On this day in 2000: John Barnes dismissed as Celtic boss after eight months

PA Sport Staff
·2-min read

John Barnes was sacked as Celtic manager on this day in 2000 – just eight months and 29 games after his arrival in Glasgow.

With Jozef Venglos unable to steer the Hoops back to trophy success in his one season at the helm, Celtic turned to former favourite Kenny Dalglish to take them back to the top of Scottish football.

Dalglish had won four league titles with the club before his move to Liverpool and returned in June 1999 as director of football at Celtic Park.

He appointed former England winger Barnes – who had played under the Scot at Anfield – as the new head coach, despite no previous experience in the role.

Director of football Kenny Dalglish appointed Barnes.
Director of football Kenny Dalglish appointed Barnes (Ben Curtis/PA)

The partnership started well, Celtic winning 12 of their first 13 games under Barnes.

But a broken leg suffered by prolific striker Henrik Larsson in a UEFA Cup loss to Lyon not only threatened the Sweden international’s career – but also led to the downfall of his rookie manager.

A run of five losses in eight games, including a 4-2 loss to Rangers in Barnes’ first Old Firm derby, saw the pressure begin to build.

Paul Sherrin (left) scores as Inverness shock Celtic with a 3-1 win in the Scottish Cup - it would be Barnes' last game in charge.
Paul Sherrin (left) scores as Inverness shock Celtic with a 3-1 win in the Scottish Cup – it would be Barnes’ last game in charge (David Cheskin/PA)

Barnes was sacked on February 10 after Celtic were knocked out of the Scottish Cup by second-tier Inverness – a loss which led to the timeless newspaper headline ‘Super Caley Go Ballistic Celtic Are Atrocious’.

Dalglish took the reins and went on to win the League Cup before Martin O’Neill was appointed in the summer.

The ill-fated spell meant Barnes could not find work elsewhere for some time – going on to manage Jamaica for 11 games between 2008-09 and then spend four months in charge of Tranmere, winning just three matches.