Celtic Trust appeal to shareholders amidst "disconnect" with Bhoys board

By Euan Davidson

October 16, 2021

The Celtic Trust have made a plea to shareholders to support a resolution aiming for greater transparency and a more accountable process for the Board.

The Trust, which has repeatedly stated its misgivings with the Celtic hierarchy, are concerned. Mainly, by the standards and processes of hiring executives at the club.

Despite a tide of change at Celtic, the custodians of the PLC remain in place. Dermot Desmond, Celtic’s principle shareholder, has enormous influence. The Trust are concerned that Desmond isn’t hiring independent non-executive directors to fulfil their duties at Parkhead.

In a letter to shareholders, the Trust wrote:

“We call on the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Celtic PLC to:

“Take immediate, transparent steps to satisfy shareholders that the existing Non-Executive Directors are genuinely independent and, given the length of time some of them have been in place, to publicise plans for their replacement in the near future.

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“To set up a Relationship Agreement between the principal shareholder, Dermot Desmond, which is designed to protect the interests of all other shareholders.

“There is evidence in the public domain to suggest that the disconnect between the PLC Board and the supporters/small shareholders is wider than it has been for decades. Increasing concern about both the governance of the club and the competence of its directors must be addressed in order to resolve this issue. 

“The proposals made here seek to ensure that the governance of the PLC is not only of a high standard but is transparently so.”

Celtic Trust headed for more tension with the Celtic Board?

It’s been far from an easy relationship between the Celtic Trust and the board in recent years.

Jeanette Findlay told 67 Hail Hail in a wide-ranging interview that the Trust’s position remains that they want an open dialogue over democratic issues in the club. However, according to the Trust, they and the wider supported have been treated with “contempt”.

With protests outside Celtic Park, and membership spiking after the Dubai debacle, the Celtic Trust have been a prominent voice. However, they’ve also been criticised for divisive policies. Equally, the Shares for Tickets scheme was met with refusal by board chiefs.

Now, in their latest campaign, it’s about accountability.

Photo by Jan Kruger – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

Competence of directors being called in question is nothing new. Especially after such a dismal season, despite Celtic having the best resources and the momentum to win the title again.

These are important topics. Not every Celtic fan particularly wants to engage in the backroom politics. However, it is important that fans are aware of who’s actually running the club. In terms of credentials, experience and independence from the board, are the club getting the best people in?

So much has changed since the 2020 AGM. What hasn’t, though, is that plenty of supporters are still unsure of the direction of the club. Those tasked with leading that are typically quiet.

Will the Trust get their resolution passed?

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