Celtic supporters' group taking on Desmond grow significantly over 21-22

By Euan Davidson

November 25, 2021

The Celtic Trust, a supporters’ group aiming to increase the influence of Hoops supporters at shareholder level, have announced significant growth.

The Trust, who oppose individuals like Dermot Desmond and venture capitalist partners Lindsell Train, have seen their shareholding increase to 70,000, from 60,000 earlier this year [Celtic Trust].

Surely, they’re emerging as one of the more significant shareholding blocs within Celtic.

Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Via Market Screener, you can see that the Celtic Trust are gaining on some significant shareholders. In the Celtic top ten, Dermot Desmond leads the way with a whopping 32m shares, and a 34.7% holding in the club. The Trust, though, are comparable to Investec Wealth and Investment Ltd, who hold 118,000 shares in Celtic PLC.

At the time of writing, former CEO Peter Lawwell still holds a significant sway. He has 356,000 shares in the club.

While the Celtic AGM was a reminder of where the true power lies at the club, this is still extremely significant. It’s hard not to wonder what impact the General Meeting had on membership of groups like The Celtic Trust, as well as Celtic Shared.

Increasingly, more and more supporters are getting behind the message. If you don’t like how the club is run, there are things you can do about it. But passion and patience are undoubtedly the watchwords.

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67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

The Celtic Trust are getting there, but it’s going to take time to compete with Dermot Desmond

Given the power wielded at Celtic by Dermot Desmond and a group of investors, it’s going to take a long while before fans have a proper say in the running of the club.

What’s encouraging, though, is that you can see shoots of growth within supporters’ groups. That’s key. In the aftermath of the AGM, Celtic Shared representative Martin told 67 Hail Hail that “the winds of change are coming”.

It’s not just about shares, obviously; protest, action and opposition to the board in other ways are crucial for many. However, getting an increased influence at boardroom level would be a sizeable achievement from supporters’ groups.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

The Trust, and indeed any opposition to principle Celtic shareholder Desmond and co, will be delighted with the increased membership and shareholding. Nobody in the business of opposing this board have any delusions about the size of the task.

Therefore, growth like this is worthy of celebration.

Now, it’s about capitalising on the gains. If prominent Celtic supporters’ groups are able to build on an increased shareholding and support base, then there’s no reason why the voting bloc can’t get bigger.

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