The Celtic Whit?

Published on Tuesday 1st June, 2010 by Celtic Trust

'The Celtic whit...?' That's a fairly common reaction from folk when one mentions...

'The Celtic whit...?' That's a fairly common reaction from folk when one mentions The Celtic Trust. I must admit my own reaction on first hearing about the Trust was not too different from that. I have now been involved with the Trust for a few years and like many converts am fired with zeal or with something anyway! So here are some thoughts about the Celtic Trust. The Trust was founded around 10 years ago and its main aim is to find a way of allowing the ordinary supporter to have a say in the way the Club is run. The Trust is constituted as an Industrial and Provident Society and as such is very well regulated having to make annual statements of accounts to the Financial Services Agency (FSA). It is also a member of Supporters Direct a government sponsored umbrella organisation for Trusts whose demands for transparency, financial and otherwise are even more stringent than those expected by the FSA. Some people think that holding shares in Celtic Plc is a necessary requirement for becoming a Trust member but this is a wrong impression. Because the Trust owns shares anyone joining it shares in the ownership of those shares, so membership is open to all. Also the Trust’s constitution ensures that it is a democratic organisation whose members are the decision makers. The Trust is the only existing body which has ever proposed resolutions to be discussed at the Celtic AGM.and it has done so many times. Although all of these resolutions have been defeated at the time, due mainly to the block vote of the main shareholder(s), what was proposed has sometimes reappeared in subsequent years as Club policy. So we have influenced events although this is not always apparent. We have regular meetings with Celtic and we try to improve the lot of the fans in a variety of ways – not always visible. We put forward ideas for discussion which are sometimes taken up; the most recent example of this was how Celtic took up our suggestion that fans should be given the opportunity to meet with and question the Manager. A series of meetings throughout Scotland, England and Ireland has now been arranged and Peter Lawwell and Neil Lennon will be in attendance at these. The Trust itself hosted the first of these meetings last week which was attended by over 500 supporters with a further 500 or so following on a Twitter feed. Now I am daring to hope that some of you anyway are still reading this and have not already switched to CQN or Etims or some other such website! So if you are still there just think on this. Celtic has around 29000 shareholders most of whom own a small number of shares. Of those, no more than 2000 actually cast their votes at an AGM. Individually they can do little but imagine if we could vote those shares as a block what impact could be made and what effect this could have on the direction in which the Club is steered! Okay, it might take a bit of organising but from small acorns and all that! The football world is changing and if UEFA gets its way the fans will be much more involved than at present. So instead of moaning about what is currently happening at Parkhead and reminiscing about the good old days why not join the Trust and help to shape the future?


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