Roger Mitchell and Keith Jackson’s Speculation is “Absolute Nonsense”

Roger Mitchell, the former CEO at the SPL, is a Celtic supporter.  These days he lives in Italy and among other activities he has just released a book about finance in sport. Yesterday, quite unprompted, he put his hand into the fire on social media, speculating about the reason Celtic seem to be stockpiling cash rather than backing Brendan Rodgers in the January transfer window.

This came after the results on Saturday where Celtic dropped points at Pittodrie and theRangers beat Livingston at Ibrox to narrow the gap at the top of the league to just three points, with the latest Ibrox club having a game in hand.

In a subsequently deleted tweet, Roger Mitchell had this to say:

“God the Celtic twitter is angry today. Slamming the Board.  I’ve done that myself over many years but what if they’re just being prudent, with 70m, in cash for a reason.  Class actions are expensive when you lose. Why doesn’t anyone ask where the boys club legal stuff now sits?”

As mentioned above Roger deleted this tweet after the ‘obsessed’ latched onto to it and Celtic supporters challenged him.  Asked if he had deleted the tweet Mitchell gave an explanation for his decision to do so. Replying over two tweets Roger Mitchell said:

“Yes I did. I’d promised myself to avoid commenting up there but I was actually trying to be balanced on a day the Celtic Board was getting hammered. So much for being nice. The bile every time I venture up there! I feel dirty, I really do. It’s a poisoned place. I deleted.”

And then…

“I deleted it coz I just don’t need Glasgow sectarianism in my life. I’m getting a lot of nice feedback in my social media, on the book, ayne, on yesterday’s column,.what I call a reminder of human warmth and friendship in horrendously ugly times. I don’t need more “ugly””

This speculation as to a plausible reason why Celtic did not splash the cash in the January transfer window to back Brendan Rodgers amid a title race that had emerged over the past few months as Celtic’s form became inconsistent and theRangers under their new manager gained real momentum, gained momentum of it’s own when Keith Jackson referred to it in his Monday column in Daily Record today. Keith Jackson wrote:

Celtic v St Mirren – Peter Lawwell and Michael Nicholson in the stands during the cinch Premiership match at Celtic Park, Wednesday November 1, 2023. Photo Andrew Milligan

“If the men in charge of handling Celtic’s financial affairs are quietly squirrelling money away to create a rainy day fund then they should come out and say so. For example, they may have legitimate concerns over the legal ramifications which have been left behind by the monsters who used to prowl around the club’s inner sanctum in their guise as coaches with the boys club.

“If the putrid legacy of these toxic individuals is about to land the current incumbents with a bill for a small fortune then there is nothing to be gained by carrying on and pretending it’s not a real and live issue. Or, if that’s not a genuine concern, then perhaps Celtic may have other plans to spend big on a long overdue refurbishment of the dilapidated and dreary main stand at Parkhead, potentially running into the tens of millions.”

So Jackson is surmising that Roger Mitchell could have been onto something or perhaps it’s something to do with the Main stand needing replaced. On the latter point, if Celtic were minded to do this, the PLC could easily borrow against the majority of the cost and pay it off over a mortgage term, and the additional revenue would easily cover this. That’s possible and is probably what is going to happen in the medium term, rather than anytime soon.

But Jackson’s first potential reason for Celtic’s lower than expected spend in the January transfer window, coming after Mitchell’s tweet, looked like this was an opportunity that the former CEO at the Scottish Premier League had given the Record man that was too good for him to miss.

If Celtic supporters – intelligent, well informed  ones like Roger Mitchell – are buying into this nonsense – then we really do need to address it. Mitchell’s book is about finance in sport and his pitch includes his insight.  We have written about the terrible abuse cases in Scottish football before and have told the Celtic support that our understanding is very clear and that any pay-out will come from the insurance company and not from the club’s bank account. That is the factual reality and you don’t need to be an expert on finance in sport or an award winning sports journalist to find that out.

Peter Lawwell, Brendan Rodgers and Michael Nicholson (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Having read Mitchell’s tweet last night and Jackson’s article this morning, we thought we should double check (maybe something both of them could also have done?) and can 100% confirm that there is no substance whatsoever in their speculation regarding Celtic stockpiling cash to pay for any class action pay-out. In fact it’s “absolute nonsense”.

Roger Mitchell tried to explain his motivation for the initial tweet that he clearly regrets. Jackson is just doing his usual thing and if he went about checking much of what he writes then his columns would presumably be considerably shorter. We can rule out any compensation pay-outs directly from Celtic as a reason why the club didn’t invest in the January transfer window in the way that they could have had they really wanted.

Of course that leave the question unanswered. Why didn’t Celtic spend more in the January window?  Maybe the reason is that the quality players the manager has asked for won’t be available until the summer window and the gamble has been taken that there’s enough in the current squad to get the league won. If that’s the reason that it’s a huge gamble to take given the guaranteed Champions League prize pot for the Scottish Champions this season.

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


  1. Should Celtic be banking cash to pay for alleged historical abuse cases then the Club has a legal obligation to note this in there accounts as a contingent liability

    “A contingent liability is a liability that may occur depending on the outcome of an uncertain future event. A contingent liability has to be recorded if the contingency is likely and the amount of the liability can be reasonably estimated”

    I would also anticipate that should there be any findings against Celtic FC and payments granted to those affected then any payouts would be covered by insurance

    • The quality players may be available come the summer, but not to us!!!!!

      Not with Lawwell in the building

    • I did wonder…. Jackson’s column started off on a pontius pilate footing and I thought, fair do’s, he’s trying to be balanced then he slipped in the bit about the past. He must have been guffawing cornflakes everywhere writing that.
      On current matters, whatever reason the board have, their policy isn’t great. Leaving the manager looking either like a rebel or gormless won’t help them. Faffing around last minute for players isn’t a good look either. Speculate to accumulate. There’s a reason it’s a saying. I think we should be going for Ivan Toney types in championship or thereabouts occasionally. This constant project buying in S Korea might yield the odd player but ready made is someone who’s playing football here or a competitive league. It can’t be easy or cheap buying in January but if we’d bagged a LB for say £10m and same on a striker, even if they didn’t turn out amazing, as long as we get over the line to Ch League, we’d make the money back instantly and have all summer to rejuvenate, sell and plan. And that plan needs to also include academy promotion. Young lads won’t try as hard if they don’t see a chance to be in the team

  2. Gerard O’Donnell on

    If they are “squirrelling money away for a rainy day it certainly isn’t coming from their inflated wages or bonuses

  3. Inaction Jackson is just the beginning of the landslide of negativity to attempt to engulf Celtic FC from the nodding dogs that are the SMSM and every other pro the Rangers outlet in the country .Every single opportunity won’t be missed by these charlatans as they will be doing their level best to dishearten the club and fans whilst at the same time promote and encourage everything that is wonderful in their pet project’s campaign . All in tandem with match and VAR officials of course . The aid and help to the tribute act will be available from every conceivable source . It’s their chance of a lifetime …..

  4. It may be true that the money is for settlement of court cases. It could be that the club, as a goodwill gesture given what happened to the victims (though the cynic in me would suspect it’s all about the P.R), will pay any compensation award themselves immediately rather than make victims that have waited decades for justice wait any longer, and it will also draw a line under the whole thing sooner. We can easily wait for the slow-turning bureaucratic wheels of the insurers to turn for getting the money back.

  5. Total nonsense Celtic will have a insurance policy to cover claims against the club as most big business have .They could do with spending some money on the main stand and enlarged it it’s is a bit dated needs pulling down .

  6. Messenger from Hell on

    From a reader on Phil Mac’s site,

    ” With every passing year and that’s more than a few decades,it becomes harder
    and harder not to realise that this club is being HELD BACK DELIBERATELY !

    We could’ve/should’ve got McGinn and Toney- another Mo Johnston moment ?
    The repeating failure to convert chances against the low-block brigade is why
    the lead has evaporated. How many times has a dangerous cross not been
    anticipated by Celtic players in the box ? These are the situations that spell
    maximum threat to the opposition and yet are passed up too often. Are
    the Board really quite happy to hand over the title to Rangers ? because that
    is the looming reality. We could be facing years of Rangers domination. For a
    club the size of Celtic to be faced with this is a savage indictment of a Board

  7. Martin Kiernan on

    My understanding is the Celtic , in common with most clubs throughout UK , has Public Liability Insurance to cover monies that would be required for payments of compensation for the abuse trial.
    Prior to writing the article one would imagine that a journalist would check his facts ensuring the information was accurate and up to date . This now seems unlikely to have happened .

    Additionally Jackson and his colleagues at Daily Record are known for their lack of accuracy particularly prior to the derby game , the method is as follows : unrest in the dressing room : manager and senior player have robust disagreement ; Senior player is keen to leave :
    Board and Manager in conflict : Fans unhappy with manager and captain:

    This is par for the course with Jackson as his colleagues as he’s well known for his affection for the side in blue . Anything he’s reports on take with a large dose of salt .