This Celtic Board Has Never Known Real, Sustained Pressure. They Are About To.

Image for This Celtic Board Has Never Known Real, Sustained Pressure. They Are About To.

Yesterday, the Celtic fans were singing a new song, and giving a lusty rendition of an old one. And it dawns on me; this is new territory for these people.

There is a perception of the Celtic board as one that is essentially deaf to all criticism, but they’ve never really had any, in a sustained way, except during the COVID campaign and there were no fans in the ground.

That yesterday was ugly. And it’s going to get uglier.

We can all see with our own eyes how bad this situation is and we can all weigh up the evidence and conclude that it’s the fault of certain people.

We are not daft after all, and I said earlier, the evidence is out in the park in a Celtic team starting Mikey Johnston and David Turnbull, a team that is obviously weaker than last season’s although ten new players came in through the door in the summer.

That’s somebody’s fault. That a massive failure.

The signing record since Mark Lawwell was brought in is dreadful and impossible to defend. We have squandered tens of million of pounds on the mad strategy of letting people run a transfer policy which is not constructed around the needs of the manager.

It is lunacy. The manager’s response to it – which is to make it clear that they can sign who they want but he doesn’t have to play them – is not hard to understand. He sees these guys every day. He already knows some of them aren’t going to cut it.

When you examine the Before And After picture of our transfer success rate – when it was being done with the needs of the manager very specifically in mind, as it was under Ange in that first window compared to the signings made after Lawwell got the job – the picture is as obvious as the one painted by the Ibrox penalty stats. Everything changed the minute he and Daddy took that responsibility for themselves.

And not for the better.

Almost every one of Ange’s early signings went right into the team.

It’s an incredible success rate.

Since Mark Lawwell took over we’ve signed 19 players … with a pitiful success rate.

The truth is that the Lawwell Jnr appointment was a disgusting piece of nepotism which no organisation with accountability and standards as its watchwords would ever have sanctioned or allowed, and with his failure rate now the topic of fevered discussion on every fan forum and site, and with the mainstream more than happy to go through it with a fine toothed comb it is as clear as the nose on your face that he should never have been hired and in an open process he never would have been in a hundred years.

One member of our coaching staff was hired from English football’s lower league basement. On what meritorious basis was he brought in? His father used to be the manager here.

Said father was also given a “consultancy” role for reasons passing understanding. Two of his other kids also work at Celtic, one in scouting. The brightest and the best? Not even close to it, hired because their dad pitched it to his pals on the board and they found soft seats for them.

You’ll have noticed that our B team is an utter mess this season.

Who is being held to account for that? We have an ex-Celtic player managing them, and whilst we’re on that subject … how long is it going to take for the penny to drop that not one of our youth players is going to develop to the first team level playing public park football in the Lowland League?

That renders the whole Lennoxtown and Barrowfield projects nothing but a suck on cash to no benefit whatsoever. A decent strategic review at Celtic would leave the people running our club without a name. Our “leadership” is made up of old white men who haven’t shared an original thought between them for over ten years.

Our CEO was an internal appointment. To Hell with a detailed search to bring in the right candidate with the right qualities, they looked after their own. The decision for Lawwell to return as chairman is contemptible and disgusting and he has no shame whatsoever. Any shred of his credibility went by the boards with The Shower Scene From Hampden.

And now, finally, the fans have had enough. They see these guys and they see how our club is being run by them and it’s painfully obvious that we’ve gone backwards.

Two years ago we appointed a manager and backed him lavishly and reaped the rewards. All they had to do was keep it up, was to keep progressing down that road, and instead Lawwell Snr was back, this time as chairman, and his son took a critical position and it upended everything.

This is not difficult for even the dumbest student of football to work out. You look at the time-line and it’s as clear as the nose on your face is. We’ve twice hired the same manager twice, in the space of a decade. In Lennon’s case, the first time, we gave a complete novice the reigns at an organisation with an annual budget in the high eight figures.

We didn’t even attempt to find the best possible candidate when Rodgers left, we gave Lennon the job again. We hired a guy who was initially being brought in to be his assistant.

And with Ange, we took a desperate last-minute punt after being led by the nose by Eddie Howe for months … and got as lucky with that as a guy finding a winning lottery ticket.

But don’t ever let these people kid you that we knew what we were getting there and that this was some kind of stroke of genius cause it wasn’t.

He was just the most palatable name they had in the City Group contact book, and that’s all it was. They got away with that, because they did one thing right; they doubled down and let that guy run the show.

Then Lawwell Jnr came in and everything changed.

The quality of the signings nosedived. Ange barely played some of them, although the club went to great lengths to convince you that he had signed off on that appointment and all the people we bought … the list is available in various places to look at and examine, and it’s horrendous.

I’m putting a video at the bottom of the article which will outline every single one of them. Watch it and let the horror wash over you, and count the cost of those players and then tell me that this is what a well-run, well-oiled machine looks like.

And so when Celtic fans sang the Lawwell Song yesterday it was the first time I’ve heard it at Celtic Park being so loudly sung, and it’s the sign that the tide has turned here against these people big time.

None of us is stupid. We know what we’re seeing … and it’s shocking. For the first time ever, this club’s leadership is under serious pressure from the stands.

And if things continue to unravel, they had better get used to it.

Mark Lawwell’s Celtic Signings – YouTube

Share this article


  • Scouse bhoy says:

    How we go about it like the celts for change in the nineties is the question. Away from what is happening results wise the season ticket and chsmpions league prices should have been kept at last seasons prices in a time of cost of living crisis and yet to their shame they gave themselves a wage rise you really could not make that one up. They are so much out of reality with the fans it is shameful

  • Jim says:

    This and your earlier article are spot on James, except I think in one detail, although I hope its me that’s wrong. The Celtic support will do what they have done for the past 20 years when it comes to the Lawell/board shennanigins and dereliction of duty, they will do absolutely nothing that will change this. A few protests, although that’s usually the GB that does that even, and that will be it, much gnashing of teeth but zero tangible action to change anything.

  • John Copeland says:

    Where is the absent major shareholder proprietor in our time of need ? Which golf course ,in which sunny country does he hit a ball ? If Mr Desmond is in any doubt about the seriousness of the situation at present ,I know of at least 60 million reasons why this crisis needs to be nipped in the bud ….NOW ! NOW Mr Desmond ! NOW !

  • Bob (original) says:

    D’oh, as Homer would say!

    We can never achieve ‘progress in Europe’

    when the club / plc is run by a bunch of amateurs,

    who are OK with blatant nepotism and cronyism,

    – amongst many other failings.

    All that’s missing from our very own Directors are blazers:

    they’re just a better paid version of the SFA buffoons.

    We need a – dynamic – professional, Board of Directors

    who will drive the club [and business] towards its full potential:

    not hold it back with its insular, parochial, risk-averse,

    – and tone-deaf – management style.

  • David Cleghorn says:

    Every thing is wrong at celtic according to YOU. There is a significant change at celtic that supporters appear to be ignoring – team tactics when Bredan revisits his contribution to team performance then celtic will progress from where we are now. I suggest you put your vodoo dolls back in their box. Your ravings will be well love by those across the city.

    • James Forrest says:

      First, I couldn’t give a fuck what those across the city think, and if you reckon that the manager is the problem here when I’ve outlined, in detail, in this article, the abysmal failure rate of the signing policy since it’s been in the hands of Lawwell & Sons, I suggest pulling your head out of your arse.

  • goodghuy says:

    A think this we are going over the score here, still have lefty to play for. Our problems have been our injuries, Hatate been a massive miss, it ain’t rocket science to see why Kyogos went off the boil in his absence. Calum Mcgregor has been taken out his best position to compensate, January only next month, we will get another few in to help. If wee beat them at Celtic park, we are still in the driving seat. I will say though, a think poirot is a a decent manager, he has got a turn out of they signings for them who were not firing, he seems too have got more out of them. It makes for an interesting second half of the season, you have to earn titles, they don’t come on a plate for you. Keep the faith everybody, still ours too lose.

    • Ian Francis Mcguigan says:

      I’m sorry but if you don’t think there is a serious issue at Celtic just now you are part of the problem.

  • Captain Swing says:

    You’d be forgiven for coming to the conclusion that their actions over the last decade are way beyond negligence and coming into the category of deliberate self-sabotage in order to ensure the return of their beloved “old firm” model.


  • Kevan McKeown says:

    As we know, fom here all we’re gonnae get is ‘treble’ this and ‘glory’ that and ah hope this boards takin notice. Lawwell’s sheer arrogance in returning told me, he thinks if he can survive the 10 iar disaster, he can survive anythin and of course everybody saw this comin. That lot got their cup today, the other 2 are still saveable and this board need tae act and give us a hope of savin our season. If they don’t, the only way tae shift them is hurtin their pockets.

  • Sophie Johnstone says:

    Blame the fans for this aye ok.Do you think this board will crumble because there’s protests and no shows.They wont bother their backsides because they will get their ridiculous wages regardless how many fans don’t turn always suspicious of folk coming on here attacking fellow fans

  • Peter Cassidy says:

    Why did Rodgers not stop lawell jnr buyiing most of these players if he was the manager they went to see him when he was on holiday so why would he not tell them he wants full control who comes in who goes out .The main man desmond is the person who has to much control at Celtic and lawell also the amount of money tbe directors and ceo pay themselves is a disgrace plus pensions and share options this has being on for many years at celtic.But back to football rodgers has lost the dressing room as tbey say we have been poor all season players not into his style of football slow build up to much passing back and forth teams sussed them out very light weight in midfield and needing a better centre forward oh” not good enough plus a goalkeeper wel can win the league but players and manger need to sort out themselves or its the rangers for the taking they have a decent manager now .

    • Michael Gallagher says:

      We haven’t been poor all season away wins Ibrox Aberdeen Livingston etc but we are terrible to watch totally gutted what I’m watching now

  • Effarr says:

    How many millions have been spent over the past twenty years alone at so-called Academy’s to produce James Forrest, Callum McGregor and Kieran Tierney? And
    now they are spending more millions on Barrowfield, All this is similar to a potato farmer who spends millions to produce crops that yielded only three fish suppers: one fresh, one getting stale and the other stone cold. Meanwhile, the potential bankrupts are building a fresh new chippy.

    • Effarr says:

      Sorry, Academys. Maybe Academies but no apostrophe. I get annoyed to see almost everyone using an apostrophe now when every word ends with a s. I can`t just blame the schools.


    Join the Club.

  • Johnno says:

    Sorry James but your pissing against the wind regarding the lawwell situation?
    As long as there is a feel factor within the club, there involvement tends to go fairly unnoticed as such?
    Lawwell senior should never have been allowed back into the club after the 10iar season and his involvement of keeping Hun scum in business, possibly the biggest act of traitorous action ever committed by a so called Celtic supporter?
    But was allowed to return without any one really taking much notice and bringing the son on board with them now?
    Problem is that with the power they hold within the club, they get the chance to redeem themselves with their mistakes, and if put right, will continue to be overlooked by most within the club?
    Has been happening for years, and little chance of the process at board level changing anytime soon either, regardless of the amount of moaning and potential protests about the current situation either imo?
    Yet Rodgers don’t or won’t get such a luxury?
    The signing of confidentiality agreements protects the board and always will do?
    So why do very wealthy managers work under such restrictions in carrying out there jobs in a proper manner, if such a case is in place currently?
    A question that can’t be answered as of yet, so only speculation with lies remains for the supporters of the current shit show to dissect?
    Still the attitude within the club stinks, and growing even more so with the arrival of Rodgers, more so than that of what a lawwell brings, and that takes some doing?
    Personally would like to see the back of all 3 upon failure of duty towards the club and it’s supporters?
    Yet in reality, that’s not going to happen, but the current situation between all 3 can’t remain either, as totally unworkable by the looks of things?
    Rodgers is currently doing a very poor job, especially lately, and the regression of established players is alarming at this stage, and no amount of excuses can hide that particular fact either?
    New players been felt as unwanted by so many, especially a manager, who also claimed to give the green light to, is a shambolic situation created within the club, were Rodgers has to be held accountable for also?
    Players who have done so well for the club during their shortish careers now been questioned about there quality now?
    What chance does the newer players stand when such a tone has been set within the dressing room by the manager?
    This is a weekly occurrence lately, not during periods when very little football is being played and the transfer window is open?
    We are currently looking at January to salvage this season, yet James can you feel confident about Rodgers decision making during that process involved?
    I certainly can’t anyway, especially with the amount of ridiculous decision making he’s making nearly weekly for matches?
    As much as I would like to see the back of all 3 culprits for the current shit show, Rodgers remains the favourite of being the first casualty, and one I couldn’t defend either at present imo?

  • Michael Gallagher says:

    We haven’t been poor all season away wins Ibrox Aberdeen Livingston etc but we are terrible to watch totally gutted what I’m watching now

  • Roonsa says:

    Lots of emotions on display tonight and understandably so. You wear your heart on your sleeve too readily, James.

    We need some calm heads who will employ some much needed CBT. Only worry about that what you have control over. What do we have control over? What we say and what we do.

    The only way we can make what we say effective is by having a singular voice to articulate a measured and reaoned call for Lawwell to step away from his role as Chairman. On top of that there needs to be consequences if Celtic decide not to engage with the supporters on that basis (I can guarantee you, they won’t).

    We can show support to the team as they arrive at the ground (as per what the GB did at the Motherwell game) and make it clear why that’s as far as it goes.

    Lawwell needs to understand his time is up. Get to fuck and take yer boy with you. Those signings attributed to him are an embarrassment.

  • Eldraco says:

    Excellent!. Now we get somewhere an examination of the root cause and lets call a spade a shovel, the corruption.

    Its widespread as suggested and begins with cronyisim and nepotisim as pointed out.

    Rodgers was telling the truth when he said he will work with whatever he is given , he did the work , found they were not good enough and didnt use them.

    As for Ange dont be sure he left just coz EPLcalled he loves celtic he wanted CL football , cant hack lawell and that interference in the type of player coming in was the end.

Comments are closed.