your views.

Celtic are "urgently addressing" the club's position amid calls for coach John Barnes to be sacked after their Scottish Cup defeat by Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

Chief executive Allan MacDonald has described the 3-1 embarrassment at Parkhead as "totally unacceptable to myself, my fellow directors and simply not good enough for the Celtic support".

Allan MacDonald: "Performance unacceptable"
In a statement, he said: "I am addressing this situation as a matter of urgency with our Director of Football Kenny Dalglish, who is returning this evening from club business overseas.

"The situation will be fully reviewed immediately on his return."

Angry fans protested outside the ground after the defeat and called for Barnes to be fired.

Shares slump

The result marked the biggest Scottish Cup shock in more than 30 years of football and hit the club financially.

Celtic's shares dropped by four-and-a-half per cent when trading opened on Wednesday morning, wiping 3m off its value.

Barnes, he former Liverpool idol who took up the head coach job at the start of the season, is now facing louder calls for his resignation.

To be honest if the situation does not improve by the end of the season, I won't have to consider my situation, it will be done for me
John Barnes

The anticipated Celtic renaissance under the dream-team of Kenny Dalglish as director of football and Barnes, albeit an inexperienced choice of coach, has failed to materialise.

Worse still for the Parkhead fans, Rangers are marching away in the Premier League and look set to lift this year's title.

'Internal problem'

During the post-match inquest, Barnes put a brave face on his position and insisted he would not resign.

But he hinted at a half-time bust-up with players and also admitted that what happens over the next few days may not be within his control.

Kenny Dalglish Kenny Dalglish: Not much to smile about
The Tuesday night match saw Mark Viduka replaced at the interval, despite being the Parkhead club's leading scorer, and Ian Wright came on in his place before Paul Sheerin's 57th-minute penalty sealed a famous win.

When asked why Viduka was withdrawn, Barnes said: "We had a bit of problem which we will deal with internally.

"In the coming days we will have more to say about that.

"There was a situation so there is no real point hiding that fact.

Meetings planned

"It will all come out in the next few days. I don't want to say very much now.

"I want to focus on what a disappointing performance this was overall.

Blinker and Tokely Regi Blinker and Ross Tokely vie for possession
"It was a serious situation and there will be meetings about it in the coming days. After that we'll issue a statement."

Viduka has emerged as Celtic's most influential player since Henrik Larsson broke his leg and the Australian striker has already been linked with a possible move to either England or Spain.

Barnes went on: "To be honest if the situation does not improve by the end of the season, I won't have to consider my situation, it will be done for me.

'Magnitude of disaster'

"Right now however I'm not considering my position because I still feel we have a lot to play for, even so I'm not belittling the magnitude of this disaster."

Former Celtic manager Billy McNeill believes John Barnes can survive, his long-term future was by no means certain.

I think it's the worst Celtic result ever without a doubt
Bob Crampsey
"I for one will not be calling for the managers head because I think that continuity is much better than regular changes," said McNeill, who is still a legend among the Celtic support as a member of the famous "Lisbon Lions" who won the European Cup in 1967.

"Certainly John Barnes is going to need an awful lot of confidence in his own ability to get over this one. He's got to go back through the process of proving himself very strenuously to the Celtic supporters that he's the man for the job," said McNeill.

Caley fans Caley fans could hardly believe the result
And he blamed the lack of commitment of some of the multi-million pound imports at Parkhead, players who he said lack the passion to play for the club:

"I am old fashioned and I think Celtic need a core of players who know what the club is all about, understand the background and the makeup of the club and really feel proud to be playing for them."

Bob Crampsey, who wrote the club's centenary history, said: "I think it's the worst Celtic result ever without a doubt. What was surprising was not the defeat but the ease with which the defeat was accomplished, and the margin."

"There are over 50 players on the Celtic books and I think it's yet another indication of the amount of dead wood there is on the books at Parkhead at the moment.

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See also:
09 Feb 00 |  Scotland
Inverness does Highland fling
09 Feb 00 |  Scotland
Caley win amongst cup upset greats
08 Feb 00 |  Football
Caley's minnows slay Celtic

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