Exclusive: "Contempt has been apparent all season"; Celtic Shared respond to Dermot Desmond interview

By Euan Davidson

March 24, 2021

Celtic Shared have spoken to 67 Hail Hail in response to the Dermot Desmond interview posted last night.

Desmond, in an exclusive interview with the club, expressed his disdain for critics of Celtic. That included Brian Dempsey [The Times], who suggested the majority shareholder would be receptive to an offer. Desmond also had words to say about “journalists, commentators and pundits”, and mythical figures who suggested Desmond wasn’t a “real Celtic fan”.

It was explosive stuff. Some argued that he used a lot of words to say nothing. Others saw his words a worrying sign of things to come.

Celtic Shared, who support long-term fan ownership, suggested to us that it was a sign of the disconnect between the board and Celtic supporters.

They told us:

“The Dermot Desmond interview uses a lot of words to say little of note, other than to settle some old scores and to insinuate that fans have no right to criticise the current board.

“A lot of Celtic fans see through these PR stunts fortunately. The divide between the club and the support appears to be widening with each wrong step the board makes.

“From our perspective, it merely serves as an example of the dangers of our current setup. Those in positions of power clearly believe they are not accountable to the supporters, and that is something we believe should change.”

Dermot Desmond: not universally popular / (Photo by Ross Parker/SNS Group via Getty Images)

No contact: Celtic Shared criticise Dermot Desmond for lack of communication

I asked Celtic Shared if there had been any direct contact between supporters’ groups and the majority shareholder. There wasn’t, according to the pressure group:

“We are not aware of any communications between fan groups and Dermot Desmond. He has refused to attend AGMs in recent years. And this latest interview seems to highlight the fact that he believes himself to be above the reproach of the fanbase.”

“The contempt for supporters from within the boardroom has been apparent all season… [it] has not gone unnoticed. There is a clear need now for supporters to unite to ensure that we can no longer be ignored.”

Celtic fans protest at Celtic Park / (Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Cross-group support for Season Tickets to Shares proposal

Earlier today, we explained the Season Tickets to Shares proposal. That’s something Celtic Shared entirely advocate, given the failings of the 20-21 season on and off the pitch.

The pressure group explained that their stance was the same as the Celtic Trust in this issue. They hoped that the majority shareholder would be willing to listen to the Trust’s case. Instead, Desmond launched into tirades about his critics; a move that hasn’t been met with praise from the support.

Celtic Shared told us:

“We would much rather see Dermot Desmond respond to the supporter demand, proposed by the Celtic Trust, for fans to repaid for matches missed this season in shares. The club met with supporters’ groups last summer and committed to maintaining the value of the season ticket, a promise they have not yet kept.

“There does not appear to be a single other club in Europe who have sold as many season tickets as Celtic, at full price, only to give fans a stream for home games. This share proposal would ensure that fans are rewarded and repaid for their loyalty. That money remains within the club to allow us to rebuild for next season, and would give the support a greater say in the running of the club we all love.”

Some quotes have been edited for length.

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