For reasons best known to only the very inner circle of the club, Celtic has advised shareholders that it is not in the companies’ best interests to take the famous Resolution 12 from the 2013 AGM to UEFA for a ruling.
Any news released on a Friday night is worth keeping a close eye on, six nights ago at the bottom of the 2019 AGM Notice was the telling decision:
The Board does not consider it to be in the best interests of the Company to take the steps proposed by the resolution. The Board recommends that you vote against this resolution.
What exactly are the board afraid of?
Surely taking any matter outside of Scotland kills off talk about conspiracies, vested interests and any outside agendas.
In summary a group of Celtic shareholders believe that the club from Ibrox were given a licence to play in the 2011/12 Champions League qualifiers despite having an overdue tax bill on March 31. UEFA insist on clubs being upto date with social payables to prevent clubs putting football success and prize money ahead of being prudent.
Had the rules been followed Celtic would have played in the Champions League qualifiers, reaching the group stage would have added £20m to turnover. When clubs gamble on UEFA prize money to pay last season’s bills it is a recipe for disaster.
The whole Resolution 12 issue has been debated thoroughly online; a dedicated website has been put together that almost any Board of Directors would be proud of from a concerned group of shareholders. Getting an outside agency or consultant to put in the effort and hours that the ‘requisitioning shareholders’ have put in would come to an eye-watering amount. They have covered every angle to the nth degree but the basic evidence was laid out on a plate to the Celtic directors during the 2017 trial of Craig Whyte.
The former billionaire was cleared of all charges but others were put in the dock, the legislators at Hampden, the SFA, were shown up at every turn.
It is essential that this issue isn’t turned into another Old Firm battle for tabloid titillation. It is a matter of governance and competence. On the evidence of the Whyte trial there isn’t a shred of either inside Hampden yet Celtic refuse to push the issue internally and have backed off from getting UEFA to intervene.
In the meantime, President Petrie and Andrew Dickson, who were both on the 2011 Licence Committee continue to exert their influence across the entire Scottish game.
Witness after witness at the Whyte trial highlighted the overdue payable of 31 March 2011, it is way beyond disputing. It was a major issue before the man from Motherwell would hand over his pound coin in return for taking on the Ibrox liabilities. The fact that the £2.8m bill to HMRC arose from payments made to ineligible players that was never punished by the SFA is just another aside.
After the Whyte trial the SFA had another choice to make. Did they take the chance missed in 2012 to come clean, admit mistakes had been made and become a body that delivered governance equally to all clubs or was ‘the good of the game’ best served by abandoning the rules to ensure the continuation of the Old Firm and the ill-gotten gains that follow.
In early 2012 Peter Lawwell told BBC Scotland that Celtic had a stand-alone strategy. His and the club’s actions ever since have suggested that the Old Firm is central to their business model.
Taking the whole issue to UEFA should clear up every detail. Only those with something to hide would be against the move.
The good legislators inside the SFA will be cleared and the suspicions of the paranoid internet bampots will be trashed by a UEFA ruling. Or perhaps their concerns will be confirmed.
Stewart Regan moved on, with a full year’s salary, as Chief Executive of the SFA but his successor, Ian Maxwell has brought absolutely nothing to Scottish football since inheriting Regan’s salary 18 months ago. Much like his impact in his previous job at Partick Thistle, his legacy is clear to all Jags supporters.
If Celtic plc don’t want UEFA to investigate because ‘The Board does not consider it to be in the best interests of the Company’ there must be something of grave concern for them to fear from a proper review.
At the AGM Lawwell will almost certainly win the vote, he will also raise suspicions among shareholders and the wider support about his motivations. No explanation has so far been offered but one day a year he is answerable.
In recent years a number of issues have gone against Celtic with barely a whimper of protest from the Chief Executive, a website statement doesn’t count. Think of last seasons Betfred Cup semi-final venues, look up Celtic statements on John Beaton and Steven McLean, look up the suspension of Aleksandar Tovev on the balance of probability.
Why is the club mute on these and other decisions? Why haven’t Celtic demanded publication of the costing of VAR at 12 Scottish football grounds, in June 2020 VAR will operate at Hampden in the European Championships but not this weekend at the semi-finals of the Betfred Cup.
Should Celtic get UEFA to rule on Resolution 12?
Yes, it must be taken out of Scotland
No, Lawwell will get justice for the fans
Lawwell’s online backers and cheerleaders are notable at the moment for their silence, no counter argument is being put their way or perhaps they are too embarrassed to defend the indefensible.
There will be no revolution on the back of the AGM but goodwill is fast ebbing away. The support is Celtic’s only asset, those at the top of the club bring nothing to the table but they know how to harness the support into cold pounds, shilling and pence.
Suspicions have been raised; questions are being asked. As they pat themselves on the back after the AGM the consequences of driving a wedge of contempt through the support will take root with more digging a certainty. Only a fool would think that the efforts of the last seven years will come to a halt when the AGM votes are counted.
CLICK HERE to visit the Resolution 12 website.