The Latest Celtic Fan Forum Produces More Questions Than Answers.

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The latest “Celtic fan forum” took place the other day, and some of the people in attendance did a nice little summary and put it up on a couple of the sites.

To me, it sounded like a complete waste of time.

This is the “report” which appeared on CQN. I am going to subject this to the same treatment as I would a Keith Jackson article although the writer is clearly far more intelligent than that muppet, and on the right side of the fence. I just want to do it bit by bit.

This was posted by CQN regular !!Bada Bing!!

So thanks to him for that.

From the Celtic Fans Forum

Chaired by Brian Quinn (Board Members), Michael Nicholson CEO, Chris Mackay CFO, Chris Duffy Company Sec, John Paul Taylor Fans Liason Offiicer, Jennifer McGrath Company Solicitor.

First things first then; Brian Quinn? Ex-chairman Brian Quinn? What the Hell is he still doing hanging around? What age is that guy now? Hey, if I’ve got it wrong fair enough but it seems weird to me that he’s even involved in something like this. Secondly, the key people seem to be in attendance, although I wonder which cupboard the chairman is hiding in. One concern is the presence of the “company solicitor.” This is a fan forum; what’s a lawyer doing there?

It wasn’t the “greetin’ meeting” I expected. It was quite genteel. A lot of the audience around 60-70 seemed to be on first name terms with top table. This was first Fans Forum of season, the aim is 3 times a season.

There’s my first problem with this right away. That meeting should have been far from genteel. It should have been taken seriously as a real chance to hold people to account, not just to sit and listen to their pitiful excuses and evasions. Being “on first name terms” with the top table, for God’s sake, that’s problematic right from the off. Because these aren’t our mates, these are people we should be keeping right on top of.

There was an Agenda:


Away Tickets Process not changing

The first truly awful bit. No harm to !!Bada Bing!! whose notes are invaluable in us getting any understanding at all, but this needs to be minuted properly and put online where everyone can see it who is interested. Why don’t Celtic do that?

As unclear as it is, if we’re reading that right the club has confirmed to the fans forum that the away ticket scandal will be continuing for the foreseeable future, and that seems to confirm that the SPFL clubs are not interested in a minimum allocation.

Not a surprise, but a huge scandal that our club should be shouting about from the rooftops and I find it astonishing that we aren’t. There is no indication here that the club has a plan or intends to press the governing bodies for a proper solution to this.




Aapparently there are sub groups for these topics, they meet on semi regular basis

The “matchday experience” would be greatly enhanced for me if the team was playing better, with better quality in the team, and the Wi-Fi worked. But that’s just my personal view.

Stadium Catering – Presentation by Sodexho

Questions on quality and price, audience member asked why we don’t link up with Greggs for example, Chris Mackay said effectively a company will only have a 23hour trading window in a season (before game, half time etc) it’s not enticing for a Company like that. Link up with Smokey Trotters (local cafe in Gallowgate) good feedback on this.

No idea what all of that means, but the catering at football grounds is usually not great.

But Celtic, with the shocking bottled juice in kiosk cups, takes the piss-take to a whole new level. The food is generally bland and awful when I bother to eat it, which is rare.

Football fans do generally get treated abysmally on this front; you aren’t even getting pub grub from these stands and though I think the quality could be a Hell of a lot better I wonder that issues like this are really key priorities for people. It takes all kinds I guess.

Someone did ask about Vegan food (I was tempered to pipe in and say they could just not eat…or speak)

No comment really needed on that, is there? Probably just as well that thought wasn’t voiced during the meeting, and it’s not really one I’d have shared more widely outside of it.

Chris Mackay said all food price is linked to inflation.

True, but when you’re been charged outrageously for juice in a Styrofoam cup poured out of a plastic bottle that cost about £2 at most that’s got damn all to do with inflation and is just gouging fans. No other way to put it. I don’t intend to give the club the least benefit of the doubt on that one.

Glasgow City Council Traffic Order

Council bringing this up again.

Private company appointed by Council approached club for pre consultation. Company were unaware of issues that club and support had raised before. Constructive meeting with club.

Club will ask Fans to contribute to consultations again

Glasgow City Council really do hate football fans, don’t they? God alone knows what would happen to the economy of this city without them, but they have nothing but contempt for us.

There is virtually no half decent transfer infrastructure around our ground and now they want to restrict people bringing their cars … absolutely dreadful and for the company doing the “consultation” not to have any information to hand about previous submissions from Celtic says it all; the consultation itself is not a serious undertaking. It’s window dressing.

Presentation by “Jumping Through Hoops” an organisation which works with people who are offenders, particularly related to football offences. Costs 10k a year, success so far, one person avoided jail term and now in university (sort of good thing the club should speak about more IMO)

I’m all in favour of rehab. I agree that we should hear more about stuff like this.


Chris Duffy read out today’s statement

And now we’re getting to the guts of this … after working our way through catering questions, we come, at last, to some of the more serious business.

4 or 5th time club have written to SFA this season on VAR/referees.

3 previous SPFL club meetings, this has been an agenda point at each meeting.

I would suggest that it’s time we stop writing to them then, since they clearly don’t give a damn. And the SPFL meetings themselves seem to me like an utter waste of time considering how much of them are spent fire-fighting whatever Ibrox is up to at any given time, and dancing around taking action on the things that matter … like the away match ticket scandal.

Independent Review Panel set up – club “not 100% happy with make up”

That’s just begging for a follow-up question, but there’s no indication that anyone asked one. I would love to know what that means and I don’t think I’m alone.

On plus side, get to hear audio, speak to Crawford Allan, better process to get feedback

Oh wow. We have the same right to be ignored as every other club in the league except for the one that constantly demands meetings and can even demand officials are benched for their games. Honestly, a pointless, meaningless fluff answer.

Conflicts of interest – Referees are encouraged to disclose interest ”club feel doesn’t go as far as it should”. Celtic suggested going to EPL and using their review panel, clubs could meet extra costs (no feedback on this)

Interesting, but we should be given a lot more information on that first point.

Refs are “encouraged” to disclose “interest”?

That sounds like another ludicrous SFA fudge.

Nobody is going to volunteer that if it’s going to cost them. But it begs a question; what if it was established that such an interest existed?

What would happen then?

Damn all is the answer, I’ll bet, so not only voluntary compliance but no formal process for sanctioning any official where a conflict is revealed. It’s a joke.

It’s worse than the “fit and proper person” test where people are similarly “encouraged” to share information about why they shouldn’t own or operate clubs.

Self-certification. It’s farcical. It’s typical of the way this shitty association we’re part of operates. The one we continue to defend. The idea of using the EPL review panel is interesting … and that’s more like it in terms of how we should be thinking.

On John Beaton, Michael Nicholson asked if club would challenge any appointments by him. Nicholson said “we won’t grandstand like other clubs. Reply from audience “Collum hasn’t reffed them since Dec 30th, Grandstanding works.”

I agree with the guy from the floor. The SFA is trying to decide this title race. Our policy of not “grandstanding” enables these people walk all over us. This is weakness, pure and simple, and the club is trying to dress it up as a virtue. We’re fighting against people who have no scruples and will not hesitate to go low. We’ve got one hand in our pocket and another tied behind our back and we appear perfectly content with that approach. It’s madness.

Club will challenge any punishment Rodgers get re comments after game.

Challenge how? What exactly are we willing to do when the SFA bans him from Ibrox?


Michael Nicholson asked about ambition of club

Response “we aim to be world class in everything we do”

I am surprised that this didn’t dissolve the room in hilarity. Because Nicholson’s answer is just a complete insult to the intelligence of everyone in the room.

This club reeks of mediocrity from the training ground to the boardroom and this guy is prattling on about world class. What a disgraceful answer.

What a shocking way to respond to people who know better.

Response from Harry Brady (Celtic Underground)

“That’s all very nice, but we want specifics, I can go on websites of FC Myjitland, RB Salzburg, Copenhagen, Young Boys, Sporting Lisbon and get 5 year plan” “We should be aiming to be in euro final within 5 years, in year x we will spend y on infrastructure, improve recruitment and player trading”

Harry Brady is, of course, entirely correct. How many times have we lamented the lack of a strategy, or even just some form of one being presented to the supporters?

Those other clubs do lay their approach out and their goals and ambitions. You need to have them first though and just saying “we aim to win the top flight in Scotland every other year and get to the Champions League Groups where possible” isn’t going to fly is it?

Michael Nicholson said he we all want same thing and would have a report for next Fans Forum.

We all want the same thing, he says. It’s just not clear that we do though.

As to the report for the “next” fan forum, that’s “jam tomorrow” nonsense which won’t fly. A report? Why do I suspect he means a two paragraph “statement of intent” not worth the paper its written on? If such a strategy paper existed it would already be up on the website for everyone to see.

Audience member asked about perceived lack of transparency. Disconnect with Fans etc Nicholson said that was the reason for Forums like this.

Window dressing. Absolute window dressing.

Look at the stuff that wasn’t even discussed would you? Not one question about Lawwell Jnr or his departure, nothing on what the club’s long-term strategy to replace him is (or what they replace him with) or anything about why Rodgers requirements were completely ignored in the summer and we failed so completely in January.

Remember, these are held only a few times a year, this was the first chance people had to question and discuss those horror-show transfer windows. It was nothing but an easy ride with more information sought, and received, on the consistency of the pies.

Statements like “we aim to be world class in everything we do” when everyone knows that’s basically a lie effectively allowed to pass, and “oh I’ll bring a report next time” passed off as a real answer to probably the best and most important bit of questioning of the meeting.

A complete insult to Harry Brady and every other fan.

None of that suggests to me that there is any transparency to be had here. I ask again, what’s the company lawyer doing sitting there at a fan meeting?

Agenda for next Forum set then

Information on website about how you can you apply to attend

That was the bit that got me.

So, I went and checked it out.

And there is, indeed, a section on the website where you can submit an application to attend a fan forum meeting.

So, you know what I did? I filled the damned thing in, of course, and I told them exactly who I was. A question at the end asked why I want to attend; I told them straight up that I have my doubts that it’s a serious undertaking but that I’m willing to go to one and find out.

There is no way I’m not going to that if I get a chance to, and closer to the time, should my “application” be successful, I will let you know all about it … and I’ll cast the net out for the ideas and suggestions you think I should be going in there with.

I’ll also make sure to take a proper set of minutes for the thing.

We’ll see what kind of response I get.

It should be interesting and revealing one way or the other.

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  • John says:

    The fans forum has always been open for any fan to attend.

  • Kevan McKeown says:

    Sounds just like the pointless AGM’s. Just another obligatory inconvenience for these board members. Go and listen tae a handful of fans. Fob them off with answers that don’t cover the issue. Avoid the REAL issues like the plague. Sit there and be patronized by a bunch of inept dinosaurs, who, as movin a club forward, have no idea whit they’re talkin about. Then it’s back tae ‘as ye were’ where everybody’s concerned. Fuckin waste of time.

  • sligo123456 says:

    An absolute embarrassment of a board. The ‘cup’ of juice for 2 quid is shocking! No draught drinks machines for example? No wonder the huns run riot against this mob. It would be too complimentary to call them amateurish!!

  • Gerry says:

    Thanks for update James. Reads a bit like the minutes from a school PTA meeting. It should be mightily interesting if you get invited along…accountability and answers to real issues should be the order of the day ! The date of the next one may well get our attention. Will it be in the aftermath of a title retention? We await with baited breath !!!

  • scousebhoy says:

    the equivalent of prime ministers question time an insult to democracy and the intelligence .

  • Tony says:

    James… great idea, why not ask Phil to apply ascwell

  • William Melvin says:

    Sounds to me like it’s the usual “happy clappers” who got the invite,James.
    Why the hell would they even contemplate inviting aggressive bloggers such as yourself to their wee tete a tete ?
    Give yersel a shake,ma mhan,pmsl.
    I would be astonished were you to be invited to such a gathering as they obviously vet their prospective attendee’s for possible/probable serious and to the point questions.
    On that single note you would be black balled sine die !
    This is another “tea and biscuits” sit down for the arse lickers in our support who see the custodians of our club as doing a grand job and who are all too happy to give the board and their parasite chairman a rousing three hip hip hooray’s,have their heads patted and sent on their merry ways.
    Job done !!!

    Ps,l’m actually shocked to read that you ever use the catering at Paradise,as l thought you you would be like myself,who for years has boycotted any form of monetary transaction with these bastards running our club into the ground.
    Apart,that is,from my season book…..Get with the programme, bro !

  • Bob (original) says:

    Talking shop.


  • Not Lawell says:

    CQN are just puppets for Lawell

    • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

      They certainly are very easy going and very easily forgiving – something that you will absolutely get shat on from a great height in this fcukin rancid Football cuntry for certain…

      ‘Rangers’ this ‘Rangers’ that with no mention whatsoever that their beloved Queen’s Excise Officers closed them down eternally 11 years and 267 days ago – Oh no – no mention of that ever, ever on there –

      Also links to click on to The Daily Record and the rest of the bloody rags as well – What The Actual Fcuk…

      I thought of joining it – But Bloody Hell – I don’t think that they’d want me and ma opinions on all football matters and therefore they would not give me the slightest time of day !

  • Fun time frankie says:

    James,don’t hold your breath you’ve probably got as much chance of an invite as I have of winning the lottery and I don’t even do it.

  • Seamus Campbell says:

    If you go James, I’d like to know what is the point of Brian Wilson?
    Apart from the decanter, what does the guy bring to the table?

  • John says:

    I would think sitting on a £67M surplus and being offered £60M to win 1 SPFL title would be well worth a £30M splurge on new starting team talent. Seems like a no brainer, Celtic board is a disgrace. I agree with previous comments on the likelihood of you or anyone like you being offered a place at next meeting, snawbaw in hell.

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    My Goodness James – How I’d love to see you being able to attend these perceived meetings as your holding to account of these people (one could nearly say ‘peepil’ actually) is legendary and off the highest quality journalism and that places you as their worst nightmare for certain…

    So I’d be ‘surprised and extremely delighted’ if you and the hard hitting questions from both yourself and therefore also your very fine contributors would be allowed within a million miles of a stage where you would probably unearth dubious corruption and scandal on an industrial scale –

    That the Sevco Huns on Follow Follow constantly check in on your site and comment in fear of your daily findings is indeed a true badge of honour for ‘peepil’ whose utterly dream ideology is for these said daily findings to be swept under the carpet or to be a little more accurate – Buried at the bottom of the ocean…

    Keep up your awesome journalistic investigations buddy and your excellent and intelligent way of bringing them to folks like myself !

  • The great jc says:

    When the SFA tell Celtic to suck it, they do and its for this reason I stopped buying a ST,
    and i’m out.
    Until their balls drop I won’t be back and life is great without the Celtic attachment and weekly concerns.
    I hope the SFA and their hun relations burn in hell, cos its coming one day.

  • Colabhoy says:

    I have never heard of these forums so thanks for letting me and no doubt thousands of others know they even exist.

    Reads like a tame talking shop when feet should be held to the fire of the people we fans employ.

    Let’s not forget that, we pay their handsome salaries and/or they get worldy jollies from being associated with Celtic.

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