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Financial Integrity, Football

Celtic Service Level Agreement

From an East Dunbartonshire council report dated 27 June 2013 there appears this entry:LI SLA Funding running out 2013

It can safely be assumed that the Service Agreement is being paid from The Lennoxtown Initiative to Celtic FC. The Lennoxtown Initiative, set-up to fund projects in the community from the ‘residual’ money left over from the Lennox Castle hospital land sale pays Celtic for a ‘service agreement’. Seems a bit circular – money from Celtic goes in then comes back to them?

Except at this point in time, June 2013The Lennoxtown Initiative has no funds and it appears that East Dunbartonshire council has to top them up so the Initiative can then pay Celtic. The Lennoxtown Initiative has been mothballed and had little funds since 2009.

Is the only reason that the Initiative was propped up from 2009 till 2013, by funding from East Dunbartonshire council, the Celtic Service Level Agreement? Because the agreement is only between the Initiative and Celtic.

How much has East Dunbartonshire council paid for these services over the years, through what appears to have been a bankrupt The Lennoxtown Initiative, to Celtic? Why did the EDC keep this sham going? Why not bring the SLA in-house and pay Celtic directly?

What were the services delivered through the SLA? Were the services competitively tendered? Were other football clubs asked or only Celtic? Was this the purpose of The Lennoxtown Initiative ‘charity’ so EDC didn’t have to put the SLA to competitive tender?

It was claimed in 2010, by Lennoxtown Initiative Chief Executive, Brian McAleenan, that these services were assessed by East Dunbartonshire Council as worth £841,860 over a nine year period.

Now that assessment report would be worth a FoI just to get behind what the Service Level Agreement details in services & payments were.

The Lennoxtown Initiative minutes

From an archive of The Lennoxtown Initiative’s minutes, there are several mentions of the Celtic Service Level Agreement.

MINUTES OF THE BOARD MEETING OF THE LENNOXTOWN INITIATIVE
Date: 10 December 2007 Time: 7.00p.m

Celtic SLA

The Chief Executive advised that he has now commenced formal discussions with Celtic FC and sports development staff from East Dunbartonshire Council in relation to the Celtic FC Service Level Agreement. He further advised that he had also met with the two head teachers from the local primary schools to discuss their requirements.

In effect the Chief Executive proposed that access to the Celtic training facility should be primarily targeted at both local primary schools and local boys’ football clubs. As both local head teachers had expressed potential difficulties in transporting pupils to the facility there should be discussion with Celtic regarding the delivery of programmes within both local primary school premises. Broader programmes regarding health and fitness, nutrition and lifestyle should be extended across all 32 primary schools in the East Dunbartonshire area, in addition to all secondary schools within the area (including Kilsyth Academy which caters for placing requests from the East Dunbartonshire area).

MINUTES OF THE BOARD MEETING OF THE LENNOXTOWN INITIATIVE
Date: 21 April 2008 Time: 7.00p.m

9. Celtic FC Service Level Agreement
The Chief Executive advised that progress in this area had been slow in relation to the training sessions for the two local Boys Clubs, as well as the After School Club. A decision is still awaited in relation to whether the facility will host a football tournament on 7th and 8th June 2008 organised by Campsie Boys Club. The Chief Executive intimated that he was hopeful that decisions from Celtic would be concluded this week in relation to these specific proposals.

Alan Sim agreed to speak to a colleague whom he knew would be in talks with Celtic to help raise awareness of our concerns in relation to the slow progress of the Service Level Agreement.

MINUTES OF THE BOARD MEETING OF THE LENNOXTOWN INITIATIVE
Date: 25 June 2008 Time: 6.00p.m

Celtic SLA

The Chief Executive advised that following discussions with EDC it was proving difficult to implement the Celtic SLA within schools as he had been advised that only the SFA were allowed a presence in the schools, and not professional football clubs.

Councillor Dempsey suggested that it may be beneficial for the Chief Executive to contact Gerry Cornes to clarify the position in relation to Celtic gaining access to schools across East Dunbartonshire.

MINUTES OF THE BOARD MEETING OF THE LENNOXTOWN INITIATIVE
Date: 25 August 2008 Time: 7.00p.m

Item 5 – Celtic SLA

The Chief Executive reported that following discussions with officers at East Dunbartonshire Council, this issue had been resolved in that Celtic can now deliver services within schools on the understanding that they do not actively market themselves. He further advised that Mark Grant was in the process of “working up” an appropriate programme for schools and the Chief Executive would give an update of progress at a later date.

8. Financial Reports

a) Management Accounts for the period April – June 2008

The Management Accounts detailed that the next payment to Celtic FC, as part of the SLA, had not been paid within the quarter although the Chief Executive advised that this had subsequently been paid with the next payment due in July 2009. Our largest creditor is East Dunbartonshire Council with monies owed for CCTV and salaries.

MINUTES OF THE BOARD MEETING OF THE LENNOXTOWN INITIATIVE
Date: 27 October 2008 Time: 7.00p.m

7. Celtic FC – Service Level Agreement

The Chief Executive reported that the nine year Service Level Agreement is gathering momentum with Campsie Boys Club and Campsie Black Watch Boys Club having access to the facility for five hours on Wednesday evenings.

In addition, two all day sessions have been arranged to be shared with both local primary schools as well as Craighead Primary School in Milton of Campsie. Exclusive access has also been agreed for the whole month of June 2009 and Robert O’Donnell, Head Teacher, St Machan’s Primary School is currently co-ordinating matters on behalf of the three primary schools involved. However, there will be a need to offer the facility to a wider schools audience in East Dunbartonshire and Brian McAleenan will take this forward.

Transport costs have been an issue previously, however, the Chief Executive has made a funding application to the Scottish Government sponsored Cashback for Communities Fund to attempt to secure funding for all three primary schools, the outcome of which is expected in early course.

The Chief Executive further reported that eight secondary schools had use of the facility on 23rd October 2008 and the feedback was that the session had been extremely well received, with the prospect of using the facility again for this purpose on two dates in November 2008.

MINUTES OF THE BOARD MEETING OF THE LENNOXTOWN INITIATIVE
Date: 8 December 2008 Time: 7.00p.m

d) Page 4. Item 7 – Celtic FC – Service Level Agreement

The Chief Executive advised that the funding application to the Scottish Government – Cashback for Communities Fund, to assist with transport costs to and from the Celtic Training Centre for the local primary schools involved, had unfortunately been unsuccessful.

As a means of trying to attain alternative funding sources, it was suggested that that the Chief Executive write to Celtic FC and the Scottish Premier League, regarding the possibility of funding for transport costs to and from the training facility being obtained from those sources.

East Dunbartonshire Council Reports

The minutes of a 31 January 2008 East Dunbartonshire council meeting mention a ‘Celtic PLC Service Level Agreement‘:

With regard to Page 235, Celtic PLC – Service Level Agreement, and in response to comments from Councillor Kennedy that local school clubs using the facility would require to provide their own transport, the Convener advised that the issue was presently being examined by the Education Service. The Corporate Director (Community) also advised that the Commercial Manager – Leisure was co-ordinating best use of the Service Level Agreement.

From East Dunbartonshire council minutes on 30 October 2008,

Councillors Dempsey declared a non-financial interest in the following item of business vacated the Chamber and took no part in the debate or the decision.

19. LENNOXTOWN INITIATIVE – FINANCIAL UPDATE

Report D&E/053/08, by the Corporate Director (Environment), copies of which had previously been circulated, advised the Council on the current financial position of Lennoxtown Initiative (LI) and the financial implications for the Council.

Various members were heard in relation to the details of the report particularly concerning the impact for the Council and its strategic partners in this Initiative – NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde and Celtic Football Club. Officers advised on various aspects ranging from the details of the tripartite agreement to the determination of assets in the event of the Initiative being dissolved. The Corporate Director (Environment) also undertook to investigate the details of the Service Level Agreement including frequency of payments and provide these details to all members.

Local Press

Kirkintilloch Herald article from 23 February 2010 titled ‘How much did Celtic pay for training paradise?’ mentions the Service Level Agreement as well as giving us some residents views on the Celtic development which was supposed to transform the area:

One resident, who asked not to be named, said: “I would like to know exactly what the financial benefits are for Lennoxtown from Celtic’s football complex.

“It opened in a blaze of glory with promises of re-investment and jobs, but I’ve yet to see any evidence of that. I don’t see how Celtic’s complex has financially benefited the area or the regeneration of Lennoxtown.

Brian McAleenanchief executive of the Lennoxtown Initiative, told the Herald that a service level agreement between Celtic and Lennoxtown Initiative had been independently assessed by East Dunbartonshire Council as being worth 841,860 over a nine-year period.

Worth £841,860 to whom – Celtic or East Dunbartonshire?

Questions:

1. What are/were the details of the SLA between Celtic and The Lennoxtown InitiativeWhen was it signed? What was the cost to access to the facility? Was it only for schoolkids? What access times? What facilities?

2. The Lennoxtown Initiative is mothballed. Is the SLA still active? Who is policing the delivery of the SLA? Has East Dunbartonshire council taken on responsibility for this SLA?

3.  Will the East Dunbartonshire council supply, under FoI, the ‘independent assessment‘ of the SLA? Will the council answer whether it has taken over the SLA or has it lapsed?

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Discussion

One thought on “Celtic Service Level Agreement

  1. What corruption that has been exposed is just the tip of the ice berg , EDC labour , GCC and co-op dome fc are corrupt fkn bstards ….

    Posted by Samsungblue | February 12, 2014, 7:44 pm

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