Celtic: What did we learn from club's AGM?

Ian Bankier was criticized by supporters.

The scene was set at Celtic's annual general meeting when only the men's and women's team managers received warm applause.

As the club's executives began to reflect on a troubled last 12 months on and off the pitch, the club's main shareholder was absent.

There was a lot of fan unrest and anger at the club's board, so what did we learn from the two-hour meeting?

It still hurts last season.

It was going to be a difficult two hours for the board of the club, which had just finished a trophyless season. Winning the league was all that mattered, since it would have brought up an historic 10th straight title.

They finished 25 points behind Rangers, failed to reach the semi-finals of the domestic cup competition, and crashed out of the European competition.

In the first of a series of videos shown to shareholders, chairman Ian Bankier admitted it was hard to see the positives from the campaign and said the board are accountable for how it played out.

The worst rub of the green that you could possibly imagine is what the Celtic chair said about Covid and injury issues.

In August of last year, Celtic and Aberdeen had to delay three of their games because of Boli Bolingoli's actions, which included going to Spain and contracting Covid.

Celtic had to play second-string teams in two games in January after a Covid outbreak in the squad.

Bankier said that the club was treated unfairly by the Scottish government. We were the only employer in Scotland that sanctions employees for violating rules.

Chris McKay, finance director, said that players were kept rather than sold with the importance of the season in mind, which led to the club's first loss in five years.

Bankier and Nicholson stressed that one bad season doesn't mean the club is broken, as the latter put it.

Don't mention McKay.

If someone was dropped into the Celtic AGM without knowing that Dominic McKay was the new chief executive, they would not have known.

The former Scottish Rugby chief operating officer resigned in September for personal reasons.

Bankier did not give any further explanation about his departure, nor did he ask about McKay's replacement.

He paid tribute to Lawwell's service and said that he was instrumental in the appointment of Postecoglou.

The board is under fire.

The board and Bankier were chastened for a few hours.

The fans at Celtic Park were not happy when they voted against the re-election of Bankier and Wilson to the board.

Bankier said that stability on the board brings consistency to the club.

The Celtic Trust put forward a resolution asking the board to be refreshed, as their representative questioned whether long-serving independent directors were scrutinising the work of the executive team enough. They were accused of being out of touch.

The gulf between Celtic fans and the board was as large as it had ever been.

The touchpaper issue on this was the appointment of a former police officer to a senior security role at the club.

Many fans object to his appointment because he was a part of the enforcement of the now repealed and deeply unpopular Offensive Behaviour at Football Act.

Bankier refused to give assurances that the club would not appoint Higgins, to boos and a cry of "shameful" in the room.

The European record looms large.

Fans were not happy with the club's performances in Europe. The club last won a European knockout tie in 2004.

Bankier said that Celtic took "pastings" from Paris St-Germain and the gulf in resources in European football was the reason for the lack of European football.

Fans said that Celtic had been eliminated by clubs with less resources.

Nicholson responded to criticism of the club's recruitment and scouting set up, saying these aspects are a priority for moving forwards.

Bankier said that the club's "fundamentals are better now than they were 15 years ago", and that the recent domestic trophy haul is proof of that.

The man is named Ange.

The Celtic supporters in the room were positive about the future, and that was thanks to Postecoglou.

Fans started asking questions after they praised the Australian's job so far. One person thanked them for giving their team back.

The club media played an interview with Postecoglou in which he spoke of his affection for Celtic, but he was silent throughout.

He talked about putting together the football department and said he is methodical in his approach, despite the absence of a head of recruitment and sporting director.

Bankier and Nicholson confirmed there would be investment in the January window for the right targets as well as support for the revamp of the football department, with Celtic four points behind Rangers.