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Limited Circular debate: newspaper reports
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From Charity status to Business status...
One of the key moments in Celtic history, the decision to change from a charitable trust to the much more commercially-minded limited liability status in 1897 has parallels with the takeover of the club by Fergus McCann from the old board nearly a century later. Like that landmark, the move was hotly-debated and provoked strong feeling on both sides. In a similar fashion to McCann's takeover, the move was driven by those who believed that as a club Celtic needed to adapt to what were drastically-changing times in Scottish football.
As Tom Campbell and Pat Woods write:
'[Celtic's] success quickly posed another dilemma. Record crowds produced vast sums in revenue, and donations to the charities designated by Brother Walfrid, but 'amateur' players were demanding higher remuneration and a new and larger stadium had to be built. The Scottish League was also formed in 1890 and the legalisation of professional players was recognised in 1893. Could Celtic survive as a charitable trust in such an era of expansion?Tthe debate within the club was heartfelt and spirited but in 1897 Celtic became a limited company.'
Campbell and Woods Celtic Football Club 1887-1967 (1998) p. 7
An early account of the idea for the change, and the subsequent debate that ensued, was recorded in the Glasgow Herald, Friday, December 13, 1895:
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