One year on, Celtic as a club remains mute, unable or unwilling to stand up to corruption

EXACTLY one year ago we published this Opinion Piece on The Celtic Star. It was published six days after our defeat at Ibrox and challenged Celtic to stand up against the corruption that they seemed happy enough to ignore. The signs at the club’s AGM a few months earlier had not been good as far as Resolution 12 was concerned and at the same meeting twelve months later the Celtic PLC finally killed off the pretence that they were even in the slightest bit interested in pursuing the matter. Their compliant fans forum had already become mute on Res 12 well in advance of the 2019 Celtic PLC AGM so the writing was well and truly on the wall.

On the basis that you reap what you sow, we thought it worthwhile looking back on the raw emotion and the anger that existed within the Celtic support this time last year. With a few months Rodgers would walk away – his relationship with Peter Lawwell having long since broken down – and Neil Lennon would be ever so conveniently available to step in and take up the reins. Successfully as it happens, he delivered a league title and the Scottish Cup to complete the Treble Treble and went on to retain the League Cup in December 2019, beating the Rangers in the Final.

But by 29 December when Celtic lost again to the Rangers in a meaningful match, the controversies raged and the Celtic support has been under attack from their friends in the media, their former chairman and the Scottish FA has managed to cite one of our players while completely ignoring the shameful antics of their players in that match. Fake News was reported using a video filmed from the Press Box at Celtic Park and the claim that went round the world that Morelos had been racially abused by the Celtic support as he left the park in disgrace (again) was the accepted narrative. The video does NOT contain any racist abuse whatsoever, yet Celtic will welcome these hacks back with open arms when the action starts again in a few weeks time.

Why are they not held to account?

Jim from Drumchapel took a tumble on the stairs, as the video we published established, yet the red-tops ignored this video evidence – showing a Policeman demonstrating what had happened to Jim – but were happy to run with the FAKE NEWS story that he’d been hit by a missile thrown from the Celtic end.

As they drive through Glasgow on the motorway on their way to their offices they muse notice the graffiti on the walls at the M8 under-pass at Charing Cross. It is evil, it is sectarian and it has been there for weeks. What a disgrace this is for the City of Glasgow.

Yesterday an old video of Morelos, it looks like from the summer, appeared and has been used in the constant onslaught against our club. Look we have our fair share of idiots. We had one on our bus who got a tattoo in the summer and thought it was funny, he proudly displayed a photograph on the WhatsApp Group and posted it on social media. The Celtic Da’s made it very clear that he was not welcome and he’s never shown his face again. A wise decision as it turns out because that could have got nasty for him.

Anyway here’s what we were saying to Celtic a year ago today. Ask yourself how did they shape up and then look around at the consequences of their inaction…

Hey Presto! Celtic as a club is mute, unable or unwilling to stand up to corruption

NEIL LENNON would have stood up to them. But no-one else at Celtic has the balls, certainly not Peter Lawwell, or his fellow board members at Celtic.

Frankly if Brendan Rodgers says nothing over the next few days then his failure to stand up for the Celtic players assaulted at Ibrox and the Celtic supporters who can see the Stop the Ten fix move up the gears, will diminish his own reputation considerably.

The battle has begun. We need leaders willing to fight for Celtic.

Neil Lennon, of course has received threats, stuff in the post, has been beaten up by Rangers supporters in the streets, has been attacked at the side of the pitch managing Celtic and has been subjected to anti-irish abuse ever since he arrived in Scotland to play for Celtic 16 years ago.

Peter Lawwell has used the Lennon experience, when Celtic had to employ a full-time personal body guard for the manager, as justification for saying little or nothing about the various controversial issues regarding the various Rangers clubs before and after their failed CVA in 2012.

Lawwell has argued that he has a duty of care to his employees at Celtic and refers to the above incidents as valid reasons for zipping it. This has been in the background on the Resolution 12 issue since the very start. Lawwell has probably hoped that it would go away or would fizzle out over time, and in that respect he is probably right.

Where is it at the moment?

With the Celtic shareholders organising and funding the legal fees themselves, they have provided compelling, overwhelming evidence of fraud. Celtic have said nothing. The Rangers objected to the SFA’s jurisdiction, again Celtic said nothing, and asked for the matter to be heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) while pointing out that the costs that this would incur at the SFA could be spent on developing youth football in Scotland.

That was last summer and six months later the SFA remain silent on the issue. They have done nothing and more importantly Celtic have said nothing either.

At the Celtic AGM Peter Lawwell was asked about Resolution 12 and started to tell the meeting that the Res 12 guys were happy with the way Celtic were handling the matter. However Auldheid (one of the Res 12 four) was there and contradicted Peter Lawwell mid-lie. But it will be November 2019 before any Celtic shareholder will be able to question the Celtic board about this again.

By that time the 2018-19 Scottish Premiership will be won and if it is not won by Celtic neither Peter Lawwell or Brendan Rodgers are likely to survive such a self-inflicted calamity.

Both men are extremely well paid. Brendan is reported to earn £2.5m a year and while he did tell us that he could have been earning much more had he left for China last summer, he remains the highest earning Celtic manager by quite a distance.

Peter Lawwell was paid a bonus of £2.3million on Hogmanay by Celtic and is the highest paid executive in Celtic’s history by quite some margin.

2018 delivered three trophies for Celtic but at the start of 2019 we can look back and note that this was done with the what was already in place at the start of last year. Celtic failed to improve in either transfer window and while the trophies are in the cabinet there have been plenty of evidence of decline on the park.

The AEK Athens loss was shocking, given the quality of the Greek side. We predicted that they’d get zero points from the Champions League group and that is the way it has turned out.

In 2018 Kilmarnock were our equal in the league and only last month were we able to beat them, having lost twice at Rugby Park. There were two losses at Tynecastle and Easter Road, points dropped at St Mirren, Motherwell and Livingston and of course we even suffered our first ever loss at Ibrox to the Rangers.

That matter too deserves a word or two this morning. The Rangers fans call us obsessed, and note that some Celtic fans are still going on about Sevco all years later. Before the first ever meeting between the sides in that League Cup semi-final at Hampden, Celtic supporters booked a full page advertisement in a Sunday newspaper to state the facts on who Celtic would play in that match.

Celtic’s CEO made a few jokes but said nothing. The idea that Rangers the club was somehow different from the Rangers ‘holding company’ – the best kept secret in Scottish football until 2012 – went unchallenged.

Neil Doncaster told a hand-picked (by Lawwell) group of Celtic bloggers at Celtic Park that the two SFL Executives – Longmuir and Ballantyne – both of whom are Rangers men – had decided that when the new club was placed into their league (the old third division) – they decided that the honours won by the old Rangers could be transferred to the new club. He also stated that the SFL were poor at keeping minutes and that that league was now disbanded, conveniently.

Rangers kept their history – lost through liquidation – because two Rangers supporters said so, failed to keep minutes, that league was disbanded and – Hey Presto!

This of course was despite the fact that Jim Ballantye was the MD at Airdrie – who had been prevented from claiming the history of the liquidated Airdieonians by the Scottish football authorities. These rules were changed post-Rangers getting their titles transferred over.

This is why few Celtic supporters were surprised by the news from the SFA yesterday that Morelos is in the clear after FOUR assaults on Celtic players on 29 December.

All of this has happened and Celtic’s £2.3m bonus man said nothing, so while we can all shout and bawl for something to be said about the latest, clear and obvious example of corruption in Scottish football, the reality is that nothing will be said or done.

Indeed that is what the Rangers, their supporters, the referees, the media, the SFA and it’s Compliance Officer have all sussed out. They know Celtic as a club is mute, unable or unwilling to stand up to this corruption.

ALSO ON THE CELTIC STAR….

The Celtic Support knows exactly what happened – Alastair Johnston, Tangled Up in Blue…see HERE.

Alastair Johnston and A Statement from Celtic Supporters, “Air of unreality as 140 years of history is formally ended in less than nine minutes,” The Herald, 15 June 2012…see HERE.

Have your say on Celtic Noise, the new fans forum where all Celtic supporters are welcome…

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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