Martin Brown: Celtic FC Foundation – Win, Lose or Draw

WHEN telling the story of the birth of Celtic Football Club, it is impossible to avoid the romance of Brother Walfrid’s vision in ensuring that the poor would be fed and looked after, as a direct result of forming the football club.

Today, Celtic FC Foundation continues to make that vision a reality. It is for that reason that I believe we need to ensure that the Foundation prospers; win, lose or draw on the football field. I believe the work of the Foundation transcends the football. It is literally why we exist as a football club.

As we are experiencing right now, the football club will have bumps and less successful spells. As a Trustee of the Foundation, it is my hope that we can ensure that its prospects aren’t hampered by a bad spell on the pitch. This is even more apparent right now, as most charities globally struggle against the impact of COVID-19.

We need to ensure that the identity and performance of the Foundation is protected from the cycles of football success. We have made some progress in this area by expanding our reach to London, New York and beyond for raising valuable funds.

Most of our work is done locally, and Glasgow’s poverty issues make it an easy choice to focus on our own doorstep where a large proportion of our supporters live.

I was invited to join the Board of Trustees having built a relationship with the Foundation in some work we did as a sponsor of the football club. I also had some previous experience as a board member for Maggie’s cancer centres. I, and the other trustees, are volunteers and bring some of our own life and business experiences to ensure that the organisation leads the way as a football charity.

The supporters of the Foundation are from a wide range of positions in society, from people who donate a couple of pounds on one of our badge days, to wealthy individuals who make significant financial contributions. One is as important as the other, no amount is too little.

Our regular giving initiatives such as Walfrid’s Wish and our Founders Club, which range from as little as £3 per month to £125 per month and beyond, allow us to plan our delivery and secure the infrastructure that we’ve created, and are continually re-assessing. These schemes, in short, allow us to do the work that we do in our communities.

Celtic FC Foundation is the most successful football foundation in Scotland and one of the leading players in the UK. I think that our vision should be to ensure we are number one in the UK and, to do that, we need all of our supporters backing us. Win, lose or draw.

Martin Brown, Celtic FC Foundation Trustee