AT one point during the Celtic AGM yesterday, an exasperated shareholder challenged chief executive Peter Lawwell on the board’s position on Resolution 12, the question of whether Celtic should refer the SFA to UEFA or indeed, the City of London Police, over the granting of a licence for Rangers to play European football in 2011.

Nearing the end of his tether, the gentleman asked if we will all be here in two years’ time still asking the same questions. In all likelihood, yes, that is exactly what’s going to happen.

That’s because on one side of the argument you have a section of the Celtic support who will never let go of their outrage over what they see as the cheating that took place eight years ago, and on the other you have UEFA, who simply don’t care. Lawwell confirmed as much in a phonecall to Nyon yesterday before the AGM took place.

In the middle, sit the Celtic board, who - torn between what they see as being for the good of the club going forward and the express wishes of many of their shareholders - urged them to vote against Resolution 12 yesterday.

Lawwell argues that doesn’t mean they aren’t concerned about how the authorities handled the situation back then, or that they won’t continue to push the SFA for an independent review. It’s just that is all, he feels, they can do.

“I think it’s really unfair to suggest that we’ve let this thing go,” Lawwell said. “We were actually on the case in 2011 – two years before the Resolution 12 guys proposed it.

“What we [were] being asked to vote on isn’t about whether or not somebody was cheating or what to do about it; what we’re being asked to vote on is whether Celtic should report the matter to UEFA or the City of London Police.

“In terms of UEFA, they have no interest in this. I spoke to UEFA again this morning – I don’t know how many times I’ve done this – and there was a telephone call to the man who was in charge of licensing in 2011.

“His view is that UEFA have no interest, it was the oldco [Rangers], it’s now outwith the five-year time period and no matter what had happened, if they had been found guilty then, the sanctions would have kicked in in the subsequent year when Rangers weren’t involved in European football [because] they had disappeared.

“Now we can challenge his position, but I can tell you categorically that UEFA are not interested in this. So we, as a board, need to decide what is best for Celtic – and I would ask you what could possibly be our motive, while having all this information, in not acting in the club’s best interest?

“Why wouldn’t we do that in this particular matter?

“I agree that this is unsatisfactory on many levels and the way we wanted to address that is by asking for an independent review which would cover all these issues so that lessons can be learned, and we’ve asked the SFA for that on numerous occasions.

“We’ve passed all the information given to us on to the SFA and UEFA and we are where we are today.

“There is a charge outstanding and we await the output on that. Just to summarise, I don’t think there is much more than we could have done as a club, but the institutions who should be interested in this – UEFA, mainly – are not.

“We will continue to ask for an independent review and we will wait to see what the outcome is of the SFA charge from last year. We’re pushing that but, unfortunately, you can’t force a decision out of them.”

Celtic chairman Ian Bankier, for his part, explained the position of the Celtic board as they had urged fans to vote against carrying the resolution.

“We spent a lot of time over a number of years considering the subject matter of this resolution,” Bankier said.

“Peter raised the core issue with the Scottish FA in 2011 and in 2012. Since 2013 we’ve worked with the shareholder representatives and the subject has been reviewed by the board on a regular basis.

“The club has communicated with the Scottish FA and with UEFA regarding our shareholders’ concerns. During that process UEFA confirmed there was no basis to investigate further.

“In the light of information made available during court proceedings in 2017, the club called on the Scottish FA to hold an independent review of all matters, including the licensing process. Regrettably, the Scottish FA declined to hold an independent review.

“The club remains of the view that an independent review was and is the only way to establish the facts and learn lessons for the greater benefit of the Scottish game, the clubs within it and in particular Celtic.

“The Scottish FA started disciplinary proceedings regarding the 2011 licensing process in May 2018. The club understands that these proceedings are ongoing. They appear to be complex and new compliance officers have taken over.

“We’ve taken professional advice from external advisors. We’ve engaged with interested shareholders. We’re mindful of our duty to shareholders.

“The requirement to consider the view of shareholders has been at the forefront of our minds from deliberating on this matter and we’ve reached agreement.

“We’ve reached the view that it would not be in the best interests of the company to take the steps proposed by this resolution.

“We can all agree that the situation is disappointing. But the view of the board is that the company’s interests would be best served by Celtic focusing on our own strategy.”