Celtic shareholders call for end to sponsorship deals with Rangers

Celtic shareholders have called on the club’s board to opt out of joint sponsorship deals with rivals Rangers.

In a resolution to be placed before the Parkhead club’s annual general meeting next month, a group of shareholders describes the sponsorship deal as "increasingly unpopular with supporters".

The shareholders ask in the proposal for the board to end the current joint sponsorship deal the two Glasgow clubs have with Tennent's and either find an alternative, play with no sponsor or seek a suitable charity to promote on the offiical kit, similar to the agreement that Barcelona has with Unicef.

In response to the shareholders’ resolution, the Celtic board has stated that it would not back such a proposal as it would "seriously limit the number of potential sponsors available and hinder the company unnecessarily in any sponsorship negotiations that did take place".

The resolution put forward by a group of unidentified Celtic plc shareholders 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.

"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."

Celtic and Rangers signed a sponsorship deal with Tennent's in 2010, which comes to an end next year.

In response to the resolution, the club’s board stated 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 board added: "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."

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