Supporting Youth Development gives us the Celtic Stars of the Future

PAUL DALY is the Manager of Celtic Development Pools. This is a vital area in that it provides much needed investment in the Celtic Youth Academy that has produced the likes of Callum McGregor, James Forrest and countless other players for the first team with hopefully many more to follow in the seasons ahead.

Paul is involved with the core business products of the Weekly Lottery and the Paradise Windfall. With the Paradise Windfall, when you think of the amount of supporters who walk away from a game with a huge cheque over the years, then it’s really been a brilliant addition to the Celtic match day experience. I always love the way that a fellow Celtic supporter who wins the big prize gets a huge round of applause when he/she goes up to collect the big cheque at half-time, and also get worried that someone has missed out, not knowing that they have the lucky ticket.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – FEBRUARY 23: Windfall winners during a Ladbrokes Premiership match between Celtic and Kilmarnock at Celtic Park, on February 23, 2020, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

We thought we’d have a chat with Paul to find out more about Celtic Pools, its history, where the money goes and all that kind of stuff, because most people probably have a vague idea but aren’t too sure of the details.

As Editor on The Celtic Star I believe that this site should do it’s bit to help support Youth Development at Celtic and that’s why we help promote Celtic Pools at the end of most of our articles. We are an independent Celtic Supporters site, and we are not connected to Celtic. We are NOT paid to do this, but it seems to be working well and that can increase even further if you fancy taking part. It’s very easy to get involved, just click on any of the Celtic Pools images you’ll see on The Celtic Star and take it from there.

Here’s how we got on chatting to Paul Daly, the Celtic Pools Manager…

Hi Paul, first of all for anyone who isn’t exactly sure, can you explain to us who Celtic Pools are and what you guys offer to the Celtic Support?

Sure, Celtic Development Pools Ltd is the official lottery operator of Celtic FC and have been raising money for the Club for over 50 years. Celtic Pools currently has three main products which offer supporters the chance to win some fantastic prizes whilst playing their part in the future of the club:

First there’s Celtic Pools Weekly Lottery, next Paradise Windfall Half Time Draw and last but not least the Celtic Pools Mobile App Prize Draws.

What happens to the net proceeds after the prize money is paid out to supporters?

All net proceeds from the three products listed above are donated to the Celtic Youth Academy based at the Lennoxtown Training Complex.

What’s the history of Celtic Pools? When did it all start?

Celtic Pools started in 1964 as a small organisation with the Celtic Development Fund raising money for the club by operating a draw at Celtic Park.

In 1968 Celtic Development Pools Ltd was incorporated and it launched a major Football Pools Competition commencing 10 August for the start of the 1968/69 season. The founding directors were Desmond White and James Farrell with ex-Celtic goalkeeper Johnny Bonnar taking the role of Sales Manager.

Johnny Bonnar gathers the ball with Jock Stein in close attendance

With the Club being crowned Champions of Europe the previous season and highly thought of around the world, Club Officials wanted to, and I quote, “provide a ground and setting worthy of the Club’s great reputation and provide suitable comforts and amenities to those attending Celtic Park.”

The day we won the Greatest Prize

To meet these demands and ensure sufficient funds were available Celtic Development Pools Ltd was tasked with using the Celtic Pool Competition to generate investment.

From 1968 through to 1994 there were various regulation changes to the 1976 Lotteries and Amusement Act and the Weekly Pool Competition was aligned more with lotteries and the price of the product was increased to £1.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – DECEMBER 04: Windfall winners during the Ladbrokes Premiership match between Celtic and Hamilton at Celtic Park, on December 04, 2019, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)

What about the Paradise Windfall, that started in the mid 1990s?

Yes, that’s correct. The Paradise Windfall was introduced in 1995 and has been a major lotteries fundraiser right up until the present day. In 2000 the beneficiary was changed, with all the proceeds directed towards the Celtic Youth Academy.

What’s the format for the Weekly Lottery and how can readers of The Celtic Star get involved?

The Prize format of the Weekly Lottery has never changed in over 50 years. Members are still allocated a set of unique numbers and the winning combinations are determined by the combination of football scores.

To this day this way of operating is still highly regarded and provides a transparent process in the selections of winning entries. A network of Pools Agents has always been vital to the success of the Weekly Lottery with local Agents collecting stake money from family, friends and work colleagues. At present there are still over 500 Agents, some of them still call and collect cash whilst others encouraging supporters to join and play by Direct Debit reducing the need to collect cash and their workload.

With around 50% of members now paying by Direct Debit it’s the easiest way to get involved and supporters reading this can sign up directly by clicking on the various Celtic Pools images that run on The Celtic Star. To play the Weekly Pool, there is no skill required, Lottery numbers are randomly issued and then is no need to claim prizes with winnings paid out automatically.

How exactly is the money that comes in split?

Well, 37% of all income generated from the Weekly Lottery is invested into the Youth Academy. Another 30% is paid back out in Prizes offering a Rollover of up to £25,000 and a guaranteed Top Prize of £4,000 available every week.

And in summary, what message would you like to give to Celtic Supporters reading this on The Celtic Star about Celtic Pools?

Celtic Development Pools Ltd continues to lead the way in the sector, operating the biggest Weekly Lottery in UK football as well as the biggest half-time Draw/Lottery in UK football. Utilising new technology and leading the way once more in the sector, Celtic Pools has introduced a Mobile App. The future looks bright, the future is green and white!

Help raise money for Celtic Youth Development by joining the £1 weekly lottery and you could win up to £25,000 – just click on any one of the photographs below to join. Lots of our readers have already done so and they’re now doing their bit to help fund Celtic Youth Development that can deliver the stars of tomorrow and beyond. And you might even win a few bob too! And a special thank you to all The Celtic Star readers who have already signed up and are now supporting youth development to give us the Celtic Stars of the future…

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

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