Being true to Walfrid’s vision.

There is a resolution about club licensing and financial pair play in front of the Celtic AGM next month.

It is an entirely laudable effort by several concerned shareholders and I commend the resolution to anyone with a vote at the AGM.

Currently the club licensing system in Scotland is flawed and people often confuse it with membership.

Clubs in Scotland can and do play without a licence and, for example, almost certainly RIFC/Sevco does not currently have one.

The resolution argues that membership of the association should be conditional on a club being granted a licence, but it is not. Membership is at the SFA’s discretion with no criteria listed.

Of course had UEFA Financial Fair Play guidance 2010 been around a lot earlier and policed properly (crucial point) then Rangers (1872-2012) would never have got into the position where they died from indebtedness.

Moreover, as I have written here before, Rangers almost certainly should not have been granted a licence by UEFA to play in their competitions in season 2011/2012.

The response of the Celtic Board to this resolution has been to say that the SFA looked into the entire Rangers in Europe thingy in 2011 and it and it’s all fit and proper.

“The company received assurance from the Scottish FA regarding the Club Licensing process Season 2011/2012 at the time. The board considers that it took appropriate steps to protect the interest of the Company.”

Sorry Peter, but that’s bollox and I suspect now that you know that it is bollox.

The only reasonable scenario that I can come up with was that someone at Parkhead has not been paying full attention to the entire flying circus at Ibrox.

I know that they have been meticulously briefed over several months.

My guess is that the information provided was not looked at with any care until this resolution entered the AGM system.

This resolution is not about Rangers (1872-2012) per se, but about the failure of the SFA to exercise their duty of oversight in the governance of the game in Scotland.

You will note that the resolution refers to ‘Financial Fair Play Regulations of 2010’.

Apart from combating racism and discrimination in the game Platini’s vision thing is about preventing financial doping.

It was that performance enhancing substance that David Murray poisoned the Scottish football with when he bought Rangers with the banks money in 1988.

Celtic supporters have Brian Quinn to thank for opting out of the debt fuelled arms race that led Rangers to self-destruct.

However, there is another type of financial fair Play that should also focus minds as Celtic shareholders gather for the AGM.

There is another resolution in front of the shareholders and the Board is also opposing this one.

The Parkhead club is a slick operation, of that there is no doubt.

The ability of Celtic to run a self-sustaining football budget of £30 million is really quite something and is to be commended.

Everything comes at a cost and , for example, failure to get into the Champions League Group Stages means that the club has to sell a player to make up for the loss of revenue that season.

The resolution calls for Celtic to pay the Living Wage (calculated at £7.45 per hour) and the Board is opposing this.

The people that run Celtic say that they can’t afford the extra £120,000 per annum that it would reportedly cost the club to provide a living wage to their staff.

That is £2,307 per week.

When Gordon Strachan won his first SPL title as Celtic manager he invited all of the back room staff out onto the podium as well as the players.

Some considered this a stunt at the time, but I thought it was spot on from the wee man.

Celtic Football Club was formed to alleviate hunger. The people that set up the club over 125 years ago were from the Famine generation in Ireland.

Brother Walfrid lived through An Gorta Mór as a child in his native Sligo

The idea that no child should go hungry was something that drove him to set up a football club in the east end of Glasgow.

Celtic is his legacy.

In contemporary Glasgow some people once again need charity in order to avoid hunger pangs gnawing at their families.

The Food bank is not the type of bank that the government bails out with your money.

However it is a symptom of the corporate ‘fuck you’ zeitgeist.

Last week I put a media request into the club about whether or not any Celtic staff were on zero hour contracts.

So far I haven’t had an answer.

Once more the Celtic supporters have their moral compass pointing in the correct direction and fair play to Thistle too. Scottish football is full of guid folk.

Yes, yes, I know that there is a morality free zone in Govan, but we all know that .


Like any football fan when I see my team on the park I want them to be better.

I suppose that is true about any supporter of any team at any time.

However, when it comes to Celtic and how they treat their staff I want Walfrid’s club to be better in other ways.

The club was established with charity in mind.

In opposing this resolution the Board are effectively saying that the club can’t find £2,307 per week to raise people up to a living wage.

I have simple solution for them:

Sell a player who earns that amount per week and put the transfer fee into a separate account.

That should pay Celtic’s staff a living wage for several years.

Of course if Neil Lennon said that he couldn’t afford to lose the player then I am sure that £2.307 per week could be shaved off executive remuneration without any loss of performance.

This winter some people who work at Celtic may be struggle to heat their homes while others on the payroll have warm driveways.

Is this part of Walfrid’s legacy?

Across the city we see a weekly soap opera where the remains of Sevco are ripped apart in a grisly display of hyena capitalism.

It is horribly fascinating to watch, but I hope that Celtic is better than that.

I’m proud that no creditors were stiffed in 1994 and that everyone was paid in full and, of course, that the club survived.

There was no NewCo con and no need for the SFA to bend the rules of the association out of shape to accommodate a phoenix operation.

However, I will be prouder if I know that the people who work for Celtic and pass Walfrid’s statue every day are fairly treated and aren’t queuing at a food bank to feed their family.

The Celtic Football Club that I grew up supporting was founded to stand up to the powerful and be shoulder to shoulder with the vulnerable.

This Board seems to be happy to do the exact opposite.

Please vote ‘YES’ to both resolutions.

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