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. Mike in Toronto supports Oscar Knox on

    Hello lads



    I’m on and off line today, so if I dont respond right away… apologies



    RE: striker search… would I like one? absolutely… but, do we need one to beat the (I’m not going to say ukranians, again!)? No.



    I dont think the problem is with our strikers… it is our midfield…. no speed (at least we dont use it), no passing, no movement, no strategy ….



    Everytime a player takes more than three touchs, or turns and plays a backwards or sideways pass, they should be fined! After a certain number of those, the players would stop…. and if they dont, then NFL should be fined (because, it cant be every player!)…..



    if the mids we have would step up, RUN, WORK HARDER, learn to make and take a pass, and take a few chances (too many of our midfielders play like they are afraid to make a mistake, or take responsibilitiy, so, they do the short same pass all the time), they would create more than enough chances for someone like Stokes …. I think he would be a revelation, IF HE GETS THE PROPER SERVICE (as would young JF).



    If we show some pace, and some movement this weekend, it could be the springboard to a victory next week.



    It is a lot to ask to, basically, change a team’s style in 3 or 4 days, but it can be done, and, if we want to progress, I think it has to be done.



    It is a gamble … we could get caught on the counterattack (as the Kaz guys showed, they are no mugs at that game)…. but the current system produces lots of possession, but only in areas where it cant trouble the other side…. less possession, more forward passing and more pace means more real chances.

  2. Awe naw


    I kinda have a vision of you sitting at yer key board with a Gimp mask, a BonJovi T-shirt, a pair of Budgie Smugglers, welders Mits and Bri Nylon socks knee high with purple flippers, salivating over a picture of Burt Lancaster in his swimming pants, AMA close?

  3. @celticfc: NL: “We are actively trying to get players in. Been knocked back on a couple and doing due diligence on others.”



    NL: “Working very hard in background to bring players in.”



    NL: “It’s trying to get the right players. Timing is always difficult at this stage.”



    Same old, same old.

  4. canamalar prays Oscar can do it again on



    So no reward for last years performance then ?

  5. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    Surely Neil Lennon is a better Servant to Celtic than Peter Lawwell ?



    So why is he not head and shoulders above what Lawwell gets and are we getting bang for buck from the best paid man in Scottish football ever ?



    I say NO




  6. .






    Deported Springs to Mind..Ha..



    Remember reading a Celtic Programme in the 80’s and 9 out of 10 were born in Bellshill..






    ps..OK..8 out of 10..

  7. NL: “It’s trying to get the right players. Timing is always difficult at this stage.”



    Timing……..we have had months.



    Gotta feel for Lenny having to spout this garbage.




  8. 19LisbonBhoy67,



    I really am fed up listening to these stories”Its not easy to sign players””Players dont want to come to Scotland”.Too many other teams seem to find it easy to sign players.Apart from the mega money transfers in the EPL,most of the teams have seemed to find it relatively easy to sign players,before the season started.The problem with us is we dont want to spend the money.Not one single person on here has asked Celtic to break the bank.We sold Hooper for £5 million,we can get a very decent replacement for £5 million,but we are not interested in that.


    You can defend this stance by Celtic as much as you like,but it cuts no ice with a great many fans.Good strikers cost decent money.For some sources to say that “They think Finnbogason is overpriced,IMO defies belief.He is not a “Project”.He is the finished article.If Celtic want to pursue a policy of signing players as “A work in progress”carry on,we all applaud that,as with Balde,but to leave the team seriously weakened to pursue this tactic is ridiculous.We have gambled and now our CL hopes hang by a thread.Forget all the crap about just having to turn up next week to qualify,as some would have you believe.Which position would you rather be in,theirs or ours?.


    Last point.Do you think a Celtic team with Wanyama,Hooper,and a settled CH like Wilson,would have played as meekly as ours did last week?.We are weaker,and that is not on.

  9. Garcia


    If you where born above the wheatsheaf then you where on the right side of Crown Street, the other side was the south side, the St. Luke’s thing would make sense as it was just across the road, naw your ok like Masty and I, you are one of us, if yer over next Wed. In the Gorbals pop in to the Brazen and I will have a pint with yi ma man ;)

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

    Toor A Loo @ 1252,



    Course not………..



    ……well maybe once or twice!






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




    ML2 far superior to ML4.






    Aint that right Summa??









  12. Mike in Toronto supports Oscar Knox



    Agree with you – our midfield was the worst aspect on the night, but the attack wasn’t far off. Only Forrest (yes, Forrest) redeemed himself, but that was through tracking back and making interceptions rather than brilliant attacking play.



    fwiw, however, I’d leave Forrest out on Wed night.



    We need to get back to 4-4-2/4-4-1-1, and play Stokes up front, for God’s sakes! Don’t care whether he plays with Sammi or Commons, Stokes MUST start!



    Stokes usually has a goals/assist ratio of about 1 per 90 min. That’s what he’s on now – in fact, last season he scored/assisted every 74 mins.



    Of the players who get regular football, Stokes has the best rate of points to starts in the whole squad – 189 pts out of a possible 231.



    I guess, er, start Stokes, is what I’m saying.

  13. BT



    Nah. We were just visiting from Pollokshaws to use the facilities. My mother’s family lived in Townhead for years.

  14. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on



    Im sure thats what a few on here think anyway..o)

  15. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    Escape to the country is in Lanarkshire. .


    Very remote….

  16. A Stor Mo Chroi on

    The Hunt for The Celtic Striker



    Misdirected by the Club



    Produced by Failure Inc.



    Written by Tom Clancy



    Staring, John Connery, Alec Baldwin,



    The cast: the rest of Hollywood, the rest of Los Angeles, the rest of Claifornia, the rest of the USA, the rest of the Northern Hemisphere, all of the Southern Hemisphere, the man on the moon, all his mates, the woman on Pluto, all her mates too, and all the bhoys and ghirls from the Emerald Isle who could see through the script and got out of their nuts on the grog instead.



    Review: This is a story about The Hunt for The Celtic Striker. It is not a classic but it is epic, it opens with the haunting, “Where’s oor striker?” which resonates right up to the end where it ends with the haunting, “Where’s oor striker?”.

  17. Mike in Toronto supports Oscar Knox on

    up over the goal



    I agree 100% about stokes…. a lot of the problem has been, because the midfield has been creating nothing, he has come increasingly deeper and deeper to try to get involved in the play…. leaving a hole up front.



    If the midfield shows up, AS has to be told to stay up, and not drop so deep… if that happens, AS will put capitalize on the chances that come his way. he’s not fancy… but he can score.

  18. Vinibhoy - Supporting Wee Oscar + Mackenzie on




    I felt that we tried to play through SK on tuesday. 2 banks of 4/5 players is tough to get through. Even tougher when you haven’t got Stokesy leading the line. He’s by far the best striker we have for linking play and getting behind defenders.



    Why he didn’t play is beyond me. What’s even more worrying is why Sammy started in the lone-striker role! Lessons should have been learnt.



    All else said I’m going for a huge win for us at home. 5-0. Possibly 5-1.

  19. time for change on

    Ha ha re my comments and moniker. ..alas I chose this moniker many moons ago and some posters know my views.



    Maybe should consider Time for Change (just not in the South Stand) per say not against standing areas but their location would need alot of discussion first because of the impact on others.



    Hail Hail

  20. Hmmmmm, creating chances on Tuesday night but didn’t have a striker to put them away and we had what? Two on the bench? I would say that’s where the problem was on Tuesday night, IMO.

  21. Stairheedrammy says cmon Oscar on

    TonyD- everyone knows the heart of the Gorbals wasnt St Johns or St Lukes- it was St Francis- still is

  22. .



    The Token Tim..



    My Visits to Wishae when l was Younger was very Helpful..



    When l Moved to Melbourne and had to Leave the City to Go to the Outback..



    Summa of TheHeathery1980CSC

  23. A Stor Mo Chroi on

    Well guys I’ve done my bit, put the light on out the back, went out into the bush and looked behind the ghost gums, checked the dog kennels, checked the boot of my car, looked under the bed, even checked the sock drawer just in case, but nope, the striker ain’t here.

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

    mighty tim supporting wee oscar



    14:19 on 23 August, 2013





    How are you fellah hope life is good. I am indeed looking forward to catching up on the 28th, although my good lady wife is giving me a leeeetle bit of grief as I think she may have something planned for my birthday that night. So it maybe that I get to spend a few hours in your esteemed company and your da’s as well as other fine men’s company before having to go home to partake in birthday shennanigans.












    Blinkin’ flip,canny call ye away on yer birthday,bud.



    Don’t panic,we’ll all pop over to your place for the day. Keep you company and help you blaw thae caunnels oot.



    Canny have friction between friends or family,after all



    Just make sure yer good lady keeps us going in roasted cheese,she won’t even know we’re there.




  25. Ah Think…



    Neil, is Haudin’ aff.. oan his Search fur a Striker. well..Search.


    until, He weighs up the Possibilities that



    Billy Mackay..or MacKay.. of the Northern Cluggers, Represents.



    This Kid.. Has bin Scoring fur Fun and Frolic.



    Tomorrow, Ah wull Hiv a Guid Look-see at this Guy.






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