It was that time of the year again folks where Celtic F.C shareholders were invited to come and and ask the questions that all Celtic supporters wanted to ask of the board and management staff, but alas it was an event that most could have imagined - pointless questions, board oozing at the mouth to mention the club's finances, and general quips one could only expect from a Conservative Party member sitting in the club's Chairman seat...
Again, majority shareholder Dermott Desmond was nowhere to be seen, although Mr. Bankier later remarked that Mr. Desmond was "available on Skype" - great retort...
The first comment of the day came from Bankier, who kicked things off with a quip about James Forrest's goal glut the night previously for Scotland - one I'm told that was met with both claps and a few boos in equal measure.
As expected, the heirarchy then began discussing finances - Bankier informing usthat we more or less had £27m in the bank, and it would be staying there. Lawwell following this up by telling us most profit has been made from player sales, all CL money was going "back into the club" (although no specific department mentioned, as expected) and saying Odsonne Edouard was indeed signed for £10m.
Brendan Rodgers then adding in with comments about the previous game at CP against RB Leipzig, saying how amazing a night it was and that the club needed to see more nights like it.
Praise then given by Rodgers to Ryan Christie for his recent breakthrough, as well as other first team players tied down on long-term contracts.
Topics then started being discussed that the supporters REALLY wanted to know - specifically around the shambolic transfer window that came previously. Rodgers stating he wasn't happy with it but still spoke highly about his relationship with the board, but wanted to do better.
Some more talk about the RB Leipzig game before the first mention of Resolutions 1-8, all of which passed:
First one - to review company’s annual accounts and auditors and strategic reports.
This has now has been carried.
Res 2, 3 and 4 were also been carried.
Dermot Desmond, Tom Allison and Brian Wilson all retired by rotation and all three re-elected.
Is to to reappoint BDO as auditors.
Again, this has been passed.
This is to authorise directors to determine the remuneration of the auditors.
Carried to grant directors authority to allot shares.
This is to grant directors authority to disapply pre-emotions rights.
After some other formal notifications from the board it was then time for questions for the audience.
First of the night was some silly mention of the asking of multi-millionaire "super fan" Rod Stewart to pay for Celtic's new hotel and museum.
This was promptly followed on by what your's truly can only hope was board plants and not the true opinion of some folk who actually support the club - let's call him "shareholder 1" - stating he wasn't happy about Craig Levein being called and ORANGE *, then following that on with his distaste for the Beautiful Sunday/IRA song, and then laying the blame at the door of the GB and their dastardly drums.
Needless to say this was a question which TORY MP Ian Bankier couldn't wait to pounce upon:
Celtic have no time for what is “‘very damaging and that sort of singing takes club to the gutter”.
He urges fans to show disapproval when songs are sung during games. Says fans will soon see they are in a small minority.
Lawwell adding in his two pence-worth:
The CEO says issue is sensitive, praises brave fan for raising it.
He adds, that it is “very unfortunate that small minority is dragging us down”.
He says it has got worse in recent times and is back to the old days
This miserly topic was somewhat broken up with the following statement from another shareholder who claimed that "No Celtic player since Roy Aitken has been able to take a shy" - one can only assume that he was very excited after having to wait a whole year to let us all know this wonderful factoid.
First mention of Sevco - board asked about Resolution 12 (SFA handing license to Sevco 5088 in 2012) we all know the usual tripe spoken about with that particular subject, so no need to further delve into that!
Tickets were next on the agenda with one shareholder saying that Celtic needed to do better in supporting the fans gaining better allocation, particularly stating Sevco done the best out of the semi-final debacle - Lawwell retorting with his usual sense of humour saying "That worked out well for them, then" - and that's why he earns the big bonuses...
A few other subjects including Leigh Griffiths and Marvin Compper before the first genuinely sensible question asked of the day regarding summer transfer window, including the non-signing of John McGinn:
Lawwell: It was a record transfer on Edouard but we wanted to do more. It was a complicated market. Players have to be better than what we have.The purpose of having money in the bank is spending and we will strengthen at the right time."
On McGinn: Celtic are “satisfied” they did all they can to try and get McGinn to Celtic, before adding: “We will support Brendan Rodgers.”
Brendan added to this: The success that we have had had been a collective on and off the pitch. I can’t pretend I wasn’t disappointed in the summer. It’s not singing and dancing every day.The club is run immaculately and the board have future proofed success.
Rodgers then admitted he is not good at hiding emotions and says the lack of signings has allowed Christie to emerge.
Back to the shareholders as one stated his disapproval of plastic pitches, next shareholder claiming the SFA were "rotten to the core" (to plenty of cheer) before some bampot pipes up asking Bankier if he knew Holy Willie’s Prayer, a poem by Rabbie Burns. Finishes off with saying a prayer to Willie Maley, Jock Stein and Fergus McCann - blessed be the bunnet. "Lord, thank you for Neil Lennon! Keeping us safe from the SFA and referees." - a crackpot indeed.
Concluding the two hour wishey-washey lah-de-dah exercise were some other silly questions about signing Chris Sutton from Sky, another couple about Sevco and then about the big Belgian * (who's name I will not dirty my fingers typing) over his contract and the possibility of keeping Benkovic (which was more or less a big "NO").
Apart from one or two points from the board, and one or two DECENT questions from a couple of shareholders, an exercise for a couple of clowns and gobshites who would have been better off calling up Clyde 1's football phone in getting to air their rubbish, what an absolute waste of time.
Let's hope next year's is somewhat more serious...