“If I could only get my record clean, I’d be a genius.” – Warren Zevon.
There are still Peter Lawwell fans in our support, as absurd as that will sound to the enlightened amongst us, those capable of seeing the big picture. There are still people who think that he walks on water, that we’re strong and stable because of him.
I’ve always found it funny that none of these people ever wonder whether we could be stronger with someone else. Lawwell is not an exceptional administrator.
I’ve long argued that for the money we pay him we could have a chief executive from any number of other industries and got more bang for our bucks. He has always been overpaid.
But it’s worse that he is over-rated.
Because I just don’t see it.
This is the guy who’s hired Neil Lennon twice, when he wasn’t qualified for the job either time.
He’s the guy who hired Tony Mowbray.
In his credit book, he hired Rodgers as well, although the suspicion has always been that it was Desmond who drove that process.
Lawwell also hired Ronny Deila.
Now you need to factor that in when you consider what this guy has really presided over.
Lennon twice, Ronny, Mowbray and Rodgers.
Five managerial appointments.
I would argue that he got four of them wrong; both the Lennon decisions, the Mowbray one and the decision to appoint the Norwegian.
He lucked out on two of them.
The first Lennon appointment would have ended in failure had Craig Whyte not pulled the plug on Rangers.
Lawwell can take no credit for what followed; indeed, he made sure that every Lennon success ended with the squad selling key players and the manager having to start from scratch again.
The Ronny appointment was the most fortuitous one in our recent history; by almost every standard you care to use that was an unforgivable decision. And I write that as one of the few people who argued for it at the time.
Of course, there were a few things of which I was entirely unaware when I did, and it’s only now, knowing them and seeing the full picture, that I recognise Ronny’s appointment for the dreadful decision that it was, and the disaster it might have been.
This makes the good fortune of it all the more incredible.
We had intended Ronny Deila to be Lennon’s number two.
It was only when Lennon decided to leave – and you wonder if he left rather than accept that – which led to us offering Deila the top job instead.
We didn’t start a new process when Lennon left; we simply gave it to the guy who had already had one foot in the door.
There was no attempt to get the best person … the most readily available person was what we went for instead.
That’s a shameful decision, not made any less so by the fact that Ronny brought with him all the right ideas and all the right changes which, although the players weren’t comfortable with them at the time were of huge importance to us when Brendan Rodgers took over. Ronny built the new culture of the team, the new standards, which Rodgers benefited from.
Of course, having got off with that, Lawwell then hired Lennon again … and effectively undone everything Rodgers and Deila had built. This is the kind of decision making for which some have hailed Lawwell as some kind of genius and hero.
The rest of Lawwell’s record is no better.
Commercial growth has been stagnant for years.
The sight of Ibrox’s commercial department stamping a sponsor’s logo on everything that can be flogged for one might seem like scrambling around in the dirt for dropped change, but it’s money our genius has somehow left lying on the table instead of putting it in our pockets when it could have paid for better coaches and scouts and even the improved contracts on some of the players we stand to lose.
He has colossally failed to represent us at the SFA and UEFA. His alleged “all powerful” position in the former has brought us not one reform of note, which would have strengthened Scottish football as a whole and weakened Ibrox at the same time, and his supposed influence at the latter has brought us not one tangible benefit.
Even if you’re willing to ignore his constant interference in transfer issues, including his repeated failures to get major deals done, right up to the last window and the Davies embarrassment …
And even if you’re willing to overlook that no CEO should be in place for more than five years far less the 17 which this guy has been in post …
And even if you were willing to ignore our repeated tendency to leave ourselves grossly unprepared year on year for Europe …
Even if you overlook all that, this is the guy the Resolution 12 boys say was asked at an AGM if he’d seen the Five Way Agreement and basically lied about it.
Anyone still defending him after all that is kidding themselves on.
This is the man most directly responsible for costing us ten in a row and he is at Celtic Park for another two months.