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Shocker: John Barnes to Celtic

We think it’s safe to say that John Barnes career as a singer/artist went a little better than his time as a manager.

When will clubs learn that employing someone who was a good player back in the day doesn’t necessarily then mean they’re going to be a management wizard. Look at the state of Thierry Henry, Paul Scholes, Diego Maradona, Paul Gascoigne, Gary Neville and Alan Shearer, for example. Absolutely bobbins.

And the same goes for John Barnes.

Selected to be Celtic manager despite having no prior coaching experience under the watchful gaze of Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish, the club’s director of football at the time, there was only one place this appointment was going, and it wasn’t particularly nice.

If you’re prepared, think back to 8 February 2000. It’s painful, we know. John Barnes was already on the ropes after a less than desirable season at Parkhead which had seen the Hoops slip well behind Rangers in the race for the title (this alone was punishable by p45). His only chance of survival was beating Scottish league minnows Inverness Caledonian Thistle, a side who were still entirely part-time at the turn of the 21st century. A walk in the park, right? Should have been a cricket score, right? Surely no chance Celtic, one of the biggest teams in the land, would…lose, right? Wrong, on every count.

Inverness defeated the European giants 3-1 on the day thanks to goals from Barry Wilson, Bobby Mann and Sheerin. Three names that probably spin around Barnes’ head on repeat as he tries to sleep at night.

The former Liverpool star was booed off the pitch and sacked just two days later by chief executive Allan MacDonald, who went on to blame Celtic’s horrendous season entirely on Barnes. The club would finish 21 points behind Rangers in the Premiership at the end of the term.

Celtic fans, is Barnes one of your worst ever appointments? Join the discussion by commenting below…


Shocker: John Barnes to Celtic
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Article title: Shocker: John Barnes to Celtic

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