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Financial Integrity, Football

Celtic FC getting sucked into the Labour Party Co-operative Bank Scandal

As well as the evolving local Glasgow scandal of Celtic receiving cheap land deals from a Scottish Labour controlled Glasgow City Council and Greater Glasgow Health Board.

Celtic have been using that land as security to obtain cheap interest rate loans from the Labour riddled Co-operative Bank, most likely through former Chairman John Reid and Director Brian Wilson, both Labour party heavyweights. Now that’s what you call doubling up on corrupt leverage.

The Co-operative Bank, due the drug dealing antics of ex-chairman, ‘Crystal Methodist’ Paul Flowers, a Labour ex-councillor, is soon to experience a forensic examination of it’s ‘policy’ of giving risky loans at low interest rates to Labour party connected entities. In 2006, when the Labour party was close to bankruptcy, the Co-Op Bank bailed the party out and in March this year gave them a loan of £1.2 million at the preferential low rate of 4%. Compare this with Celtic’s Co-op Bank debt facility of £34 million at 1.5%. Celtic’s interest rate is ridiculously low and market loss-making.

Obviously this has implications for UEFA’s FFP and SFA/SPFL, for both competitions, if Celtic has been seen to have been financially advantaged. Any investigation by either footballing body could involve the return of winnings, the cancelling of titles, loss of points and demotion for unfair advantages obtained during the period of the corruption. Celtic’s cheap Co-op Bank debt facility is still operating today.

Celtic’s Loans from the Co-Operative Bank

Celtic Cooperative bank


Iain Dey, Deputy Business Editor of The Times and The Sunday Times wrote the article above in The Sunday Times, in August 2013, detailing Celtic’s Co-operative Bank debt facility of £34 million at 1.5%. One quote from the article says:

Will the Co-op continue to offer generous terms to the likes of Celtic? What about the Labour party, which has been kept afloat over the years through Co-op bank loans.

Here we have the alignment of Celtic and Labour benefiting from the same low loans corruption. Hmmm, a coincidence? Well Celtic’s loans were obtained while John Reid, ex-minister of the Blair Labour govts and Brian Wilson, who was Labour Energy Minister were on the Celtic Board.  John Reid was chairman of Celtic from 2007 until 2011. Brian Wilson joined the Celtic board in 2005 where he remains a Director.   Note: All of the Co-operative Bank – Celtic mortgages were created during their tenures therefore so were the loans based on those securities.

Celtic’s Co-operative Bank Mortgages

Westhorn mortgageLennoxtown mortgage 1

Celtic park mortgageCeltic triangle mortgage


As can be seen above Celtic have four mortgages to the Co-operative Bank acting as security for their £34 million debt facility at an extremely low 1.5% interest. Two involving land obtained cheaply from Glasgow City Council, Westhorn and parts of the Celtic Triangle, and one from the Greater Glasgow Health Board involving Lennoxtown. These have been covered in previous posts:



The Co-operative Bank is Celtic’s banker, as stated in their annual reports. Celtic’s £34 million debt facility at a measly 1.5% interest stands as an indictment of their connection into the low-interest-loans to Labour mates scandal emanating from the Co-op bank.

Treasury Inquiry Announced into Co-operative Bank

UK Chancellor, George Osborne on Friday 22nd November 2013 announced an inquiry into the financial turmoil at the Co-operative Bank.  

The probe will be led by an independent person appointed by the City regulators, the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). 

It will also consider whether there was any wrongdoing by individuals, which could lead to fines and censures.


The Co-operative Bank’s lending practices have come under scrutiny due to the £1.5 billion blackhole in it’s finances leading to a financial restructuring which has left it 70% owned by two vulture hedge funds, Silver Point Capital and Aurelius. If the govt does not re-assess Celtic’s financial loss-making debt facility then the hedge funds will certainly do so. Banks always tend to have the right to change loan conditions in their loan agreements.

The Co-op Bank bailed the Labour party out in 2006 when it was close to bankruptcy.

There were also mounting questions about the extraordinary special treatment the bank gave to Labour – extending ‘soft’ loans with preferential rates of interest and admitting that other clients would never be allowed to keep on borrowing so much.

When Labour was on the brink of bankruptcy, then general secretary Peter Watt had a meeting with a senior Co-op executive at which it was agreed that vast debts would not be called in.


What has also come to light are several loans made by the Co-op Bank to the Labour party in March of this year. Loans of £1.2 million were given to the Labour party by both the Co-op Bank and an associated, Unity Trust Bank, at preferential rates of 4%. Ed Balls also received a £50,000 donation last year. Over the past decade the Co-op Bank has loaned Labour £18 million.


If two Labour party loans of £1.5 million at 4% are of interest to the Inquiry then what about a Labour connected £34 million debt facility at 1.5% to John Reid and Brian Wilson’s Celtic? 1.5% is +1% above the base rate of 0.5%:

Robert Downes, policy adviser at the Forum of Private Business, said: ‘Base rate plus 2 to 3 per cent is cheap, really cheap. Most small businesses would love to be getting those kinds of deals in the current climate.

All fair-minded football fans who can now see the potential for corruption of the Celtic-Co-operative Bank loans could be forgiven if they contacted the PRA (Prudential Regulatory Authority), FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) and Treasury, their MP/MSPs [providing they are not Labour] to ask about the unfair advantage given to Celtic by a Labour party run Co-operative Bank.

What the inquiry needs to examine is were the individuals at the Co-operative Bank in Glasgow & Manchester, their HQ, awarding Celtic the low interest debt facility at a below market interest rate? The loan documentation should contain any risk assessment – was it done to market standards?

Celtic’s Debt Facility has to come under UEFA and SFA Scrutiny

UEFA are gradually implementing their Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations. The Scottish football authorities stand condemned of running a fixed game if they do nothing to erase this cloud of suspicion. Surely Celtic can have been seen to have been financially advantaged by their low interest Co-operative Bank £34 million debt facility at 1.5%. Again fair-minded fans should contact UEFA & the SFA/SPFL to call for inquiries

Investigations by SFA/SPFL and UEFA need to ensure this sort of advantage is erased for the good of the ‘Beautiful Game’. Potential sanctions could include forcing Celtic to return winnings, the cancelling of titles, loss of points and demotion for the advantages obtained during the period Celtic enjoyed this financial advantage, which still continues today.

 ©footballtaxhavens.wordpress.com 2013 CC-by icon



18 thoughts on “Celtic FC getting sucked into the Labour Party Co-operative Bank Scandal

  1. The cheap land at Westhorn was bought at a £3.5 million discount due to apparent defective land yet to date the council have not produced the report to back this claim up.

    It may also transpire that Celtic have allegedly did the report which equates to selling your home and letting the people you sell it to do the survey.

    Posted by Alan Parker | November 24, 2013, 5:26 pm
  2. About time this was looked at. A football club receiving what appears to be preferential treatment by a bank, in this case The Cooperative, by receiving low interest based loans.

    Posted by kiza | November 24, 2013, 5:39 pm
  3. It has been confirmed in writing that Glasgow Council to not have a geotechnical report regarding land at Westhorn and yet they sold the land at a £3.5 million discount to Celtic based on the claim that one existed.

    Posted by Alan Parker | November 24, 2013, 7:56 pm
  4. Surely, the “sellik” huvny done anything wrong !!! No the sellik !! 🙂

    Posted by Bob | November 24, 2013, 8:24 pm
    • It’s cheating, plain and simple. They should be relegated to division 3.
      No surrender.

      Posted by Eddie Boo | November 25, 2013, 7:54 pm
      • They should be removed from football all together…between their disgusting ‘fans’ rioting in Brentford, Dundee and Amsterdam to name but a few, and their disgusting ‘fans’ open love for the cowards of the ira….then take into the matter their ‘fans’ hate of all things British. The odd thing is, they asked the British Consulate for help to free the thugs jailed in Amsterdam……irony is lost on these ‘people’!!

        Posted by BlueStu | November 26, 2013, 6:47 pm
  5. Organisation is needed!

    This whole issue needs to be highlighted, promoted and pushed as far as it can. People need to be aware of it. The media need to be aware of it. The regulatory bodies need to be aware of it.

    We have a chance here, this is no time for indolence.

    FootballTaxHavens, please ensure that your fine work doesn’t go unnoticed.

    Posted by Nick R. | November 25, 2013, 3:36 am
    • The media know about it but won’t do a story about it, the same as they know about the abuse that happened in the past and they won’t do a story on that either. If this was Rangers it would be in every fckn page of the papers. Just what do Celtic hold over the media??

      Posted by Hendy | November 27, 2013, 12:50 pm
  6. Its a credit line that isn’t being used . Like most big clubs have in place . And they say wee are obsessed . Clutching at straws comes to mind .

    Posted by Golfer66 | November 26, 2013, 8:37 am
  7. Oh no,I’m devastated.Dont think I can possbly enjoy playing Milan in Europes premier tournament now.

    Posted by EricSykes | November 26, 2013, 10:40 am
  8. Did you just say Celtic should return titles cos their overdraft facility only has an 1.5% interest rate?

    This is a bit desperate isn’t it bears? You claim titles won by another business, including those afforded via large scale UK tax avoidance, and you will go to your grave claiming these titles (despite that “we are the most British of British establishments there is, and yet celebrate titles won via UK Tax avoidance” hypocrisy thing (lets make rich foreigners richer by avoiding paying their tax due to the UK. Let’s celebrate the titles that won us, Then let everyone know how proud to be British we are, thus confirming to everyone we’re nothing but glory hunting morons without an ounce of pride) But an overdraft facility with 1.5% interest rate = get writing to UEFA! Title stripping!!!!

    Poor wee desperate The Rangers fans

    Posted by Will King | November 26, 2013, 2:17 pm
    • well i see yet again the green eyed monster cant except that there team has done anything wrong? Tax case not proven. more than happy to relegate another team for breach of rules,but as long as its not the men in green.
      well the old saying is what goes around comes around learn to live with it we did.

      Posted by Gazza | January 8, 2014, 7:39 pm
  9. Is the 34 million facility actually in use?

    Posted by Kevin Mauchan | November 27, 2013, 6:07 pm
  10. Great blog. Only just stumbled upon it.

    Keep up the good work and the exposition of these cretins.

    ‘Hypocrisy’ is a word that springs to mind…

    Posted by William Cahill | November 28, 2013, 10:00 am
  11. lol,, squeaky bum time for Celtic PLC1994. Political scandal after Political scandal. Excuse after excuse. Pete the Mooth Liewell has been appropriately named as this true financial doping scandal is due to explode.

    Posted by William Tell | November 29, 2013, 9:42 pm
  12. I have now read through the blogs back to 2012.
    Fantastic work

    Now I know it is hard to comment on Celtic without being seen as pro Rangers and vice versa
    It is easy to see why any Rangers supporter feels victimised by the debacle of the last two years but I think the points you make are too important to get caught in the usual Old Firm slagging match
    Also whatever points you make Rangers haters will not acknowledge your efforts

    Now they should take pause, for if even 10% of your comments have a real basis in concealed corruption genuine Celtic supporters should ask questions and not just stick up a written two fingers.

    Rangers supporters were deaf and blind to what Whyte etc were up to and see where it got them.

    For any football supporter in Scotland and indeed any tax or council tax contributor you have done a lot of research and raised some very valid points.
    The influence of Celtic on Scottish media and politics is worthy of close examination but it must also be recognised that such collusion is more typical than shocking when we look at world football

    Tax avoidance by Rangers was wrong. Not illegal but wrong. The hypocrisy of many commentators is awful but what is new. Tax avoidance is part and parcel of all big business.
    If Rangers had been an engineering company with the level of significance Rangers had to the West of Scotland in economic terms the queue of Scottish Government Scottish Enterprise Glasgow City Council and other agencies lining up to help would have snaked from Glasgow to Holyrood on the M8
    Similarly the media support and sympathy would have been tangible.
    But this was Rangers and in the West of Scotland political cesspool no one seeking election or a major post could be seen to help. That will never change.

    Hearts and Dunfermline and Dundee (a couple of times) have had little assistance when administration comes but they have had sympathy and been allowed to try to pull themselves out of their own self dug holes.
    That will not happen at Rangers where any scandal real and imaginary is what the media thrive on.

    Keep up the digging but try to be as objective as possible rather than being tempted into tit for tat

    Posted by Bill | November 30, 2013, 11:16 am

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