‘I don’t think there’s anything in that’: Celtic interim boss Kennedy rubbishes reports of Conor McGregor interest in buying club
Celtic caretaker manager John Kennedy has slammed reports that UFC superstar Conor McGregor could be poised to make a bid for the Glasgow giants, saying that he doesn't "think there's anything in that at all".
McGregor stoked rumors that he could be set to invest heavily in a football club with a couple of recent tweets in which he indicated his interest in both Manchester United and Celtic – two teams who claim significant support in McGregor's home country of Ireland.
The fighter's supposed interest in entering sports ownership came amid massive fan furore regarding Manchester United's participation in the ill-fated European Super League, which threatened to inflict a civil war at the top of the European football pyramid and led to intense protests in and around the club's Old Trafford home.
United and their owners, the US-based Glazer family, have since recanted their involvement in the breakaway league, but fan fury remains amid accusations that the ownership group has lumbered significant debt on the famous club.
Hey guys, I’m thinking about buying Manchester United! What do you think?— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) April 20, 2021
A conversation came up regarding Celtic first to be honest. To acquire shares from Dermot Desmond. I am certainly interested in acquiring a sports team at some stage! Both Celtic and Man United are teams I like for sure. But I am open. I feel I could do big things for a club. https://t.co/KgD9qnYipP— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) May 9, 2021
United would likely be an asset of which McGregor would be priced out of despite his reported wealth, although Glasgow Celtic could potentially be a more reasonable targe, with recent estimates valuing the Scottish team at around $141 million.
But Kennedy doesn't see the talk as realistic.
"I think last week he was at Man United as well," Kennedy joked at a press conference ahead of Celtic's game with St. Johnstone.
"It looks like he’s trying to get his teeth into football somehow. But I don’t think there’s anything in that at all."
McGregor's overtures to buy the club have been endorsed by Scotland's most famous UFC star, Paul Craig, who said that any McGregor investment would increase the club's profile massively.
"He’s the golden goose in our sport and to have somebody like that talking about buying shares in Celtic is something that the club should be excited about," Craig said to The Daily Record.
"If he became involved, the worldwide media coverage would go through the roof. Their fanbase is already huge but they’d add millions to it overnight.
"Merchandising would be off the scale."
Any concerns about whether or not McGregor would be able to pay the bill have been eased after it was revealed on Wednesday that the Irishman stands alone as the best-paid sports star in the world for 2021.
Financial publication Forbes calculated McGregor's earnings for this year at $180 million, with around $22 million of that coming from his January fight with Dustin Poirier and a further $158 million coming as a result of his various endorsements and the recent sale of majority ownership of his whiskey, Proper No. Twelve.Also on rt.com ‘I could do big things for a club’: UFC superstar Conor McGregor opens up on Manchester United ownership interest