A GROUP of Celtic shareholders is calling on the club to drop any joint sponsorship deals with Rangers in an attempt to break an “unwanted alliance” with its rivals.
• Celtic shareholder group demands end to joint deals with Rangers
• Proposal in resolution ahead of Celtic AGM next month
• Parkhead board against such a move
A resolution put forward by a group of unidentified shareholders for the upcoming Celtic AGM states that it would be preferable to drop sponsorship altogether rather than sign joint deals with Rangers.
Celtic and Rangers currently share a shirt sponsorship deal with Tennent’s, which runs out next year.
The resolutions states: “In recent years the joint shirt sponsorship with Rangers FC has become increasingly unpopular with supporters, as has the term ‘Old Firm’.
“This is an opportunity for Celtic FC to distance itself from this unwanted alliance and pursue its own path, which, given the financial and other difficulties, including alleged serious misconduct, currently being experienced by Rangers, is expedient and highly desirable.”
The resolution also sets out the option of dropping a sponsor altogether and choosing a charity, as Barcelona did with Unicef.
It continues: “In the event of a sponsor not being willing to deal with Celtic alone, the Club should still refuse joint sponsorship and play without a shirt sponsor.
“The Club could then celebrate its charitable roots and seek the agreement of an appropriate Charity, preferably locally based, and display a suitable logo on the match shirt.
“This course of action has already been undertaken by Barcelona FC, which like Celtic, was a Club founded out of adversity.
“We urge all shareholders to remain true to the spirit and vision of Celtic’s founding fathers and support this resolution.”
In response, the Celtic board have stressed that sponsorship deals are “shaped not only by what the board considers to be in the company’s best interests but also the commercial position of the proposed sponsor, and the marketplace.
“The terms and conditions upon which such transactions are entered into are commercially confidential. Whether a sponsor also wishes to contract with another football club is a matter for that sponsor, taking account of its own commercial interests and objectives.
“The directors consider that the approach suggested would seriously limit the number of potential sponsors available and hinder the company unnecessarily in any sponsorship negotiations that did take place. That is not considered to be in the best interests of the company and shareholders are therefore recommended to vote against the resolution.”