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JULY 31, 2001

Jordan buys into Soccer

EDDIE JORDAN has invested $1.5 million into Scottish soccer champions Celtic. The team has qualified, as national champions, for the lucrative European Champions League.

Jordan's investment coincides with Celtic's recent share offering, which offers investors returns linked to the team's success in European competition after a renaissance in the 2000-2001 under new coach Martin.

Jordan is a friend of Dermot Desmond, who owns a large stake in Celtic, London City Airport and the Sandy Lane Hotel in Barbados and introduced Jordan to one of his former companies, Esat Digiphone, now a Jordan team sponsor. Jordan is also a football aficionado, being a mad fan of Coventry City in the English Premier League, and a friend of JP MacManus, the Irish horseracing magnate who recently acquired a 7% stake in Manchester United.

Celtic, which is hoping to raise $37.5m from the share offer, said it was unaware of EJ's interest, but Jordan's name was included in the new allocation of shares announced this morning (Tuesday) in an extraordinary general meeting to approve the terms of the offer.

Jordan's interest will come as a welcome fillip to Celtic, which wanted to use the scheme to kick-start interest in the football sector. Some weekend media reports that Jordan was poised to buy a stake in Manchester United seem to have been wide of the mark.