This Ought To Be The Last Financial Report Bankier Signs Off On As Celtic Chairman.

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Yesterday, we released our financial results for last season, and in the context of that disastrous year most people actually thought they were pretty good.

Making a loss is never something to boast about, but huge damage was inflicted on our club by the ravages of the global health crisis.

Once again, the supporters came through however.

Ian Bankier is not a Celtic supporter. He has never been a Celtic supporter.

Phil Mac Giolla Bhain caught him out at his very first press conference when he asked him a simple question about his first Celtic game and who his first Celtic hero was; he got a rambling, shambling horror of an answer.

Phil knew that he would flap at that question; Bankier wasn’t a Celtic fan, as advertised.

Indeed, he’s a rugby fan with no interest in football.

I’d be willing to bet that Ian Bankier has never once, in his life, put a penny into our club.

Yet there he sits, at the top of the house.

There he’s sat for years now, offering nothing, a puppet on a string pulled from Ireland.

This is a man who has, several times, gratuitously insulted our fans. This is a man whose entire time as chairman has been a vapid demonstration of what hiding in the back looks like. A chairman should be a leader. What a joke.

We live in an era of high visibility, where those in a public role should be putting themselves front and centre on a regular basis.

I’ve seen Celtic chairmen who did that, in years gone by, before everyone knew how to use the internet, before 24-hour television was a thing, before blogs and podcasts and more ways to get in front of people than ever before.

John Reid used to attend fan events. He was always in the press, talking about the club and his ideas for it. He led from the front on issues such as The Famine Song. He was the guy who signified a decisive break with the idea of us as “the other side of the coin” from those at Ibrox. A lot of our fans might not have liked him, but he left an imprint on Celtic.

Brian Quinn was another leader. He came from banking, but he understood communications and leading by example. He talked to the press. He made himself available. He articulated a vision for the club. He treated the fans with respect.

Reid and Quinn had gravitas. One came from the top levels of politics and the other from the highest levels of finance. Bankier is a whiskey salesman. He’s not a strategic thinker or a leader of men. I have never been even slightly impressed by him.

Like Nicholson, he’s a corporate drone.

His latest long-winded statement to the financial report was preposterous. We are supposed to accept that the club has “drawn a line” under the last campaign? That’s the problem, as should be shockingly obvious to anyone who thinks about it for two seconds.

Two people fell on their swords for that disgrace, Lennon and Lawwell. Lawwell remains on the board in an emeritus position.

His number two now occupies his former seat.

If you want me to put this in a political context, the modernisers are now weaker than they were and the reactionary elements have a stronger hold than ever before. And it was their brilliance that caused last season’s disaster in the first place and which hamstrings us today.

Bankier wants last year stuck in the rear-view mirror as though it were a lightning strike instead of a colossal failure of leadership and vision. The appointment of Nicholson shows how little has actually changed; in short, it shows that nothing has actually changed.

A real chairman, a real leader, would have taken that opportunity to signify that real changes were coming, that the club took last year’s failure seriously, that they saw it as a warning that something had gone very badly wrong with the strategy.

He would have announced a strategic review, overseen by top experts, and he would have committed the club to excellence in the appointment of a new CEO and promised the manger every resource that the organisation could commit.

There was none of that, and it wasn’t just the absence of such a vision that should have concerned us but the lack of recognition that we might even need one. It was as if years like the last one just happen, that they are part of the cycle, that nobody is at fault.

These people are lazy and arrogant and out of touch. The whole lot of them.

But Bankier sums up their general attitude and their contempt for the rest of us.

This guy does not believe there are lessons to be learned here. He doesn’t think we need a vision as long as we can stay fractionally ahead of our rivals. And when we don’t? “Hey let’s draw a line under that and move on.” It is ghastly.

This must be Bankier’s last financial statement. This should be the last time he signs off on one of these as chairman. He has been a dreadful custodian, and those who point to the trophy haul under his tenure might as well be hailing the club chef for the same thing because their impact and their importance to those achievements is broadly the same.

Bankier will be remembered. That much is certain. Some of us will make damned sure that he is.

The Celtic chairman who called our own fans anti-Semites will have a permanent place in the Hall of Shame regardless of everything else. But his “leadership” coincided with some of the worst decision making any of us has seen from a Celtic board since the White’s and Kelly’s.

It is in their orbit that he will be remembered.

Not as a titan of Celtic but as a cautionary tale; he’s what happens when you opt for place-men and nodding dogs at the top of an organisation instead of people fizzing with ambition and ideas.

Ian Bankier is a triumph of mediocrity.

This is where he should finally bow out.

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  • Peter cassidy says:

    Bankier is only a figure head at celtic does @uck all I don’t think he even likes football, the main man is that so called celtic man desperate Desmond and his sons who he wants to take over our club, great if they have the vision and finance to take us to a better level we are at present well that won’t be hard because football is going to change over the next few years big clubs want more of the monies and power we will see some type of super leauges no doubt about that thats comming so I hope we are in a position to get some of the benefits when it comes in. Ps liewell still lurking in the back ground .

  • Frank Boylan says:

    Ian Bankier, no different from or any worse than the rest of the clowns that are running the circus that is Celtic fc. Well past time for a root & branch clear out of the lot of them, all our recent successes are in spite of them rather than because of them. Time for a board that goes hand in glove with the wants, wishes & ambitions of the Celtic support, who at the end of the day are Celtic & always will be. See last year, mind when that shower of charlatans told us we thought we were entitled, they for once, we’re 100% right. We are entitled, more than entitled,to have the custodians of our club in place that are prepared to go the whole hog, in improving our club, our stadium, fighting for our club, with every last breath, the corrupt SFA, SPFL , the corrupt refereeing system, all their honest mistakes & retrospective red cards, their covid mistakes, failure to referee matches without the blue glasses on & that’s before we even go down the road of 5 way agreements, cheating on an industrial scale, points & trophy deductions, resolution 12 & everything else that ineffectual, no use shower of wage thieves accepted & brushed under the carpet. we the supporters, the ever present are fully entitled & have been for too long.

  • Iljas Baker says:

    I don’t want Bankier to “bow out”, I want him pushed out by the fans. The annual report clearly shows the club relies on sales of tickets and merchandise and withholding these could be very persuasive.

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