You may have read a story released by Newco’s PR agent to their go-to Glove Puppet in the media about a dispute over payment for damages to Celtic Park when Newco fans made their first visit to the stadium.
I heard before the Hogmanay game that Newco would be paying the damages their fans did on that occasion, and that Celtic would pay for any damage caused by our fans Ibrox that week. What I didn’t know at the time was that Celtic unilaterally decided this would be the case.
Concerned there may be reprisals following the vandalism to Celtic Park, the club informed Newco they would let it be known that we would pay for any damage to Ibrox by visiting fans – as long as we could inspect the damage we would be charged for.
The Hogmanay match passed without incident; tea light candles were left in visiting toilets to diffuse washroom odours, Celtic were not taken up on their offer to inspect and pay for damage, none was reported to match observers, police or Celtic.
Celtic had earlier issued Newco with a request for payment for the vandalism their fans inflicted on our stadium. Payment was not received, so this week we withheld the same amount from ticket money due to Newco.
The issue is finished; no one is withholding money from Celtic. There is no story.
We’ve not had to deal with nonsense like this for four years and we’d gladly never deal with it again. The issue was placed in the media today by PR, alluding to damages Celtic offered to pay for, but which didn’t happen. Be clear on this – Celtic offered to pay for any damages but no damage was reported. The PR stunt is a deliberate attempt to damage the good reputation of Celtic fans. Is it any wonder print media sales are dropping off at such an alarming rate for some?
Let’s remember, this is the same PR used by SPFL sponsor, Ladbrokes, an unacceptable action by a representative of the league’s sponsor. It’s as though some are too angry to stomach the great news that Celtic have secured the £2.8m signing of Ivorian Kouassi Eboue without lashing out.
The club are delighted to have secured Kouassi. Despite his age, he’s first team ready, and has the character and ability to go a long way in the game. Between now and our cup finals in August, he’ll settle into Scotland and into a championship winning team.