There has, for years now, been a narrative that the Celtic board are out of step and out of touch with their fans. The recent banning of the Green Brigade from matches seemed to have furthered that notion.

At least, that’s what members of that particular section of the Celtic support and their backers would contend. But at the club’s AGM, it seemed perhaps there is a growing number of fans who have had just about enough of the Green Brigade and the baggage that comes with them, suggesting there is a hitherto silent faction – if not a majority - out there who are, in fact, behind their board’s hardline stance.

In the annual gathering of shareholders in the Kerrydale Suite, many of them were ready to let their voices be heard.

The Celtic AGM tends to follow a tried and tested pattern. There is the dry business of resolutions to be passed and board members to be re-elected. There is the pantomime of a show of hands in the room for and against these resolutions, before the board’s recommendations are always overwhelmingly carried by absentee ballots in any case.

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Incidentally, the largest number of hands raised in the room in objection to any of the reappointments was against Brian Wilson, and not Peter Lawwell, who returned to the AGM for the first time since his appointment as non-executive chairman of the club.

Lawwell’s tenure as chief executive, it is fair to say, split opinion. And questions were raised about his appointment on the day. But he won over the majority in attendance by - in part - grasping at some low-hanging fruit and taking a couple of swipes at Rangers.

First, he defended the salaries awarded to the board’s executives by stating that they are benchmarked against other top clubs, before adding: “And if you look at the benchmark in Scotland, in terms of performance, who do we benchmark against…let me think. I’ve made my point!”

Then, when the annual aspersions were cast about Scotland’s referees, with inferences to John Beaton’s membership of certain secretive organisations and his post-match choice of watering hole, Lawwell quipped: “You can probably recollect the last time a penalty was awarded against Rangers was when John Greig handled the ball…”

Michael Nicholson was not to be outdone, the current chief executive playing to the gallery too when asked what should have happened when a Celtic player was allegedly fouled in an incident the officials missed in a game against St Mirren.

“Penalty Rangers,” Nicholson said, to much guffawing.

In fairness to both men, when they addressed the more serious topics of the day, they also impressed. Nicholson came across as both empathetic and competent, while Lawwell retains an authoritative presence that seemed to win over the attendees.

And no more so than when it came to the most topical, burning issue facing the club in the form of the Green Brigade, and what to do with them.

When one shareholder rose to admonish the Green Brigade and praise the board for their stance, saying that the group were ‘divisive, disrespectful and disruptive’ and that their ban ‘should be made permanent’, there was a mixture of booing and applause.

But when Lawwell then slapped down those voicing their displeasure and inviting them to leave if they couldn’t respect the fan’s opinion, there was a rapturous reception for his intervention.

Nicholson wasn’t quite as brash on the subject, but his stance was firm. He reiterated the safety concerns the club had after fan behaviour at Feyenoord and at Fir Park, and while discussions around these safety issues ‘were ongoing’ between the club and the Green Brigade, there was no hint whatsoever that progress was being made towards reconciliation between the parties.

Indeed, that section of the Celtic support and the club’s board have never seemed so far apart. And there was some support for the Green Brigade among this older demographic, in fairness, with one or two raising the accusation that their banning was motivated not by concerns for safety, but by their visible support for Palestine.

On the whole though, there seemed to be an overwhelming feeling that those in the room had now had just about enough of the football side of the club’s business being sidetracked by such issues.

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While it was wrong for one shareholder to conflate the disruption during the recent Remembrance Day silence with the conduct of the Green Brigade, seeing as they were banned from attending that match, the call for greater respect and more considerate fan behaviour in general was warmly received.

So too were the explanations given by Nicholson for the ongoing absence of the Green Brigade. So much so, that the board’s stance and the reaction from the majority inside the AGM has rather turned around my thinking on how this all may play out.

Previously, I had thought that the Green Brigade were such an influential part of the Celtic support, and one that had certainly brought with them great value in terms of the atmosphere they generate and the charitable activities they partake in, that they would be welcomed back into the fold following a short spell on the naughty step.

But now, I’m not so sure.

Just as it would be wrong to suggest that the views of the Green Brigade are representative of the wider Celtic support, so too would it be wrong to suggest that the majority of those inside a room of a few hundred shareholders spoke for Celtic fans in general.

But their reaction and general antipathy towards the Green Brigade might well have suggested to the Celtic board that there is greater support out there for their stance than may have previously been thought.

Even, perhaps, that they could afford to cut the Green Brigade adrift permanently and absorb the blowback.

One thing that can be said for certain is that the Celtic board have had enough. And if the Green Brigade are to be welcomed back into the stadium as an integral and valued part of the Celtic support, the concessions will have to come – in terms of assurances over their future behaviour - from their side alone.