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European Commission dismiss allegations of Celtic receiving ‘state aid’

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The allegations aimed at Celtic Football and Glasgow City Council over state aid to the Scottish champions has been officially dismissed by the European Commission on Thursday afternoon.

In a statement to Scotzine, a Commission spokesperson, said: “Following complaints of citizens, the Commission carried out an informal, preliminary investigation into alleged aid provided by the City of Glasgow to the Celtic football club.

“Contacts with the UK authorities and information received from authorities however did not confirm that Celtic received any state aid, because the City did not grant any financial advantages to the club. Therefore, on the basis of the available information, the Commission’s services did not see a basis to investigate the matter further.”

The allegations, made by individual Rangers supporters fueled by claims from an anonymous blogger, focused on land deals around Celtic Park and the land purchase of their Lennoxtown training ground.

Celtic had always claimed the allegations were ‘preposterous’, in a statement published in January, they said: “Celtic Football Club operates to the highest standards and with the utmost integrity. At a time when the Club is committed to investing in and improving areas around Celtic Park, not only for Celtic supporters but for the benefit of the local community, it is sad that these baseless accusations have been raised with the European Commission.

“Any suggestion that Celtic has been the beneficiary of state aid is preposterous – as ludicrous as any suggestion that we have benefited from soft loans from our bankers. The historic transactions referred to were negotiated with the Council on commercial terms at market rates.”

Glasgow City Council released a brief statement on Thursday afternoon, it read: “We are pleased that the Commission has found in our favour following its consideration of the claims of State Aid.”

Rangers supporters had tried to get political help from Northern Irish MP Gregory Campbell as well as from UKIP, in their quest – for what was perceived by some as a ‘revenge mission’ – in the hope that rivals Celtic would face significant punishment from the authorities.

With the preliminary investigation concluded the Celtic State Aid case is closed.

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About Author

scotzine

Andy Muirhead is the Editor of Scotzine and the Scottish Football fanzine FITBA. He is the Scottish Football columnist for The Morning Star and has written for a number of other publications including ESPN, Huffington Post UK, BT Life's a Pitch and has had his work featured in the Daily Record, The Scotsman and the Daily Mail.

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