The revisionism has started already, in light of the news that Bankier intends to step down at the end of the year. The revisionism about this board and its record. There is no balance to it, because such a discussion doesn’t have balance.
There are two schools of thought; those who would hail them as geniuses and those of us who know that they’ve faced one testing period and spectacularly failed to rise to it.
This board has kept us from making critical mistakes. That’s what it’s achieved. They have marketed the club well, but Celtic has always, to me, been like good whiskey or some other high end product. The market for it exists already. You only have to identify the customers and make them a decent enough pitch. In effect, this is ABC stuff.
You want a board of directors to offer vision, and a plan. These guys have had our club in a holding pattern for nearly 20 years. They all think they are entitled to take a bow following last season’s incredible turnaround, but that wasn’t down to them.
They hired Lennon, then botched his sacking. They went for Howe and spent a whole summer waiting on him on the basis of a “handshake deal.” They didn’t spend time – because they had none to spare – finding us an outstanding candidate, they went to the Lawwell and Lawwell contacts book and they plucked a name out of there.
The name turns out to be an outstanding choice, but that was an almighty, unpardonable risk, like getting behind the wheel drunk. So what if you make it home okay? So what if you actually get there in record time, without even a slip along the way? Someone should take your license off you to stop it from ever happening again.
The triumph belongs to Ange. It was his day, and when those emotional scenes were taking place at the start it was his name being sung by the fans. That man should have had an impossible task at our club, to bring us all together and then to put a winning team on the park. That he managed it is a testament to his skills and talents … nobody else’s.
This board congratulates itself on sustainability. I say again; they kept the club from going bust. You don’t get a Better Business Bureau award for that. There is a reason, however, that managers get awards. That players get awards.
Brian Clough used to mock the pretensions of directors, and he himself was the proof of how idiotic they are at times, believing their own hype. The manager is the most important person at a club, which is why the best of them are so amply rewarded.
We can best reward this one, for the time being, by giving him the credit he is due instead of allowing those who want to make a case for Lawwell as the next chairman – a subject I’ll be returning to shortly – rewrite the book in his favour.