A SCOTS youth football club has raffled a single bottle of Prime signed by Celtic captain Callum McGregor in a bid to raise money to fund a football festival trip.
Colin Hardie, Chairman of East End United 2015s, is hoping to bring his under-8s team to Blackpool from the money raised.
The team managed to get one club man McGregor to sign a green bottle of the viral energy drink Prime, which they have now listed for raffle at a prize of £5 per entry – but it has left footie fans divided.
The initiative comes after the club last week banned all Celtic players from signing autographs outside of their Lennoxtown training ground.
In a post to Facebook on Sunday East End United posted a picture of McGregor signing the bottle as well as a picture of the prize itself
The caption reads: “Over half way now with Callum McGregor’s signature up for grabs with a photo of the man himself signing it.
“£5 a shot 100 number generator all proceeds going towards new strips for the boys.”
Despite its good intentions, the raffle has been the subject of jibes on social media from several users who were quick to blast the scheme as one of the reasons behind Celtic’s autograph ban.
Twitter user Mr G shared a picture of the post on Sunday with the caption: “When you think you have seen it all.”
This post received over 1,350 likes, with dozens of users flocking to the comment section in debate over the ethics of the raffle.
One reply read: “Raising money for a football team so fair enough but a bottle of juice?”
Another user wrote: “This is why they’ve banned players signing stuff.”
A third commented: “This team is actually quite local to me but this is disgraceful. No wonder players have stopped signing stuff for fans.”
Another joked: “Can under-8s get liquidated?”
A fifth said: “Seen a post saying there is a sign up outside Lennoxtown now saying players and staff will not be stopping for photos or to sign things. Things like this are probably the reason why.
“I feel sorry for fans who want it for their own personal collection and not trying to just make money.”
However, an alleged mother of one of the boys in the team replied: “Mr G this is my sons football team and its to help our boys get to Blackpool for a tournament which they have entered.
“[They are] the only team in Scotland to go and represent Scotland.
“Would you have had a problem if it was a ball or a top? What the f**k is the difference to a bottle of juice?”
Another user supported the idea, writing: “Creative way to raise funds for a football team, well played.”
Speaking today 35-year-old chairman Colin said: “We’re a local team based in Easterhouse, Glasgow.
“Our fees are as low as possible as we cannot charge parents money that’s not affordable for their children to play football.
“We’re formed to give local kids a chance to play in the local area without traveling far or paying over the top.
“Most of our players and coaches also have season tickets and follow Celtic home and away, last year we took 70 kids to a home game together.
“This is to give the kids that don’t get the chance to get the experience, and also to enjoy it with their teammates.
“We raise all the money for strips so parents don’t have to pay and now we’re looking to take the kids to Blackpool for free so that’s the reason behind the Prime number generator, because Prime is all the academy talks about.
“We managed to get Callum (McGregor) to sign the bottle last Tuesday (14 FEB).
“Some of our players, the coach and the parents went up to Lennoxtown during the school holidays to meet Callum and ask him to sign it.
“He was more than happy to help as he is from the same area as us and he knows how important it is to keep the kids in the local area playing football.”
At the time of writing, the raffle has so far received 69 entries, leaving just 31 numbers available and raising an estimated £345 for the team.