Published on Saturday 31st January, 2009 by Celtic Trust
January of each year is always a good time to take a look at what you have achieved over the past year and set plans for the future. For an organisation like ours it is useful to think about these things in terms of our overall objectives. So we have listed our activities and plans under the following list of headings which represent our stated objectives: • To encourage Celtic to take proper account of the interests of its supporters, and of the community it serves, in its decisions In the course of this year we have continued to meet regularly with Celtic (with the outcomes of these meetings being reported on our website). We have raised a number of general issues such as stewarding, ticket allocation policies, charitable events and stadium access problems (both home and away) as well as holding discussions with the Club over the issue of the poppy event. In particular, we worked closely with the Celtic Supporters Association in presenting plans to Celtic regarding the distribution of tickets for European away games and discussed with them the question of the contract with the current travel partner and what will happen when it ends. We have also raised a number of ethical issues in relation to the behaviour of the Chairman of the PLC and his own financial dealings with the majority shareholder and others. In addition we have successfully resolved a number of specific issues on behalf of members. Our plans are to continue to regularly represent our members in our meetings with Celtic and to raise any general issues which we believe are important to the Celtic support and the community generally • To strengthen the bonds between Celtic and the communities it serves and to represent the interests of the community in the running of Celtic As well as some of the issues mentioned above, we have engaged in charitable activities directly and engaged in discussions with Celtic regarding its own charitable work. We have represented our members at a number of events including the unveiling of the Jimmy Johnstone statue, the opening of the Lennoxtoun facility, and, sadly, the funeral of Tommy Burns. We continue to serve on the Walfrid Memorial Committee (our Treasurer, Kenny Butler, is its Chairman) which holds the copyright of the statue. We intend to work with the other organisation and with Celtic in further developing plans for charitable activities in the spirit of Brother Walfrid • To benefit present and future members of the community served by Celtic by promoting, encouraging and furthering the game of football as a recreational facility, sporting activity and focus for community involvement It would be fair to say that we have not engaged in many activities this year to this end. Some time ago we did sponsor Celtic Boys Club by supplying them with shirts for one of their teams. However, we would be happy to hear from any member with any suggestions which would further this aim. • To encourage the Club to support the community which it serves and to honour the community objectives of the Clubs founders: in this regard the Trust accepts and supports the Social Mission statement of Celtic set out in its Charter We have engaged with Celtic and with other organisations to continue to address the issue of racist and sectarian attacks on the Celtic support. We were among the first organisations to meet with Show Racism the Red Card (April 2008) to raise the issue of the Famine Song (although, sadly, that organisation took a further 7 months before it publicly condemned the song for the vile racist chant that it is). We were prominent among the many who took The Sunday Herald to task over the ‘bead-rattling’ article. We have sought to engage with the police in relation to the way that Celtic fans are treated both at home, other grounds in Scotland, and in Europe. We have also been in regular communication with UEFA when issues have arisen at away games that have caused concern to our members. We will continue to represent our members and to raise with Celtic and other external bodies any issues of concern regarding the way that we are treated. We are in communication with the match commander for Celtic and a meeting will be planned shortly. • To promote support for Celtic financially and otherwise We have not done anything this year which might fall under this heading other than generally support and follow the club and work with others to make new supporters of Celtic (of all races, colours, creeds and ages) welcome at Celtic Park. • To buy and hold shares in Celtic We have not purchased any further shares in Celtic other than those acquired via the Dividend Reinvestment Scheme. As soon as our finance allow us we will purchase more shares. • To give supporters a greater opportunity to invest in Celtic We have no further action to report under this heading – the Dividend Reinvestment Scheme still stands and shareholders are given an annual opportunity to join the scheme. We will continue to encourage the scheme and advertise its benefits. • To encourage and promote the principle of supporter representation on the Board of Celtic and ultimately to be the vehicle for democratic elections to the Board This, of course, is the issue for which we are most known. We continue to raise this matter regularly at the AGM and plan to do so again this year.