Onwards and upwards!

Published on Monday 31st May, 2010 by Celtic Trust

Thursday night's meeting hailed a success

On any view the meeting held on Thursday night at Celtic Park was a success. It was organised at less than a fortnight’s notice; it attracted over 500 Celtic fans, every one of whom was given the opportunity to ask their question or put their point; it gave all who attended a chance to hear from two of the key figures in the Club; and most amazingly it was given relatively positive coverage in the press. Having said all of that, the Trust, who first suggested the idea and who were delighted to be asked to host the first meeting in a series, are already thinking of ways to make the next one better. Some of you may not know that there is going to be another series of meetings or that this is going to become a regular feature of Celtic life. Indeed, we can confirm to you that no such decision has been communicated to us by Celtic. However, I would find it as amazing that this is the first and only such series that will ever take place as I would that Neil Lennon will not be appointed some time very soon. While, I would guess that most of those who came to the meeting, were primarily interested in hearing about the appointment of a permanent manager, the significance of the meeting goes far beyond that. I know of no other major club which engages in this manner with its fans and it is undoubtedly an important step forward for the relationship between Celtic fans and the club if this practice is embedded in its normal activities. This does not, in any way, mean that the traditional supporters’ organisations are no longer needed, far from it. The role of democratic, representative organisations are as much needed now as they ever were, maybe more so. However, giving fans the regular opportunity to directly address and question the current custodians of the club is a healthy thing. We might want to think of ways to deal with the fact that some people undoubtedly find it a bit daunting to get up to the mic in front of hundreds of people. One obvious way would be to allow written questions to be submitted. Indeed, the Trust organised a live Twitter feed last night and, but for a little technical difficulty, we would have been able to take questions via that route. A short address from the Chief Exec and the manager might be a better way to set the scene of the meetings and may have elicited more questions. Having said that there was a wide variety of questions and there was a queue formed right up until we ran out of time. It was made clear that if anyone had questions or points they wished to make and had been unable to, then they should email them to the trust on celtictrust@hotmail.com and we would forward them to Celtic and come back with a reply. I note that today some of the posters on the Celtic websites seem to bemoan the fact that there the meeting was not more heated than it was. I do think that people were slightly intimidated by the numbers but it did not stop them asking their questions and making their points. So, in the end, we got more light than heat and maybe those who felt that the questions were not tough enough might want to come to the next one and ask some questions themselves. The fraternal way that the meeting was conducted, at the end of a really awful season, says volumes for the nature of the Celtic support; so did the genuinely respectful silence in honour of Mrs Margaret Burns (mother of Tommy) which began the meeting; so did the collection of around £450 which will mean that the Tommy Burns charity, the John Hartson charity and Mary’s Meals will all receive just over £150 each. We hope that the meetings still to be held here and in Ireland will be equally successful and that people turn out in their numbers and take this opportunity to come together and put their ideas forward for the good of our beloved Club.


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