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On this day in 2000: John Barnes sacked as Celtic manager


John Barnes was sacked as Celtic manager on this day in 2000.

The club’s decision to part company with the former Liverpool and England winger came two days after a humiliating Scottish Cup loss to second-tier Inverness.

Barnes had been in charge for just eight months and oversaw only 29 games.

Pressure had been building since a run of five defeats in eight games in the autumn, including a 4-2 reverse at Rangers in Barnes’ first Old Firm derby.

Form did not markedly improve and the cup shock – which prompted the memorable newspaper headline ‘Super Caley Go Ballistic Celtic Are Atrocious’ – proved the final straw.

Despite beginning his reign with 12 wins in his first 13 games, Barnes had struggled to win over fans and the 3-1 defeat by Caley was widely viewed as the club’s worst result in 30 years.

Director of football Kenny Dalglish said: “John Barnes is an admirable fellow and someone I think will go on in later years to establish himself as very successful in managing a football club. Unfortunately it won’t be at Celtic.”

Dalglish, who had brought his former Liverpool star Barnes to Parkhead, took over in a caretaker capacity for the remainder of the season.

He guided the Hoops to League Cup success before Martin O’Neill was appointed as Barnes’ full-time successor in the summer.

Barnes’ managerial career never took off as Dalglish predicted. He struggled to get back into the game after his ill-fated spell at Celtic and it was not until 2008, as manager of the Jamaica national side, he returned to management.

He was appointed Tranmere boss the following summer but he was sacked after winning just two of 11 league games at the start of the 2009-10 season.

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