Celtic F.C. Limited, the wholly owned subsidiary of Celtic PLC, have loans from the Co-operative Bank of £34 million http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/business/Finance/article1304380.ece which are secured against land in 3 mortgages:
- Celtic Park
- Celtic Triangle [The land around Celtic Park]
- Westhorn Training Ground
This post relates to the Westhorn Training Ground which lies right next to Barrowfield, Celtic’s old training centre. It is the cross hatched area in the map above.
Celtic PLC has two mortgages on the Westhorn land. All Outstanding mortgages can be view at the bottom of: https://www.duedil.com/company/SC003487/celtic-plc/financials
One to the Co-operative Bank:
And another to Glasgow City Council:
The amazing coincidence is that the two mortgages were created the same day, the 21st April 2009.
So are were led to believe that Celtic, Glasgow City Council, the Co-operative Bank and Harper McLeod, who drafted the Celtic-Co-operative Bank mortgage, were in the same room making the transfers and agreements? Or was there a lot of to and fro’ing across Glasgow that day?
Seems strange that the land became security on a Co-operative Bank loan the same day it was sold by Glasgow City Council. Hmmm coincidence?
Why did Celtic want Westhorn in April 2009?
Lennoxtown Training Centre was opened in October 2007, by the then chairman, Brian Quinn, a year and half earlier. It obviously wasn’t wanted to extend Barrowfield, their old training centre. They already had Lennoxtown. It is understandable for Celtic to acquire land near their ground, in the Celtic Triangle, however Westhorn is not nearby. Why continue with an irrelevant purchase – unless someone else places a higher value on it – perhaps the Co-operative Bank?
Why were Glasgow City Council selling the land when it obviously wasn’t going to be developed as a training ground?
Why not sell the land for residential development like the old Belvidere Hospital site nearby and get higher council taxes every year? Or hold a competitive auction? In the Glasgow City Council mortgage above, the area is 5.33 Hectares which is 53,300 sq metres. That’s about 7.5 football pitches, assuming 7,000 sqm a pitch. That’s a lot of houses.
So what was the valuation of the land?
In Glasgow City Council’s Executive Committee report for 30th November 2007, available under reports http://www.glasgow.gov.uk/councillorsandcommittees/DocumentSearchPublic.asp on their website, it states:
However Gerry Braiden, in The Herald article titled ‘Celtic close to deal over disputed land‘ on Wednesday, 17th January 2007 stated:
‘Despite the intervention of the District Valuer it has not been possible, after almost two years, to agree a price for Westthorn Recreation Ground, previously valued at around £5m.’
That’s quite a discrepancy between £675,000 and £5 million. One is over 7 times the other. The price paid is quite a discount.
Considering that the day Glasgow City Council sold the land, it then becomes security for part of the Co-operative bank loan it appears as if the purpose was to facilitate the delivery of security for the Co-Operative Bank loan? Surely this is state support and against EU regulations as well as UEFA Financial Fair Play [FFP] rules. And who is on the UEFA board for FFP, former Celtic chairman, Brian Quinn.
Which valuation was placed on the land within the Co-operative Bank mortgage £675,000 or £5 million or more?
Note: The reason Glasgow City Council have mortgage is to have Standard Security to ensure they get 50% of any uplift in value if Celtic sold the land within 5 years of the sale as can be seen above in the Executive Committee extract above. With the sale in 2009 then this mortgage will lapse in 2014.