Peter Lawwell finally apologised to Celtic supporters tonight with a video Q&A with CelticTV. I am going to cover the positives of that apology first, starting with the fact he offered it in the first place.
It was to Celtic fans, and not the wider game and wider society, but then we’re the customer base and the rest of the country isn’t.
Nevertheless, I am glad he did it and I’m glad he chose our own club media platform to do it on. Had he gone to some of the tabloids who have spent months viciously attacking us on all fronts I think he’d have made matters worse.
So his choice of the in-house media was the correct one.
No complaints from me on that score at all.
The man looks chastened, even a little shell-shocked. But the apology itself only went so far. There was no real contrition for taking the trip in the first place, simply another laundry list of justifications.
It was a politician’s apology, the kind where the subtext is “I’m sorry I was caught”, only in this case it was “I’m sorry we got flak for it.”
Lawwell is sorry that there have been consequences. Had Jullien not tested positive – in fact, if we hadn’t lost a bunch of players – we’d never have even got this much.
So there was no real remorse for the trip itself, and because there was no remorse for the trip I didn’t feel any great tendency to believe him when he talked about the moral core of the club still being intact.
If it were, we would never have gone for a millionaire’s jaunt when the rest of the country was in self-isolation.
It’s ridiculous that he didn’t even address that.
His complete snow-blindness was exemplified when he said that the pandemic had affected our club “probably more than any other.” Oh yeah?
Last time I looked we comfortable enough to afford an all hands trip to Dubai. Other clubs are struggling to keep on the lights. That statement alone is typical of the ego and arrogance he denied exists at Celtic Park.
He made sure, too, to put the old “call for unity” in at the end, which was probably the most expected thing that he said.
What Lawwell fails to realise is that this was the point where even some of his defenders stopped making the case for him; if the breaking point for some of the Trumpers was the assault on the Capitol, this was the crisis in which Lawwell lost any remaining shred of his moral authority to speak as the voice of our club.
I’m afraid he’s shot it in terms of calls of unity.
He remains in post in spite of his strategic failures, Lennon remains in post when everyone knows that’s ludicrous and whilst these things remain set in stone the club remains in stasis.
All his talk of wanting the same things as we do, and the club we deserve, sounds like someone pleading for another chance when they’ve already blown it big time and done things that can’t be undone.
Ten in a row is gone. I blame him for that, and many, many, many other fans do, so no call for unity will be heeded when it’s coming out of his mouth.
This club needs to undergo profound change if it is to win back the trust of the fans.
Its relationship with the wider community will recover at around the same time.
This, tonight, is simply not going to wash.