Published on Friday 30th April, 2010 by Celtic Trust
After the last Open Meeting on 20th March it was agreed that the organisations represented at the meeting would convey the views of the meeting on the refereeing issue and on the poppy issue. Representatives of the Celtic Supporters’ Association, the Jungle Bhoys, the Green Brigade and the Celtic Trust therefore met yesterday with Peter Lawwell and Iain Jamieson to discuss both matters. There had been prior contact with Peter Lawwell and since our statement had already been released over the Easter weekend, he was already aware what our view was. We explained the nature of the Open Meeting and how the statement had come about and we discussed how developments over that week had meant that it was a good time for us to bring out the issue into the public domain. Subsequent events including the U-turn by Gordon Smith re the Appeals Panel suggests that we were correct in doing so. PL agreed that it had been helpful and he explained to us what the Club had been doing in terms of putting their view forward. After a productive discussion we agreed that we would continue to work on this to achieve greater transparency as outlined in the statement agreed at the Open Meeting. We have already contacted the Cross-Party Group of MSPs on Sport and it was agreed that we would also contact Gordon Smith to ask for a meeting. There then followed a detailed discussion of the Poppy Issue. There was agreement about how this matter had arisen and a general agreement about the need to deal with it in good time for this year. We stated the position of the meeting as regards putting emblems on the team strip; we explained our respect for the rights of everyone to commemorate their war dead and we also explained our view that, if this was to mean anything, then it could not be imposed on people. There was a full discussion and PL indicated that the Club would now reflect on this view and would come back to us on it. Given the nature of events on the pitch since the meeting was scheduled it was felt that some discussion of these matters needed to be had. However, given that we were now off the agenda, then these discussions were not minuted in any way. The individuals present put forward their own personal views on this (since there had been no time for discussions with their members). However, it would not be breaking any confidences to say that it was agreed by everyone that a statement from the Chairman was necessary and should come sooner rather than later.