If The Lawwell Appointment Is Such A Good One, Why Are Celtic Low-Keying It?

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As my good friend Paddy Sinat over on Vital Celtic said earlier on today, and as others echoed in the past few hours, the club announced Peter Lawwell’s appointment as chairman in the most low key way possible. I noticed it when I saw the official club statement.

When we announce a signing or an appointment the name is usually in the headline. You would not get “Celtic announce new manager” any more than the official outlet would put out a statement headlined “Celtic announce signing of new player.”

When I saw the headline today – “Celtic announce new Non-Executive Chairman” I clicked on the link with a sinking heart. I knew exactly which name I was going to read. The way they didn’t even put it front and centre told me everything I needed to know, as though there was the slightest doubt about it in the first place.

The whole “thorough search” which was trumpeted at the AGM was nothing but a barefaced lie in the same way that Ibrox’s manager “hunt” was. We no more considered someone else for the role than the club across the city interviewed anyone but Beale for the manager’s job. That these two boards both believe they can brazen this stuff out is deplorable.

Celtic knows this is unpopular. Celtic may even recognise that it’s a hard appointment, if not an impossible one, to defend. You can tell that by the way they’ve gone about it. No name in the official headline, and as Paddy and others have said, nothing on social media at all. The Celtic Twitter team is always busy and always active.

Strangely, if this is such a superb piece of corporate governance, they aren’t tonight. It’s the sort of thing you do when you’re ashamed of it. You sneak the word out on a Friday when everyone’s eyes are on the weekend and you do it low-key.

But there is simply no way that an announcement this divisive and even potentially disruptive can be done in this manner and those involved get away with it. It does not matter how smooth they think they’ve been here, or how slippery … the fans are having their say on the blogs and the forums and in cyberspace nonetheless. And many aren’t happy.

Mark this and mark it now, Celtic; if things start to unravel we’re all going to look back at the smooth sailing of the past twelve months and we are going to blame Peter Lawwell for anything that goes wrong. It doesn’t matter whether it’s fair or not, or even if he shares any responsibility for anything bad that happens … he is going to be held accountable.

The fans, by and large, do not trust this guy anymore. They recognise the role he played in Rodgers leaving as he did. They recognise that an Ibrox club was allowed to financially dope its way to a title on Lawwell’s watch. They can see clearly that the club has been in a better place this past 12 months without his so-called leadership and if things start coming apart they will put two and two together and come up with the obvious answer.

And I am not going to defend him or this board, even if they did nothing wrong. The appointment itself is a disgrace. It stinks. It reeks of cronyism, which adds to the reek of nepotism. Our board is a little self-contained block of tired old white guys who long since ran out of ideas. The one good thing they’ve done in the recent past is hire this manager and he wasn’t their first choice, and his appointment stunk of left-field options selected in a panic.

For all that, he has been doing fine without their grubby hands on the tiller. They low-balled this today because they recognise the fusty stink of recycled garbage off this appointment. They know they can’t actually defend it if they have to.

Well I’ve already emailed Celtic to ask if the fan media reps are going to get a sit-down with the “new man” at the helm. To hear what his plans are. To learn what fresh perspective he intends to bring to the club. To find out if he’s got a vision.

You know what? I’m not holding my breath. The club is leery of putting those at the top of the house in front of the fan media reps. There’s a reason for that.

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  • David Campbell says:

    Maybe low keying it because hopefully it’s not that important as to how the football side of things are going, some of the reaction to this is pure drama queen stuff about stuff that will more thani likely never happen

  • Slugger O’Toole says:

    Shameful appointment of a man who did everything he could to help the Rangers.
    He is a total incompetent appointed by other total incompetents.

  • Benjamin says:

    The good news, if you can call it that, is that the position is non-executive chairman rather than the more involved executive chairman. He’s in charge of wrangling the board and conducting meetings, but the day to day responsibility for running the club still lies with the CEO. At least officially.

    Personally while I can’t stand the appointment and the reasons for it, it’s also important to note that whoever filled the role was always going to be one of Desmond’s yes-men. The fact that it’s Lawwell and not Desmond’s own son or some other lackey who is just taking orders from Ireland is interesting but not ultimately relevant. The real power in the boardroom lies with Desmond, and everyone in that room owes their position – and loyalty – to Desmond personally. Until he sells his shares and new people with fresh ideas are allowed on to the board nothing is going to change. Until then everything else is just rearranging the deck chairs.

  • Chris says:

    The needle returns to the start of the song and we all go along like before,Ange will be gone by the summer as will our best players, as Liewell said we need a strong Rangers to compete(aye right!!!) the only way they’ll strengthen is if we weaken. Our club is going backward again HH

  • Kevan McKeown says:

    Back again tae pick up a big fat paycheck at the expense of the support. Of course he’ll stay in the background, remember how they all disgracefully hid durin the lennon mess. Totally agree, they see the club as ‘theirs’ tae dae whatever they want with it.

  • John says:

    FFS James! get over yourself. You are such a drama Queen. We are in the strongest place we have ever been in recent years and you are pouring cold water on it. Ange is the man calling the shots so sit back and enjoy the ride.
    The board and CEO have backed Ange to the hilt in the transfer market and he’s done a pretty good job with his signings.To compare our board with that shower across the city is outrageous. Shame on you

    • Malc says:

      Aye, this. Fucking pathetic the way the bloggers are ranting about this appointment like it’s the end of the fucking world. Gotta keep the click count up. The quality of content on this site is fucking dire now, and its more and more hun shite than Celtic – why I continue to come back here is a mystery. A great site for masochists…

    • Michael Collins says:

      There is no shame John. This guy is going to eventually cost us the best manager since Martin O’Neill, you mark my words.

  • Seppington says:

    Seen an awful lot of names on various sites downplaying this that I’ve never seen comment before…it’s almost as if the board has taken the social media team off Twitter and sent them “firefighting” in the comments sections. Well if that’s really true good luck with that folks, you’re attempting to put out an inferno with a thimble-full of air…


      Spot on Seppington.
      The Lawwell Trolls are on the case.
      This will not end well if they go through with the appointment.
      More so if it destabilises Ange’s vision ahead. The fans have bought into it so much.
      All the ‘Place men’ are going on about how successful we’ve been throughout Lawwell’s tenure as if that absolves him for criticism of the more egregious of his sins. Lying to shareholders, stringing along the Res12 Guys and the ‘smoking gun’, lying about his knowledge of the 5WAgreement and his collusion in raising Sevco from the ashes of ‘Deid Co’
      He has a lot to answer for and will never be forgiven for.
      He has sullied the good name of Celtic in pursuit of the Old Firm Duopoly.

  • ammcq68 says:

    Couldn’t believe my own eyes when I read this, thought as a club we were moving in the right direction of forward thinking but the silence from the board over recent var decisions speaks volumes in itself and here we are again backtracking with jobs for the boys. I would have phrased that bhoys if they had the interests of CFC in their hearts and not in their wallets. We cannot go back to the dark ages when the bunnet rescued us, I doubt there are many like him waiting in the wings. We as fans are stronger now with the media outlets we have at our disposal. Lets make our feelings known about this unacceptable backward move kinda makes you wonder if by throughing this in the mix they are actually trying to destabilise our 9 point lead and supposedly their own team.

  • John A says:

    You can never believe what a liar says.

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