Celtic pay the Penalty, supporter relations


I received an email from John Paul Taylor, Celtic’s recently appointed Supporter Relations’ Manager, asking for some help getting the message of his appointment out to the support, and explaining what he is there to do.  This, for a guy whose inbox will never be empty, was a refreshingly proactive approach.

Here are the questions I put to John Paul, with his answers below:

So what is the scope of your Supporter Relations remit?

“The role is basically to provide a link between supporters and the Club.  Since starting I’ve had a number of issues to deal with including the 5:15 Kick Off, Hearts away and what supporters should do in terms of submitting ticket applications given their current financial plight, supporter behaviour and specifically the Section 111 issue.

“I’ve also travelled to Sweden to provide information and assistance to supporters and officials of If Elfsborg at our UCL Qualifier and more recently I have been working with supporters who have been trying to obtain visas for Kazakhstan.  In addition to this I have been working with colleagues relative to Stadium Catering and providing feedback in order that we can assess what happens next, so as you can see a wide and varied range of issues to work on.”

What will you be able to do if supporters come with issues around policing or stewarding?

“These are basically matters which come under the remit of the Operations Director, however there is a responsibility on my part to ensure that they are being addressed.  Consequently any issues raised will be discussed and action appropriate action taken.

“Naturally any action has to be consistent and appropriate to the nature of the complaint.  The issue of Policing of Celtic Supporters is very much to the fore at the moment and we welcome feedback and specific examples of inappropriate or unfair treatment.”

There are tens of thousands of contacts between supporters and the club, between getting entry to the ground, to buying a cola to using the toilets.  Lots of these interactions don’t hit the mark, if you are successful in getting things done, you know it’s only a matter of time before you’re swamped, unless the supporter experience reaches legendary levels?

“I think this is a good point, however I think in the main supporters are generally satisfied with their match day experience.  Quite clearly though there are some things that we could do better, equally there will be times where we just get it wrong.  This is where the service aspect of my role comes into play and I would ask that on such occasions, supporters make me aware in order that we can provide a swift resolution through the relevant Departments.

“That is a particularly challenging aspect to the role but I believe that we are putting processes in place which are helping us turn around our complaint handling very quickly.”

Are there limits to what you can talk to fans about?

“Football and Finance are really areas where I can’t offer any real assistance.  Although, like almost every football fan in the world I would consider myself to be a football expert its one area that there are people more qualified than me to speak about these things when it comes to Club matters “

Have the club established a route for you to get things done?

“I think because this is an entirely new role we are working on a ‘let’s see how it develops’ basis.  Naturally I have KPI’s and specific projects that I need to complete but I am working for a lot of the time on my own initiative and providing feedback on the key issues of the day so it’s important to keep a handle on everything that’s going on with the support and what the main topics are.

“I think being close to supporters and having a wide circle of friends and family who are supporters is a real benefit in this respect.”

Final question, who are we going to sign?

“Ha, see the answer to question 4!!!”
I made the point to John Paul that if CQN is anything to go by, in many areas, satisfying one group of supporters is almost certainly going to compromise relations with another – the nature of a divergent club, open and tolerant of all from inception, perhaps, so this is not an easy shift.

That being said, news today suggests he’s off to a good start, which as Mo Bangura will tell you, is half the battle at Celtic.


I’m sure your mind has already cast ahead to Wednesday night.  We will have plenty of possession inside the Shakhter box, which will increase the likelihood of being awarded a penalty kick.

Failure to properly prepare for penalty kicks has cost this football club more than I am prepared to recall in recent seasons, so we must be aware of the following:

There is a high probability we will be awarded a penalty.

Shakhter will know that Kris Commons is likely to hit any penalty.

Shakhter will know that Kris hit his last penalty straight down the middle.

We should prepare not just for a penalty kick competition, but for penalties during normal time.

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  1. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS forza Oscar and Mackenzie on

    FOXY 1155



    I never abuse a man who stands by his principles even at personal cost.



    That is IMO what VMHAN did.



    He needs no defending from me,but yours was a really cheap shot.



    Hope yer proud.

  2. Oscar Knox is my Hero - RWE on

    Morning Paul & all Tims



    Fog clearing hopefully and not just in East Kilbride.

  3. Posted on previous article.






    12:20 on


    23 August, 2013


    Half the supporters that were in 111 were supporters from other parts of the ground.



    I’m led to believe that there are approximately 90 official GB members, so if they’re going to be issued with Paper tickets on the day, where are the other 100s going to be seated, they won’t get into 111 without a paper ticket, if they go to the ticket office to get their paper ticket, and are told by ticket office that your seat is in the JS stand, It may give a clue to how many infiltrated into section 111.



    I know that there are supporters who are officially located in 111, but there are many who shouldn’t be in that section at all, that will be another problem that will have to be fixed in the coming weeks.



    Anyway welcome back too the Green Brigade,you would have been missed,if the problem hadn’t been fixed.

  4. “We will have plenty of possession inside the Shakhter box”



    Which is the reason Balde should start



    That big bull could just be the right guy. Holding people off so he can get on the end of things

  5. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS forza Oscar and Mackenzie on




    Hail hail,fella!



    You available on 28/9?



    Plan is to watch the Killie game in a VERY Tim friendly bar,then doon the gallagate for a party



    Got yer addy,I’ll send you the details.

  6. 19LisbonBhoy67 on

    The post by Barcabhoy this morning definitely puts things into perspective. His post should be circulated far and wide and maybe allow the penny to drop with the majority of our fans that procuring a professional football player is not as simple a process as it might seem in Championship Manager.



    Sometimes players don’t sign for a variety of reasons and as long as we are actively seeking to strengthen the squad then criticism of the Board is unfair, at this particular moment in time. Football fans are passionate and want to see their Club have the strongest possible squad each year and also at the earliest stage possible in every transfer window. However, I dare say that the vast majority of posters on CQN have never been in the market for a professional football player. Therefore to totally criticise the lack of activity in terms of bringing in a striker, without having been through the process and dealt with all the variants themselves is verging on preposterous. The lack of knowledge with regards to what is going on behind closed doors dilutes the cries for the Board to ‘spend the money’ and ‘just pay the price they are asking for’.



    As I have said previously on here over the last few days, I think the majority of Celtic fans would have agreed that we had a strong enough squad to beat SK, without any additions, prior to the tie and most probably think we should still be too strong for them at home, even after Tuesday nights result. Therefore, if most fans tend to think along those lines then why the constant moaning about strengthening the squad for a qualifier that we should be winning with the resources currently available? If WE as fans think we should be too strong for SK over two legs then why criticise the Board for having a similar train of thought?



    I for one will be supporting the team on Wednesday with the hope that we will see some activity after we know whether it’s Champions League or Europa League football for Celtic this season.



    Keep the Faith.

  7. Repost from last article


    Foxy 11.55


    Disgraceful post. I take it you have never met the Vmhan.Tell us what its like up there being an uber Tim

  8. • Foxy


    11:55 on 23 August, 2013


    Vmhan….so youre a fan now and no longer a supporter. do you feel any different about yourself? Less of a mhan?


    Just asking, often wondered what it would feel like afterwards. I mean to actually stop supporting Celtic by choice and simply become a fan. Sends a chill down my spine.




    You posted the above near the end of the last blog……..my reply to you is below.



    I am what I am my friend, A Celtic supporter until the day I die!



    I have issues with those currently tasked with running our club and see a real gap between their strategic aims and my wishes for success on the park.



    As we’ve never conversed before I’m wondering if this your normal blog name and if not then why have you disguised yourself?

  9. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS forza Oscar and Mackenzie on




    No problem,bud. He is in the thoughts and prayers of many on here.



    I mailed him regularly in the past,but I keep them brief and infrequent now. He has more to concern him than my meandering muppetry.



    But you fellas are welcome to it,and for free!



    I’ll keep you posted as I find out,but he’s one strong-willed SOB.



    Bless him…


    Foxy 11.55



    Don’t know you sir, but what are your Celtic supporting credentials, that allow you to sit in ignorant judgement ?

  11. The Token Tim in support and praying for Wee Oscar on

    Ah the ole penalty practice debate.



    IMO opinion you can practice as long as you want, but NOTHING prepares you for hitting them in an actual match, especially a big match situation.



    Hence so many world class players miss them time and again.



    Practice may make perfect in many diifferent life situations, but sorry, in my limited experience, this is NOT the case for penalty kicks!!






  12. Welcome John Paul, good appointment by the club. Thanks for putting questions to him Paul.



    I hope the GB take this opportunity to improve their management and leadership as the club and them have given us another chance to enjoy the atmosphere they bring to CP. I know nothing about them but I hope they up the ante with respect to their own procedures, policies, vision and standards as I don’t want to see them throwing away what they again.

  13. Clink\o/


    12:26 on


    23 August, 2013




    Thanks sir!



    I’ll never stop supporting the Celts, my commitment this season will possibly be less financially, but I won’t be the first or last given the way the current people are running our club.




  14. canamalar prays Oscar can do it again on



    Agreed, waste of training time IMO, time better used introducing the players to each other, maybe get them resembling a football team

  15. Token. You can practice and it’s well worth it. It doesn’t mean the keeper won’t make a brilliant save on the day, but you should know your breathing routine, know how many steps you will be taking, how hard you will strike the ball and, having made up your mind (because you should have options) exactly where you are going to place it. You are human and you will be unlikely to achieve a perfect strike, but you should hit the ball well and you should hit the target, every time.

  16. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    Is ole German penalty kick prowess not due to lots of practice?




  17. I don’t want to start another debate about the board CQN’ers, so I’m flouncing out for a bit, its time to go home and so Happy Friday to ye all!






    Stay positive and we’ll win through on Wed night.




  18. The Token Tim in support and praying for Wee Oscar



    12:30 on 23 August, 2013



    Ah the ole penalty practice debate.



    IMO opinion you can practice as long as you want, but NOTHING prepares you for hitting them in an actual match, especially a big match situation.



    Hence so many world class players miss them time and again.



    Practice may make perfect in many diifferent life situations, but sorry, in my limited experience, this is NOT the case for penalty kicks!!








    I agree you cant produce the big match situation.



    However if you prepare and are confident in taking a penalty, your pre kick routine, your steps, where you will place it, the only thing you have to manage is the situation.



    If you dont practice the kicks you have all that to think about and the situation.



    If beckham hadn’t spent hours hitting a free-kick from 20 yards, he would never had walked up to the ball, in the last minute, last kick of the game, with the pressure of England on his shoulders to score a free kick to get them through to the world cup/ euro championships what ever it was.



    He could take a free-kick in his sleep – he didnt need to think about it, he could concentrate on managing the situation.



    Mistakes will happen, penalties will be missed or saved but the more you put in the more you get out.

  19. squire danaher on

    bobby murdoch’s curled-up winklepickers forza oscar and mackenzie






    Just an observation and no disrespect intended to anyone involved



    The poster was commenting to a CQN regular who quite clearly stated some weeks ago that – as a direct result of the Green Brigade being banned and him being affected by having to relocate his seat – he would not attend any further games at CP.



    Again with no disrespect intended, what’s the problem with this being pointed out??



    Do people support Celtic or do they actually come to watch the Green Beigade??



    The original poster suggested that he wouldn’t be back because the Green Brigade had been banned.

  20. lilys grandpa-Me and Lily backing Oscar on




    I remember reading about Celtic practicing penalties prior to the EC semi against Inter Milan, and yes you guessed Dixe Deans was the best …………. the rest as they say is history,




  21. Headtheball says sign and promote the petition for wee Oscar and others on

    Apparently Kenny Miller attempted to dispatch his resignation letter yesterday but just missed the post.

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