Bankier can't hold a room, fan dissent; 3 things we learned from a dramatic Celtic AGM

By Euan Davidson

November 17, 2021

Well then; the AGM has finished at Celtic Park, and there was a fair amount of drama.

Over recent years, these events have been fairly dour. Resolutions get brought up, passed or denied, folk get their plaudits, we move on. However, with how atrocious the running of the club was last season, this was always going to be heated Celtic AGM.

And so it proved. Ian Bankier dealt with a barrage of boos, and an extremely wounding 90% vote against him carrying on as Chairman. Meanwhile, Resolutions 11 and 12 are going to polls, and there should be some very interesting outcomes.

Photo by Jan Kruger – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

Prior to the AGM, some Celtic interviews set a more positive scene. Yes, there was some accountability shown by Ian Bankier, but it was all very much about the future. Not so much for the AGM itself.

So what did we learn from a day of restlessness, drama and intrigue emerging from Celtic Park?

Ian Bankier cannot control a room, as Celtic AGM proves

With Peter Lawwell away and Michael Nicholson in an acting CEO role, it was down to Ian Bankier to conduct proceedings. Suffice it to say, he’ll have had more comfortable meetings in his life.

While I’m no fan of Peter Lawwell, it’d be hard to argue that Bankier was as authoritative a presence. Bankier’s answers were often left open for immediate criticism.

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His rhetoric was extremely negative at times, the best example being when he said clubs our size get “pasted” in the Champions League [Daily Record].

The response? “Ajax don’t”.

Meanwhile, his mealy mouthed responses on how Covid-19 effected the team were hardly inspiring either.

Fine, it was his first AGM as the real conductor of proceedings. But his reputation and his standing in the club have surely taken something of a hit today.

Weak stuff.

Celtic supporters are rightly angry and supporters’ groups are having an impact

The howls of derision and the quick responses to some board answers were very telling.

We knew there was significant fan dissent before. Of course there was, especially with Bernard Higgins’ potential employment remaining a hot-button issue.

The response to the non-committal answer given by Bankier over Higgins said a lot. The discontent over the Police Scotland ACC getting a role within in the club isn’t some fringe issue. These aren’t things that only the Green Brigade care about. In terms of Celtic Football Club, Higgins is a mainstream topic.

What was encouraging, though, was the sheer numbers in the votes. Take the 90% against the renewal of Bankier as chairman. That’s emphatic, and a lot of it’s down the voting bloc that the Celtic Trust have helped to establish.

It’s easy to be cynical about implementing any kind of change at Celtic. But clearly, there’s enough feeling and enough organisation to – if not remove the likes of Bankier – to certainly show very clear opposition.

The spirit of the early 90s seems to be creeping back amongst a lot of the support. Whether that has long-term ramifications is to be seen, but for those wanting change, today was something of a positive sign.

Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Neil Lennon doesn’t get a mention at Celtic AGM

One name didn’t come up today; Neil Lennon.

The former manager, of course, left the club two thirds of the way into the season. Surprisingly, there were no questions about how long he stayed at the club, even well after it looked like our title hopes had gone.

That would’ve been very interesting indeed. However, Lennon operates in a strange space for both the board and the fans. Nobody really wants to dislike Neil Lennon, for his achievements at Celtic hitherto 20-21. However, last season was what it was.

The board would surely back him to the hilt; they already did, and it’s easier to now. Supporters, meanwhile, will have cooled their feelings on the former manager. Especially with Ange Postecoglou in the dugout.

An explanation into the nature of his departure, why the board held on for so long, and why it took so long to appoint a successor are surely owed to fans.

Read more: Report states Celtic chairman Ian Bankier is safe after embarrassing AGM performance

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