Channel 4 News “Completely incorrect, no-one ever trained in that building,” confirm Celtic FC

ALEX THOMSON’S second-of-two reports into child abuse in Scottish football on Thursday evening, broadcast on Channel 4 News exclusively concentrated on Celtic, despite the overwhelming evidence available pointing to this horrible issue being widespread throughout football in Scotland, at all levels of the game.

Niall J on The Celtic Star last night provided an overall review of Thomson’s output and the surrounding material and information that was available to him that he choose to ignore completely.

You really should read that before continuing this article, the first of two that we will be publishing this today about Thomson’s flawed report.

Celtic, despite the claims made by Thomson over his two night hatchet-job, have been very clear in explaining their position and they re-stated this again on Wednesday afternoon via a statement that was published on the club’s official website. Anyone who has not read that statement from Celtic can catch up HERE.

After Thomson’s Thursday night introduction, the first person to speak did so anonymously, which given the subject matter is something that is entirely understandable. That man started by saying this:

“What I hope to see is that people like me coming forward raising the issues send a beckon of hope to other victims to know that if they do come forward you’ll be believed…”

Thomson then moves on to discuss the location of Celtic Boys Club, in a building that was just yards from Celtic’s Stadium.

“This photo of Celtic’s stadium in the late sixties shows Celtic Boys Club in the ring yards from the stadium and physically part of the club complex.”

Here is a screenshot of Thomson’s photo with the ring around the building just outside Celtic Park.

Victim Gordon Woods then talks about the significance of this building to Thomson.

 “Immediately outside the main Celtic ground there is a building which is painted in the same colours as Celtic Football Club, is part of Celtic football Clubs ground. That is where we trained, that’s where some of the abuse took place.”

Alex Thomson then goes on to claim, through simply showing the cover of a book, titled Playing for Celtic No5 which was  edited by the journalist Rodger Baillie, that this was further proof that Celtic Boys Club were based in that circled building yards from the Celtic stadium. He doesn’t show anything from the book to back up his claim.

“A club history confirms that initial location of the Boys Club next to Celtic stadium, a strange location to house an entirely separate organisation. Today the building has been demolished. No sign of the place where child sex abuse took place almost on the doorstep of Celtic stadium.”

For the avoidance of doubt Thomson walks over the ground himself outside of Celtic Park while he is making these comments.

Thomson was busy on social media, drumming up interest for his report, ahead of it being broadcast on Thursday evening on Channel 4 News. Supporters immediately pointed out to him that he was completely wrong and the building he is referring to, was used to house both Celtic Pools and the Ticket Office.

We are currently running a series of photographs on The Celtic Star that have been supplied by the former Celtic Director Tom Grant and these include this one from 1994 of the building that Alex Thomson and Gordon Woods claim was used by Celtic Boys Club – it’s apparent proximity to Celtic Park as well as the colour of paint used – being used to disprove the any claim that Celtic FC and Celtic Boys Club were ‘separate entities’.

Thomson’s claim about the old Pools and Ticket Office building was obviously picked up by many Celtic Supporters in social media and they were quick to point this out to Channel 4’s Chief Correspondent. It didn’t make the slightest bit of difference and he carried on regardless.

But rather than just publish this article without double checking the facts ourselves – maybe Celtic Boys Club did use that building at some stage as Gordon Woods clearly stated in this Channel 4 News broadcast, we contacted Celtic and asked for official confirmation.

We asked Celtic…

“Thomson’s claim re the building that was the old Pools and ticket office being used for Celtic Boys Club was incorrect right?

And Celtic FC’s answer…

“Completely incorrect, no-one ever trained in that building.”

 

Gordon Woods goes on to tell the story about cadging a lift to a game with Jock Stein, after making the very specific claims about the building circled by Alex Thomson that was situated just yards from Celtic’s Stadium.

Thomson was WRONG and that and so was Gordon Woods. Reliability, sadly has to be an issue with the latter. For Thomson it’s more a matter of professional credibility. And since he’s opted for a two part format with his sensational content coming in Part 2, we’ll do the same and blow a hole completely in Thomson’s report, that Niall J described as Undermined, Biased and Agenda-Driven – Alex Thomson’s Flawed anti-Celtic Broadcast.

What say you now Mr Thomson?

Part 2 to follow later today.

ALSO ON THIS SUBECT ON THE CELTIC STAR…

The Victim – “The SFA is ultimately responsible”. Alex Thomson – “Celtic’s current stance and silence is repugnant”…see HERE.

Questions for Alex Thomson as his Channel 4 Report on Child Abuse is about to be broadcast…see HERE.

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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