Celtic AGM 2018 and a legacy issue that will not go away

The Celtic AGM tomorrow will be a glossy and stage-managed affair.

Well, it always is these days…

Most of the folk in the room will be shareholder supporters.

However, when it comes to voting on anything important there is a chap behind the top table getting a phone call from Dermot Desmond’s people.

If everyone in the room voted for “A” the guy at the end of the line can swing it for “B” with a few million votes to spare.

In 2014 I watched as the chaps at the top table were hugely embarrassed when the Celtic Trust brought forward a resolution about the Living Wage.

You can read my report here.

If there are any questions tomorrow that make the men in the suits squirm then it will probably be about a resolution that was never voted on but hasn’t gone away you know.

Resolution 12 in the 2013 AGM was about the decision of the SFA to process the UEFA licence application for Rangers (1872-2012) for season 2011-2012.

As a result of the Discounted Options Scheme (Wee Tax Case) Rangers were owing to a taxing authority at the key point in early 2011.

It is the result of a legacy issue from the last year that Rangers (1872) existed before that club was put down by CVA.

I was part of the conversations that led to the creation of that resolution.

From Day One I told the Requisitioners that the club, their club, wanted this one to go away.

I still believe that to be true and I have been heartened by the fact that Resolution 12 and the issues around it are still very much extant.

My take on this is that the people in power at Celtic simply did not factor in the forensic determination of the Requisitioners.

Faced with that reality all that the board could do was play for time.

Now, five years on I believe that the Celtic board has run out of road on this one.

Consequently, they have to call out the SFA on their past actions and inactions surrounding the UEFA licence of Rangers in 2011.

For the avoidance of doubt, there is a substantial weight of forensic evidence to underpin the Requisitioners’ contention that Rangers (1872) should not have been awarded a UEFA licence for season 2011-2012.

Last September, before the 2017 AGM, Celtic entrusted the SFA to mount a thorough investigation into the circumstances of the UEFA Licence granted to Rangers FC in 2011.

The Compliance Officer referred the case in May 2018 to the Judicial Panel Disciplinary Tribunal. (JPDT) and the process has stalled.

That appears to have happened because the current entity at Ibrox claimed in July 2018 that the Court for Arbitration in Sport (CAS) should be the proper authority to investigate.

Like many elements of the Rangers story, I believe that it starts and ends at a failure of oversight at Hampden.

The Celtic board now have serious questions to answer apropos their stance on the SFA’s apparent inaction on this matter.

I know that the board’s preferred outcome was for Resolution 12 to wither on the vine.

However, because of the Requisitioners’ determination, it is still very much on the agenda for the Celtic support and all who want the game in Scotland to be straight.

So tomorrow, just like with the Living Wage debate in 2014, the moral authority will be on the floor of the AGM.

The time for the chaps at the top table to deal with this issue has arrived.

They should know that the Resolution 12 Requisitioners are not going to Do Walking Away on this.

Not a chance.

The logical destination for this sorry saga is Nyon in Switzerland.

Resolution 12 is a matter for UEFA and that is what the Requisitioners always wanted.


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