Sell your credibility and play to your base


There was good news from Uefa yesterday when we learned that only the first three qualification rounds would be held as a one-off game, the play-off round will be home and away.  There are still chronic hazards, let’s not forget that our incredible domestic ‘Invincibles’ season started with defeat in Gibraltar to Lincoln Red Imps, a similar result next season would see us exit Europe without a parachute to the Europa.

Our current financial situation means it has never been more important that we reach the Champions League, but it is absolutely critical we have European competition of some sort going into the autumn.  We’ll hear more on what Uefa have to say on Financial Fair Play later today.

I don’t quite know where to begin on Hearts and Partick Thistle.  They started proceedings in the Court of Session yesterday, seeking £8m and £2m compensation respectively for being relegated while in a relegation spot when the league was ended.  They also threatened to serve an interdict to stop the Premiership starting on 1 August.

First off, the threat of interdict is nonsense, the evidence required by a court to stop 13 businesses from operating (12 clubs and the SPFL) would be overwhelming and simply does not exist.  Secondly, you need to show where you are damaged before a court would award compensation.  It is easy to make claims about all the money you could make, but it is very difficult to establish that all the successes you hope for would happen.  Hearts £8m figure looks like it has lots of could happen, there is no supporting evidence of what would happen.

Legally, this issue comes down to two matters: did the votes to terminate the Premiership (which Hearts supported) and the lower leagues take place according to the SPFL’s rules, and does the SPFL have the right to decide upon its own rules and procedures?

There was no ‘dossier’, no claim has been made that League rules were not followed and no one, as yet, as claimed the League cannot decide its own rules and procedures.  A similar action, with different promotion/relegation outcomes, failed in the Netherlands, where a court ruled that the League was entitled to decide the rules of its own competition.

So why are Fran and Anna of Hearts and Thistle doing this?  Consider what Newco did in April and May.  As Hearts and Thistle are now doing, they ran an ‘Us against the world’ campaign.  It looked futile, and technically it failed, but nothing sells season tickets like a mad rant.  I have absolutely no doubt Newco have sold more than us right now and that money is keeping the lights on.  In football, politics and elsewhere, when you have nothing else, you sell your credibility and play to your base.  This is how the world operates now: polarise and fill your boots.  Anger rewards imbeciles, you will see it every day.

We got to win the arguments but ‘Everyone thinks we are right’ does not sell season tickets as well as ‘Everyone’s against us’.  Hearts and Thistle need a bit of that love from their fans and I am sure ticket sales at both clubs bounce the more militant they sound.  The scorched earth policy to the rest of Scottish football is a sideshow; this is all about selling season tickets. Frame the question like that and everything mad that’s happened since April makes sense.

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  1. SAINT STIVS on 18TH JUNE 2020 8:12 PM



    Unusually no Celtic fans up there for away fixture ,Realised it was close season :O)

  2. AULDHEID @ 7:23 PM,



    Yes, I was naive, the old conformation bias works overtime when you are wedded to an idea like Celtic. You trust what people tell you.



    It became obvious to me at the end of Lenny’s first tenure that the Board were just making excuses for not investing in the Club… team, academy, facilities…



    Even then I put it down to a dour, over cautious Scottish outlook.



    If we now look at the shareholdings, the money amassed, the 5 way agreement and of course Res12, then there can be no doubt what we are dealing with.



    Fergus McCann’s vision of a very professionally run Club with a wide supporter ownership was only partly fulfilled to my mind, and has been in reverse since the last share issue. Every extra share in the hands of wealthy men and hedge funds further diminishes that.



    The season ticket holders at Celtic Park maintain a huge part of the burden for financing the Club. Maybe this season that “clarity” will enable fholk to sue for change.



    A membership scheme may cost many of us more money but I think it’s only right and proper.



    The way you have structured it, people can put in what they are willing to part with.



    Hail Hail

  3. Aberdeen in talks with their players about wage cuts. McCormack says they need to bridge the funding gap.



    If we’re going to sign McKenna, this summer is the time to do it.



    I’ve been away from football too long.


    I read the BBC headline saying Kane and Son to start for Spurs v Man United and I thought, “That’s nice! Harry is going to be playing alongside his boy” ”




    I am even worse. I read your post and could see nothing wrong with your thinking !



    Cheerio for now.

  5. BURNLEY78 on 18TH JUNE 2020 12:36 PM


    Spot on Paul.




    They have played to the base and are succeeding. We are complacent and despite Offering to credit fans in a relatively respectful manner the Celtic faithful is not engaging yet for a potentially momentous season.






    I’d suggest that the reason that many Celtic supporters have not engaged is because they saw the manner of offering credit as the very antithesis of a ‘relatively respectful manner’.

  6. I thought it was nice of Burnley78 to pop in


    Must have been at Celtic Park to see the launch of Eden Mill 9 in a row Gin

  7. I think that the posts on here reflect the ethos of the original idea that the club was set up for, unfortunately I side with a poster from the brig in that it doesn’t reflect the support in general who don’t care about governance etc they only want to beat the team from Ibrox and don’t even get too excited about the same club idea.



    Just my experience of meeting and talking to others in work, pubs or at games

  8. GuyFawkesaforeverhero on

    AULDHEID on 18TH JUNE 2020 7:23 PM



    Enjoyed looking at the spreadsheet. Is it correct to say it starts after the current owners are bought out? Pie in the sky.



    A membership scheme will face the same dilemma Celtic subscribers did 123 years ago. The solution that held sway then was to incorporate to remove the threat of personal ruin arising from unaffordable liabilities. It would be no different now.



    Business comes first because the business is to run a professional football club. Dividend distribution is unchanged in twenty five years at £500k per year. Shareholders can be satisfied there hasn’t been a call on capital for fifteen years. The Sevco practice of servicing losses by bleeding shareholders is ruinous.



    The work you guys did on Res12 shows us the Board are cowards. I wish they weren’t. C’est la vie.

  9. Auldheid can you tell me how we get out of a TV deal with Sky that is for 5 years and how you sell the idea to the other clubs who don’t normally support Celtic Initiatives?




    And others on the Centre Half debate… Apologies didn’t get a chance to reply.



    I think it was you who made the comment about MO’N having Lenny and Paul Lambert in front of the defence. Actually, that thought did strike me, MO’N was very serious about defence.



    Think you make a good point about our support – our custodians know their client base.






    There are many successful membership models in modern football and it doesn’t have to mean amateur and it doesn’t have to mean no limited liability.



    It doesn’t mean you can’t partner successful businesses who could be stakeholders. It’s getting the model right and running it professionally to put the best team possible on the pitch.



    The PLC model has failed at Celtic.



    I get that we are very professionally run, I get that doing that isn’t easy and takes great skill and ability.



    Yet Celtic are under-achieving and are stale.



    Now, some seen Fergus as cautious and tight but he was prudent and innovative.



    He built a new stadium, re-imagined the merchandising, brought in a great season ticket model.



    The current Board are simply prudent. With revenue built on the “old firm” model.



    If you go back 15 years, we had a new Academy in the offing, Channel67 TV and a state of the art website. We were well ahead of the game,



    None of these cutting edge projects have been developed as they should. Celtic TV, The website, the academy and many other aspects of our business model have flattered to decieve.



    Where’s the Barrowfield and Hotel development…



    No as long as season tickets and merchandising sells the Board are quite happy… they can thank Fergus who did that 25 years ago.



    And of course our CEO’s penchant for gambling on player trades – keeps him happy but doesn’t help with the old squad building.



    Here’s a question for you…



    …if you couldn’t take a dividend out of a PLC but wanted to get that value, how would you do it?



    Hail Hail

  11. glendalystonsils on

    Re my post at 8.11pm maybe nobody else picked up on it but it certainly seemed to me that bbc Scotland were trying (again) to tar us with the hun brush.


    Anyway , what the hell . Nothing new.

  12. ChairBhoy, I think you make some valid points there. The Tv channel was excellent for its time and we haven’t seen a return in players out of the academy that we should have expected.



    I don’t have any answers however what has happened to centre half’s/forwards in the modern game in Scotland, we only seem to have ‘midfielders’ come through these days

  13. if you couldn’t take a dividend out of a PLC but wanted to get that value, how would you do it?






    By running a well organised business allowing for long term share price growth.

  14. GuyFawkesaforeverhero on

    CHAIRBHOY on 18TH JUNE 2020 11:02 PM



    The short answer to your final question to me is you would expect share price movement to reflect the company’s activity thus be holding unrecognised gains on your shareholding when profits are reported.. Such gains are the value your iinvestment has earned for you instead of a dividend distribution.



    Share price is one of PL’s key indicators because stability is valued by such as Lindsell Train and strong price is valued by DD. Those two represent two thirds of the ownership.

  15. Glendalys @1124 – Aye, that’s an absolute joke if they are trying to be balanced by lobbing us in with those thugs.



    But as you say, is it anything new?




    Yes, that’s what I thought. Now, I’m not sure if there is a reason Celtic PLC can’t pay a dividend outside of the preference shares, but to my way of thinking it would be frowned upon.



    So instead of paying out profits as a dividend or re-investing them in the business if you were to put the cash in the bank, that would directly bare on the share price.



    A business with circa £80 million in revenue would see it’s shareprice boosted hugely with £40 million cash in the bank.



    Interesting then that it’s one of PL’s KPIs.



    Thanks for that.



    An Dun @ 11:52,



    Yes, that’s true but as stated above, having (relatively speaking) a large sum of money in the bank would boost the share price more in a business like football and would offer much better liquidity than long term growth.



    Hail Hail

  17. “GLENDALYSTONSILS on 18TH JUNE 2020 11:24 PM


    Re my post at 8.11pm maybe nobody else picked up on it but it certainly seemed to me that bbc Scotland were trying (again) to tar us with the hun brush.”



    They did their best to ignore the Hun reality of the `clash`.


    Reference to `left and right; green and blue`was delivered in a `these two are at it again.Sigh.` type of voice.It made it seem balanced when it was, in fact, as bad a piece of biased reporting as I have heard. Truly dreadful BBC.


    Aff oot.

  18. UEFA will not assess Clubs this year for compliance with FFP rules.



    Bit of a result for the hun.

  19. Regarding Dafabet… 03/08/2018



    “Celtic have sealed a bumper new deal with shirt sponsors Dafabet for another seven years.



    The five-year contract extension, which will run to 2025, has been described by the Premiership champions as “Scottish football’s biggest ever front of shirt sponsorship deal”.



    The betting company has extended its relationship with Celtic on a long-term agreement on the eve of the new season”.

  20. !!Bada Bing!! on

    England medical chiefs say Level 4 to be reduced to Level 3,I think the Action Plan now indicates SD can be reduced or minimized

  21. Its going to be torture this season with two 12 week transfer windows



    “Get the finger out Celtic”


    “We signed anybody yet?”





  22. prestonpans bhoys on




    That may help in opening up beer gardens. A lot of pubs were set for this weekend😱😱

  23. Chairbhoy,


    Not going with your opinion that Celtic try and sell players for the benefit of the shareholders.Cant think of one player,sold for big money,that did not want to leave.


    The thinking that Celtic should not be run as a profitable business,is just ludicrous to me.I have countless Celtic supporting friends,in Scotland,Australia,America,etc,and I know,they only care about Celtic being well run,and successful.The politics,being well down on their list,if at all.People read these blogs,and get swayed,that maybe this is the general consensus among the fans.It is not.The vast majority that go to the games want what they are getting now.A financially secure club,and loads of success on the park.

  24. GLENDALYSTONSILS on 18TH JUNE 2020 11:24 PM


    Re my post at 8.11pm maybe nobody else picked up on it but it certainly seemed to me that bbc Scotland were trying (again) to tar us with the hun brush.


    Anyway , what the hell . Nothing new.



    I made an official complaint to bbc about the bbc scotland reporting of the incidents at george Sq. no reply as yet will post if i get one

  25. Glendalys, I believe the ‘blue / green’ comment came from the chairman of the police federation. Essentially, the trade union body for rank and file officers.



    A quite dreadful turn of phrase.



    I didn’t catch it on BBC. Presumably, they carried his comments verbatim

  26. Mursheen


    It is good that you have made a complaint.


    Unfortunately, the BBC will not respond in any meanigful way.


    The more dominant Celtic become, the more the Scottish Establishment try to smear our reputation and underplay our achievements.

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