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. A Stor Mo Chroi on

    Apologies if I got your hopes up there for a minute but naw! No strikers in my loft. Wait a minute, what about the roof?

  2. “Why are Celtic not trying to get Podolski?”



    The same reason we weren’t in for Falcao



    Peter Lawwell.

  3. Dontbrattbakkinanger


    13:07 on


    23 August, 2013


    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?




    Yes as we all have been saying,you would think so,but alas it just aint happening.

  4. A Stor Mo Chroi on

    Got up there and had a right good look around, bumped into those two Yetis’ again, none of us could find the striker anywhere.



    Damn, I never checked the biscuit tin.

  5. Mike in Toronto supports Oscar Knox



    I think he’s done well either with Commons behind him, or alongside Sammi (though he must wonder where the heck the Greek is at times).



    Vinibhoy – Supporting Wee Oscar + Mackenzie



    Agree – Sammi as lone striker hasn’t worked (unless Paddy was busy hunskelping behind him, and alas, those days are gone).



    I can only assume the injury that’s kept him out of tomorrow’s game is what prevented Stokes from starting/featuring on Tuesday. Fingers crossed he’s fit in 5 days’ time.

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

    Quick straw poll.



    Yes or no.



    Does Peter Lawwell decide who will be signed?



    PERCEPTION rather than proof is the benchmark here,as it will be an indication of the feelings of the support

  7. McDowellcelt god bless wee oscar on

    Team for wed nite assuming everyone is fit and I also tweeted Lenny the team! This team will pump them borats..


    Forster, lustig, van dijk, mulgrew, izzy; brown, ledley; sammi, commons, Derk; stokes…


    4-2-3-1 formation.. Loads of attacking options and do away with this stupid idea of sammi a striker and mulgrew a left midfielder. Put them back in their own positions.


    4-1 Celtic! COYBIG

  8. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on




    14:52 on 23 August, 2013



    What would be the point of selling the players we developed (Wanyama, Hooper, Wilson) for circa £20m, then replace them by spending that £20m…..we would be as well keeping them. I feel the strategy will develop to the point where the team is not so adversely affected, but that will take time …….. I do agree though that we need to develop the strategy a little more quickly….and not leave the team ‘short’ ….!!!!!!!!

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

    And if the PERCEPTION of the majority is that he has too much say in the football side of the business,will that deflect from the high regard for his fiscal management,as his record would be skewed as less of a balancing act,and more of a deception in plain sight?

  10. Mike in Toronto supports Oscar Knox on




    Not as simple as a y or n… he is obviously significantly involved….



    but if I have to say simply y or n, my answer would be yes

  11. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on

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



    15:19 on 23 August, 2013



    I would imagine Neil tells Peter who he wants and Peter goes into negotiations ….yes or no would depend on how silly the asking price etc is ..!!??

  12. I think the board would discuss the signing of a new player with the coaching staff, and then PL would take over with the business side of it if the staff and the board ok negotiations .

  13. A Stor Mo Chroi on

    Can’t find the bloody biscuit tin, somebody has hidden it.



    Henrik Larsson


    Henrik Larsson


    Henrik Larsson is the King of Kings



    God memories. God to think even he wouldn’t fit the profile now for a transfer to Celtic under the new template. Sorry Henrik your too old.

  14. canamalar prays Oscar can do it again on

    A Stor.. ,


    Did you look under the door mat, sometimes people leave a spare one there and forget, also the glove compartment

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

    And finally,why is a failed marketing man telling football people that they canny spend money on the football side of the operation in a faffin football club because he came up short in negotiations in the marketing thingy?




    15:22 on 23 August, 2013



    And if the PERCEPTION of the majority is that he has too much say in the football side of the business,will that deflect from the high regard for his fiscal management,as his record would be skewed as less of a balancing act,and more of a deception in plain sight?





    What about the instant responders? :)))

  17. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on




    Because Peter Lawwell cannot justify an obscene totally undeserved million dollar bonus ?



    Thats stealing as far as I am concerned and if Paul67 wants to set up a face to face for mě. Anytime. We can do it on Skype it will save the bored bonus money.




  18. Oscar Knox is my Hero - RWE on




    I think the pressure of scoring a pen in a shootout is pretty comparable to having a putt to sink to get into a playoff.



    As Celtic First posted, you can practice getting your head into the right place just as much as you practice how you strike the ball.



    I just hope that we don’t need to take it to pens.

  19. Park and the scouts keep track of targets. Park and Lennon discuss them and look at the options.



    These will be categorised against cost, ability, potential etc. When Park, Lennon and PL all appear happy they will leave it to PL to negotiate.



    I think its important to stress that it will get more difficult year on year to get these targets. Agents this year will know that Celtic have some cash and will hold out for more. It’s the same with other clubs.



    If we sign somebody this year it wont be a bargain.

  20. Petec






    Nice tae Greet ye..



    Yep. Balotelli, Ah see,hiz bin Practicin’.. the “Victor Sylvester Double Shuffle.”



    Never Hoid of the Guy, afore, ye drew Him tae Ma attention..or.. Drew Ma Attention tae Him( Ah like That,much Bettah..ed)( Sodie Ah.)



    And Like ye say..




    He has that Je ne Sais Quoi.. That Ah Canny Describe.












    Free Spirit.. that’s it.



    Aye.. Ye captured it,pal



    He is Just a Free Spirit.. who Luvs Life ..and is gled he wiz Born.






  21. Did somebody actually ask why we’re not in for Podolski?



    I can’t for the life of me think what Spurs, Schalke, Wolfsburg and Galatasaray can offer that we can’t. Apart from money, and a higher standard of competition.

  22. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo


    15:28 on


    23 August, 2013



    When did Peter Lawwell receive a million dollar bonus?

  23. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on




    The green brigade want nothing to do with Rangers. So ST. Peter has had them ex communicated. But now he realises he needs them after being done over by a team nobody has ever heard of ever.




  24. Tomorrow. No Commons, Samaras, Forrest, Boerrigter, or Stokes?



    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Forster ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::



    Lustig :::::::::::::: Mouyokolo :::::::::::::::: Van Dijk :::::::::::: Izaguirre



    Matthews ::::::::::: Ambrose :::::::::::::::::: Kayal ::::::::::::::::::::: Watt



    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Ledley :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::



    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Balde :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

  25. A Stor Mo Chroi on




    At least I’m making an effort not to repeat myself.



    I could tell you what the weather is like in Brisbane.



    Monday Sunny


    Tuesday Sunny


    Wednesday Sunny


    Thursday Sunny


    Friday Sunny


    Saturday Sunny


    Sunday Sunny


    Monday Sunny


    Monday in May Sunny


    Wednesday in October Sunny


    Sunday in December Sunny


    Tuesday in March Drizzle



    that would get really boring after a while, like after three years or so.



    Or I could give you my recipe for cheese on toast, but after seven years of reading that I think the blog has it covered. I could copy and paste the news reports from newsnow but I can’t be bothered with that anymore. I could gut out and I MEAN Gut out my ingrowing toenails but theres no whiskey in the house or I could ask what to me is really important questions, might not be to you or to anybody else but to this Celtic supporter at least they were relevant and important.



    Why did Campbell Ogilvie get re-elected unopposed?


    Where is our striker?



    Apologies if you think those two questions, amongst about a few dozen more are boring, but you see, I think there is a wee bit more to supporting my club than wrapping a green and white scarf around my neck.




    Where is our striker?

  26. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on




    Did or will ? And how many times ?



    Or are you about to correct the currency ?



    If its Sterling just come out and say it.