Celtic AGM: Bankier dodges Bernard Higgins question, booed in room

By David Walton

November 17, 2021

Celtic chairman Ian Bankier has failed to give assurances that the club will reconsider the appointment of Bernard Higgins.

Celtic fans have recently been vocal and protested angrily at the rumoured appointment of the Police chief into a new senior security role at the club.

This comes after Higgins was a strong supporter of the Offensive Behaviour in Football and Threatening Communications Act, which was repealed back in 2018. The legacy of the bill has left plenty of scars and mistrust. He has in part been blamed in the past for Scotland trying to “arrest its way out of sectarianism’ [The Herald].

Photo by Alexander Hassenstein – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

And as the fans have tried to get his rumoured appointment halted, Bankier refused to give assurances at today’s AGM:

Speaking via Football Scotland’s live blog [12:48], Bankier said: “I’m not going to give assurances on what will be an operational matter.

“Health and safety at big arenas is a massive issue. We don’t need to recite human tragedies which have occured over the decades. It’s a big topic, high level, strategic, it’s not a role which polices Celtic fans.

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“I’m not giving assurances one way or the other. When we’re ready to announce something, we will.”

Ian Bankier lets down Celtic supporters by dodging Bernard Higgins question

This is a massive blow to the Celtic supporters, many of whom believe Higgins should be nowhere near the football club. That his appointment is a major slap in the face to the support and hypocritical at best.

There’s such widespread anger over this issue, and it’s incredible that Celtic haven’t managed to solve it before today.

Today’s AGM was always going to see the issue raised by shareholders. No surprises then that Bankier was booed loudly for failing to actually show some accountability and leadership:

It remains to be seen what the end-game is here. The fans have made their stance on Higgins so incredibly clear. Going ahead with his senior security role at Parkhead would be a major dagger to the hearts of the club’s support.

And it doesn’t exactly reflect well on a club’s board that are consistently accused of being out of touch with its fanbase.

A massively, massively disappointing answer from the chairman here.

In other news, Celtic AGM: Ange Postecoglou addresses exciting plans for January and beyond