Now That Celtic’s CEO Is Back On The SPFL Board He Should Move To Ditch A Corrupt Practice.

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Michael Nicholson has today assumed the place which James Bisgrove vacated on the board of the SPFL, in the standard game of switcheroo that the two clubs play. There is never a time when one or the other clubs is not represented; indeed, we take it turns.

This is a cosy arrangement alright, and it is one that meets the very definition of corrupt.

Whilst Nicholson has his feet under the table, it might be wise for him to use that position to do away with this rotten arrangement once and for all. If Nicholson or someone at Celtic wants back on the board next season, they should have to be elected like everyone else and not simply chosen.

This is a governing body.

The idea that either club should have a permanent representative on it is ghastly and anti-democratic and it asks a dark question, because it suggests that in fact there is no difference between their outlook and ours, between the policies they want to see pursued and the ones that we might be interested in.

If the two clubs can so easily swap places on an annual basis, then are two separate points of view being represented, interchangeably, or is there just one?

And if it the answer to that is just one then doesn’t that say something about us?

In the past three or four years, they have caused mayhem at the SPFL, and they have done some of it from their seat on the board. They collapsed the last major sponsorship contract to serve their own ends and to Hell with what it did to the wider game.

Amongst the things they are guilty of is using their board seat to leak commercial information to other clubs and the media … that should have seen their club booted off the board for the next five years. It is impossible for me to believe that our agendas and outlooks are in any way similar or co-joined.

Having Michael Nicholson in that seat must be vastly more preferable, to the other clubs around that table, than having a representative from Ibrox, and for some reason they are never going to make a move in the direction of doing anything to prevent it.

I don’t know whether this shady little ritual we’re part of is a constitutional arrangement, a gentleman’s agreement or what, just that it has to end and that if no-one else is prepared to move against it then we should be the ones to put the matter on the table. Pull out of it, Celtic, put our guys up for nomination every year as per, and let the clubs decide whether we’re worthy of being one of their representatives or not.

I cannot imagine who would vote for the Ibrox club, with their history of sabotage and personal grievance.

I do know that rotating the seat between their club and ours is a flat-out insult to every other top flight director who might have something to offer, and a disgrace when you consider that there are 40 other clubs in the game, many of whom will never see one of their representatives in one of those seats.

I think that, by and large, this club has done right by the game here.

I genuinely do.

I don’t believe we’ve ever done something, or pushed something, that you could say was solely in our own interests and I don’t think that under our current incumbents we ever would. That’s the thing I can say about our directors and our board with absolute confidence; they have never abused their position.

At the weekend, Gary Keown posted a piece in which he extolled the virtues of the Ibrox chairman and expressed the view that he should be seeking to rebuild their relationships with the rest of the game. It’s laughable.

John Bennet. Mr “we’re going to right this club on and off the pitch” is the man to do that is he?

I think building bridges with the rest of the game will have to wait until the lunatics are no longer in charge of the asylum over there.

And until those bridges are built that club should not be allowed a seat on the board, and certainly not an automatic one.

The idea that one seat is “reserved” for one of us and that we rotate it between us is a genuine democratic outrage and it has to end … and Michael Nicholson can do this game an immense service by being the one who pulls the trigger on it.

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  • John Paterson says:

    While I agree it is a grubby little arrangement what happens if Celtic and them are not represented and the board decide to vote to bring back the old days where gate receipts are halved between the home and away clubs? Is there anything that could prevent that happening?

    • James Forrest says:

      Hahaha actually there isn’t. But they ought to know that would never happen. We would never stand for it for a start.

    • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

      When gate receipts were halved John The Top League was a helluva lot more competitive than the laughing stock of Europe that it surely must be nowadays (40 seasons since the champions were outwith of Glasgow)…

      That ain’t in the slightest way healthy no matter who you follow…

      But to compete in Europe Celtic and Sevco will both want and need the money even though we are Champions League cannon fodder for the rich clubs in the rigged competition that it clearly is…

      If I had a choice – more competitiveness in our league – Definitely (just not from a corrupt new club called Sevco)…

      Maybe one day sonenow or other it’ll happen when we are hopefully a million miles away in Silverware from The Survival Lie…

      As for Lord Lucan-Nicholson… Does he exist ? – He’s actually PERFECT for that corrupt cabal and their secretive collusion with all the dishonest partners that they trade with in this bent football country !

  • John Copeland says:

    I’ll bet he doesn’t !!!!!

  • Hou Ling Pong says:

    Look at that weedy little c@@t. He has the appearance of a sickly child from a Dickensian novel. He will maintain the status quo. A balless spineless, insignificant non entity.

  • Robert Downey says:

    I have no doubt Nicholson is in the right profession to bring about some dust, Does he have the cajones though, this would be a good test of his leadership, of which we have seen very little.
    He’s been living in PLs shadow, like a lot of people at Celtic Park.
    Time to move PL on and sweep the place clean.

  • Guido Maria Conforti says:

    Very uplifting…a guy who has done absolutely nothing of note so far, with the charisma of a flip-flop, and your expecting great things from him James. A leopard never changes its spots, so the potential of him doing any significant is about as possible as an amoeba developing the power of speech…. thought I was reading CQN with this cheerleading optimism.


    You realise, of course that if Celtic were to do as you suggest, Ibrox being Ibrox will continue the practice and demand Celtic’s vacated spot every second year. They have ‘Form’ after all in taking ‘ Second Helpings’, ScotGov Covid relief funding for example.

    Par for the Course from the SFA/SPFL to, rather than split Celtic’s unneeded share of the relief funding among all the other Clubs under the Administrators’s Stewardship, they allowed the Ibrox Regime to get a second bite of the ‘cake’ , in reality they got a interest free 20 Year Loan from Public Funds. We all know that it’s odds on that, that money will never be repaid in 20 Years time. Secco will experience one if not more Administation events in that period and sooner rather than later at the rate they’re going.

  • Holysmokes says:

    ‘I cannot imagine who would vote for the Ibrox club’
    Everyone would vote for them for fear of the reprisals if they voted against them. I imagine this is a way of keeping the Ibrox club happy while limiting them to a seat on the board every other year.

  • Dizzy Gillespie says:

    Great question, JP. James?

  • Michael McCartney says:

    The rest of Scottish football have never shown much respect for Celtic, I’m afraid I don’t have much trust in any of them. Some of them are jealous of the numbers of supporters Celtic and The Rangers have in their stadiums. They are so foolish that they would rather see empty seats in their grounds than sell tickets to supporters of the two Glasgow clubs.
    They would love to bring us down to their level, rather than try to make their clubs better, which would then help to entice more supporters to their stadiums and in turn improve the level of the SPFL.

  • Pan says:

    Absolutely sensible article. Well done!
    It is, indeed, highly undemocratic.

  • Pan says:

    On the other hand, Sevco would take advantage. They care not a j
    Ot about anyone but themselves. Dishonest and sleek it to the core.

  • Pan says:

    Jot and sleekit should be in there somewhere.
    Must be a wee bluenose fiddling with my lexicon.

  • Bob says:

    Nicholson is a tory rat, is that what celtic supporters want

  • KC67 says:

    While the fans of both clubs are like chalk and cheese the boards of each club are very much like two cheeks of the same arse.

    Part of Desmomd and Lawwells 5 million a year @ld £irm model.

    Anyone who thinks that isn’t the case needs to wake up and smell the coffee.

  • Tim Buffy says:

    Following the Sevco-generated “cinch/Parks” fiasco will the Ibrox outfit be prepared to take a similar stance over William Hill becoming a major sponsor of Scottish football given that they already have a commercial agreement with another betting company? Just asking out of interest.

    • Jim Duffy says:

      Tim,are we not in the same boat as regards a conflict of interests, we’ve got dafabet as our shirt sponsor,and William Hill as league sponsor this is surely the same as sevco and cinch and now sevco with 32 red.

  • Roonsa says:

    Absolutely agree with this. Good article, James.

  • Michael says:

    I agree with most of that but the SPFL is not a governing body, it’s a cartel. Football in Scotland is governed by the SFA, which seems happy to have a very cosy relationship with the SPFL, because any alternative would require some backbone to stand up to some of the more ridiculous decisions and behaviours of the SPFL board and its members. That’s not going to happen anytime soon.

  • Joe says:

    100% agree. However, he wouldn’t be able to do it unilaterally.

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