I remember when Jock Brown was appointed as Celtic General Manager back in 1997. I also remember asking why a former football commentator got a job of that magnitude. But then I think back and realise I was just 20 years old and that information we have now at our fingertips was nowhere near what we have now and the question was borne out of lack of available information, than ignorance.
Jock Brown had a controversial career at Celtic and he was roundly blamed for Wim Jansen leaving the Hoops after he famously stopped their Glasgow rivals from winning 10 in a row. But speaking to Soccer Supernova YouTube Channel today, Brown revealed the press hostility against Celtic back in his day was huge because he stopped their leaks about Celtic’s business getting to them.
Brown reflected on his part and said, “That was a big mistake, huge mistake (stopping the leaks) and it happened twice. When we brought in Josef Venglos nobody knew. And it was always one of the problems for me. It was part of my brief was to cut all the leaks Celtic park.
“I can tell you before, before I went there and through the 80s and 90s. It was a joke in the world of football that everything leaked out of Celtic Park like a sieve. The directors would have to pick up a tabloid to find out what was going on because it was been the tabloids before they knew And one of the things the board that team was determined to do was stop that, and I was charged with the task of stopping it.
Who should be the next Celtic Manager?
“I said well ‘How to do that? I think can do that’. However, there’ll be a price to pay. A huge price to pay. And I’ll be the one paying. Because as soon as the press, discover why the leaks are no longer effective, they’ll identify the reason for that, namely me. And I would be under attack. And that’s exactly what happened.
“And it was the success and stopping the leaks, which I think the biggest impact and me being attacked relentlessly. So I brought produced Wim Jansen. Nobody knew nobody knew who was coming in the door for the press conference, nobody had a clue who was coming in the door.
“And, I mean, every paper was speculating when even printed on the front page, a picture of a man I had never heard of. I said this is the new Celtic manager. And that must have been very embarrassing for those who are doing it.
“The fact that I was not helping them to identify them meant I was not very popular man. So, in terms of stopping leaks, we were very successful and we retained that success for a long time after I left.”
This is the first part of an extremely interesting conversation by Jock on this episode of Celtic’s history and, for me, gives an excellent insight to Jock’s role in Celtic’s rise in the late 90’s and how he was wrongly vilified by the Celtic support.
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