THE financial expert who helped plan the takeover of Celtic in 1994 has called for truth in the economic debate on indyref2 and admitted to fears over sectarian tensions.

David Low, the financial adviser who helped bring Celtic back from the brink of oblivion when he engineered a boardroom coup with Fergus McCann, said: “I accept there has always been a minority of people in Scotland in favour of independence but if the Nationalists want to convince the majority is has to be on economic grounds. Trying to scare the bejesus out of them about how awful the Tories are is not a logical reason to vote for something as radical as independence.”

He said Yes campaigners must seek to disarm the economic case that was used so powerfully against independence in the last referendum.

“I don’t think what was on the table then was true independence,” he says. “One of the politicians I respect most is Jim Sillars because he is honest,” he says of the former deputy leader of the SNP. “His agenda is one of proper economic independence, for better or for worse. People like him think we should not be in the UK or EU, have our own currency and central bank, and say that is proper independence. I have respect for that view.”

He adds: “The reality is that an independent Scotland would have to finance a significant deficit despite not being able to be truly independent with its fiscal policy. There would too much economic pain for too many people.”

His main appeal is for honesty. “I would be asking all politicians to tell the truth. This is particularly true for the Yes campaign. They have more likelihood of getting a vote for independence if they tell the truth. You can only get so far blaming the Westminster Government or trading misleading figures,” he said.

“People can be swayed by emotional arguments but the economic one will be decisive,” he said.

A lifetime Celtic supporter and long-time season ticket holder, he was interested in comments by a club director and former Labour MP, Brian Wilson, who said the SNP were engaged in a “deliberate attempt to sectarianise Scottish politics”.

Low does not endorse that view but has “fears” over the referendum. “There is a significant proportion of people in Scotland who love being British. Amongst them are a minority of militant types. Hell will freeze over before they will ever accept an independent Scotland.”

Read the full interview tomorrow in issue 2 of Bella Caledonia!