Are Hearts showing us the way?


What do you think of Hearts putting Save the Children on their shirts?  Perhaps more appropriately, how will Hearts fans feel about their club this morning?  When the next invitation to buy a season ticket, or shop for merchandise email arrives, what’s going to be the instinctive reaction?

Hearts fans are an unpredictable lot, but if this was Celtic, first to grab the headlines on Living Wage, then following up with a charity on the shirt, we would be bursting with pride, or what marketing people call brand affinity.

A football club affinity is a choice.  Most of us were handed our team before we were out of nappies but we still choose the extent of our affinity – to buy the next ticket.  Celtic fans have a notion that we are more of a Movement of people than a typical support – I am only here because I subscribe wholeheartedly to this notion.

For this to make any sense, we need Celtic to be the most ethical football club on the planet.

World leadership sounds ambitious, but the market for ethical football leadership is a bit thin.  Between organised criminals, thuggish bullies, kleptocratic politician-owners, tax cheats, money launderers and what can only be described as disorganised criminals at one particular club, the market is wide open.  This is Celtic’s natural territory.  And it’s profitable!

We buy into what we see as the sentiment behind a football club and if we see Celtic championing ethical wins, we feel connected to the club.

Let’s be clear: Celtic ARE one of the most ethical clubs on the planet.  The Foundation is not the biggest in the world, but it is supported by fans and club alone, not petrodollars looking for a home.  Celtic FC Foundation feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, aide the needy, include the excluded.  They do this in your name and it’s an integral part of the club’s mission.

We are part of the story too.  You and I are part of the Foundation but Celtic fans also evangelise the ethics and standards of our club in our own small ways.  What Celtic fan groups have achieved is staggering.

We have a backstory which any brand in business would kill for.  Formed to feed starving children!  What a story.  It you planned the profile of the most ethical football club in the world you couldn’t dream up a better beginning, a better corporate story, or a better community engagement.  The ingredients are all there.

Hearts fans will WANT to buy into what their club is doing this morning because their club has become ethically aspirational over a short period of time.  Hearts haven’t began to scratch the surface of Celtic’s ethical marks.  We are peerless in UK football – and that’s not an idle boast.

So why am I boring you with all this stuff you know already?  It’s time we started to wear our colours on our sleeve, if not our chests.

‘We are Celtic, born to feed the hungry in 1888, today we not only feed the hungry, we do so much more.  Come and join us.’

Make this our mission.  Commit wholeheartedly, lead with it.  Always.  Every contact I have with the club should remind me why I’m a Celtic fan.  Be confident of its resonance with fans, and all the business objectives we worry about achieving will fall into place.

On the subject………

We are close to our target of paying for another school kitchen in Malawi for Mary’s Meals, this auction will push us over the line…………

All day Hospitality for 4 based at the Eden Mill Distillery for the Open Golf Championship at St Andrews on any day to suit from 16 to 19 July 2015.   Auction in aid of the Celtic Quick News (CQN) appeal to build a fourth school kitchen in Malawi for Mary’s Meals.

Shuttle transport for the five minute journey to and from the golf course as needed

Beer, Gin and Whisky tastings throughout the day with the master distiller.

The chance to create a unique CQN single malt whisky cask worth potentially £5000 for future CQN charities.

A bottle of this very special single malt whisky to commemorate the great day when it is bottled in several years.

Eden Mill is Scotland’s newest and most innovative distillery and brewery incorporated in February 2012!

Located just 2 miles from the famous Old Course itself it provides a perfect base for hospitality for yourself and 3 friends on a day of your choosing at the forthcoming open golf championship on July 16th to 19th.

But this is so much more than just a day’s hospitality at the home of golf.  Before taking to the course to watch the you will enjoy a breakfast roll or two and discuss your perfect single malt whisky with the master distiller.

Whilst you and your friends are enjoying the golf he will seek to surpass your favourite whisky by using the best barley to create the right wash and recommending the right type of barrels for our very own unique CQN 1/4 cask of single malt.  A cask which will mature and provide over £5000 of future funding for our charities in a few years time.

You will return to the distillery by shuttle bus for lunch and an optional beer tasting and then for afternoon tea with a tutored gin and whisky tasting with the owner capping off a memorable, unique and very special day for your group and for CQN.

My thanks to Eden Mill for their incredible support.  You can bid on the auction here.

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  1. A bump for the afternoon crew, already had some valuable feedback.



    Good morning bhoys,



    A group of us are about to have our first meeting to set up a new Perth Supporters Club with a bus to run to at least all the home games. We have roughly 40 people signed up with hopefully more to fill a larger coach.



    We want to start on the right foot and let everyone know what their signing up to before the start of the new season.



    So far we have for discussion….



    1. Departure and arrival times to and from game.



    2. Membership fee



    3. Non-attendence



    4. Size of committee and roles



    5. Bus fee for both members and non-member



    6.Bank account



    7. Name of club



    8. Facebook group/emailing lists



    9. Club nights



    10. Any advantages to being Affiliated



    11. Other sources of income e.g. polo shirts, badges, Tote



    12. Constitution



    Does anyone have thoughts on any of these issues that we should consider and are there any gaps?



    The only experience we have between us is running the odd buckshee bus to some games but not an ongoing venture.



    All suggestions would be very welcome.

  2. Hearts previous sponsor was a money lending company that ripped off the poor. I know one Jambo who stopped going to their matches when this happened. This new link is an excellent shift and an example to us.

  3. Fantastic gesture from Burnley 78



    Eden Mill well worth a vist.Old Seggie Porter for me

  4. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on




    Set up a 21 goals tournament in you local then even people not attending will also contribute.


    No idea how it works though. 8))

  5. GivehimthemoneyPeterCSC on

    Would rather have unicef than carling/ magners that’s for sure



    Would rather have new balance than slave trade Nike

  6. F.A.B. Virgil (WATRC) on




    ‘Corporate’ SPFL



    Hearts 4 – 0 Celtic



    1st Goal – 1st professional club to pay the Living Wage (Celtic missed this open goal)



    2nd Goal – 1st SPFL Charitable Shirt Sponsor



    3rd Goal – The shirt sponsors are corporate supporters who want to make a contribution (Celtic have many of these strikers in the squad but they are all munching in hospitality



    4th Goal – Mrs Budge identifies that what she wants to do is blocked by SFA/SPFL rules. She resolves that such rules must change (watch this space)…



    As supporters we are light years ahead of other teams



    Corporately we are losing games and dropping down the leagues from a position of absolute strength. Time for some corporate management change and some new thinking?




  7. Tony Donnelly…..


    I doubt you will be looking in today. Just want to let you know that you and your family are in my thoughts.



  8. Great prize but an auction is not something I like as it is open to all in name only



    I much prefer a raffle with a reserve …….those who buy the most obviously have a bigger chance of winning but those of us who couldnt bid on the prize for what it is worth would still be contributing and still with a chance of winning ….imo



    but good luck to the person who buys it…….its for a very worthy cause




  9. lennon's passion on

    Constitution on a supporters bus someone having a April fool a day late.What a laugh that bus would be

  10. Hamiltontim


    12:46 on


    2 April, 2015





    It should, in theory, reduce travelling costs.






    If you want to mail me it could be explained more easily in a 2 minute phone call.









    HT, OK you can give him my number:-))

  11. Dena29….


    Totally agree. Raffles give more opportunity for people to participate. Also, in my experience, they tend to raise more money. They do, however, require more effort to administer.



  12. mullet and co 2 on

    The headline asks if Hearts are showing the way. The article says they are not.


    Celtic fans are and always will be second to none. It’s the guys driving us I worry about.

  13. Paul,



    Is there a supplier for more ethical pop up ads on CQN than the current ones?


    I would feel more brand affinity with CQN if I didn’t see gambling ads when I visit the website. I think gambling companies, like the one that appears in the pop up ad that I get from CQN, do more to take from the hungry than feed them.



    Is Burnley 78 connected to Eden Mill Brewery? I live quite near Guardbridge…

  14. thomthethim for Oscar OK on




    You had me worried for a bit there.



    Congrats to Hearts for their gesture and to the people behind the sponsorship.



    I flagged this on CQN yesterday and was surprised at the lack of comment.


    Maybe it’s the singer and not the song!



    However, I thought that your piece was going to be a criticism of Celtic, until you went on to highlight the magnificent work of the Foundation.



    I feel that there is more mileage on here for the crew of anti Board posters, who in their criticism of “corporate” Celtic, ignore the work done, at home and abroad, by the club and support.



    Never in my time and before, have Celtic lived the founding principles as faithfully as we do today.



    That makes me immensely proud.



    So well done to Mrs.Budge and her club for listening to their social conscience, in their own way.

  15. South Of Tunis on

    Tote ?



    Memories of a Jamaican OAP ( and his heavy / heavy son ) who ran a daily Tote in a mid 70s Ladbroke Grove boozer .£1 a ticket…Winner got an oz of Jamaican Sensi..It earned him enough to pay for an annual 4 week holiday back in the ole country mon..

  16. clogher celt on

    Great post Paul, Gives us all a lift after another week of Sevco, Nomads, balance sheets etc.



    I’m still working away on Dublin, Easter 2016.



    Anyone who wants to be kept in the loop can get me at,






    Happy Easter,




  17. Sticks in my throat to say it given some of my ‘experiences’ with their suppport in the past, but there seems to be lot of things being done VERY well over Gorgie way.



    On and off the field they have done an excellent job of restructuring and now seem to be trying to clear their image up too.



    Fair play to them.




  18. lennon’s passion



    12:53 on 2 April, 2015



    ‘Constitution on a supporters bus someone having a April fool a day late.What a laugh that bus would be’






    Have you ever been involved in running a CSC?

  19. Celtic have a different issue to deal with. Sporting aspirations.



    We want to win the league every year and qualify for the CL here. If we became more charitable but had to reduce the wages of the squad there would be an issue with some fans on here.



    We would have the same lot on here talking about the “bored” downsizing the squad. This is of course a poor excuse to not help charity but I’m sure self-preservation does go into the mind of the board.



    I really hoped that the Rangers died for good. I hoped that without the pressure of competition from Rangers, Celtic could become a club that promoted the use of young scottish and irish players and got rid of the need to buy foreign for success. We could change the kit sponsorship and even move towards fan ownership. A pipe dream.



    The Scottish football establishment still feel we need a strong “Rangers” and will do everything in their power to help. C

  20. From BBC :



    “The deal has been funded by an anonymous “group of philanthropists”, said Hearts owner Ann Budge.



    A seven-figure sum will be split evenly between Hearts and the charity.”



    Hearts are not paying for this – “philanthropic” business people are. Whoever pays the piper calls the tune. Forgive me for being cynical abut this but I imagine there’s something for everyone in it – even philanthropy is transactional. This seems a good way to get money into Hearts (to be spent on Tynecastle apparently) and get corporate favours in return. With anonymity. Or perhaps there is a tax advantage to someone? Either way, anonymous money into a football club isn’t exactly the kind of transparency we need.. However – they’ve done a good PR job on that – I’ll grant you that. The media have lapped it up, and sold it exactly as required.



    BTW – has Anne Budge got the answers to her questions re: the Rangers/Hearts riot some weeks back? Has Anne Budge even asked the questions yet?

  21. weeron


    12:55 on


    2 April, 2015




    Totally agree. Raffles give more opportunity for people to participate. Also, in my experience, they tend to raise more money. They do, however, require more effort to administer.





    thats the problem and then you are open to people (not me)who query how the draw is done etc first past the post is easy to establish……….




  22. Hearts leaders are showing very very good corporate governance with Ethical and Sustainable strategic directions.



    I think the lady in charge is tapping into something very smartly, and really leading the way.



    Celtic are many good things together. The club is more chairtable than ever.


    The love shown to indiviudal supporters with their own challenges is wonderfull.


    What the supporters in all forms do is great, that is world class.



    What we do need is people in charge who want to be seen as totally different to everyone else.



    Its going back to the dinner tables, and the formation of the club, and I know its unimaginable for a PLC, but for a moment, what is 1 great year celtic said , all profit, every penny, everyplayer sale, is going to this foundation, that charity, that organisation.



    Its a dream, but would anyone begrudge it.



    The Celtic shirt in particular, if ever a place for a celtic message , its there.



    I can dream a wee bit.

  23. Afternoon all, agree with previous posters that the ‘corporate’ identity needs to shift in a more overtly ‘ethical’ direction. Hearts have stolen a march on us in some ways.

  24. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on




    Dream on.



    Not with the billionaire owner in tow.Everything we stand for makes DD puke apart from the possibities of making profit. Peter Lawwell knows this but his incommesurate salary ensures he follows his lead.




  25. Pogmathonyahun aka Laird of the Smiles on




    12:53 on 2 April, 2015


    Great prize but an auction is not something I like as it is open to all in name only




    I’m with you on that and I would make the raffle tickets £10 each as it is a fantastic prize. I reckon most CQN‘rs would take at least one ticket, likely more. It would open it to all as you say.


    I’m sure Paul67 has a reasonable idea of the readership numbers and how to go about this?

  26. Pogmathonyahun aka Laird of the Smiles on

    weeron, good day to you! Have you retired yet Ronnie?

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