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Retrospective: The Guilty Men At Celtic: Peter Lawwell.

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This is an article from 3 May 2021 charting the role Lawwell played in the dramatic collapse of our club in the Ten In A Row campaign. I am reposting it today along with a couple of other pieces on the subject.

“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.

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  • paul obrien says:

    They really do take us for mugs.Our love for the Celtic leaves us in a no win situ,Our club is now just all about the bottom line to fill the ego and pockets of our board

  • Martin says:

    The “success” he had at celtic would have been easily achieved by any other even someway competent CEO. Every single season he weakened the squad, leaving us vulnerable in crucial CL qualifiers. Then, inevitably, losing the £20M+ revenues and reacting by weakening the squad even more.

    That alone is an unforgivable legacy, before we even factor in res12.

  • Rob says:

    The board in their ivory tower can snigger down on the Celtic support all the want but this support can see through them like they are not their, which of course they are not.

    We know he wasn’t retiring, we know it was the board telling him to disappear for eighteen months to let the dust settle (for that read shit storm) then they’d bring him back as if nothing has happened.

    What worries me is in that time he seems to be getting his ducks in a row. He has his man as CEO, any good management consultant will tell you this is never a good idea as this gives him undue influence and control of that office. Hands up anyone who thinks Nicholson will or could defy Lawwell?

    His son is now part of the football recruitment department. When push comes to shove who in junior going to support? Ange or daddy?

    All of this just does not sit comfortably with me. This is not how a stock exchange listed company should be operating, fiducial responsibility anyone?

    The man is capable of lying at an AGM for gods sake, his judgment is suspect to say the least, his tenure of managed decline was, is unforgivable not just t the support but to share holders he’s supposed to protect.

    For an man in his position to do the bare minimal with the team just because his beloved o.. f… were languishing . To hold back our progress, to let Europe slip over the horizon, then sell the family silver because we weren’t competing in said Europe. Well I don’t know about you but I’d vote for him.

    • Michael Collins says:

      Well said Rob, I agree with you all the way. I now live in Thailand, and if I had a Celtic season book I would be handing it in after this debacle. He cost us the ten almost all on his own, and eventually he is going to cost us Big Ange.

  • Eamonn Little says:

    Anyone who believes Lawell won’t revert to type,with his interfering in transfers,clearly hadn’t been paying attention.We are going to the back of the bus again.The O** F*** brand is the only show in town for these old farts .Ange spoke about growing us like Benfica or Ajax,big clubs playing in smaller leagues .We can forget that now guys

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