The news today about Lawwell wasn’t really news. He’s gone from the CEO role but he’ll be remaining in some capacity at Celtic Park. It won’t be a day to day job, because that’s McKay’s department now.
In some ways its an emeritus position, and in others not.
He needs to be on the board to maintain his roles at UEFA. On the surface, nothing to concern us.
But actually, there are one or two issues that do arise from this and on which we actually do need to get answers. His role will be on a “non PLC board.” Which is interesting, as if it’s not a PLC board then you might wonder exactly what it does involve itself with.
We might be expected to believe that this board will only involve liaising with UEFA, but do we really need a high powered group of people at the club meeting to discuss UEFA matters?
The obvious question to ask here is this; does this board have any input in “club” business?
In short, is Peter Lawwell playing a role in decision making on the strategy involving the football operation?
This would be deeply concerning to Celtic fans and not at all in keeping with good governance. Lawwell has made a colossal mess of the football department and none of us wants him near it. 17 years as the corporate bean-counter have in no way solved the central problem that has always existed here; he is not remotely qualified to be taking those sort of decisions.
The reason I ask this is simple.
The only “non PLC board” I can find at Celtic, which is listed on the website, and which has the four directors on it whose names appear in the media today – Eric Riley, Michael McDonald, Dominic McKay and Michael Nicholson – is that of The Celtic Football and Athletic Company Ltd, which it clearly says “provides football club management and promotional activities.”
If that’s correct then Lawwell’s position isn’t as benign as it seems and, in fact, he will remain actively involved in the football department, having input into the kind of areas he’s already royally screwed up.
This is the absolute last thing this club needs or wants.
If it’s perceived that he’s making decisions behind the scenes which impact on the football department that’s going to have some pretty dire consequences in terms of building trust with the fans.
This comes shortly after it was alleged that Postecoglou was told he would be working with the current backroom team; that sounded an awful lot like the kind of condition Lawwell would have imposed.
Another area we need to be clear on is the SFA. For Lawwell to continue at the SFA would be just as serious and just as unwelcome as his continuing to have an input in the football side of things.
He has a reputation for being utterly untrustworthy on that stage – and I do not make that allegation lightly.
The way he’s behaved on Resolution 12 has been shocking, and the perception that he’s allowed our club to be cheated is grounded in some pretty awful established facts.
Furthermore, fans want to see real reforms at that level and Lawwell is wholly incapable of getting them, or he simply has no interest in them which amounts to the same thing.
I don’t know what benefits we get from retaining his “experience” at UEFA, but I do know we get absolutely nothing from his so-called “leadership” at the SFA and the SPFL.
Celtic fans and shareholders are fully entitled to know what this “non PLC board” does in their name. We are entitled to know exactly what it discusses and what decision making power it has.
If I were a suspicious man I might be tempted to wonder if this is the reason we haven’t appointed a director of football yet. Perhaps Lawwell will be acting in that capacity, even unofficially.
This is not something on which we don’t require an answer.
I’ve asked the Celtic hierarchy for a comment, and I will naturally write it up if I get one.