O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us, to see oursels as ithers see us. I don’t know if Celtic chairman Ian Bankier and the rest of the club’s board are fans of Rabbie Burns, but they could do worse than think on some of the Bard’s musings.

As it was, the shareholders who shuffled out of the Celtic AGM shaking their heads on Wednesday left with the impression of Bankier as great chieftain of the puddin’ race.

The chairman of the club genuinely seemed bewildered by the level of anger being directed his way from the floor of the Kerrydale Suite, and his attempts at calming the storm only served to whip it up further.

What was abundantly clear is that there is a chasm between the Celtic supporters and their board at present, and it spans across a wide range of issues.

From the rumoured appointment of Police Scotland's assistant chief constable Bernard Higgins to a security role with the club, through the calamity of last season and the longer term lack of vision that has seen Celtic’s stature in European competition diminish, Bankier failed to stem the tidal wave of criticism that was coming the way of him and his fellow board members.

His own condemnations of referees and the government for (apparently) causing the loss of 10 in-a-row may have won some nods of agreement, but in the end, they only served to highlight the impotence of the Celtic board when it came to these issues, with fans feeling they have failed to defend the interests of the club.

How they must have been relieved when questions about ticketing issues and potential stadium expansion were put forward.

Not to belittle such matters, but had some foresight been applied then surely queries surrounding the decision to keep Neil Lennon on as manager for so long, the much ballyhooed yet spectacularly brief appointment of Dom McKay as CEO and the long dance with Eddie Howe may have been more pertinent topics. As it was, none of those three men merited even a mention, and their names certainly weren’t going to be volunteered from the pulpit where Bankier was already dying a slow and painful death.

The one message that came across loud and clear though from the fans was that they are dissatisfied with the performance of the board, voting down the re-appointments of Bankier and director Brian Wilson in the room.

The message that came back just as emphatically from the board though was that there is pretty much nothing any of them can do about it. The proxy vote including Dermot Desmond’s shares made the vote in the room a mere token show of defiance, and Bankier’s admission that board business is conducted behind closed doors – whether the fans like it or not – was hardly reconciliatory in its tone or content.

So, how does the Celtic board go about building bridges with the support, if it has any interest in doing so? Well, for starters, they may want to push Michael Nicholson more to the forefront of such meetings. Bankier may well be a lovely man in private, I have no idea, but I am certain he won’t be the club’s great unifier.

Nicholson was generally composed and assured when invited to offer his input, and though he may be seen by some as Peter Lawwell’s man given his close affinity with the former CEO, he seems a safer bet to bring fans onside.

The fans are squarely behind Ange Postecoglou, but Nicholson can’t afford to be fooled into thinking the anger of the support will simmer if the manager delivers success on the field.

An easy win would be to dismiss the notion of Higgins joining the club. Whatever his merits for the role in question, the supporters simply don’t want him anywhere near the club given his role in administering the ill-fated Offensive Behaviour at Football Act (OBFA), now deceased.

Bankier answered a question on Higgins like a football manager straight-batting a query about a transfer target. By refusing to discuss Higgins, or as he put it, ‘give assurances’, he only served to confirm there was substance to his rumoured arrival.

He may very well be supremely qualified for the role in question, but why the Celtic board would choose such a divisive figure, placing the need to bring him in ahead of the views of fans, is beyond me.

It’s like picking a fight in an empty room. Though this one had around 800 angry supporters in it, and there are thousands more who have already made it plain they are ready to protest at games and even disrupt matches if that is what it takes to get their message across.

By ceding ground on Higgins, the Celtic board could take the first step across the no man’s land that currently stretches between them and those who fill the coffers.

If they go ahead and appoint him, ignoring the feelings of their fans, then they are even more out of touch than they currently stand accused. A foolish notion, and no mistake.