All Aboard!

There’s always time to ponder the ‘what next’ when it comes to our club of choice, if nothing else to be prepared when it arrives for as we know change is inevitable.
They say the past is a great guide to the future so if one were to pen a rough draft of our boardroom histories it would look something like,
Began with charitable intentions but turned to a business,
Control falls into the family dynasties,
Control wrested by businessman with capital and plan,
Remodelled club falls into wealthy investors hands, becomes a PLC.

 

The above tells us a few different things. It backs up the change is coming rationale, for we just do not stay still, and it also shows the fans have ever had no major boardroom involvement.
As we stand at the final hurdle of the ending of an era ie cementing the ten, there is little thought given to what is next, understandable given the unique situations on and off the field we all find ourselves in.

 

Once again there is no right and wrong answer here, and perhaps that’s the beauty of it. The 10 fans 11 opinions is very apt when it comes to the sensitive issue of plotting the clubs future, or at least the one you would like to see. The Tim abroad and the native matchgoer may differ a bit, likewise the fan in the poorest seat and the chap in the lounge upstairs, but yet we all must co-exist under the same banner and share the same space, so some sort of common ground should be sought out,, we all must try to meet in the middle and not foist our vision upon the masses ever.

 

I’ve yet to see a system or setup that really suited our club and or had the fans universally happy whilst in operation, not a criticism just a simple fact. None of the above is or was perfect, with Fergus probably winning in the popularity stakes yet ironically he ended up getting booed. We can’t go back to families controlling the show and as we read on these very pages there are fans unhappy with the PLC for numerous issues, despite the fact we have the on paper duo we would probably all select, an Ireland Scotland combination. I’m not sure a different PLC board would be the answer at all considering they must legally put money first, for as we have seen sometimes morals should trump the money.
The small shareholders certainly don’t want the same again on the basis that they felt betrayed on the Res12 issue, plus logic dictates that another fork in the road will appear at some stage in the future, driving a further wedge.

 

Seems to me there is one obvious path to travel, and a long awaited one at that.
Bring the fans onboard.
For starters it’s the one move we could all fully embrace and champion, as no one wants more years of ‘ffs are they still here’ and ‘how can you support that board?’. Putting that behind us all would be so nice.
The lurkers could return, as we are back bhoys!
Its lets get behind OUR club time!

 

While I believe all would agree with the goal of fan involvement, its the practicality and the specifics that would see clashes, which is only to be expected with folk whose instinct is to protect, plus change can be challenging and isn’t always wanted, ask the ex-controlling families.
While not pertaining to have the answers I do know what I wouldn’t want, and thats anything like a sugar daddy or rich fan getting involved.
Theres names go around of rich Tims who might get involved, and I just see problem after problem, with the only change a new face behind the desk, and the same course steered.
The clincher is that the fans must pay for this themselves, that is the only possible way that all could feel included and we could all truly see that shareholding as communally held with equal rights, as anything else is a waste of time.

 

As far as the capital goes well let me tell you that the level of support given to the club in normal times is incredible, truly magnificent indeed, the envy of many out there,, and now in uncertain times plus Covid-19 territory they have stepped up fully once again in numbers that defy logic if truth be told. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that a shareholding fund would be fully embraced and subscribed to in numbers that would probably again defy sanity.
A fund is only one example btw.
As long as the fans know its a genuine sincere plan by true people that they can get behind, then the floodgates will open to wrest part control of the club.

 

The issue of fan involvement might vex many a suit, but the fact is it has been successfully navigated in the NFL and the German clubs model, so any barriers are purely mental or for protecting profits, somewhat understandable. As a recent study showed Scotland leads Europe in attendance per capita, not surprising to me but its great service that deserves some type of recognition, and would bringing fans closer not also help safeguard the future of the national sport? How could it hurt, as long as its a well administered process, of which there are example aplenty to follow across the globe.

 

In the Celts for Change documentary Fergus explained that the Tim’s stepped up in record numbers at the time and possibly still, thinking they were to have a say in the future. We know how that worked out but if the chance presents itself again we must grab it with both hands, and start the process of real change of mindset from within, plus there is no reason to be limited to small shareholding, getting the foot in the door is only the beginning.

 

When something is actually yours you tend to be more concerned and take more interest in it, much much more.
There’s a lot of pride in the team right now, looking at becoming history makers again, but when there’s also pride in the club, the people that are running it, the course that has been chosen, and the self esteem of ‘this is ours’, then we will have the platform to truly take on the world and see just how good we can be.
That’s the goal here, why not?

 
 

The above is by Mahe. As usual our mail is sentinelcelts@gmail.com.

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Puff puff

Truly lovely song Garry ….your the best

Garry

Mahe
Magnificent piece of writing brother. I would defy any Tim who reads that article and not feel the way I do. Proud of our club’s achievements and our supporters, well, support. It really could be so much better though, as we proved on 25th of May 1967 in Lisbon. What could be achieved with club administrators, club management and players, club shareholders and club supporters working in unison towards the one great goal? European dominance?
In the words of one of my heroes, and namesake of our manager,
“You may say I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one.” Imagine?

Garry

Puff
No sir. Tims are the best. We know it, and so do our enemies. Peace and Love fae No Mean City.

Puff puff

That was a great read mahe .. Will read again now as so much information ..

Twisty

Mahe
Tremendous article. The sentiment is admirable.

“All aboard”, “this is ours”, “why not”.

Well yes, I fully agree. I think most will. It’s the mechanism of how we achieve it that is the problem.
How to make the fan ownership model a reality?
To own it, the current owner needs to want to sell. That is surely the biggest, in fact the only, barrier?

When Fergus ousted the previous board, then walked off having achieved what he set out to achieve, I’m reminded of a quote made by someone who left the Soviet Union and moved to the USA. “ America may be free, but, the workplace is a dictatorship”
If ever we needed more reminders of that, the board has delivered them in spades over the past few seasons.

At the head of any dictatorship are generally power crazed individuals. They use the power to generate money, but when the money is generated for self gain, then the needs of the masses are subordinated.

One of the very first principles I recall learning, was Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Most people will be aware of it I’d think so I’ll not go into the detail, but for anyone who isn’t aware, a quick ( cut and paste) descriptor:

“Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a motivational theory in psychology comprising a five-tier model of human needs, often depicted as hierarchical levels within a pyramid.
Needs lower down in the hierarchy must be satisfied before individuals can attend to needs higher up.”

Unfortunately for those of us who wish to see the type of change you write about, the current incumbents most certainly do not buy into this theory. They’ve flipped the pyramid on its head and started at the opposite end. The tip of the pyramid. Self satisfaction in respect of power, wealth and control with no intention of satisfying the broader base requirement of the masses.

It leaves the same problem.

How to give the control back to the masses?

There are 2 options in my opinion. The first, would need the masses to rebel in large numbers. Stop attending. Now that particular avenue is destined to fail. It will not happen. It happened before but the circumstances were critically different. The future of the club was under threat. Is it under threat now? Only in the same respect as every club in Scottish football due to a pandemic which threatened to choke the largest financial stream the club has. Season ticket money. Yet it appears the fans have responded in huge numbers and renewed. So there will be no walking away. The reason for that is simple. The biggest need of the majority works in the board favour. The emotional need. They didn’t have to do anything, it happens by default. That emotional attachment is an unbreakable one for nearly all.
It’s been debated on here ad nauseam. I know it to be true. From 5 season ticket holders in my immediate family, none of whom were going to renew, all 5 have. The board didn’t need to dangle any carrot. Emotion attachment borne over a combined 200 years won the day.
So the “ walking away” will never happen.

What does that leave? Option two.
Someone or a number of people with a lot of money. Dermot Desmond undoubtedly puts personal gain above all else. Money will talk if the fans won’t walk. How much? What amount would he want? £200m?
Normal Ebitda principles are probably not a safe method of estimating, but a club with turnover of anything between £70m and £100m? I’d suggest £200m to be the very least that would be considered.

Can that amount be raised? If he asks for £300m?

If the answer to that question is yes, then there is a chance.

All in my opinion of course.

big packy

MORNING ALL and JIM, newradbhoy and mcaff, just been reading back from last night, thanks for your kind thoughts, and everyone else as well, wee joan was humbled?

Friesdorfer

Excellent article Mahe.

Very thought-provoking post Twisty, which encapsulates the views of many, if not most, on here.

A great start to the day ??

HH

big packy

MAHE, good post as always, yes lets bring the club back to the fans, i think we could raise the money to buy out DD, only my opinion?

Garry

Excellent post Twisty. It complements Mahe’s article perfectly. Much food for thought to mull over with my porridge this morning. Thank you both.

Twisty

Friesdorfer / Garry
Thanks.

Garry
Enjoy yer porridge. I had a bowl last night at 11pm. I was at work yesterday, and for the second day in a row my stomach hernia was painful to say the least.
Couldn’t face food but decided I better eat something before bed. Porridge it was ?. I slept fine so it done the trick, and the pAin has eased a bit this morning. Gonna need to get it fixed though. Can’t go on like this.
Was my own fault mind ye. At work on Monday, despite the warnings not to be lifting anything heavy, I went all macho and stupid and decided I’d be ok. Big mistake ?. Got it in the neck from my missus .

Not working today though so time to recover a bit.

I got a nice big order in at work. Got a couple weeks to manufacture it. Howevah, it requires 18 tonnes of material to be shifted from A to B.

I shall not , ah say I shall not, be lifting . Recruited the assistance of a couple of hired musclemen. One of them is a boxer so it’ll just be like extra training. ( well that’s what I told him. He might practice his KO punch on me when he’s done lifting ?)

big packy

GARRY, remind me to never again post you an eric clapton video??? BTW, i dont like him either, but ginger baker and jack bruce ?

Garry

Twisty
I have been on the Gordon Strachan diet of porridge and a banana for breakfast for a couple of weeks now. Been finding that I can skip lunch and not feel hungry till evening. Maybe an apple or pear in afternoon. Feel healthier for it.

Garry

BP
Don’t get me wrong, I love a lot of Cream music.
Have always preferred Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix to Eric Clapton though. Hope Joan is feeling a wee bit better this morning.

A thing of beauty

Thanks for the article Mahe. We all know by now that you’re a dreamer and it’s not for me to knock it but I think twists provided a dose of reality this morning for you in his excellent post. Celts for change were successful because the club was not successful. It’s going to be nigh on impossible to convince the masses we need change when we’ve won 9 Leagues on the trot and the last 11 trophies. I would love to see fan ownership but again as twists points out that could take up to £300m to achieve. Not very likely in this economic climate. Still, nothing stopping you dreaming pal.
Anyone any idea how many season books we’ve sold. My friend joined the waiting list last week and I reckon he’ll get one no bother.

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

MAHE

Aye,there’s some machinations in the background,for sure. As was always going to be the case when we Tims feel ripped off and disenfranchised. Of course,one big problem with having a multi-billionaire in “control” is that we are small fry to him. As is the club.

He could conceivably drive the club into the ground,just to prove a point.

His investment in the club is minimal when compared to his overall wealth. His emotional investment in the club is definitely minimal when compared to ours.

But in fairness,I don’t view DD’s involvement/investment in the club as a bad thing. It has actually given the club a measure of stability over the years. But the lack of emotional involvement for what should be his equivalent of Rod Stewart’s bloody train set baffles me.

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

TWISTSNTURNS

The Plc is currently valued at £110m. DD’s share will be £40-50m based on that. No idea how much of a premium to that he would expect in order to sell,but if he’s looking for 600% he will be on to plums

About 30% is the going rate,and that was pre-Covid. But I think anyone looking to buy him out is also on to plums.

Garry

ATOB
If your friend joined the waiting list last week, he will be about 11,000th in the queue to be offered a season ticket. I reckon he will be very lucky to be offered the chance to purchase a ticket. However, I don’t know how many season tickets are being offered for sale. If it is 58k, allowing 2k for away fans and segregation seats, he may stand a chance.

fan-a-tic

Good article Mahe but there is a reason why our present custodians have constantly rejected the idea of a fans representative on the board.
They don’t want plebs or outsiders knowing their machinations.

Twisty

Bobby
DD appears to have no intention of selling. That being so he can name whatever price he fancies. The value of the plc will be irrelevant to him, unless he decided he wanted to sell up.
Football clubs are extremely difficult to value anyway. Celtic won’t be sold for anywhere close to 1 x their turnover.

The clubs value should be lower anyway given the extremely high player wage % v turnover, but it’s all moot as far as I’m concerned.

He will only sell for whatever he thinks is right for him. It will not be the £100m or anywhere close to it in my opinion. If his share is 50m he will want 3 x that at least. Just for his personal shares.

Unless some other factors contribute to his desire to get outta dodge . You mention the current climate. Perhaps the current climate will get a whole lot worse and I’m not talking Covid. The fact a current court case is in progress and might not be the last may have a telling effect. The likelihood is that others will mount up if the claimant in this current one is successful. He might not want to be around.

Time will tell I guess.

Garry

Twisty
I have read from a few different sources, that DD’s son is the active Celtic supporter in the Desmond family, and is taking an increased interest in the running of the club. It stands to reason that his father’s shares will be his inheritance. Maybe Desmond Jr. will call the shots in the forthcoming years?

Garry

I wonder if Brett Desmond’s wife Andrea Corr is a Celtic supporter?

Sips

ATOB/Garry…

Supposedly 50,000+ have renewed.
Limit is 52,000.
I’m on the list with my son,. ?

Michael Thomas

Amazing article !!!

Garry

Sips
Thanks pal. That means there will be about 7000 tickets available to buy on a game to game basis if restrictions are lifted. Bit better news for waiting list punters I suppose.

Pubs to open indoors next Wednesday, Social Distancing will be reduced to 1 metre

jimthetim53

G’Day playmates and Packy.
I was down at the pub yesterday, the beer garden, 15 in attendance. Apparently on the Tuesday there was about 50 at one point. One thing I did notice, I spent as much in one day as I would have spent in a week drinking at home!

Twisty

Garry
Apologies for the delayed response. I was driving.

DD’s son? Yes I believe he’s been taking an interest and attended the last AGM. Will he be any different to his dad? Hmmm.
I guess for that to happen the apple will need to have travelled a fair bit when it fell from the tree.

Twisty

Sips
Any idea how many in front of you?

big packy

HI JIM i could not afford to drink in the pub? another true story?

big packy

GARRY, from earlier, yes she feels better today thanks?

Sips

TWISTY…

8, 000, Im roughly midpoint on the waiting list.
Luckily I can usually source a ticket, that was before covid though.

big packy

when im out with the 4 dogs, ive lost count of the number of people who pass me and say youve got your hands full there mate,i just ignore them, now take this morning a lady stops her car rolls the window down, oh i love scottie dogs, now that annoys me as well, our dogs are west highland terriers, different breed to a scottie dog, oh i bet i know there names, thats hamish, thats dougal ,sorry need to stop you there, these are welsh terriers and they are all girls, the look on her face was priceless, made me chuckle anyway?

Garry

Bada
Will be avoiding pubs for foreseeable future. Would love to get back to Mass soon though.

por cierto

I think Celtic Fans, over the course of history, have raised £300 mil already for good and worthy causes :)) Far better that we can do that than give it to someone who doesn’t need the money anyway, and who certainly wouldn’t hand it over to those needy and with nothing. I think it would feel the same as Fergus felt having to give the White’s and Kelly’s cash, I think it still must stick in his throat. I don’t know any other way to relieve him of his shareholding, but perhaps, just perhaps, he’ll leave it with us all anyway when he’s finished playing with us, NOT! por cierto.

jimthetim53

Packy, taking dogs out for a walk seems to be a favourite pastime where i live. I must see it about twenty time a day!

Ronny D NYC live on Sky now

big packy

JIM, they might be dogwalkers, its a big business now, people working full time ,the dog would be on its own all day, these dogwalkers,go in ,take the dog for a half hour walk, and then feed and water the dog, believe me there is money in it?

Twisty

Sips
Ffs. 8,000. That’s a helluva queue bud.

Por Cierto
I wonder if Fergus thinks the current incumbent runs the club to the vision he himself had when he sold up? Not that it matters I suppose. Unless of course Fergus harbours any interest in ever being involved again.

big packy

JIM, just sent you an e-mail, but think its lost in cyberspace?

big packy

can any of you beat this, i went to all of celtics home games in the run up to the big cup final in 67, and ive got the programmes ?

fan-a-tic

NY City v Philadelphia
Like a lot of modern football matches they would be as well putting the goals at either side of halfway line.
Lot’s of side to side passing with an inability to look in a forward direction.
Players are like robots with limited programming.
Individual skill is being coached out of them .
Commentator said Ronnie D’s team had lots of passing and no real threat.
These pointless possession coaches are turning football into a boring sport.

Raymac

Calling the Wind 13.30 Ascot on Saturday. Heading to Donegal, St Johns Point, for the weekend. Not sure of email availability.

Twisty

Raymac
I’ve copied it over. Gl

Coneybhoy

My first euro game. I can’t believe how many chances we had. Also, how far forward McLeod is as the holding centre mid. I think we always relied on the CHs staying high and passing back to the keepers hands back then (plus Danny sprinting back and across to cover)

Still a beautiful sight to see Paul McStay, Tommy Burns and Murdo Mcleod breaking out of defence

voguepunter

Coneybhoy

It wasn’t my first Euro game but, one of my favourites …perpetual motion from the Bhoys that night HH

Different Class

I don’t get the real hatred of DD by some in here. Fergus said he couldnt have done what he did without the investment by DD and others DD brought to the table plus of course the fan shareholders. Every shareholder big or small has seen a increase in their share price. While at the other side of town they are looking at 2p in the pound return for the orginal hun investors and the ones that piled in with Big Hauns float at a £1 a share now have shares woth 20p. Also i keep hearing DD is taking money out the club can anyone show me where he has done this? Saying that i would like us to have more of a fan say in the running of the club and try and get the 25.1% to bring that about. The orginal hun fans groups had the right idea for going for this but King hijacked it and got his own placemen in and set up Club1872.So soon after their charter changes from all money donated to buy shares to 50% can be used for projects. So you had the situation every time King or the other directors but money into the club they got shares but when club 1872 but cash in thru projects they got he haw and he used them to buy Ashleys stake at 27p when they were worth nothing like that. So if we set up a fan ownership group a club1888 it would need to stay focused and not be diverted from it’s course to be the voice of the fans and keep a eye on the board. I think we could have done it already if we had been organized feck even the huns got one started. Imagine we had got all the 50k season book holders paying a extra £2 a week thats 5.2 million a year not counting any other fans that would want to chip in. We could have bought the shares Lindsay Train bought they spent roughly 20 million for a 20% holding and their is already a 10% small fan/investor base. We can all moan about things but if we want more of a say we need to be organized and dip in our pockets

Friesdorfer

Different Class
DD gets money from the club via preference shares. He could always leave the dividend in the club…
HH

McCaff

Afternoon all from a pouring doon Renfrew!
Good article Mahe with good points and ideas but probably fanciful in the current climate with the current owners.
DC…the dividends paid to DD, and other preferential shareholders (which also includes small quantity shareholders) are documented in the Club accounts. I’ve not checked before posting this but I think the amount paid out in ’18/19 was in the region of £7-8million!
This is why Train is involved, there are benefits to holding substantial numbers of preferential shares in the ‘Tic. Part of the reason is how the club is run by DD and Lawell!

McCaff

Friesdorfer… my mates Da has preferential shares and received a letter last month asking if he would forego this year’s dividend to the Club! I’m not sure what he decided but I was curious as to whether DD, Train and the other large-quantity preferential shareholders would be doing… keeping it I expect!!

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