CELTIC TRUST chief Jeanette Findlay has explained the upcoming silent protest against the "completely unacceptable" rumoured appointment of Bernard Higgins to the Parkhead staff.

Police Scotland assistant chief constable Higgins is understood to have been lined up by the club for a senior security position.

But the reports have been met with a fierce reaction from fans who have staged numerous protests against the appointment.

Celtic supporters groups have signed an open letter against Higgins being handed a role at the club.

Fans have held a sit-in at Parkhead, a tennis ball demonstration at Dundee, hoisted banners and sat in silence to make their feelings known to club chiefs.

Now, Ms Findlay has outlined the thinking behind the latest silent protest against Higgins, first against Real Betis on Thursday and potentially the following Motherwell match, who she claimed "created an absolutely poisonous relationship between police and football supporters".

Higgins was a main player in the introduction of the controversial Offensive Behaviour Act which Ms Findlay went on to suggest led to fans being treated as "some kind of terrorist threat" by police officers.

Giving an overview of the toxic atmosphere created by the rumoured appointment, Ms Findlay told Clyde 1 Superscoreboard: "Bernard Higgins was the national strategic lead for football for over 10 years and in that time he has created an absolutely poisonous relationship between the police and football supporters all across the country.

"He was the absolute poster boy and defender of the Offensive Behaviour Act and we all know what a terrible impact that had on mainly young men supporting football from all different clubs.

"He also created the circumstances where the police reacted very slowly and caused the crushes at Janefield Street at Celtic Park in 2018 where it was only through the grace of God that somebody didn't die that day.

"He's responsible for all of that horrible, aggressive policing. The culture inside the police force that they treat football fans as if they are some kind of, I don't know, terrorist threat or something.

"The idea that he could be appointed to a role at Celtic Park where he would be responsible for the health and safety of Celtic fans is just completely unacceptable.

"But what is also unacceptable is the club refusing to speak to us about it."

Celtic hcairman Ian Bankier was quizzed on the possibility of Higgins being appointed to a senior role with the club he offered no assurances.

He stated at the club AGM: "It won't surprise you to know that I am not going to give assurances on what would be an operational roles. I am not giving any assurances, not for today.

"What I will re-iterate, health and safety at big arenas is a massive issue.

"It's a big topic, it is high level, it is strategic. It is not a role that polices Celtic fans, that is not the role we are seeking to fill. 

"When we are ready to announce it, we will announce it."

Following the lack of interaction from the board with fans over the dispute, the Celtic Trust chief explained fans will fall silent until they're listened to.

But Ms Findlay admitted the silent protests could be scrapped if the board agree to meet and discuss the issues with supporters.

She added: "So if the club wants to remain silent then we'll remain silent."

Further explaining the decision to stay silent, Ms Findlay added that Ange Postecoglou and the players will understand the demostration is aimed at the board and not the "good feeling" between the players and management and the supporters.

She said: "Both the team and Ange Postecoglou in particular are intelligent people and understand exactly what's going on. If you are a football supporter, you have a number of opportunities to make your views known to your club either inside the ground or outside the ground.

"Arguably it's better to do it inside, you've got everybody together and you can make your point.

"As long as sport has been around people have had protests inside grounds and that takes different forms. It could be banners like we did the other day, it could be a sit down protest like some of the groups did the week before, it could be anything.

"On this occasion, we're highlighting the fact that the club is refusing to speak to us. They are refusing to engage with the fans who are showing such unity right across the world about how they feel about this and they are refusing to engage with us.

"We're in the situation where the good feeling between the manager and the support, the players and the support, is being spoiled by the fact that the people in the boardroom are refusing to speak to the fans."

The protests have gathered huge backing from the Celtic support, with fan groups around the world joining the action against the potential appointment.

And Ms Findlay reckons it should be "obvious" how Celtic supporters feel about Higgins and the Offensive Behaviour Act.

"Absolutely massive support", she said when quizzed on fan reaction to the protests. "If you saw the very first protest where two of the groups, the Green Brigade and the Bhoys, kept silent for the first 30 minutes... when that 30 minutes ended the whole stadium burst into song in a show of absolute support.

"Even during the Offensive Behaviour Act, I don't think we've seen such visible and open support among Celtic supporters to say, 'this man has no place at Celtic and there are no circumstances where we will accept his appointment. He's unfit for purpose. He should not be there.'

"It should be obvious to the people sitting in the heated seats in the main stand. It should have been obvious before now. It's just how far they want to push that. I simply don't understand why they haven't said, 'right, come in and talk to us'."