Trust reacts furiously to ‘out of touch’ Bankier

Trust reacts furiously to ‘out of touch’ Bankier and accused the Celtic Chairman of trolling fans in his Annual Report. Inept Bankier included finishing second in the league as a report ‘highlight’ and asserted that ‘Celtic is in good hands’.

Celtic Trust responds to formally to the publication and content of the Annual Report and the Financial Results issued by the PLC below.

‘Runners up in the SPFL Premiership’! – Season highlight. Seriously!

Seriously! According to the Celtic PLC Board this is a ‘Operational Highlight’ In the name of the wee donkey! What has happened in one season, for this to be a ‘Highlight’ not only that but the pole position highlight. To be honest, it is a true reflection of the nightmare that was season 2020/21.

Look, one of the highlights shown is ’28 home matches played at Celtic Park’

The last thing any Celtic supporter wanted to see now, or even would have considered this time last season was this highlight. C’mon be honest how many of you thought for one minute or even forecasted what took place, that this very report should be an absolute joy to behold? 10IAR would be in the bag. The Celtic Trust and other fan groups have continuously been pressuring this board over their lackluster performance, that has been hidden to a certain degree by recent success. The Celtic Trust have also been, let’s say berated by supporters, asking what is it we are trying to achieve? Of then to be told, ‘C’mon we are winning leagues and trophies, the board is alright…..’ Sorry, we don’t go for that. This is evident by recent initiatives, protests in 2020 etc to question and pressure this group of NEDs and the majority shareholder into action. This is as stated supported by other fan groups, like The North Curve and their tremendous displays.

Some did see the warning signs, very early on and they have the tweets to prove it, they, in the most were ridiculed. The club retained most of the squad, we had a good transfer season, I mean, to name a few, we got Jon Joe Kenny, Shane Duffy, Diego Laxalt and of course Barkas. We all had high hopes for the team and the man hired in the shower. Bear (sorry) with me, the report does cover that period after all.

How wrong we were. Any way that’s another topic that has already been discussed on many blogs.

What is the perception this Board has of the fans, their thinking, their joined-up sustainable strategies they speak of, that they think that ‘Runners up in the SPFL Premiership’ was not only a highlight, but as stated earlier, in pole position? I would suggest ‘Polar Opposites’ is apt in this situation. The end of last season was the polar opposite of expectations, as in this current Board and the fans, the lifeblood of this club, are right at this very moment and we at The Celtic Trust, with this Board in place do not see this chasm closing anytime soon.

Ok, so let’s discuss the Chairman’s Statement.

The first few paragraphs are explaining the club made a loss, then tries to justify why. To simplify, a drop in revenue due to Covid19 and the inability to bring in more cash in the selling of players. Fair enough, eh? Any way Chairman explains it’s no biggie as they (Board) are satisfied with their performance and what they did to mitigate the challenges. They squared it away, they done their best. It is what it is, though I always wonder, if there was no covid and fans were in attendance, would we be in this situation now, would things have changed quicker. I would suggest they would have.

There is also a veiled warning that current ongoing Covid restrictions for large revenues will again have a negative affect on next years results. If only we qualified for the Champions League, if only this Board did what they are paid to do, if only Peter Lawwell and Lennon were called out earlier. If only….. . Doesn’t really matter as we have sold a few more players that we ‘transformed ‘they will show a positive in next years finances, if only we qualified for the Champions League, sorry already said this.

The 16.6 million that the board worked so hard to maintain has apparently been used as a base to invest in this recent transfer window. 50,000 season tickets purchased must have been a blessing. The vast amounts spent on merchandise. Who remembers the Initiative by the Celtic Trust asking fans to hold back on the purchase of merchandise, don’t feed this Board with your hard earned cash, especially with the contempt they are showing towards you?

However, support the team? Hindsight, eh, doesn’t seem to bad an initiative now, does it?

A major overhaul of the playing squad has been mentioned. Brilliant, as if it wasn’t needed, as if this was out of the box thinking, who approved those players in the first place? I would also suggest a veiled dig at Lennon in the language of getting rid ‘… of loan players that had amplified the squad’ no names necessary. Maybe just corporate language for the guy we hired in the shower cost us a fortune, these funds were a major factor in the losses this year, but we (the board) are satisfied, big pats on the back all around.

Like others, I admit to being very positive by the current inclusions to the team, then again, I felt the exact same this time last season. How many are Ange players? How many did big Dom negotiate? Who identified and recruited them?

Strategy is mentioned. Player development and player trading, no its not FIFA 2022, a ‘self-sustaining business model’ This has PL all over it. Many will say, its where we are, its how it is. Is it? Is it really? Look around Europe at club’s half our size performing much better in European competition. But its fine, Celtic PLC have a strategy and the current Board is satisfied.

More pats on the back, this time as mentioned previously for the ability to transform young players. How does this measure up against the project players that were not ‘transformed, or indeed the vast fortunes spent on loan deals, for a very short term strategic myopic outlook.

Very short tenure CEO big Dom gets a shout. Appointed after an exhaustive search by the current Board, who do ok and are satisfied. I wonder how he will explain this on his CV. Maybe one day we we’ll find out the real reason? It’s ok, he has been replaced by ‘an absolute team player’ only this Board would come up with that term, trying to justify but not make it too obvious, aye. Our new Acting CEO apparently ‘carries the confidence of the Board’ the problem of course is this Board does not carry the confidence of the Celtic Trust or I would argue most of the Celtic support. So where does this leave the PL clone that is Michael Nicholson. Nicholson has been with Celtic since 2013 and is definitely the right fit to step right into the shitstorm PL has left behind, will change little and do as he is instructed.

Nothing much after this to be honest. Just making up the word count, filling in some space. Still some room for some more additional back slapping. Assuring us fans, those who pay their salaries, allow them the privileged position to represent our club that we are served by a talented executive led by a guy who has been in the role for a few weeks, wow he really has made an impression has our Mike.

The Chairman’s last words: ‘Celtic is in good hands’

We at the Celtic Trust beg to differ, this is shown by our recent correspondence published on our website.
link https://celtictrust.net/corporate-governance-at-celtic-plc-questions-raised/

Members will also be aware of the recently approved resolution to be submitted for the up and coming AGM. (Click to download) (Click to sign and support)

  1. Relations with the Celtic Trust and Small Shareholders in respect of the less than full justification for voting against Resolution 12 tabled at the 2019 AGM that ignored the evidence provided.

2 The Celtic PLC Board’s response to questions about Celtic’s knowledge of the 5WA.

  1. The unsatisfactory manner in which the shares for value proposal was handled in May this year.

The Celtic Trust will continue to hold this Board to account until we see change that is in the benefit of this football club and its fans.

Results for the year ended 30 June 2021

Probably the important points to make with regard to the Results are that this is a preliminary announcement and that the Annual Report which contains all the important information that shareholders need to properly assess performance will not be posted to shareholders or be available online for another couple of weeks. The Annual Report will provide a lot more information relating to the club’s financial performance as well as providing Strategic, Directors’ and Corporate Governance Reports.

The preliminary Results contain basic financial information with supporting commentary from the Chair and CEO and notes to financial statements. The financial statements contain few surprises as we all knew that season ticket monies and sponsorships remained intact and that it would be supporters’ discretionary spend on match days that would be adversely affected. The figures show that football and stadium operation revenues dropped by £15m but merchandising revenues increased by £7.5m. This suggests that household budgets earmarked for match day spending was re-directed to merchandising. The £11.5m loss for the year was following an unexplained credit of £5m which we can assume is a UK government’s Job Retention Scheme payment.

There are some interesting statements and the usual references peppered throughout the supporting narrative; operational highlights led with ‘Runners Up in the SPFL Premiership’ which raises a smile! The fact is the year was a disastrous one for Celtic and there were no positive operational highlights to speak of.

We won no trophies or tournaments. The chairman believes the club is directed by individuals with demonstrable experience and supported by a dedicated cast of colleagues and he thanks them all. No mention of bad management decisions or praise for the supporters who financially supported the club when they needed it most. Praise for the fans is left to the CEO who says we are ‘the best supporters in world football’ He also believes Covid19 disrupted our winning rhythm and he looks forward to this current season with optimism. Time will tell.

Given Celtic’s status as an AIM listed company, it should be appreciated that the Results and the supporting narrative are directed at the company’s shareholders and the wider financial community and it those constituencies that will judge the financial performance of the company and whether the company’s affairs would be better managed by a better Board of directors, so many bad decisions having been made in the last three years.

 

 

 

 

 

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