Falkirk: Ex-Celtic chief scout John Park poised for role after takeover

Mark Campbell's plans involve building new facilities at the Falkirk Stadium, including a youth academy.
Mark Campbell's plans involve building new facilities at the Falkirk Stadium, including a youth academy

Former Celtic chief scout John Park is to become Falkirk's football director after a "multi-million pound" takeover of the League One club.

The Falkirk board have begun "detailed negotiations" with English businessman Mark Campbell with a view to finalising a deal by the end of August.

The move would see an "an initial seven-figure cash injection".

The club say that will allow funds for Park to spend if negotiations are done before the transfer window closes.

"Further significant investment in player recruitment is planned on the club's return to the Championship and its push for promotion to the Premiership," read a Falkirk statement.

Park - a former academy director at Hibernian - was chief scout at Celtic from 2007 to 2016 and was credited with identifying the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Victor Wanyama, and Moussa Dembele.

He had been linked with a return to Celtic Park following Neil Lennon's appointment, and was also rumoured to be close to a move to Sunderland.

"I am looking forward to working with the football management team and revitalising the development of young players," Park said. "Youth development will be an essential part of the club's future."

Who is Campbell and what are his plans?

The club say Campbell has interests in sport, real estate and coffee retailing and is offering "an exciting and ambitious vision through a multi-million pound investment in the club and its facilities".

His proposal would concentrate on returning the club to the top flight as well as building new facilities at the Falkirk Stadium, including a youth academy.

The club withdrew funding from their youth academy at the end of 2017 due to financial reasons.

Campbell, who is still to complete diligence and finalise negotiations, says he has wanted to own a club for some time and has been "hugely impressed" by Falkirk.

"I've looked at a number in England and Scotland, but when I was introduced to Falkirk I saw huge potential and an opportunity to achieve something special," he said.

"The club has a large and loyal fan base and I want to work with these fans and the staff to make the club everything that it should be.

"I am interested in the long term sustainability of the club, which will have an exceptional football director in John Park."

Falkirk say Campbell's offer was one of three considered and was "unanimously" deemed to be the preferred option.

The club described a fan ownership pitch as "detailed and impressive", but said it lacked the "vision and financial strength" of the chosen bid.

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