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SBD Global/January 10, 2014/Franchises

European Commission Looking Into Claims Scottish Side Celtic Broke Land Deal Rules

The European Commission "is looking into claims" that Scottish Premiership side Celtic "broke EU rules in land deals involving Glasgow City Council," according to the BBC. Officials in Brussels said that they "had asked for detailed information after receiving a number of complaints." In a statement, the council "confirmed one of the complaints focussed on land deals around Celtic Park in the east end of the city." The Commission said that "it had not yet opened a formal investigation." A Scottish government spokesperson said, "We are aware of these allegations and we are working with the relevant parties to help the Commission to investigate this case consistent with our role to ensure public funds in Scotland are used in compliance with EU state aid regulations" (BBC, 1/8). In Glasgow, Hannah Rodger reported Celtic has hit out at "baseless ­accusations" that it "benefited from state aid in historic land deals." The rebuttal came after the commission "received a number of complaints" relating to the purchase of land around Celtic Park and asked for detailed information from Glasgow City Council and Celtic. Its training complex "was built on the grounds of the disused Lennox Castle Hospital in East Dunbartonshire." Celtic "dismissed the claims as 'ludicrous'" and said, "Celtic Football Club operates to the highest standards and with the utmost integrity" (HERALD SCOTLAND, 1/9).
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