The Celtic futures of Ian Bankier and Brian Wilson are hanging in the balance this afternoon after both men were denied automatic re-election to the board.
In what amounts to a vote of no confidence amongst the ordinary shareholders, the chairman and the former Labour MP saw their elections go to a proxy count.
They will both win, because as I wrote earlier in the month Desmond and his allies have enough votes to get anything through, but the verdict from the shareholders in attendance is a major reversal for both.
Wilson was forced to apologise to the assembled throng for his disgraceful comments in The Guardian where he gave credence to the Survival and Victim Lies. Stating that he “understood” and was “fully aware” of the reality of the 2012 liquidation of Rangers, he tried to explain it away as something he wrote merely in the context of paying tribute to Smith, as if that makes a bit of sense or would be accepted by any thinking person.
On top of that, the explanation would have sat better had stand-in CEO (or should we just accept that he has that job now?) Michael Nicholson not scandalously told the Fans Forum that he was “factually correct” – a claim which this site has thoroughly dismantled.
That the issue was raised, though, and that he was made to explain himself is another measure of how angry people are with him for trotting out that dire garbage and this almost certainly played a major role in how the vote to re-elect him went.
Bankier’s own humiliation came on the day when he was booed several times and answered some of the questions he was asked with such open scorn that he has only widened the gulf that exists between him and the fans.
This sneering halfwit has been an embarrassment since the day he was hired, and has never come across as someone with the least understanding of, or regard for, the views of ordinary fans.
To say that his departure, when it comes, will be a good day for our club is an understatement. He, as much as any other individual, symbolises the gulf between the supporters and the directors. He is kidding himself to think that he still has a mandate after this afternoon.
His attack on the Scottish Government was plainly ridiculous, although it taps into a widely held – but erroneous – belief amongst a section of our fan-base. He should not be allowed to get away with his claim today that they were in some way responsible for the collapse of our season. This is the Lennon excuse and it doesn’t wash. He described the banning of Bolingoli and the cancellation of a couple of our fixtures as “the start of the downslide”, and says that it “stopped momentum.”
Is he joking? Frankly, if he’s suggesting that this is what derailed our quest for ten in a row then that’s just a ridiculous assertion with no basis in reality at all.
Let’s start with the claim that we were treated differently to others; I cannot say enough times that this is simply not true, and yet it is repeated over and over again.
The timeline for what happened here is clear.
When the season started it was made plain to all the clubs that they had responsibilities and that breaches of those responsibilities would result in some form of sanction. Aberdeen were the first club to be involved in such a breach.
On 1 August, the season opened with Aberdeen away at Ibrox. They lost 1-0 and that night eight of their players hit the town in spite of the regulations.
This wasn’t generally known until 7 August when they admitted their breach after getting two positive cases. Their match against St Johnstone was suspended, immediately, upon receipt of that information and six of their players were told to self-isolate.
The following day, 8 August, all eight Aberdeen players issued a public apology. Even as they were doing so, Leigh Griffiths was found to have hosted a birthday party for his girlfriend in violation of the regulations … and we got away with that, although people were warned that it was the last time that any club would be allowed to.
Three days later, Celtic informed the league, the SFA and the Scottish Government that Bolingoli had breached the regulations and we had taken action against him.
The Scottish Government, faced with three separate incidents in the space of the first eleven days of the season – and the second involving a Celtic player – had no option but to treat that with the utmost seriousness, and they did.
Two of our games were called off, and two more Aberdeen fixtures were called off. We were punished by two games suspended, they by having three suspended. We were involved in two incidents involving two different players, Aberdeen were involved in a single incident involving multiple members of their squad.
You could go round and round on which club had the bigger issue as you like, but the fact is that two clubs had players who broke the rules and both of those clubs were punished in virtually the same manner. That is the reality of it.
On Dubai, which was only indirectly addressed, we got exactly what we deserved for having made the lamentably stupid decision to go. The trip was utter nonsense; we were inviting trouble for ourselves and the arrogance of the whole club in pissing off for a jolly whilst the rest of the country was in lockdown was a stain on our reputation.
His little dance for the AGM might have worked, but this guy shouldn’t be attacking anybody but instead reflecting on his own dreadful job performance. The shareholders are at the end of their rope with this joker.
He is in place only because it suits others too gutless to face the fans themselves.
But from today he’s also on notice … this must be his last AGM.