[UPDATE: 11 March 2016. The Celtic Quick News site has provided a further update confirming the Celtic Board has been very helpful but that they would rather the shareholders contact UEFA rather than doing it themselves.]
The Clumpany doesn’t have much of a voice, but I wanted to draw your attention to the latest update on Resolution 12, which was tabled and adjourned at the 2013 Celtic AGM.
Yes, the 2013 AGM. There have been two AGMs since then.
Here is a link to the update, which was published on Kerrydale Street by Brogan Rogan Trevino last night.
If you have any interest in the good governance of Scottish football I urge you to read it.
And if you need a reminder of the full text of Resolution 12 you can find it by clicking here.
I don’t know the people pursuing Resolution 12, and I haven’t been party to any of the discussions, so (like you) can only go on the update that has been provided. However, I do know that the folk involved have been working very hard to make progress and have repeatedly stated that Celtic have been very constructive. Indeed, BRT confirms this in his update.
I also know that the thrust of the update is absolutely incredible. Incredible because it seems that after all the protracted discussions, the club appears to be unwilling to write to UEFA about the issue.
Now, if the board thinks that there is no foundation for the issued raised by shareholders it should have the decency to say so. Unambiguously and immediately. But if it believes the issues raised have merit, then it should be busting a gut to ensure the complaint is tabled with (and processed by) UEFA as soon as possible.
It is worth noting that Phil Mac Giolla Bhain’s piece of 21 April 2015 suggested that Celtic were in contact with UEFA about Resolution 12, so it could be that there are discussions going on ‘behind the scenes’. However, unless someone confirms that we have to assume that there has been no further dialogue.
The Celtic board’s long-standing ‘plan’ has been to make Celtic self-sustaining, aided by Champions League football when possible. If there is even an arguable case that the club was wrongly deprived of Champions League football in 2011-12 it has an obligation to its shareholders to get to the bottom of it. The bottom line is that shareholders may have been deprived of revenue and the value of their holdings may have been suppressed by the wrongful denial of Champions League football.
But we won’t know if Celtic won’t pursue the complaint as far and as vigorously as they can.
Oh, and there’s also the small matter of the fans. Celtic purports to be a football club, and the Champions League is the competition in which Celtic fans really want to see their club play. If Celtic was wrongly denied a place in the Champions League then the board has a blindingly obvious responsibility to them to get to the bottom of it.
There are also wider issues relating to the governance of Scottish football to consider. Resolution 12 is just one item on a deeply troubling list that includes the Lord Nimmo-Smith Commission and the 5-Way Agreement etc. If Celtic don’t have the balls to pursue Resolution 12 to a conclusion, what hope is there of them ever playing a meaningful part in ensuring a much-needed transformation in the way the game is run?
I will tell you the answer to that: NONE.
If the Celtic board really does want these issues to simply ‘go away’ (and there’s a suggestion that the window for a complaint to UEFA regarding Resolution 12 closes at the end of March) then they are grossly out of step with the mood of the fans. Or (if money is the main consideration) their paying customers.
I can appreciate why the board might want to proceed with caution. There are plenty of idiots out there who might start agitating if the club starts to pursue Rangers-related matters, and I have no doubt that Celtic would make life difficult for themselves in the murky internal politics of Scottish Football.
But so what?
What’s the point of being the guardians of Celtic Football Club if you aren’t going to stand up for fairness and integrity?
And what sort of Celtic Football Club will be left if its fans feel like they have been sold down the river?