Fixing the flax
On this American Independence day I’ve found a new form of personal independence,,I lost my phone on Thursday night and after initial misgivings I’ve actually somewhat enjoyed not being tethered to that 10oz’s of technology.
Anyhows on a slow news day Ill give my thoughts on a current bugbear, the annual releasing and pricing of the iconic Celtic shirt.
One poster mentioned it’s now approximately one hundred pounds to purchase a kids top with his favourite player’s name embroidered. That’s scandalous.
The club has presented itself in the past as being a club like no other, but their actions don’t match those words. In my opinion the strip could be one avenue to actually do things differently and take the moral high ground,, it wouldn’t take a revolution, merely a bit of innovation.
For starters, no more sweatshops. Non sweatshop certified by a reputable company. NIke are notorious for this abhorrent practice, 15p an hour in underprivileged countries with terrible conditions to boot. We should end that practice, be a little better than that if you will.
Next, attempt to source local linen, and pay a fair price for it. Flax mills were once very common across the islands, my own grandmother worked in one as a girl and even today in old Belfast the term ‘milly’ can be heard, signifying a working class girl of low repute who earns a living in the poor conditions of the mill.
If the material is local, then have the labour force local also, earning at least the living wage. I would feel a lot better helping the local economy and people rather than exploit the underprivileged.
Keep alcohol and gambling advertising away from the top. Barcelona’s gesture of helping Unicef that time was truly special, we should aim to replicate or better that feat.
I would have the foundation advertised somewhere, but I would fully understand if another company bought the rights to the prime spot front and centre. Not any old company though, make sure they pass the sniff test, have a decent record on human and employee rights, and are equal opportunity employers. Again a local company would be ideal but I understand the issues with that approach, the tribalism involved could see one half of the country associate you with their rivals and opt5 to avoid their custom, hence CR Smith sponsoring both halves of the dreaded Old Firm that time.
Announce a substantial percentage of the clubs profit would go to charity, say 25 percent. One could dedicate half of that towards the Foundation while the rest creates a ‘fighting fund’ to tackle local issues positively. It would be nice to know some of that hefty pricetag actually helped people, not just swell multinational coffers.
I understand its a hell of a lot easier to simply hand over control of merchandise and reap the benefits, but by taking control of their own production and marketing the club could significantly raise their profit margins,,why make Nike and Adidas richer when we could cut them out altogether? A new department might be needed, yes, but there’s also the opportunity for some genuine positive PR, something which cant be underestimated.
If Glasgow Celtic produced its own strip while helping locals, I imagine sales would increase given buying a shirt would be an ethical choice.
Find a decent price point. I like to believe the current pricepoint is due to the amount of mouths in the trough, alongside the multinationals desire to keep all football strips in the same ballpark. They dont want one shirt cheaper than the rest, they prefer the same price across the board, its a simple business strategy. However 50 percent of say forty pounds, is more than 15 percent of sixty pounds, the club could increase their profit margin on shirt sales by going alone. Even if the current price was maintained, folk would be happier in general buying them, if ethical.
In order to boost sales, open more stores abroad, in populous cities with plenty of expats, preferably in an area with plenty of footfall. Times Square springs to mind, a large display window, those beautiful green and white Hoops would prove almost irresistible to the millions passing by, especially the huge number of Irish Americans. It offers them the opportunity to connect a little with their distant past, and celebrate their heritage, all while raising the club’s profile. Australia should be heavily saturated, as should Japan given the current circumstances. Push the shirt sales, don’t just let people come to you. A couple of stores isnt enough, get dozens out there, and having an expat behind the counter would help provide a positive buying experience, hopefully.
The club has small opportunities like this to actually be different, to make their claim ring true, but don’t take them. Perhaps its the general old age of the board, perhaps they are too conservative. As a club we don’t need or want a total 360 degree different course, but if you claim to be different then actually be different. The shirt would be a good start.
100% endorse this idea
Setting up a local manufacturing facility and employing local folk to design, make, distribute and sell
Not sure we can play fitba in flax shirts these days but sense your sentiment is on the right lines
Surely the local colleges and universities have ideas about making an innovative fabric that is up to the purpose/ task and renewable -and not being dragged halfway around the planet?
Do we need a new strip every year?
The Hoops are iconic and shouldn’t be changed much if at all
£40 and made locally by folk earning a living ( plus) wage
By all means change the Away version every few years and offer other items for the more ‘fashion’ conscience (sic)
We could take that manufacturing model and design a fashion range and training kits sold as Celtic brand.
We don’t need a sponsor on the shirt – the club crest is enough and indicates a portion of proceeds go to a worthy cause… that’s the ‘ more than a club’ thing covered
The possibilities are endless
We are PLC
Making money for investors
I’m sure they will be right up furrit…
Morning all! A classic example of Economies of Scale; Celtic trying to produce our own materials, design, production, manufacturing etc on a level would probably lead to higher prices and lower margins.
A serious effort would require huge investment in many areas and would not be practical.
Sitting down Nike/Adidas/New Balance and telling them a price point of £40 is what we’re looking at is do-able but I suspect they’d laugh as they were walking away and point us to Mike Ashley’s Castore as our future suppliers.
Very commendable notions Mahe but not real world. Try Hiut Jeans in Cardigan, Wales as an example of a cottage industry trying to do the right thing in the old jeans capital of Britain, a pair of jeans will set you back up to a couple of hundred quid!
Merchandise is one area where anti board activism by the fanbase can be felt.
Without impacting directly on support of the team. At least initially. I guess it contributes 10/15% to club finances. No doubt Someone will keep me right on the figures!
Aside from that, Celtic FC/ PLC cannot possibly be everything to everyone. Like any other enterprise we engage with daily or intermittently.
Created out of Compassion, but quickly redefined by its desire to achieve success in the market it sought to be competitive in. A shareholders capitalist construct was born out of a charitable concern.
To enjoy Celtic for what it is, and I love what it means to me, I ask the following questions:
Why does it exist?
What purpose does it serve?
Whom does it serve?
To whom is it accountable?
How can it be changed if it isn’t fit for purpose?
Not all the answers are to my liking but they help me define my rationale for investing emotionally in the Club.
I understand the desire for the club to be different, I just don’t think it’s possible now. Every club has to maximise profit in the modern game if you want to be the best you can be. We are no different. Having the deal with adidas gives us exposure and credibility that we need as a major football club. I think the idea is out the box thinking and commend you for it but it’s a non starter for us in my opinion.
As for last night. Dear oh dear. If a guy has different views then debate all night if you wish. All that get back to CQN and literally picking on him was not pleasant to read. I thought we were a bit better than that.
Small point of order:
A “360 degree different course” would put you back where you started.
It’s 180 degrees you want to shift alignment radically.
Happy 4th July to you. Hope you’ve got something nice planned for today.
Tops these days.
£65 to buy
£6 to produce – including material
Adidas, government and retailers cut leaves clubs £5 per top.
The retailer will pocket about £20, Adidas or whoever will take about £18 and the rest is eaten up by the government .
The real crime is as you say, that the people producing these kits will be working for a pittance. £1 per hour or thereabouts wouldn’t be far off the mark.
The costs to a club to transfer manufacturing to a reputable / ethically sound producer, pay people properly, even just the living wage to manufacturing staff , then open and staff retail outlets around the globe and pay them accordingly, add shipping costs which are currently accelerating at a rate of knots due to fuel costs spiralling ( currently – I get notified on a Monday every week what the weekly transport supplement will be for that week – and it’s currently running at 35%) and then meet the various tax liabilities etc?
It would be astronomically expensive
The cost of producing a top and getting it to the customer, would see the selling price shoot well above the current price.
As I say, I agree with the principle of your comments, I’m afraid the reality is somewhat different.
Good morning, friends.
Good Morning all.
An interesting and challenging article Mahe. I’m sure that the majority of Celtic fans empathise with the sentiments expressed, however sadly the reality of the marketplace dictates otherwise. It is though good to remind ourselves of the dire circumstances in which many people live in this sometimes predatory and capitalism driven world.
Have a good day y’all on this US Independence Day. Surely a timely pointer…
Very commendable thoughts but as others have pointed out not practical in this modern world we live in.
Remember it’s only recently that our beloved PLC 😕were dragged into paying a minimum wage for our own staff.
Good article Mahe.
Yes got to agree with all the comments regarding the Marketplace dictating prices.
Think all team shirts are same kinda price.
Anyway everyone have a very happy 4th of July, especially our North American contingent.
Think Celtic were forced into paying the “Living” wage due to fans pressure and this is slightly higher than the Minimum wage. Could be wrong though !!!!
Indeed it was .
Hope that is true although seem to recall a certain previous CEO, stating it would cost millions. The batteries in his calculator must have dried up😱
Mahe, in an ideal world making and distributing our shirts would be great. But it’s really not practical. The reason we have a new shirt every season, is addidas, insist on it as part of their supply deal.
Re. last night’s tiff.
The said same contributor made a personal attack on me on the other channel , just because he didn’t like a comment I made about an ex Celtic manager.
I chose to ignore him.
He can’t have it all ways.
Very thought provoking article Mahe – as can already be seen by the replies.
There’s one other downside which no one has mentioned. We are, sadly, still up against the most unethical opponent in world football. A kamikaze outfit that would try and collapse an entire league out of spite if they don’t get their way. So, we have to be grateful we’re signed up with big boys like Adidas at this time while they had to go cap in hand to Castore.
When the market rate was £5 per shirt big Mike was lobbing them 70p! 😀
BTW today is Independence day for me too. I started in BT on 4/7/77 – 45 years ago today!
Morning all. HH
Under the rules for naps competition 2022/23, section 5, sub section 6 paragraph 4:
£5 has been deducted from GFTB, BP, Gordon and St Tams for arguing. The £20 removed gets added to my total which has put me in the lead.
Well done to me. I needed that boost having started with two bingers.
Right need to go to DIY store for some odds and ends.
Morning wee Fra. Hope yer fine and well on this bright but very breezy morning.
Twisty £5 has been deducted from GFTB, BP, Gordon and St Tams for arguing 😱 Mea Culpa 🙏
I’ll give a score to your charity on behalf of the guys 👍🍀
The average price to manufacture a replica football shirt is £5.50. Nothing but unadulterated greed can justify selling it for £65.00 – absolutely nothing – a club like no other – me arse. Adidas have publically stated they do not set the retail price of football shirts, the football club does this, and it’s the club that makes the most profit from doing so not the manufacturing company. I am somewhat skeptical that Celtic is contractually obliged to release up to 3 new football shirts every season, and of course, let’s not forget the seasonal change in the very popular training kit range also. Celtic PLC is making eye-watering profits on each shirt sold. Irrespective of where and by who the kit is manufactured you can guarantee that the club would be looking at ripping you off AGAIN.
I would urge anyone thinking about buying a replica shirt directly from a Celtic FC shop or website to wait a couple of weeks until after the release date and then head over to the likes of JB sports or Sports direct websites and pick up the same shirt for a cheaper price and free P&P – which will save you another £5.00. If you are determined to be ripped off by buying overpriced cheap crap best go to a company that makes no pretense about being the worst kind of exploitative capitalist.
Gweedore finished 2nd last Wednesday at Thirsk
2nd the following day at Haydock and won yesterday at Ayr.
Surely that’s very unusual, 3 races in 5 days !!!!
And they say footballer’s have a hard life.
Just been given Gweedore’s intineray for this week
Today — Ayr
Tomorrow — Hickstead Showjumping
Wednesday — Burley Dressage event
Thursday—- Pint with BRRB
Friday — On holiday
Enjoy your day 😜😜
Wonderful. I’m sure the charity will be thrilled. I’ll sort it out next week. Our charity patron JNP is away on a wee bird watching vacation. ( feathered 😁)
Leggy – I seen that bud. Busy animal. Inbox is flooded with info on nags today. If I back em all I’ll need to win a grand just to cover the bets !!
Must dash. Really need to get to shop.
My take on your questions regarding Celtic
Why does it exist? – To make profit as a sporting entertainment company
What purpose does it serve? To make money for the big financial investors
Whom does it serve? The big financial investors
To whom is it accountable? The majority shareholder
How can it be changed if it isn’t fit for purpose? It can’t while the overwhelming majority of ST holders and purchasers of crap from Celtic stores don’t care.
TFW… taking a wander round any shopping centre shows that replica tops are a fashion statement as well as a tribal statement. The prices of any Nike/Adidas leisure gear is comparable to replica tops and obviously what people want to wear. The prices are extortionate – and just think about what that word actually means – but like all markets if there’s a demand it will be met! All us old guys can moan and pontificate all we like but like my old man, who was in the rag trade working for a top notch designer, used to moan about how much my gear cost when I would ask him to alter a pair of breeks!
Is it generational?
Leggy – that’s a cracker 🙂
Exploitative business practices (or a free-market economy in modern parlance) are as old as commerce has existed. BUT an entity that was founded by immigrants to help feed the exploited and dispossessed openly exploiting and boasting about exploiting the very poorest people in society who manufacture the kits whilst spewing forth crap about, being more than a club, history, culture, a people etc I find morally objectionable. Celtic were boasting about how much money they were going to make from the Adidas deal, lest ye forget. Aye, the same entity that ‘gifts’ a minuscule percentage of profits to charity – just to keep up appearances. (Charity donations which are tax deductable BTW)
Now we are all aware that probably every Celtic board has viewed the support as cash cows but the extremes to which they are now attempting to squeeze every penny they can from you these days is unbelievable. Sadly what is more unbelievable is that we put up with it.
They were t real arguments just discussions that didn’t agree with each other 👍
Hopefully all in good fun
Leggy, 10.41. Makes a change from having a pint with a horses arse.😂😂
They were t real arguments just discussions that didn’t agree with each other 👍Hopefully all in good fun
Agree mate 👍😎 Always a pleasure to exchange views all things Celtic HH🍀
Classifying it as an argument got £20 for charity. It was therefore an argument. 😁
If you’re gonna argue that point it’ll be expensive mind!
One of the syndicate nags goes on Wednesday at Yarmouth. Ciaren Fallon up this time. I’ll get the lowdown on it tomorrow. Been luckless so far but tbf has had some really bad luck in running. Got bashed twice last time out. I’ll see what Tom thinks of her chances later.
I’ll not be able to go down to see her though as I’m in Blackpool on Wednesday night and Manchester on Thursday.
More later .
Happy Independence Day everyone. 🦅🇺🇸
Stay blessed. 🙏
G64 / Twisty
If we all agreed the blog would be a poorer place 🙂
Definitely no malice on my part … we move to the next agreement or discussion in an equal measure 👍
TFW…I agree wholeheartedly with you but am as susceptible to marketing as the next fella, unfortunately! To criticise Celtic for their business decisions to maximise turnover and profit seems moot. They’re gonna do it unless and until there is a monumental backlash…and you and I both know that ain’t gonna happen.
I am well thanks, all chores done and just groceries to go for. 😀😀
Far too old to be wearing replica taps, however I always buy or get a new Celtic tap brought for me every season
Had to get the new away shirt because it’s a beezer to be perfectly honest.
All the previous ones that I have are in pristine condition – only wear them the odd occasion when in the pub watching a game.
There’s a wee bloke in Africa who is always looking Celtic gear for a wee charity, therefore I will send all the old ones over there during the week.
Always give the Celtic shop in Belfast a wee turn, because buying club merchandise is the only way that I can support the club financially.
My niece just bought her wee Bhoy (just turned 7) the full replica away strip from the Celtic shop in Coatbrig Main Street £95 !!!
But … as a family we have always purchased from the Celtic shop it’s great having one on our doorstep, there are not that many shops still open in our Main Street and thankfully the Celtic shop is still going strong
What about gifting the £65 cost of the replica kit to the African charity? Wouldn’t that be more in line with supporting the ethos of Celtic’s founders rather than adding to the bank balance of the already mega-rich?
Just a thought a chara
PS. Buying Celtic shares rather than cheaply-made merchandise benefits both you and the club financially. Now imagine the money spent on replica kits was used to buy shares by the support – we may have a voice in running the club.
TFW…I think that’s a cheap shot! No-one on here has any right to question other’s action and definitely not when you don’t know what acts or donations they may already make to charity!
back in yer box. It wasn’t intended as a cheap shot it was an idea, not meant to offer offense.
TFW…I’m not out of my box yet! It definitely read like a cheap shot despite your intentions! And aiming it at one poster along with an explanation of the moral benefits of such an action seemed crass and offensive to me!
McCaff / 16 roads
OK, then i direct my comment at all considering buying a shirt?
Crass enough for ye?
An angel gazing over towards paradise.
Nearly time for the serious stuff to begin again.
Been brilliant having a close season that’s caused more smiles than piles 😃
Not remotely interested in how lucky we might have been in getting our manager, I’m just happy he is ours.
T F W
Thanks for your interpretation of the questions raised !
There are no specific answers😀
GFTB – Pure class mo chara.
The Fenian Whaler – That’s a good point.
Genuinely never thought about buying shares as viable alternative to merchandise.
Terrible at my age – have everything Celtic pyjamas, slippers,Celtic bed clothes even have Celtic gin.
It isn’t me though, mostly people buy for presents, birthdays and Christmas etcetera.
She always says that I’m not difficult to buy for, and it would be rude to say ya don’t want anything else.
The new away kit is top of the pops though, only saying.
If anyone has the details of the wee Africa Celtic charity, could they post here please.
The Fenian Whaler – I was agreeing with you chief.
Apologies for the late response,had to break a shed up there.
Excellent stuff, Mahe.
Your mention of the Hoops on Times Square just lit up my day 💪☘️🇮🇪
The thing is, Celtic really IS more than a club, but those parasites running it just want maximum profits for their own benefit., particularly the one with the weird moustache.
They gave a measly 10 grand to the Foundation a couple of years ago and had the cheek to trumpet it like it was 10 million.
Och, don’t tell me I’ve broke the blog?!
I thought Big Packy would have come on at least to congratulate me on being able to crack a rimshot even though I’ve only leopard’s paws!