Celtic Board, not content with getting the funds back that they paid for Lennoxtown back via The Lennoxtown Initiative charity run Celtic Service Level Agreement (SLA) also held a gun at Scottish Enterprise Dunbartonshire’s (SED) head and threatened they would not proceed with Lennoxtown unless they got ‘some public sector assistance’. Scottish Enterprise folded and gave them £253,000 for abnormals which were nowhere to be found at settlement for Lennoxtown.
Like The Lennoxtown Initiative charity Celtic SLA hush-hush deal to return the Lennoxtown payment, the SED deal was agreed before Celtic bought Lennoxtown and it also would be hidden, also going through the charity’s Celtic SLA. Both deals were tee’d up for Celtic before settlement went through and they knew in advance they would receive those funds.
As stated previously any abnormals is normally subtracted from the land price sale. We saw Celtic achieve this with their friends, Glasgow Celtic Council (GCC), when they got a bargain 84% discount off the price of the Westthorn land. However when Lennoxtown was sold by NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde (NHSGGC) no abnormals were stated. But Celtic are claiming to SED that they’re there and if you don’t give us something extra we’re going in the huff.
Scottish Enterprise looks for justification but the cupboard was bare that year
From the SED Board paper presented at the 2nd March 2006 meeting the board item verifies that ‘Lennoxtown is not a strategic investment plan location’:
So SED find another reason to justify the payment and found it under EU land remediation:
Scottish Enterprise justified payment on the creation of new jobs
Again from SED Board item proposal:
The Scottish Enterprise assumptions for justification above are laughable:
1. Celtic has undertaken to recruit people from the immediate area.
2. There is assumed to be a minimal level of leakage of jobs to people outside the local area.
Celtic must have had to bring the majority of staff from Barrowfield and some from Parkhead. Presumably they had existing ongoing contracts. Where any existing staff sacked to create ‘new’ jobs?
So how were Celtic going to fund an additional 34 NEW jobs when they felt they didn’t have enough money to build the bloody training centre in the first place?
OK I’ll give them that they need maybe more security guards – to keep out the locals – sorry wasn’t Lennoxtown supposed to be a ‘greenfield compatible’ site justified as a sporting complex with helping the local people become more healthy?
Was The Lennoxtown Initiative creatively trying to ‘find’ New jobs?
On 25th June 2008, in The Lennoxtown Initiative minutes for 25th June 2008 there’s the entry
Were The Lennoxtown Initiative under pressure and asking Celtic to terminate staff they brought over from their prior training centre, Barrowfield, in order to look like they had created new staff positions to satisfy the terms of the grant given by the Scottish Enterprise?
Scottish Enterprise Board feared ‘reputational risks’ in subsidising Celtic
The Scottish Enterprise board minutes, on 2nd March 2006, to discuss funding part of Celtic’s Lennoxtown development lays out their fears that it will damage their reputation.
Within the item proposal under Risk Assessment, both excerpts below show the extent that Scottish Enterprise were sensitive to the furore it would cause once knowledge of the payment came out.
Question 1: Why, if everything was kosher & above board, did the Scottish Enterprise board fear reputational damage? Could it be that their exercise in estimating ‘new’ jobs was a paper exercise just to get approval?
Question 2: Was this why, rather than making a direct payment to Celtic, that the payment was hidden by making it indirectly via a 3rd party through a charity and as yet undocumented Celtic Service Level Agreement.
Question 3: Did Scottish Enterprise verify that the 34 NEW jobs eventuated and did they apologise to the Glasgow Celtic Council for all the jobs they stole from Barrowfield to justify their funding bump to Celtic? What really was the point of the funding when it’s almost a zero sum game moving jobs how many miles?
Under the Funding section of the item proposal, Scottish Enterprise explain how the begging bowl came out:
So Celtic can afford to pay £8 million to develop the Lennoxtown training centre but they still held out the begging bowl to a public authority, Scottish Enterprise, that felt obliged to come to the party but hide the payment fearing for their reputation.
Why haven’t Celtic gone back to Scottish Enterprise to fund the road they were supposed to build instead of being bad neighbours and harassing locals with the increased traffic on the narrow roads near the training centre? Surely Scottish Enterprise can come to the party again?
Is this the Celtic board’s war cry when dealing with the Glasgow Celtic Council & Scottish Enterprise? Some of the board loves a bit of a sing song. It’s that old ‘Ooh Ah’ song they’re always singing: