The Tragedy Of Peter Lawwell

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Celtic announced a bumper new sponsorship deal today, and Peter Lawwell was front and centre as the announcement was made.

In some ways he deserved to be.

When he concentrates on bringing in commercial revenues he can be good.

He can be very good indeed.

This is the tragedy of Peter Lawwell. His job at Celtic has expanded far beyond its parameters, and his interference in other areas where he doesn’t belong has had dire consequences for us and for him personally and reputationaly.

Days like today remind you of what an asset he once was and can still be, and it’s a great shame that he won’t be remembered for them.

Even taking into consideration how good a day this is for him some people are going to point out that selling “brand Celtic” should be easy. It would be even easier if we were still a team that strove to play Champions League football every year, instead of settling in to Europa League mediocrity. Nevertheless, that we’ve sealed two major sponsorship deals in the last month has to be seen as a positive and it would take a Scrooge-like meanness not to give credit where it’s due.

Yet Peter Lawwell spends too much time getting involved in football affairs and in climbing the ladders at the SFA and elsewhere, and not enough of it going out and drumming up business and interest in Celtic’s global name. And we need him to be doing stuff like that, because we’re competing with the decibel level sounds of the Premiership and the orchestral noise of La Liga, and all this before China, Russia, America and the other “emerging” football empires.

We need this guy focussed, full time, on the business of Celtic.

If he’s going to remain at Parkhead beyond this season – and I would rather he didn’t, and that has to be upfront right now – it ought to be with a greatly reduced remit, so he can focus on what he does so well, and this is a prime example of what that actually is.

But I fear that it’s too late.

I fear that he’s got his fingers in so many pies that his ego is now fully out of control.

As with most triumphs, he wanted his face and his name associated with this one and though he’s probably entitled to he’s never quite so upfront when it comes to owning disaster. Where’s he been for the last two and some weeks? Hiding behind the manager.

I suspect that before this season ends we’re going to hear a lot of revisionist nonsense about Ronny Deila was a success at Celtic Park. That’ll be Lawwell and the board’s way of saying that they didn’t actually make a mistake at all.

Perhaps we’ll be called intolerant and short-sighted, and be blamed for “driving him out.”

All of it will be nonsense.

We’re never going to see a situation like that at Dundee United where a chairman and his board actually take ownership of the decisions they made and the strategy they follow, and whilst there are no real parallels between the season they’ve had, which ends in relegation, and the one we’ve had to endure, and which will end in a league championship party, it would be nice if our board did what theirs was willing to do, said sorry and accepted they got it wrong.

At one time, he could have departed Celtic with the sound of applause ringing in his ears. The longer he stays, the more likely it is that on the day he finally packs up his pencils the last thing he hears as a Celtic employee will be a very different one and it could all have been so different.

That is the real tragedy of Peter Lawwell.

Days like today should be crowning glories for him.

Instead they are a reminder of what he once brought to the table and of how much better our relationship, and memories of him, might have been.

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