THE CELTIC board should never have expected an easy ride at yesterday's AGM inside Paradise. They didn't get one either.

After all, Ian Bankier, Dermot Desmond (represented by son Ross), Brian Wilson, Michael Nicholson, Tom Allison, Chris McKay, and Sharon Brown were seen as the women and men who 'blew the ten'. So it was genuinely no surprise that it turned into a bit of a 'winter of discontent' AGM for the Celtic hierarchy. There were dissenting voices aplenty and boos from the floor over a number of contentious issues.

Two board members - Brian Wilson and the unconvincing performer that is chairman Ian Bankier - saw their automatic re-election to the board fail at the first hurdle after not being supported by the shareholders in the room. The re-election part is usually a procession so from then on the Celtic board must have known this was going to be a stormy affair.

A further two resolutions also went against the board and were sent to poll as emotion and feelings ran high on a day when the rank and file supporters who also double as shareholders seemed intent to deliver a day of reckoning for the 'suits'.

Off the pitch, after a difficult year, the Celtic board can and should take huge credit for the fact they still run a business in rude financial health - but a balance sheet alone doesn't sell a story of success, something that was to become quickly obvious to the top table.

There was an air of defiance from both Bankier and Nicholson who said, "Celtic should not be written off after one bad season" and that the "club was not broken".

The pair outlined Celtic's short-term ambitions by stating they are targeting backing manager Ange Postecoglou financially in the January transfer window, winning the title back from Rangers and thus qualifying for the Champions League. 

READ MORE: Can Ange Postecoglou's class overwhelm the rest of Celtic's 'expected trophies' equation

It was nothing if not eventful, with a huge amount to chew over. Tony Haggerty was keeping a keen eye on the myriad issues raised at the meeting and offers his breakdown of the key events.

On failure to land the Ten/ the rude health of the balance sheet/ the continued absence of Dermot Desmond from the AGM

In a series of pre-recorded videos shown to shareholders, Bankier was honest in his initial address and acknowledged the club's failure to capture the 'Holy Grail' of Ten In A Row.

Bankier said: "Frankly it's hard to see the positives as we did not achieve our primary objective and the bottom line is that as a board we are accountable for that. We are accountable for that and all the other seasons and there is no shying away from it. We have analysed in great depth how we got into the position we were in and what went wrong but there were lessons and we have learned them."

Bankier also lauded Michael Nicholson as a "great appointment" as acting chief executive .

On the positive side, Finance director Chris McKay revealed that the club had emerged from a covid enforced lockdown with "a strong balance sheet" after players were retained for "footballing reasons" and that the club had taken a "conscious decision not to sell".

McKay said: "What was important is that we entered the pandemic with a very strong balance sheet and what is crucial is that we have emerged with a very strong balance sheet. If you look at the year-end we have a £19.4 million cash position therefore strong liquidity and strong values in our playing squad and all of that is underpinned by a significant, unutilised banking facility and underpinned by one of the largest season ticket holder bases in the UK and a long list of string commercial partners including Adidas."

Nicholson insisted the club is in solid shape despite last season's debacle, with everyone pulling in the same direction to achieve success.

He said: "Celtic is about more than one person, it is about a collective, it is about all of us working together for the best for Celtic and the fundamentals to take the club on.

"Everybody wants what is best for the club and success for its supporters and that will never change. Football success is at the clubs core strategy and we need to keep moving forward on and off the pitch. We had a bad season last year and the club is not broken and we will learn from last year as we always look to do. Our immediate focus is to win the league and qualify for the Champions League."

There were also apologies from Dermot Desmond, whose attendance record was once again put under the microscope and his 'no show' prompted some raucous laughter from the floor.

READ MORE: Reo Hatate scouted: The Ryan Christie replacement that can fill Celtic's midfield void

On Celtic splashing the cash in the January transfer window

Nicholson insisted that Postecoglou would receive backing from the Celtic board in the January transfer window.

Nicholson said: "We want to support Ange and the team to give us the best chance of success and we are looking at options in January. We will look to strengthen the squad if we can."

The chairman Bankier echoed those sentiments and the club will now be expected to deliver in the shape of a significant January transfer spend. 

Bankier said: "We have a great manager in Ange and he is building a great squad. We are trying to be a success on the field and we have a transfer window ahead of us and the prospect of strengthening further. You cant and shouldn't write off Celtic on the basis of one bad season."

Ange Postecoglou was given a tremendous ovation when he was introduced at the top table.

The Aussie, who was making his first appearance at the AGM, insisted that he fully expects to be backed in January to continue the good work that has seen high-quality players like Kyogo and Jota arrive in the summer.

Ange said: "I want to fill some of the gaps which are fairly evident to me. If the right person is there to bring in, we’ll do it."

On Peter Lawwell involvement in Ange Postecoglou's appointment and short reign and quick exit of Dom McKay

Bankier heaped praise on Peter Lawwell and revealed that the retired chief executive had more than a hands-on role in the appointment of Ange Postecoglou than has ever previously been disclosed.

Dom McKay, who lasted just 72 days in the job after replacing Lawwell, had previously told a fan media event that the appointment was very much his doing having been familiar with the boss from a spell visiting Asia.

Amazingly, McKay's sudden and dramatic parting of the ways was not discussed in any detail.

However, interestingly enough, Bankier was quick to dispel any myths surrounding Ange's capture and admitted that Lawwell was "instrumental" in bringing him to Paradise.

Bankier said: "I have to pay tribute to Peter Lawwell and his contribution to the club over a number of years. It has been absolutely massive and he retired with great dignity at the end of last year. He was instrumental in the appointment and identification of Ange. "He did everything properly and professionally for us."

On the failure of Bankier and Wilson to get re-elected and going to poll

Re-elections are usually a procession but feelings in the room were running high at this point when it came to reappointing both Bankier and Wilson as both votes went to a poll.

Wilson was even forced to apologise for mentioning the word "demoted" in a tribute to Walter Smith.

The former Labour MP held up his hands and said he was, "very aware he got it wrong".

Bankier then moved to dismiss Resolution 11 which was previously known as Resolution 12 pertaining to the granting of a UEFA license by the SFA in 2011.

Bankier stated: "We are aware this is important and is an emotive topic. The company has "engaged with the SFA and UEFA since the last AGM and have balanced all relevant factors. The board recommends voting against Resolution 11."

His words were met with dissenting voices and the motion went to poll.

There was further consternation over the new Resolution 12 which urged: "The board to publicise plans related to the current board members and set up a relationship agreement".

Bankier said "a relationship with Dermot Desmond as part of Resolution 12 is branded ‘unusual’ and not a requirement."

The board vote it down. The floor disagreed and the motion went to the fourth poll of the afternoon.

The Celtic Trust's Jeanette Findlay condemned last season as "embarrassing" and called for a refresh of those sitting on the board.

She reminds those present that Nicholson had been in situ longer as acting CEO than McKay had actually held the job.

On the rumoured appointment of Bernard Higgins

The much-discussed potential appointment of Bernard Higgins as security chief at the club was also strongly condemned.

Celtic fans have already staged a protest at the potential appointment of Higgins to a senior security role at the club.

Supporters unveiled a banner and fell silent for a period during the recent 0-0 home draw with Livingston amid suggestions Police Scotland's assistant chief constable is being lined for a role at Parkhead.

A banner carried a photograph of the officer with the words: "His evil eyes have no place in Paradise"

The board was asked to rethink and reconsider their stance with shareholders claiming his appointment would be a slap in the face.

The fans even suggested that Higgins had affected young fans' mental health. However, Bankier said that he could not give any guarantees - the cue for loud booing in the audience.

On the subject of Celtic being treated differently during COVID

During the Q&A session, Bankier was asked if Celtic were treated differently by the SFA last season over Covid.

He felt that the club was "astonishingly" treated by the Scottish Government and also suggested the Boli Bolingoli incident halted the team's momentum.

He said the club had dialogue with the SFA before he rhetorically asked if they were supposed to take on the Government.

The response from the floor was a resounding and defiant yes that was followed by a dissenting voice who shouted: "Wee Fergus took them on."

On corporate governance/FFP/and the renewing of the Old Firm brand

Bankier came in for some real stick when he was asked about the club's corporate governance, Financial Fair Play rules and the renewing of the Old Firm trademark.

One shareholder let rip at this point and declared: "Your strategy has been to keep going a rivalry with a zombie club no one cares about."

With regards to Financial Fair Play, Bankier pointed out the club can't make or enforce the rules of the SPFL.

It was Nicholson who answered the question as to why the trademark was renewed and he simply said "to prevent its misuse, not for using it."

At this point, Bankier was then asked to "do the decent thing and resign" leading him to  admit that he would win "no applause" from the tough crowd.

Bankier's final statement as a passionate and eventful AGM drew to a close was: "You have given it quite a lash today."