Why Who Pays The Bills At Ibrox Should Be An Issue For Every Celtic Fan.

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Earlier on, I wrote a piece on why we should all support the team behind Resolution 12, and why it is just plain wrong for anyone in the Celtic family to be criticising these guys. Whether you believe in their cause or not, they are fellow supporters who have stuck their necks out to do the right thing and they already eat enough dirt from our enemies.

After I posted it I got an email from a friend of mine suggesting this article; he, like I do, believes that the issue of who pays the bills at Ibrox is one that should interest and intrigue our entire support. He cannot understand, as I cannot, anyone who thinks it’s not important.

So at his suggestion, I’m going to write briefly on why I think it is.

You don’t have to go back that far into the past to understand that essentially there are three issues here.

The first is, whether or not we’re being cheated.

The second is how deep the hole is over there and what another administration event could do to Scottish football.

The third is about how another meltdown over there would affect the relationship between our club and our fans.

All of those things are important to Celtic in their own way. All of those things have an impact not only on us in the here and now but into the future.

Let’s start with the first one. It’s the most obvious one.

All of us agree that the use of EBT’s in the 2000’s was not only wrong morally but that it violated football’s regulations. It’s not for nothing that we call it “financial doping.” In trying to hide what they were doing from the tax-man (the surest sign that they realised what they were doing was wrong) they broke football’s rules by hiding the contracts.

They used a tax scam to obtain a sporting advantage. It is the same as if they’d been paying their players in brown paper bags.

The question is, how do we know something similar isn’t going on right now?

How do we know that there aren’t dark forces at play here?

For all we know Ibrox might be paying its bills through the proceeds of crime; that’s an extreme example, but that’s precisely the point. Enough about their business practices is opaque to make it entirely feasible.

The regulations regarding this stuff are so weak as to be non-existent.

The whole auditing process depends on clubs honestly declaring their financial affairs. What the SFA system essentially does is asks legit people and crooks alike to swear on a stack of bibles that they are playing it straight. Previous boards out of Ibrox did it with a straight face for years.

And since the SFA neither knows nor cares to know what the true situation is over there, anything could be going on. That club could be on the brink of hitting the wall for all we know. Imagine that it is. We would celebrate that fact, but then the reckoning would start. Sponsors and advertisers would head for the hills. They might never return. The authorities would demand answers and explanations and heads would roll.

But the critical thing is what wouldn’t happen.

The current club at Ibrox would suffer an automatic points deduction for entering administration.

If administration proved too difficult to navigate – say some mystery hedge-fund had loaned them the money to survive last season and wasn’t interested in pennies in the pound – and liquidation followed; here’s what would not happen the same as last time.

The SFA regulations now allow clubs to die and be born again … with the NewCo assuming the OldCo’s place in the league. There would be no starting at the bottom this time. Having cheated, and been caught, Rangers 2 could morph into Rangers 3 and the only penalty they would suffer was that 15 point slap on the wrist.

Think about what the consequences of that sham would be.

Would the game here ever recover?

Its credibility would be essentially zero.

This is a debt dumpers charter; the only surprise is that since it was introduced post 2012 no club has taken advantage of the obvious benefits of it. But one will, at some point, and it might even be the current Ibrox one.

Lastly, think about what the impact of that would be on our fans.

Even if all that happens is that the second Ibrox club goes into administration and has to start cutting, a lot of our supporters – and I am very clear that I’d be one of them – would be furious with Celtic for allowing this situation to develop again.

Our failure to act to introduce FFP and other regulations cost us 10 in a row; they massively overspent their way to that title and I hold every single one of our directors personally accountable for allowing that to happen.

This wasn’t sleeping at the wheel; it was getting pissed, getting behind the wheel and driving whilst out of their nuts until the inevitable accident.

The people in charge of our club should be damned for all eternity for not being able to protect us from an Ibrox club which did this again. How many lessons do these people need? It’s already too late for the most important one to matter.

If you are attending the AGM it is far and away the most important question you can ask; “Why did our club not push for financial fair play regulations in 2012, when we still had a chance to make sure that a financial doped club never again took a title off us?”

Because mark my words, this has already affected the relationship many of our fans have with our own club. The implications of our failure to act on FFP have been clear to some of us all the way through the Ibrox NewCo’s steady climb through the leagues, a run built on debt right from the start. It has been readily apparent that they would not stop until either they ran into the wall or were made to by the regulations. But the regulations are weak and as long as they could utilise financial sleight of hand they were never going to have to worry.

This is important because it asks hard questions about the people running Celtic. Can you even imagine the consequences for the relationship between the club and the fans if the second Ibrox operation died the same as the first … and the third started in the top flight, as the regulations were hastily re-written to assure? Understand, the worst has already happened.

Not only did we fail to take the steps that would have stopped their title challenge in its tracks … but we helped them write the Get Out Of Jail Free Card if their over-spending has consequences. It does make even a cynic like me wonder if we see some necessary evil in having them alive. I don’t subscribe to that theory, as most people know, but I understand why some do.

This is why the issue matters. It’s why all the various strands of the battle for better governance over football in Scotland – part of which is Resolution 12 – matter. This affects our club in ways too numerous to count, and some of them count for a lot.

As I said the other day, this is the month when we’ll find out how deep the hole over there is. The size of it isn’t half as important as knowing just how Ibrox filled it. From the outside it seems like an impossible task … they should have to account for every penny, and Celtic should be at the front of the queue in demanding those answers.

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  • Nick66 says:

    Agree James, our Board has wilfully deceived us regarding the 5way, the RES12/11 issues. They have neglected their duties as Custodians of our club to act in yhe best interests of Celtic. It is a very complicated thing that Auldhead and the RES 12 lads embarked on and I agree they do deserve our support. In all honesty much of it is beyond me, however, the basic premise of a level playing field, a properly governed league, run on the basis of all clubs striving to be all they can safe in the knowledge that all other clubs behave properly and the authorities apply rules without fear or favour.
    Until we get a board that will stand up to those principles then, sad to say, our game will remain a backwater league

  • Stevie says:

    I’ve said many times before our board are knee deep in this fix.
    Old Firm is a money spinner.
    Dom Mckay I believe paid the price for wanting to expose this.

    • Jim Duffy says:

      Well said Stevie you hit the nail on the head there mate,I wouldn’t be surprised if Sevco or SFA have got a hold of us by the short and curlies ,why else would the Celtic board refuse to call any of this out.

    • John mcghee says:

      Celtic were involved in the fix buy signing the 5way agreement p.lawwell and our board are dirty cowards bastards.

  • John Johnston says:

    Great stuff James, Auldheid (and friends) are heroes of mine, he fights the good fight for us all.
    I read an article the other day that said Celtic run 6 busses to first team matches to comply with Covid regulations. I was treasurer of Blackpool Shamrock CSC for about 8 years responsible for coach hire, I am staggered at the money we appear to be giving to Parks of Hamilton.
    Surely with a 1st team, Woman’s teams B teams and youth teams we must have an in house transport system rather than pay Parks?

    • john mc guire says:

      i have been a coach driver almost 46 years and also an ex driver with parks there is no charge to Celtic the scotland team coach s.f.a. rangers and also hearts because his father auld dougie was a chairman on the hearts board and all the above teams dont get any charge for the coaches ,,,,,,,,,, yes all free any thing else i would be happy to answer you .

  • Gerard Elliott says:

    It is very obvious to me and should be to all ,
    Some of our directors are masons and will not go against their brothers at the SFA, SPFL, REFEREES ASS , and therefore will not act on our behalf ,there should be no masons allowed on the board or at least declare as I did ,, what school did you go to ,, G E

  • REBELLIOUS says:

    Hear hear however, as you said the damage was done when they slanted the ‘new club rules’ to suit their probable future debt-ridden selves enabling them to do likewise again.
    The stink of treachery and self preservation must’ve been smog-like when those cowardly, greedy bastards sat round making those rules and in doing so, they could well have cost us our National game.
    That lot ‘shit-co’ are shameless, they’ve fqt it for TIAR and now their possibly dragging all of Scottish fitba with them, every club in Scotland has to stand against this scourge of fitba.
    Celtic board are deep in this, neck deep in it, complicit by their inaction, at least and without doubt they’ve sold our collective Celtic souls. Celtic are not innocent here, not by any measure.
    No wonder so many generational lifelong supporters have said enough’s enough.
    I’m wondering what my Auld man would’ve say about it, little I’d say, because he’d probably already have chucked it too.

  • unrepentant fenian says:

    heard slippy G is being paid from a well known scaffold buisness

  • unrepentant fenian says:

    i have not paid a penny into my one true love in life and only been inside paradise since oldco died and lazarus fc was spawned with freebies until DD n co are out or i pop my clogs thats how its got to be for me the board have been at it all along

  • D Campbell says:

    Could you send me the articles within the SFA rulebook that state what you have said… that now clubs can go to the wall and restart in the same league?

    It a not something I was aware of, I would like to read it.

  • Paul Maclennan says:

    This is exactly the article I wish I was capable of writing. I gave up our seats of 15years this season as I’ll not forget how we lost the ten and Brendon , to me the two are linked. We sat by hiding behind banners while our club threw away the chance to be a force in Europe off the back of unchallenged domestic success because someone believes we are half of something.
    The same something that most of us come up against in our day to day lives . The hatred of the hun , we are only tolerated by them when they are in the position of power they would NEVER have allowed us the same quarter we gave them. You may think I’m entitled or possibly bitter , I’ll take bitter because I am but entitled? As a Tim? I think not . We had a golden chance to go on to be the club we could be and it was thwarted from within. We operate a no risk milk the fans buisness model and I for one have better ways of wasting my family’s money than handing it to bankier and the likes.
    Hail hail

  • Rory MacLeod says:

    That is.. BRILLIANT! Ignore the question mark..

    A small cynical part of me believes Celtic FC PLC were infiltrated at board level and sold their soul to the devil.

    A snowflake fan base at times prevents decent Celtic supporters putting their heads above the parapet..

    PL was the puppet master.. in extremis.. controlled EVERYTHING AT OUR CLUB.. but in a certain way. Real Celtic fans would be calling this out since BEFORE 2012 , in the days of MIM HBOS and Dunfermline.

    It’s ALL there. If you know the history.


  • James Cullen says:

    The fact our directors did not push for FFP in Scottish football was neither falling asleep nor getting passed at the wheel.
    Our directors DID NOT want FFP because they wanted a Rangers…any Rangers, in the league….because its part of their business model.

    FFP would have delayed, perhaps even prevented, a swift return of the mordor club to the top tier.

    Our directors know we will support our club, and use our love of celtic to do whatever they consider will suit their aims….all of which is the almighty pound.

    The present board consists of two directors/members , who have historical ties to the mordor club….FACT.

    The board have consistently acted outwith the interests of the club on the field, and continue to distance themselves from the support by ignoring our voices.

    This board are not fit for purpose….but please do not believe they erred in not pushing for FFP…..they did not want it because it did not suit their endgame.

  • JJ says:

    Two insightful articles. More power to your pen, James.

  • John S says:

    Laundry ferry coming over from Larne to Stranraer.

  • Mark B says:

    The board at Ibrox have put there hands in their own pockets gambled on stopping ten and won. They have spent big to put a better team on the park than ours. It’s clear they are gambling again to get the 30m+ CLeague money next season. Those are the facts. They are bank rolling huge losses that is a massive commitment. It merely emphasises how absolutely awful our board truly is by comparison. We need to focus on why our board has failed us. Even Phil McG recognises there is no impending financial meltdown at Ibrox precisely because the board there are bankrolling losses. They can do this indefinitely that is how finance works provided they stay with UEFA FFP rules as they have done so far then all is in order. There is no doubt they cheated 10 years ago no doubt at all but now is different they are gambling better than we are.


      Ask yourself this- just who the hell is funding the losses?
      Almost if not over £100 million (include this season) since they crawled out the grave.
      Who in the name of fluck can afford to gamble that sort of money?
      That’s the real question to be asked. Who or what organisation(s) is funding them ?
      That question should be asked by not just the Football Authorities ( as if they really cared), but by PC Plod, HMRC, and The Scottish Government. Because if this all goes tits-up it could finish the game in Scotland and the ripples will be felt throughout Scotland. Economically, Politically, damaging leading to Social unrest and that’s no hyperbole.

  • Clachnacuddin and The Hoops says:

    The Celtic Blog…

    A magnificent forum James. Keep at them. Keep exposing them. Thank God your here for guys like me.

    You are the future, the media are yesterday’s poodles.

    Love your investigative talent and been reading a long time and will as I live.

    Hail Hail eternally !

  • Jack armstrong says:

    When king got his 5million back rangers had to pay there 3millon pound loan back to the government.has this happened.if not then this needs to be looked into. god knows what kind of people have put money into ibrox.who buys shares that are worth nothing .they tried to raise 6 million and were lucky to have gotten 4million.if that had have been celtic they would have got the 6million in Glasgow alone..hail haik

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