Rangers may have been liquidated, but yesterday a little bit of Celtic died

Yesterday’s outcome regarding Resolution 12 is not exactly a surprise. When the board announced they recommended voting against the resolution the route to any sort of justice was going to be blocked.

Blocked by our own Board and long before yesterday’s AGM.

Of this board was made a simple request for consideration.

“That the Board take steps to refer certain matters relating to the licensing processes of the Scottish Football Association to UEFA or City of London Police.”

The answer from Ian Bankier tells us all that the Celtic Board and the rank and file are now operating in very separate orbits.

“We have taken professional advice and are mindful of our duties to shareholders. We have reached the view it is not in the interests of the company to take the steps proposed in this resolution. It remains a matter for the football authorities to deal with.

“The company’s best interests are served by focusing on our own future,” the Celtic Chairman said as The Celtic Star. reported yesterday.

The language is corporate the interests are clearly financial, the wording of the answers is simply indicative of Celtic being to our board, 100% about financial interest. A fight is only worth fighting if you can win and if on the way to that victory there is no financial cost to bear and future income is not wholly protected.

It also is a clear indication of saying now you have your answer, you are not entitled to the workings as to how we reached our conclusion, just trust us the company is best served by moving on. In fact it’s rather tiresome that you hadn’t already taken the hint and forgotten about this inconvenience.

The issue is without being party to those workings and only seeing the answer means they are trying to abdicate responsibility for what went before. They are whitewashing. They are saying just focus on the here and the now and look to the beautiful horizon. There apparently is nothing we can hope to gain by examining the history. That will only split the club and the support down the middle let’s just focus on what we’re grateful to have a- successful Celtic side.

If now justice cannot be sought as it’s not in the company’s interest then what happened in many years of build up to this before we reached this point? Was there something that could have been done then that cannot be now, or would it not be in the company interests to examine that either? Probably not.

And that moves us on to the last part of Ian Bankier’s quote. “The company’s best interests are served by focusing on our own future.”

For arguments sake let’s say that true. That as The Celtic Star Editor said last night ‘the rascals have won’.

Have we now to support a board running this company who bore witness to the club being ripped off, failed to hold to account a governing body who let it happen and stood back and either did nothing, or worse were in some way complicit in that process?

Did they stand idly by or sit on their hands while Celtic and other Scottish member clubs were having the wool pulled over their eyes by our inept governing association and allowed a myth of continuation for a club afforded far more than any other club ever has been and to the severe financial detriment of all the others? Or did the company interest mean there was far more returns for shareholders to return to the status quo?

Given the Rangers current financial plight it would not be a stretch to assume a similar outcome is not on the horizon again?

Given that situation did arise are we not in exactly the same circumstance with regards a governing body that has not been held accountable for their at best amateur handling of the situation and at worse guilty of bending the rules to the point of breaking to allow a continuation myth to run on?

And will we then have the same faces on the same board ‘fighting’ for Celtic’s interest all over again? When they at the very least rested on their laurels are we expected if and when it happens again, that they should be trusted to not fall asleep on their watch?

If we therefore are to take that advice and look to the future would it be better served if that was not with a board who took their eye off the ball and allowed the club to have their trousers pulled down and backsides skelped in public?

This board are often lauded for running a tight ship that Celtic have a good enough team on the park for where we are in football and that there are saleable assets in the squad should a nasty eventuality occur and there’s a massive cash surplus sitting in the bank.

On the other hand they say Celtic are far more than a football club. By that do they now mean as their language at the AGM hinted at, a company? Because there is no evidence behind their words that to this board Celtic are anything more than that.

The club is now of secondary importance and further behind that and best ignored to them is the roots, ethos and soul of this football club, yesterday showed they certainly have no interest in our honour, unless you can stick it on a T-Shirt and sell it in the Celtic superstore.

Yes Celtic have won trophies and yes we’ve an unbroken history but before all that there was a people, a cause, charitable roots, a club borne of immigration and created to meet their needs. When I was brought up with that message I wasn’t thinking in shares, shareholders dividends and stock piling money I was thinking that being more than a football club was what separated us from the others. I’m not naïve enough to believe money isn’t needed, that investment isn’t required but I don’t believe if the price is selling our history that it is a price worth paying.

You see language like that primes you for one thing, the love of money being of the utmost importance to those in charge of Celtic FC and nothing else.

I know many of us look down south and shake our heads as to what has become of Manchester City, of Chelsea, of Manchester United and many, many others. Clubs owned by multi-nationals, oil companies and even by foreign Governments. Souls have been sold to the highest bidder, stadiums filled with tourists taking pictures on I-Phone the ordinary working family forced away from the game as they cannot afford it. They used to watch it on TV initially but now they can’t even afford the subscriptions to watch.

We possibly even console ourselves with the belief that’s not us. The natural conclusion to the language used at that AGM is that is exactly where we are headed.

Being on the right UEFA board when the decisions are taken by the big boys, the token outsider at the table there to pretend that consideration of those outside the big leagues is being taken into account, being seen to be consulted when decisions are already taken.

We bow to all of that as we sit by the tables and we wait for the scraps to fall on the floor, sacrificing our self-respect for those few morsels. That’s not fighting for more than a football club and nor was yesterday’s outcome.

So say the Rascals have won, say for now it is over and say we consign it to history and move things on. How about we learn from those historical mistakes and make it known there are people on that board who have responsibility for allowing what happened to this club to occur and did little to defend it?

With Resolution 12 it perhaps got too complicated, too broad. The argument was multi-faceted and some of us just couldn’t grasp it all. It could be we simply got bogged down in the detail and couldn’t really see a clear and coherent target. Perhaps then if we do move on the target should be more focussed, less complication something more precise.

Well something more precise could well be leave Resolution 12 behind and focus purely on those accountable at the club. That a damn fine precise target, trained on those figures on that board. Ensuring that from now on they are a lot more Fergus McCann than Peter Lawwell and defend the club and not just profit.

How about we hold this board to account? We are all stakeholders in this club, there are many without those share certificates who buy tickets and merchandise, travel far and wide and who have their own stake in this club without a certificate or dividend return or even a million quid bonus.

We are a company and we have to be, but first and foremost we are a football club with a proud history. Not just on the park but off it, in its history and its beginnings that many of us hold dear to this day. We expect those ideals to be upheld by a club that represents us, that when we are wronged we are defended.

Yesterday may well be seen as the end by the board, for many of us though it only focuses our sights, simplifies the argument and clears the fog as to who should be held accountable.

When the divide becomes a chasm, history shows the fans will act. Rangers may have been liquidated, but yesterday a little bit of Celtic died.

Niall J

About Author

As a Bellshill Bhoy I was taken to my first Celtic game in the summer of 1987. It was Billy McNeill’s return to Celtic Park as manager and Celtic lost 5-1 to Arsenal . I thought I was a jinx, I think my Grandfather might have thought the same. It was finest gift anyone ever gave me when he walked me through Parhead's gates.

Leave A Reply