Celtic director Brian Wilson apologised at the club’s AGM for writing that Rangers were “punished with demotion” in an obituary to Walter Smith.
The Hoops board member made the comments in a newspaper tribute to the former Gers, Everton and Scotland manager who died last month aged 73.
Rangers emerged in the bottom tier of Scottish football in 2012 after financial meltdown but it is a contentious issue among a significant section of the Celtic support who claim it is another incarnation of the Light Blues who play out of Ibrox these days.
Asked about his obituary comments from the floor of the Celtic Park AGM, the former Labour minister said: “It was an error on my part. I apologised for it and corrected it immediately it was bought to my attention.
“In mitigation, I can only say it was an obituary I was writing.
“I have been writing obituaries for a long time in The Guardian and it has absolutely nothing to do with my Celtic role.
“I was asked at short notice to write one about Walter Smith and no matter who I am writing about, my focus is on a fair and respectful obituary of the man or the woman I am writing about and the audience I am particularly concerned about is those who are most closely bereaved by the loss.
“I try to put it in context, you summarise context in a very limited number of words and on this occasion I simply did something wrong.
” I don’t know why I did it but I did, I corrected it and I apologise and all I can say in mitigation it was an obituary I was writing, it wasn’t any sort of statement.
“I am very well aware of the reality of the issue you refer to, I apologise and I can say no more than that.”
The Celtic board were asked why the Old Firm trademark had been renewed and acting chief executive Michael Nicholson replied: “The cost of the deal was low and the purpose was not to hitch ourselves to a brand but to control and prevent its misuse.”