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. squire danaher on




    Good shout regarding penalties



    Shakhtar conceded 2 in Albania inside 29 mins of the second leg.

  2. I expect the Samaritans to have a busy few days now that Celtic have backed down in the Green Brigade debacle in light of last Tuesdays result.



    Perhaps they are anticipating another Barca tifo display (free of charge of course) to spur on the Bhoys to victory.

  3. Ahhhhhhh St. John’s Gorbals where I was Christend a true Gorbals Bhoys, not St. Francis .not St. Luke’s, St. John’s was the Gorbals parish, other two where South Side or Hutchesen Town, people from there say they are Gorbals, YOU ARE NOT,! ;))

  4. From last thread. . . . .






    We are not gonna agree so why keep at it? You’re not gonna make me change my mind.



    I’m happy with the way Celtic are run and have tried to validate my reasons for that and you’re not. That’s your perogative. Fine. No problem.



    I’ve already said we need new faces up front & in midfield which would indicate that I’m not entirely happy with our lot. However, I believe the Club are doing all they can to rectify that. Am I wrong just because we haven’t brought anyone in for those positions?



    Of course we can attract good players, that is not in question. I never said we can’t attract good players. I said that proven, established players don’t want to play in Scotland and I stand by that. Do good players have to cost millions of pounds? No they don’t.



    I believe we could indeed pay £5m-7m for a player. I couldn’t say for sure but I believe we could. So you are correct in your view that I don’t have a clue whether we could or not.



    On the flipside of that, do you have a clue whether or not we have bid that sort of money for a player during this window? No you don’t. So neither of us has a clue then, eh?



    Think of me what you will, call me a happy-clapper or whatever. Nothing I can do about that. You’ve got your views on Celtic, I have mine and they differ considerably. That’s life.



    Hail! Hail!



    Uncle Fester

  5. Oscar Knox is my Hero - RWE on

    The Token Tim in support and praying for Wee Oscar


    12:30 on


    23 August, 2013


    Ah the ole penalty practice debate.



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





    Might be more accurate to say that Practice makes permanent.



    Practice it the wrong way and that becomes your default.



    Just ask any golfer.

  6. Token by your logic tiger woods shouldn’t practice putting because you can’t replicate the pressure of a major tournament. He practices not because it means he will hole every putt but because it increases the likelihood of him making putts. If by practicing he increases his putts converted from 60% to 80% that’s is massive in terms of winning tournaments. Its the same with pens. You will still see them missed but you should practice hard to increase your % chance of scoring.

  7. Well established evidence that more practice produces unconscious competence, 10 000 hours and all that.



    Also Alan Shearer said you can’t practice for pens in big games…so clearly do the opposite of that IMO

  8. A Stor Mo Chroi on

    Son to father…



    “Da, it’s God for you”



    Father to son…



    “Jesus, Mary and Joseph protect us. What does the big man want?”



    Son to father…



    “He wants to know have Celtic signed a striker yet. Apparently Big Jock is going aff his nut up there.”

  9. Guy gives up his season ticket ok NP, see ya, his choice no one urged him or chased him out, he is entitled to do what he wants, his money, and I wish him all the very best, although there have been more important things over the years that I could see him doing it, but because the GB where getting papped? Ah well what ever floats yer boat.

  10. Interesting that Paul didnt pose a direct question on the section 111 debacle….



    Its good news that an agreement has been reached but Celtic have been less than honest around why the debacle even happenned in the first place.



    Barcabhoy and others – where to start. Firstly the general thrust of the celtic strategy is correct. But as ever celtic follow the strategy dogmatically and with a different goal to the support. For the club buying young and selling high is about making money for the shareholders (well one in particular). For us its about reinvesting in the team and striving to get better and better while accepting we have our financial limitations.



    Can we please stop the references to the huns or leeds – not a single supporter is asking for that sort of behaviour.



    We can see the “fruits” of celtic’s approach by the fact that we take in extra income of circa £50M but seek to reinvest very little of that. Its not about making the team better.



    Barcabhoy then goes on to say:



    “Naturally some decisions that are made by our board seem at odds with logic. However you have to caveat that by stating that all the facts are not in the public domain. £2 million on a panic buy striker is likely to produce a Mo Bangura. How on earth would that have helped us beat Shakter !



    £5 million strikers want to leave us, not join us. We need to start dealing in a little reality. The market for us is in unproven ambitious talent ( Wanyama & Van Djick as examples) or guys with something to prove ( Sammi & Derk)”



    Now then why should it seem natural that board decisions are illogical. That is illogical. We shouldnt be panick buying – after all we all knew ages ago they would sell Hooper. And if Celtic were to behave in a logical manner that wanted to maintain/improve the quality of the team then they would have bought someone before selling Hooper. And if, as many seem to claim, its just too hard to sign a striker (though others seem to manage perfectly well) then we shouldnt have sold Hooper – IF THE CLUB HAD THE INTENTION TO IMPROVE THE TEAM. But of course it makes sense if all you want is the money.



    Our host has already conceded that selling hooper was a “calculated gamble”. There was never an intention to sign a replacement ahead of understanding our CL fate and of course that has led to a classic case of a self fulfilling prophesy in preventing us from CL qualification (there is no way we will qualify because we dont have a striker).



    All this wailing around its too hard to sign footballers. Honestly isnt that what we pay people for?



    Its nonesense and simply a pathetic excuse.



    Celtic simply dont really care about the quality of the team. They view you and I with contempt and only as a means to make money.



    I will give you a wee example. I was a bit late buying my ticket for the Shaktar game. Had been abroad etc. Anyway I called up on Saturday to get my ticket. My seat had gone – but thats fair enough. I was then charged £25 for a ticket because apparantly I had to call the club direct to get a ticket for £20. I had simply called the number on the website and was put through to a call centre. The call centre operator was clearly embarressed. Now its only a £5 – but everything about the club is money grabbing – even down to the lengthy messages they have when you make a call – trying to squeeze the last penny from you by making you hang on a bit longer.



    So John Paul – are you/the club listening?

  11. lilys grandpa-Me and Lily backing Oscar on

    A Stor Mo Chroi



    Why not just get an aswering machine? :-)




  12. Paul67



    I was only thinking that the other night. Kris invariably hits them down the middle. He has some strike on him but if the keeper stands still he is gonna save it. It will be interesting to see what happens if we do get a peno.



    Fair play to JPT, a decent bloke if ever there was one.



    Northbhoy, condolences on your the recent bereavement of your dad. May he rest in peace.




  13. Canamalar,



    Yeah, you’re right.



    Keep the Faith and roll on Wednesday. . . . .



    Hail! Hail!



    Uncle Fester

  14. glendalystonsils on

    I’ve seen a lot of penalty kicks scored by going right down the middle but I’ve never seen a keeper stay in the middle of his goal in anticipation of one being hit straight at him. KC has the right idea in hitting the ball as hard as he can provided he keeps it down. I seem to remember one penalty in an important game last season where he was a bit fortunate the ball hit the underside of the bar and went in. We’ve such a poor record of converting penalties that you can’t blame a player for sticking to whatever works for him.

  15. A Stor Mo Chroi on

    lilys grandpa:



    Answering machine? And miss all these concerned Celtic Supporters calls in search of the elusive Striker? Nah! I don’t think so.



    What happens if we sell Forster and Zaluska, is wee Kris gonna get a gig between the sticks?

  16. Doctor Whatfor on

    tonydonnelly67 @12.56



    It’s not clear that your post refers to vmhan but if it does – I’ve never met you so I don’t know about you. I’ve met vmhan. There is no bigger heart nor more passion in any supporter at Celtic Park than he has.


    Jist sayin’

  17. Oscar Knox is my Hero - RWE on

    Hiro Nakamura



    Well established evidence that more practice produces unconscious competence, 10 000 hours and all that.





    Matthew Syed’d book “Bounce” is all about that, but it wasn’t just putting in the 10,000 hours and you’ll be a Tiger Woods. It was also about what you practiced.



    Table tennis champion Desmond Douglas beat top Chinese players with a unique style. Turns out he developed it when as a kid he played in a small room with his back touching the wall.



    When I was young I played football every day of the year, usually in the street (with wellies on). All that dribbling in and out of cars, up and down pavements, round lamp posts playing 3 and in meant that I had some decent close control and used the inside and outside of my foot by the time I actually played in a team.



    Came to nothing of course. Told myself it was the Osgood-Schlatters in my knee but then the truth can often hurt.



    Matthew Syed lived on our street in Reading and went to the same school as my sons.




  18. Summa of Sammi….


    12:57 on


    23 August, 2013





    Vmhan – YNWA Wee Oscar


    11:22 on


    23 August, 2013




    Ryan tells me he’s down your way next week, staying near or at St Kilda’s.


    Pack yir bags CSC








    Sorry l was with some Celebrity friends having some Juice..



    Bang Tidy..




  19. The Smithsonians are getting aired regularly in the Car transporting the wee chap tae training, he is even developing a mullet like Morrissey. I’ve put my foot down and said it is a, 1 track for you, 1 track for me. The Beach Boys and the Human League are currently being injected into his mind.



    This track isnae on the mp3 player and I’m so sorry about that. The Wee Chaps awesome Granda keeps threatening to cut his do with the garden shears.




  20. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    NegAnon2- but do we not need to keep the team at a reasonable standard for the Board to be able to benefit from the 2 main sources of income – Tims turning up at the turnstyles and money from qualifying from the Champers?



    A team like Stoke only have to play well enough to avoid relegation because they are swimmin’ in the ole TV money, and even if they get relegated they are not thrown to the wolves.

  21. .



    The market for us is in unproven ambitious talent ( Wanyama & Van Djick as examples) or guys with something to prove ( Sammi & Derk)”



    Something to Prove..



    Larsson..Sutton..Hartson (Medical)..



    Sound good to Me..




  22. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    glendalytonsils- it was the game at CP against the Russians in the oel CL groups last year.



    I like to see my penalties placed neatly and firmly in the corner- that takes practice.

  23. NegAnon2


    12:57 on


    23 August, 2013



    I very broadly agree with everything there but I genuinely feel that the strikers we need and are looking at are stalling on the CL qualification. Playing in the SPL and EL alone will do little to enhance their reputation and earn a bigger move.



    I’ve said it before the £2.5M or so paid for VVD is a step up in what we;ve paid for a defender in recent times, and indicates to me that we are gradually pushing the budget bar higher.



    On the additional £5. I totally agree here. I’m sure that in previous seasons that if you missed the ST holders deadline, you still got the discount without having to do anything special. I booked my own seat online on Saturday (having forgotten to do it on Friday) and got charged the extra. It almost made me reconsider going (for about 30s).

  24. Big Tam used to whack them straight down the middle and the only save i can remember was at Tynecastle.



    2 big games coming up ICT will set up pretty much the same as the Sheep Killers, might be worth a 30 min attempt at high balls to Balde and Effe because i sure as hell cannot see where the goals are going to come from.




  25. canamalar prays Oscar can do it again on



    And are they succeeding in keeping the crowds turning up ?


    Or have they started on a slippery slope ?


    Reduce expectation and reduce the crowd, and we don’t need to imitate the hun to keep expectation high IMO.

  26. Can anyone confirm GCC have been sitting on an application for a standing section for 18 months now.

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




    As you yourself put it in your reply to me..



    “Just an observation and no disrespect intended to anyone involved”



    And your question portrayed exactly that.



    On the other hand,the original post was far from an observation,and far from intending no disrespect.



    As I said,VMHAN was making a principled stand,and at personal cost.



    FOXY was making a cheap shot.



    Big difference.



    Your own question…



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



    is a valid one-except that you are missing the point,intentionally or not.



    Supporting Celtic is something most of us on here do.



    Supporting those subjected to victimisation and lies is something every human being should do.

  28. Dontbarttback – you would think so eh – but regardless of previous spin the Board are willing to gamble and expect the support just to turn up no matter how bad it gets. They are in for a rude awakening mind you!



    Weeminger – if we are geniunely struggling to get a striker (and thats a big if – I dont think we are trying) – then they should not have sold Hooper. No matter what way you look at it they have made an absolute mess of it (well if you care about football results).



    On the £5 its a small thing really. I thought about it and then decided I couldnt be bothered with the hassle of trying to call the club. It cant bring them in that much more but its an awful way to treat your “customers”.

  29. The Moon Bhoys on

    I’m convinced that we will beat Shaktar on Wed and qualify for the CL but unfortunately I’m equally convinced we will lose tomorrow to Caley Thistle.



    On Wed we will be super motivated well organised and we will lock Shaktar in their own half whilst we pound the living daylights out of them.



    Tomorrow however we will not be motivated as we will have one eye on Wed night, be out to avoid picking up any injuries plus we know that we can afford to lose this one with no real damage done other than more frustration for the supporters.



    I only give us a chance tomorrow if we play a ‘B’ team, play our strongest team and they will not be up for it imo.



    But hey, if I’m right we’ll be in the Champions League group stages and of course we’ll still win the league.

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