Shareholder focus at yesterday’s AGM, the first in a decade without the Premiership trophy, concentrated less on the football situation than how the board were connecting with the wider support.
Brian Wilson, former MP and Celtic historian, was called to account for writing in an obituary that Rangers were “demoted” to the fourth tier of Scottish football. Such a demotion is not possible within the rules. He should, perhaps, have known Rangers were liquidated.
This mattered little to his Scotsman reading audience, but if you were a Celtic fan throughout the last 30 years, it counts. Despite some historic success, Celtic were often subjugated during the 90s and first 11 years of this century by an opponent that care little for the rules of the game or our tax laws. It is inconceivable I would write that word in this context, Brian needs to reconnect.
A perennial AGM favourite, the role of the non-executive directors (NEDs) was raised. NEDs are important to a business, they ensure the interests of all stakeholders are heard, not just major shareholders. There is a wealth of talent within our community, some global leaders in their industry. This is a reasonable expectation from small shareholders.
If after Ian Livingston’s experience any of them were
mad brave enough to take the task on, I have no doubt Celtic would benefit from fresh NED eyes.
As you would expect, the board were unable to comment on speculation they were considering employing Police Scotland chief, Bernard Higgins, who appears to have worked closely with the Scottish Government on their incredible treatment of Celtic. I have no information on this, but the speculation, together with Brian Wilson’s obit piece, had many in the room perceiving a gap where none should exist. Some retro work here, please, Celtic.
Financial director, Chris McKay, and chairman, Ian Bankier, both informed the room that Celtic were one of 10 clubs working with Uefa to implement improved Financial Fair Play regulations. Let’s hope that is fruitful.
The away ticket allocation issue was brought up. In short, most of us do not get a sniff of a ticket, unless we pick up one of the many never used by an exec holder with rights. This is how getting a ticket for an away game works at Celtic, it is not satisfactory or good for the club.
Interim chief exec, Michael Nicolson, received a comparatively supportive reception, although no questioner asked about the board’s long-term plans for this role. Michael informed the room they were working with Ange Postecoglou on building up the football department, including potentially appointing a director of football.