Spotlight on The Celtic Trust and why it matters to supporters

For many of us being a Celtic fan is a family and social tradition. From parent to child, it was a rite of passage to attend your first match at Celtic Park, first cup final or first league flag and many supporters answered the call and bought shares in the club in the 1990s.

Dermot Desmond is seen prior to the Celtic vs St Mirren Cinch Premiership match at Celtic Park on May 20, 2023 (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

While fans responded wholeheartedly to this, sales to the City and investment groups – such as our current principal shareholder, Dermott Desmond – far outweighed the shares bought by the individual fan. Individual Celtic fans still hold a large number of shares in the club but two shareholders, Dermot Desmond and Lindsell Train between them currently hold over fifty percent of the shares.

The Celtic Trust exists to try to prevent any one person or group ever being able to take control of the club. The Trust’s ultimate aim is for Celtic Football Club to be owned and run by its own supporters in the best interests of the team on the pitch and in line with the values and activities of its charitable history.

Photo: VI ANP Sport

To that end the Celtic Trust also buys shares in the club collectively in the name of the Trust. The Celtic Trust can also act as a proxy for individual shareholders who can pass their voting rights to the Trust for Celtic PLC AGMs.

As a democratic fan organisation, the Celtic Trust has regular face-to-face meeting with Celtic PLC where it campaigns on behalf of supporters and shareholders. There is a minimum of four members meetings each year and an Annual General Meeting takes place in April/early May. Subscription to the Celtic Trust is a minimum of £5 per month.

You can join The Celtic Trust now to make sure that your voice is heard. It’s our club; let’s own it!

What is the Celtic Trust? Here is a beginners guide to understanding this the purpose and the objectives of The Celtic Trust…

The Celtic Trust is an Industrial and Provident Society founded in 1999 and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority – the Trust accounts are lodged with the FCA annually. It is a mutual ie like a building society or a credit union. That means all its assets (in this case shares in Celtic) are owned in common by its members.

You do NOT have to be a shareholder in Celtic PLC to be a member of The Celtic Trust. All members of the Celtic Trust own shares ‘in common’ . A condition of membership of the Celtic Trust is that you pay a minimum of £5 per month towards the funds which are used to buy shares in Celtic PLC (apart from a very small amount used for running costs.

Running costs and other items of income and expenditure are outlined in the accounts of the Trust which are presented to members each year at the AGM. A further condition of membership of the Trust is that members cast the votes on their own shares, if they have any, in line with the decisions made by members at Trust meetings.

The Celtic Trust often asks shareholders to support their resolutions to AGMs by either voting with them or proxying their vote to us to cast on their behalf. The permission to proxy a vote has to be renewed for each AGM – it is not ‘held’ by the Trust.

The Celtic Trust is a one-member-one-vote organisation with a written constitution which is available on their website. Details of the number of general meetings and other matters of democratic accountability are set out in the Constitution.

The Celtic Trust is run, between General Meetings, by an elected Board of Trustees who are elected annually at Celtic Trust AGMs The Constitution of the Trust determines that in the event that the Trust be dissolved, all assets (shares) will be sold and the proceeds be donated to a Celtic-related charity.

Celtic fans cheer on their team prior to the UEFA Champions League group E football match between Celtic and Lazio at Celtic Park on October 4, 2023. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Website: Celtic Trust
How to Join: Frequently Asked Questions – Celtic Trust
Constitution: Constitution – Celtic Trust

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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