Scottish MP: Celtic FC's handling of sexual abuse case a 'PR disaster'

A Scottish MP has described the Parkhead giants' handling of child abuse prosecutions at a Celtic FC feeder club as a "PR disaster".

Scottish MP James Dornan is seeing answers from Celtic FC and its new PR agency
Scottish MP James Dornan is seeing answers from Celtic FC and its new PR agency

The club has come under criticism for their response after four men who held senior positions at Celtic Boys Club (CBC) were convicted of sexually assaulting dozens of children over three decades.

Almost a month after the fourth conviction in May, it was reavealed that Celtic had hired Glasgow-based PR firm Hollicom.

The appointment was criticised by one victim, who said: "They should be spending the money on putting things rights, not on more spin and public relations."

While expressing "regret and sorrow" for the victims, Celtic FC has insisted it is not legally culpable for the abuse, describing Celtic Boys Club (CBC) as an "entirely separate organisation".

Scottish National Party MP for Glasgow James Dornan said that he was disappointed at their response as "everybody saw the boys club as a feeder club for the professional team".

Dornan has a personal interest for getting involved in the case as his son was on the books of both the Boys Club and Celtic FC. He said that he has written to the club to ask for clarity about the services Hollicom are providing for the club.

Dornan said that neither the PR agency or the club have been very forthcoming in their response so far.

"The idea that their priority is the PR fallout doesn't send out the right signals. You have this PR firm and they’re not responding, so you wonder if they have got more to hide.

"Child abuse is as bad as it gets. There’s moral responsibility, they [Celtic FC] should hold their hand up and there should be some sort of recompense - and they should open up their books further to see exactly who was around and when," he added.

Hollicom refused to comment, but referred to an earlier statement put out by Celtic FC, which said: "Hollicom are our advisers on a range of issues. To characterise them as being brought in to provide crisis management PR is totally wrong."

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