Let’s talk for a while about parasites.
There are a couple of Celtic fan sites which are so fed up with the “leadership” being offered by the Chief Executive that they cannot speak of him in anything other than the most venomous terms. On one forum, they call him The Parasite.
And so last night, I went reading up on parasites to see if the comparison stands up. Horribly, I reckon it is essentially robust. In terms of parasitism, there are six basic “strategies” by which parasitic organisms survive. Two are especially applicable here.
Unfortunately, they are also the two that result in the most serious, negative, consequences for the host.
They are parasitoidism and parasitic castration.
The latter results in the host being unable to reproduce, and ends in its slow and steady leeching.
The former actually results in the death of the host.
This is not usually how parasitism works.
A good, a successful, parasite is one which keeps the host alive and essentially healthy.
This is to its own benefit. Parasitoidism and parasitic castration are bad for the host, and in the first case in the worst possible way. In a sense, both are miracles of the evolutionary principle. The parasite thrives because they suck every bit of life from the host that they can.
In parasitoidism, the host is consumed from the inside.
In the most horrible cases, the parasite actually grows inside the host until a new creature is born, and then it bursts from the host, killing it.
Think the Alien of that film franchise.
There’s a certain sci-fi show from Sky Atlantic, set in an icy location, which features a similar organism, a prehistoric wasp.
Peter Lawwell has been sucking the marrow out of Celtic for years. Aside from a short time when Brendan Rodgers was here, Lawwell has consistently been the highest paid person at the club. That’s almost unheard of in football, for the CEO to be paid more handsomely than the players.
Yet here we are. This is Celtic.
Think on it this way; over the last couple of years we’ve told untold numbers of players that they had run up against the wage ceiling and that if they wanted more money they’d have to go elsewhere to get it. Those players are invariably sold.
This strengthens the balance sheet and because that’s strong and we’re showing a profit, Lawwell gets a bigger bonus.
In parasitic castration the parasite prevents the host from reproducing and Celtic is full of examples of Lawwell metaphorically cutting the nuts off his managers. He denied both Lennon and Deila their assistant managers. He has signed players over the heads of all of them, even Rodgers, pushing these players on bosses who hadn’t even heard of them.
The night of the AEK Athens game he slammed the manager in public after Rodgers had chaffed against an entire summer of failures in the transfer market. It doesn’t take a genius to imagine how that went down with the man now at Leicester.
In parasitic castration, the health of the host is only important in that it sustains the parasite itself.
It weakens the host because it uses the hosts resources to sustain itself, but it’s not fatal. In those cases, where the host does die, the parasite simply finds a new one. In parasitoidism the parasite changes inside the host until it obliterates it in its rebirth.
Lawwell has always fancied a seat at UEFA; I’ve always believed if he’d gotten that recognition he’d have been gone. The death of the host is nothing but a consequence of the parasites growth and evolutionary cycle; it stays with the host until it no longer needs it and then it bursts forth.
At that point it no longer cares about what it leaves behind.
I know this; Lawwell has been in post far longer than the average CEO; it’s a role that usually lasts three to five years. He’s been here nearly four times that, and it’s no coincidence that there have been periodic crises along the way, or that his decision making has been poor.
Yesterday, Celtic Underground posted a quite magnificent article about Lawwell, which pointed out the similarities between his term at the club and that of Desmond White. Both were accountants, and I thought that was a significant point which deserved further analysis.
Accountants are not known for creative thinking. They are number crunchers.
Lawwell’s problem is that he does believe he’s uniquely qualified to stick his nose into other areas at the club.
One of the reasons we’re such a shambles behind the scenes is that he has interfered in too many areas which are not in his purview.
Of course that’s going to go badly. What else do people expect? Would you let a flight attendant pilot an aircraft because they’d watch people do it? Would you let an ER perform brain surgery cause he or she had been in close proximity to the professionals?
But Lawwell thinks he can spot a player. He thinks he knows better than the managers what makes a good assistant. Whether you agree or not with the characterisation of Lawwell as a parasite it’s readily apparent that no major changes at our club will be lasting until he’s no longer in the building.
His ego won’t allow it. He has got to go.
Lawwell has been hiding for months. He prefers to hide when things aren’t going our way, but when we have success his preening and strutting is public and he is more than happy to pause for the flashbulbs and to make himself available for interviews.
I would be happy never to see his face on the telly again. He should be packing up his cardboard boxes in anticipation of an end of season departure, and he should vanish without fanfare. His legacy is already secured.
He’s the guy who hired Neil Lennon for the most important season in decades, without even looking at another CV.
So he owns the failure that’s unfolding, whether he acts now or not. His failures to reform the SFA and clean the game up are much, much bigger and they are the reason future generations of our fans will damn him.
There will be no statue on the Celtic Way.