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Sportsound: Managing the Old Firm

Chick Young with former Celtic manager Wim Jansen
Chick meets Wim Jansen, the Celtic boss who ended Rangers' bid for 10 in a row

Only 17 men still alive know what it is like to be an Old Firm manager and Chick Young set about interviewing them all as part of a unique documentary series for BBC Radio Scotland.


From David White, who was only the fourth manager in the history of Rangers, through John Barnes and Paul Le Guen and their brief stints in Glasgow, right up to Walter Smith in his current spell at Ibrox, this first documentary features clips from all of the interviews in the series.

Chick talks to Billy McNeill, John Greig, David Hay, Graeme Souness, Liam Brady, Lou Macari, Wim Jansen, Dick Advocaat, Dr Jo Venglos, Martin O'Neill, Alex McLeish and Gordon Strachan, plus there is archive audio of his interviews with Tony Mowbray while he was at the helm at Celtic.

Former Rangers manager David White, the oldest surviving Old Firm manager
David White was Rangers' fourth manager in their history

In the second programme, the oldest surviving Old Firm boss, Davie White, talks about how he unexpectedly landed the Rangers job in 1969 and his difficult relationship with sports writer and eventual successor Willie Waddell.

John Greig and Billy McNeill are the only respective captains of Rangers and Celtic to have lifted European trophies and, in 1978, both found themselves thrust into the manager's role at the clubs where they had spent their entire playing career.

Both talk candidly about the challenges they faced - on and off the pitch. For Greig, being Rangers manager was a stressful time for him and his family, while McNeill was frustrated by a lack of money to strengthen his squad.

David Hay discusses the extremes of his time as Celtic manager, including a remarkable league title win in 1986, and the bitter disappointment of losing his job the following year.

Walter Smith and Chick Young
Smith tells Chick of his delight at being offered the Rangers job

Graeme Souness talks about revolutionising Rangers in the 1980s and the sensational signing of former Celtic striker Maurice Johnston.

When Souness left Ibrox, his former assistant, Walter Smith, carried on Rangers' success in the 1990s. Smith discusses the club's record-equalling run of nine successive league championship wins and the players who contributed to that success.

Billy McNeill chats about his second spell as Celtic manager, including the club's famous centenary year league triumph in 1988. Liam Brady and Lou Macari faced challenges off the park as well as on it during their relative stints as Celtic boss and both give an insight to the boardroom drama at the club in the early 1990s.

Dick Advocaat and presenter Chick Young
Advocaat enjoyed a successful period in charge at Ibrox

Lou Macari discusses his short reign as manager of Celtic, during which time the club was famously taken over by businessman Fergus McCann.

Walter Smith talks about Rangers' record-equalling run of nine successive championship wins and calling time on his first spell as Ibrox boss. Celtic ended Rangers' hopes of making it 10-in-a-row in 1998 under the stewardship of Wim Jansen, who gives his thoughts on his eventful year in charge of the Parkhead club, which included the signing of Henrik Larsson.

Jansen's Dutch compatriot Dick Advocaat shares his experience of becoming Rangers' first foreign manager during a period of big-spending at Ibrox and Dr Jozef Venglos speaks fondly of his solitary season in charge of Celtic.

Martin O'Neill
O'Neill enjoyed instant success as Celtic manager

John Barnes talks about his brief tenure as Celtic boss, which ended in the wake of a shock Scottish Cup exit at the hands of Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

Martin O'Neill discusses restoring Celtic's fortunes by securing the domestic treble in his first season in charge.

The success of O'Neill's side put pressure on Rangers counterpart Dick Advocaat, who chats about breaking the Scottish transfer record with the capture of Tore Andre Flo before vacating the Ibrox hotseat.

Advocaat's successor, Alex McLeish, shares his experience of managing his boyhood heroes and winning trophies in his first few months in charge.

Gordon Strachan and Alex McLeish

In the sixth part of the series on managing Glasgow's famous rival football clubs, Martin O'Neill discusses Celtic's journey to Seville for the Uefa Cup final in 2003, where they suffered the heartache of an extra-time defeat to Jose Mourinho's Porto.

O'Neill and former Rangers boss Alex McLeish share their thoughts on two dramatic final-day Scottish Premier League title race conclusions.

And Gordon Strachan, now manager at Championship side Middlesbrough, talks about becoming Celtic boss and taking on his former Aberdeen team-mate, McLeish.

Paul Le Guen and Gordon Strachan
Le Guen's torrid reign at Ibrox ended after only seven months

In the final instalment, Chick tracks the rise and fall of Paul Le Guen at Rangers, the return to Ibrox of Walter Smith, and he speaks to Gordon Strachan about his time at Celtic Park.

Le Guen arrived in Glasgow with a glittering CV from his time at Lyon but struggled to adapt to life with Rangers in the Scottish Premier League and left after 31 matches in charge.

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see also
Rangers keep Smith for final year
25 May 10 |  Rangers
Mowbray's Celtic reign in pictures
25 Mar 10 |  Scottish Premier
Celtic sack manager Tony Mowbray
25 Mar 10 |  Celtic
Mowbray confirmed as Celtic boss
16 Jun 09 |  Celtic
Strachan resigns as Celtic boss
25 May 09 |  Celtic
Smith appointed boss of Rangers
10 Jan 07 |  Rangers
Le Guen and Rangers part company
04 Jan 07 |  Rangers
Rangers name Le Guen as manager
11 Mar 06 |  Rangers
End of an era as O'Neill resigns
25 May 05 |  Celtic
McLeish to leave Rangers in May
09 Feb 06 |  Rangers
Rangers unveil McLeish
11 Dec 01 |  Rangers
McNeill says Mo signed for Celtic
22 May 07 |  Scotland
The Two on One Interviews
22 May 07 |  Scotland

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