It was Harvey Dent who said it best; “You either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”
Quoting a DC movie bad-guy seems appropriate today, a day when I’ve got up feeling as if a pain I’d been living with for several years has gone away and I’m walking straighter and with a spring in my step.
To quote another movie character, “One down … one down.”
There are some who will write revisionist nonsense about Lawwell today because he has finally told us he’s going in five months.
I’d prefer it if he packed his pencils and left right now, but I guess there are things he still wants to do, like hanging around to see the Ibrox club presented with the league trophy.
He should be at Parkhead for that.
He should watch that from his Celtic office, because that’s his legacy, that’s what he leaves behind him.
Had Lawwell left the job five years ago he’d still have been in it too long.
But he would have had his fine headlines, he’d have departed on a high, and something of a hero to most of the supporters.
But he botched it.
Lawwell loved the limelight too much and if that meant undermining the second best manager this club has had in my lifetime then so be it.
Once Rodgers had gone, he had the limelight all to himself again.
I hope he’s enjoyed it.
For the rest of his life most Celtic supporters are going to spit after saying his name.
I will think of him, forever, the way I think of Tony Blair, as someone who initially delivered big and then toxified his name and his reputation with acts of staggering egotism and over-reach, all so he could bask in the role not merely of statesman but Sun God.
Future Celtic historians will damn him, and the litany of failure he leaves behind him.
If you believe the hype he has always loved to surround himself with then he was the most powerful CEO in the history of Scottish football.
Yet here is the club he has been running all this time, in total meltdown, whilst a second financially doped Ibrox team sits atop the league table.
Every corruption which existed in our game in 2011 exists now, with a new one – the Survival Lie – layered on top of them.
That’s entirely down to Lawwell and his failures at the strategic level.
Every warning this and other blogs fired about the need for FFP, for refereeing reform, for fit and proper persons tests worthy of the name … it’s all been ignored and even scorned inside Celtic Park.
Lawwell was cosy in his wee fiefdom and never seriously entertained change.
This “all-powerful” figure has left us at our weakest in a decade, and the game more corrupt than he found it.
His final managerial appointment was made in a shower room, and ends in even greater failure.
It was an act of mind-boggling stupidity, an unpardonable folly without parallel in our recent history, a decision without a shred of merit whatsoever.
It was the biggest call he had to make in 17 years, with nothing coming even close to it in terms of its importance and potential impact and he didn’t even try to find us the best person he could.
Instead he appointed a yes-man, a manager desperate enough to accept the job under whatever conditions he imposed.
Lawwell’s ego won over the best interests of Celtic.
I will go to my grave cursing him for that and those around him who enabled and supported it.
Even now, he’s milked the moment for all it is worth, knowing that his toadies in the media and those few left in our support will laud him even as the rest of us wait for the announcement on Lennon, which surely has to come before the end of the day.
There are some who will mourn this announcement, and others who will fear for the future because they don’t know who the new guy is or what he brings to the table, but I am reminded of what Peter Oborne wrote on the day after Peter Mandelson’s first resignation, because it pretty much sums up my feelings.
I’m mangling his quote slightly, for the occasion.
“This morning the (Celtic support) has the bemused and joyful air of a Transylvanian village where news has just come through that Lord Dracula will disturb them no longer.”
Our long season of horror has taken its first positive turn folks.
I’ll be writing more about this later, of course, these are preliminary thoughts … but this development is not only welcome but it is long overdue. Lawwell has toxified Celtic as surely as he has damaged it these past few years.
In order for this club to heal, he had to fall on the sword.
He’s the first, but he can’t be – and he won’t be – the last.
But the healing has started, and I feel pretty good about that.