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Five key areas that the Celtic board escaped scrutiny on at the AGM

With time limited and a once a year chance to ask the burning questions the Q and A at the Celtic AGM is something of a lottery.

About 75 minutes was allocated yesterday with the set up designed to ensure that the odds are stacked in favour of those on the podium who are generally being criticised, something that they aren’t accustomed to.

With Peter Lawwell now chairing the AGM voices of dissent are more unwelcome than ever.

Most of the questions yesterday were directed to Michael Nicholson, Brendan Rodgers got involved a few times with Chris McKay (Chief Financial Officer) and Chris Duffy (Company Secretary and Head of Legal) called in with that duo every bit as dull as their job titles would indicate.

The opening question was good, highlighting why it isn’t healthy to bring back a CEO as company Chairman, neither is it wise to allow a CEO to stay on beyond eight years but that has allowed Lawwell to micro-manage every area of Celtic with independent thinking not encouraged.

It was flanneled away, apparently Lawwell’s experience is priceless, such as in disastrous transfer dealings and consistently failing against smaller sized clubs in Europe.

I got through to ask the Chairman about his smug reply in 2019 that he hadn’t even read the Five Way Agreement of 2012. Once again he excelled himself, not just confirming that he hadn’t read it but stating that he’d never read it! He isn’t good at anger management which might be something for another shareholder to challenge.

Over to Nicholson and he really is starting to morph into his mentor. When I asked how many candidates he had interviewed for the post of Head of First Team Scouting and Recruitment and what outstanding qualities the son of the former CEO possessed he gave me a Hampden Showers reply.

It seems that Lawwell Mini was appointed by Ange Postecoglou! No-one else was interviewed with a manager 10 months into the job making a critical appointment in a role that was always going to outlast his own. Quite a dereliction of duty, straight from the play book of his mentor.

Pressing further on recruitment Brendan Rodgers was brought in to justify the failings of Lawwell Mini.

I wanted to know who sets out the demands on the so-called strategy. Did Nicholson set the targets for the summer transfer window, did Lawwell decide that seven projects were required or had Rodgers requested players miles short of Champions League level to be developed.

The manager is standing very close to Mark Lawwell, hopefully the Head of Recruitment can surprise us all and deliver two ready made first team players rather than handing five year contracts to top prospects in the Korean Second Division.

As a bonus the Jota mystery was solved. His transfer was announced around 9pm on July 3 but according to Chris McKay it was concluded late on June 30 and included in last year’s accounts. How strange boosting turnover by around 15% in the final minutes of the financial year.

Five issues that we’ll just have to wait and wonder over.


Sitting on the podium was an employee who was physically attacked while doing his job, alongside him were the men of silence, Nicholson and Lawwell.

Alonso is an incredibly enthusiastic character, he loves his job, he loves his employer and above all the players he works with and the Celtic support.

That combination turned out to be too much for Craig McPherson, after a late Celtic equaliser in the first ever SWPL match televised by Sky Sports he opted to head butt the Celtic coach. It wasn’t heat of the moment, it was a while after the final whistle and calculated.

Not a word came from Celtic about the outrage, similar to physio Daniel Friel having his head permanently disfigured by a bottle thrown by a corporate guest at Ibrox.

A slap in the wrist six match touchline ban followed, McPherson was pitchside at Hampden for the Scottish Cup Final. Celtic’s silence backs up the SFA inaction, it won’t be too long before another employee is on the receiving end from the fans and staff of the Ibrox Tribute Act.


Twice this year Celtic have been to Ibrox without a single fan inside the ground, not a word of explanation has been offered to the Celtic support to explain the situation.

It has been assumed that Health and Safety concerns have resulted in the club refusing tickets but that information has emerged second hand through the club’s favoured media messengers and their trusted ‘club sources’.

At the end of next month Celtic host the Glasgow Derby, if the away club is refused tickets it will all kick off with hoops supporters almost certainly left in the dark about the decision making of the club executives.


With a focus on recruitment it seems that one traditional and highly beneficial source has been virtually forgotten.

The days of the Kelly Kids and Quality Street Gang are long passed but the trickle of players coming through the ranks has completely dried up.

For more than a decade Celtic have been pushing their best young prospects into a programme with St Ninian’s School in Kirkintilloch that is supposed to combine the best from the academic and sporting worlds.

Getting teenagers up at 6am for early morning training sessions at Lennoxtown has proved to be disastrous, players don’t fancy that set up while the hopes of those that sign up end up in tatters playing in the Lowland League- which is producing Lowland League players.

UEFA requires Celtic to have four club developed players in their 25 man squad, beyond Callum McGregor and James Forrest the well has dried up.


Back in the late nineties Celtic Park was a fantastic venue, the biggest football ground in Scotland with views to die for compared to the homely, atmospheric ground of the past.

Twenty-five years on and the stadium is dated, travel to European matches has opened the eyes of supporters to 21st century facilities with the basic provision of WiFi patchy at best inside Celtic Park.

Catering facilities are rooted in the last century, badly overpriced and short on quality with toilets where hot running water and paper towels are considered a luxury.

Brian Rose, the latest silent non-executive director was at yesterday’s AGM, I suspect he wouldn’t want to show his colleagues from Apple around the ‘facilities’.


A decade ago Ronny Deila was explaining how important it is to have a proper indoor training facility, today the players were all pictured training wrapped up in a variety of layers.

A very impressive gym has been set up in the indoor area which rules it out for even small sided training drills.

With its location the Celtic Training Centre is picturesque but badly exposed, next month improved facilities will be built at Barrowfield for the Ladies Team and the B Team/ Academy.

Why the first team can’t be included into what appears to be a superior facility remains a mystery, mothballing Lennoxtown would be no loss with Barrowfield able to offer everything in a far more sheltered setting.

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