Celtic have today officially announced that current Chairman, Dr. John Reid, will step down as Chairman and as a director of the Parkhead club, at the next AGM on October 14th. Ian Bankier will join the Board as a non-executive director and Chairman designate. And on the 14th October, shareholders will vote on whether they will appoint Bankier as Chairman.
Speaking to the Official Club website, Dr John Reid said: “It has been an honour to have been Chairman of this great club for the past four years. I will always be grateful for the support, encouragement and friendship I have received from Dermot Desmond and my colleagues on the board, the management and staff and, above all, the greatest supporters any club chairman could wish. That is something I will forever value.
“We have come through a challenging period, but I believe we have come through stronger than ever. We now have in place a new, young talented managerial team led by Neil Lennon and capable of great things. Equally, we have recruited and shaped a new, young and talented squad whose promise for the future we have only begun to glimpse.
“Under Peter Lawwell’s stewardship we have weathered the storm of financial recession that has so badly afflicted other clubs. Hopefully, we have provided impetus to the reform of our wider football institutions. Above all, throughout all of these challenges we stood together, more united than ever.
“Rebuilding and renewal is a continuing process on the park. And so it must also be on our Board of Directors. Over the past few years we have followed a policy of continually refreshing the Board with new, talented members. I believe this is now the right time to do likewise with the chairmanship, to lead us through the next stage of our development from the next AGM, and ensuring an orderly and smooth transition.
“I have great pleasure in welcoming Ian Bankier, who joins the Board as our new Director and Chairman designate. Chairman of Celtic is a demanding role but Ian is someone of considerable experience and achievement. He will be a formidable addition to the Board and will greatly strengthen our development over the coming years.
“For my part, I will always be grateful for the opportunity and the comradeship which I have received. I will leave the Chairman’s post as I joined it, a Celtic supporter first and last.”
Both Celtic Chief Executive Peter Lawwell and Manager Neil Lennon added their voices in thanking Reid as he heads out of the door.
Lawwell commented: “John has been an extremely committed and enthusiastic Chairman, and is a true Celtic supporter. The entire Celtic executive, management and staff acknowledge the contribution he has made to the Club over the last 4 years. We are looking forward to working with Ian as he settles into his new role as a director and Chairman designate.”
While manager Neil Lennon, who is in negotiations with the club to extend his current deal, added: “I have benefitted enormously from an excellent relationship with the Chairman in my short time as Celtic manager. He has provided me with great support and valuable guidance through some very difficult times. He has been a passionate advocate for the Club and the team, and we all wish him well.”
So who is Ian Patrick Bankier?
Bankier is the Executive Chairman of Glenkeir Whiskies Limited, and majority shareholder. Glenkeir runs The Whisky Shop chain, the largest specialist retailers of whiskies in the UK.
In the past 15 years he has been involved in the Scotch Whisky Industry, having been Managing Director of Burn Stewart Distillers PLC and Chief Executive of CL World Brands Limited.
Before that he read law at Edinburgh University, then worked as a Solicitor and was a partner in the Glasgow office of top law firm McGrigor Donald for 15 years where he specialised in Corporate Law, in 1991 he was voted as Scotland’s top corporate lawyer. He is a Director in ten further companies, including Tulloch Homes Group Limited, Lomond Golf Syndicate Limited and Ascot Publishing Limited.
Mr Bankier said of his appointment: “I was brought up in Glasgow, and have spent much of my career here and in Scotland. As a long-standing supporter of the Club I feel very privileged to be invited not only to join the Board of Celtic, but later to become its Chairman. I am looking forward to it tremendously and hope that my own contributions to the future success and well-being of this extraordinary Club will be as positive and beneficial as those of my predecessors.”
For more of a Business slant on Bankier’s appointment , check out Douglas Fraser’s BBC blog.